Welcome to InspirePilots.com

Join the leading DJI Inspire community for free!

A Look at Amazon Prime Air

Discussion in 'News' started by davlucmac, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. davlucmac

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Seattle, WA and Charlottesville, VA
    I haven't dug into this much - but it looks feasible as a hybrid X8 / fixed wing / pusher. It's big though!

     
    turbodronepilot likes this.
  2. m00se

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    137
    I would throw a blanket over it, then stick a Naze 32 inside it, Thankyou very much amazon
     
  3. Mazz

    Mazz Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Messages:
    944
    Likes Received:
    585
    Location:
    NY
    I assume once the system is up and running the same federal laws that protect mail and carriers will serve to protect the packages and UAVs. Also safe to assume, like any atm, there will be trackers inside that will activate when stolen/broken/powered down.
     
    damoncooper likes this.
  4. damoncooper

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    3,451
    Likes Received:
    1,620
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    It's an Octo with a massive pusher prop and does 15 miles out and back. Very nice.
     
    m00se likes this.
  5. m00se

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    137
    It would also be safe to assume that any of those trackers would operate via RF, which could be rendered useless if you plan correctly.
    the only useful parts to recover from one would be the battery cells, motors and props. I guess the rest could be made proprietary. But hey, batteries are expensive :)
     
  6. damoncooper

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    3,451
    Likes Received:
    1,620
    Location:
    Boston, MA

    I think it's safe to assume there's no way these are going to be powered by LiPo batteries. Amazon is forging a new trail here and I would venture an educated guess they have developed their own fuel cells in house or worked with a company like EnergyOR on them to customize them for their AC.

    Join us on EnergyOR Technologies inc.
     
  7. Mazz

    Mazz Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Messages:
    944
    Likes Received:
    585
    Location:
    NY
    Another thing about this is that they will get good at making them and hopefully it will trickle down like everything else. Amazon will sell drones of their own soon etc etc. This just blazes the trail to giving us more options.
     
    Gary E, davlucmac and damoncooper like this.
  8. ADSSER

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    13
    All in all, pretty slick.
     
    damoncooper likes this.
  9. ISP5557

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Illinois
    All this is fine and dandy but the elephant in the room is that the FAA will not allow beyond visual line of sight to UAS under 400 feet. If they do it for Amazon, they would have to do it for everyone else. As someone who deals with the FAA regularly, they have given no indication they will forgo the LOS requirement at anytime in the future.
     
  10. damoncooper

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    3,451
    Likes Received:
    1,620
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Republicans will take back the White House and we're good.
     
    JoeyJoe likes this.
  11. davlucmac

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Seattle, WA and Charlottesville, VA
    Hrm. This doesn't seem to jive with the FAA's publicly-stated approach. See Huerta's announcement of the three-tiered Pathfinder program here:

    Speech – "UAS Pathfinder Program Announcement Press Conference"

    Insitu has already conducted two specific operations beyond line of sight with FAA approval. Here they are:

    Insitu Conducts Successful Fire Monitoring Demonstration with Unmanned Aircraft in Olympic National — Press — Insitu

    Boeing’s Insitu drones tested for inspecting rail lines

    While I understand your perspective, your statement that "If they do it for Amazon, they would have to do it for everyone else" is a total misunderstanding of how the COA process works. The FAA will never grant a blanket set (with no caveats) of operational parameters for UAS flight. They have already issued the following "tiers" of COAs to support this statement:

    1. Lowest-common denominator "blanket COA" for commercial operations
    2. Multiple specific COAs for businesses operating outside of the blanket parameters (within class B airspace, above 400ft, etc.)
    3. BLOS COAs for the Pathfinder program -- specifically to address development of BLOS.

    All hardware is not created equal. Similarly, all operators are not created equal. There's a significant onus on these organizations attempting to demonstrate practical and safe BLOS.

    Before anyone screams bloody murder that UASs are being treated unfairly... they are not. This is the exact approach that governs manned flight. Tiered knowledge and operational parameters for Sport, Private, Instrument, Multiengine, Commercial, ATP... FAR parts 61, 91 and 141 delineate requirements for many different types of operations. We are witnessing the systematic integration of UAS into the national airspace system, rather than their segmentation from the same.

    I would point out that Amazon is not limiting this offering to the US. Any country that gets integration, automation and BLOS right - and has appropriate margins for such a service - is fair game. Thus, there is some debate about whether it'll happen in the US first, or not.

     
    #11 davlucmac, Nov 30, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2015
    Outta Control and damoncooper like this.
  12. damoncooper

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    3,451
    Likes Received:
    1,620
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    ^^^^ what he said
     
    m00se likes this.
  13. ISP5557

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Illinois
    As someone who has gone through the entire COA process, I still stand by my original statement. The Pathfinder program seems to have a common theme, it is for "Isolated" and "Rural" areas. The urban landscape is a totally different animal and hugely different from flying over farm fields and railroad tracks. Amazon is not aiming for delivering to Mayberry RFD, they want to deliver where they can make the most bang for their buck. CNN is within LOS, Precisionhawk is flying over farm fields just outside visual limits, and BNSF railroad is also only allowed for Isolated areas. Hey I would love to believe that anytime soon I could get my pizza by flying drone, I just don't see it happening if the FAA keeps safety as their stated goal. I'm sure a lot of great technology will come from the programs, but at some point we need to keep people in the loop or no job will be left for us to do.
     
  14. davlucmac

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Seattle, WA and Charlottesville, VA
    This is an extremely interesting point of discussion for those of us interested in the societal effects of robotics and computing. However, I don't think it'll stand in the way of BLOS operations.

    It may not be Amazon delivering packages, but there is margin enough to justify these operations NOW. An example: the application of BLOS platforms over urban areas to replace expensive manned helicopters for law enforcement is an immediate application of this technology and this very topic is being actively discussed within the community. The southern border has been a test-bed for these operations since DHS / CBP got their first Predators nearly a decade ago.

    Whether pilots lose their jobs isn't a social argument, it's a financial one. Take for example a pilot qualified on a Jet Ranger with 30,000 hours of flight time vs. a couple hundred of Scan Eagle hours under the belt of a 25 year old out of the military. Whose platforms cost more the buy, operate, maintain? Whose payroll is higher? Both platform-operator pairings do the same, or exchangeable, functions at radically different costs. A state government faced with the operation of a fleet of jet rangers or a fleet of Scan Eagle (or cheaper) systems will not be able to broadly justify spending orders of magnitude more for a similar outcome. Especially since the helicopters are normally acting as an ISR platform anyway...
     
  15. fab72

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    31
    I might have missed it here in the exchange, but are the proposing these craft would fly autonomously? Certainly I think it is technologically feasible, but it appears it would be a big leap to take.

    . . . it's one thing for these deliveries to take place under the control of a licensed pilot, but a whole other ballgame for them to occur with no human supervision.

    That being said, if there are human pilots, I'm curious how the markets will need to shift to supply this need. Sounds like there would be an exponentially higher need for licensed pilots and needed regulations to keep them all in check and operating safely. Sounds expensive. Who would want to pay $100 to have those Puma's flown to their house in 1/2 hour? Sounds like a pretty inefficient way to move some product. Especially if they have to wait for that Thunderstorm to blow by, or for the landscaper to finish with the mower.

    . . .seems feasible for high dollar time sensitive deliveries (i.e., emergency medications) but otherwise too costly for most everything else.
     
  16. davlucmac

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Seattle, WA and Charlottesville, VA
    No I don't think the intent is to have personnel trained to standards we would traditionally call "pilots." Automation of the flight itself is feasible. Automation of sense and avoid is the long pole you speak of. Not only does an operator have to make it work, they need some metrics to quantify risk before it will be approved. That's a long road... Though I'm sure there will be work around solutions.
     
  17. Bryan Conover

    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    33
    So when Amazon takes to the sky and the rest of us non FAA people get pushed out...will any of you be terribly upset?
     
  18. Dave Stanton

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Longview, TX
    Nice to see Jeremy getting work again.