drones

Tom Banse / NW News Network

In the span of just a few years, the Washington State Patrol has built up a fleet of more than 100 drones. At last check, the Oregon State Police had three. The Washington patrol says its small quadcopters are used for crash investigations, not for surveillance.

Courtesy of Boeing

The Boeing Company announced that one of its subsidiaries on the East Coast successfully completed the maiden flight of a self-flying air taxi. This comes almost exactly one year after a subsidiary of rival Airbus flew an autonomous passenger shuttlecraft for the first time in Pendleton, Oregon.

Cubic Corp.

A dream to make rural Pendleton, Oregon into a drone testing mecca is becoming very real. It's so real, in fact, that the city-owned airport has run out of hangar space to rent to global aerospace companies. Now, the Pendleton airport is seeking millions more in public funding to help expand.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

During World War II, the Pendleton, Oregon airport served as homebase to a bomber wing that flew anti-submarine patrols along the West Coast and took part in a daring mission called the Doolittle Raid. Now after many decades of slumber, the Army Air Corps’ historic hangar is buzzing again.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

They're life-jacket orange, they're robots and they're capable of sailing the high seas without human intervention.

On Tuesday the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a private contractor launched a pair of unmanned “Saildrones” in Pacific Northwest waters for the first time. Their summer-long voyage to collect fish data will stretch from Vancouver Island to California.

PAE ISR

Drone testing by a defense contractor has stopped after one of the company's prototypes crashed on Saturday and set off a small wildfire near the Pendleton, Oregon, airport.

Master Sgt. Rick Cowan / U.S. Coast Guard

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter came within 50 feet of colliding with a drone over Port Angeles, Washington, last weekend. The Coast Guard said an air crew was doing low altitude training exercises near Fairchild International Airport when it had to take evasive action.

Airbus A^3

The Airbus subsidiary behind a self-flying, battery-powered passenger drone says the prototype has made its first flight at Eastern Oregon Regional Airport in Pendleton.

Insitu

The unmanned aircraft industry cluster in the Columbia River Gorge is growing yet again. An Australian company that specializes in drone engines plans to open a factory in Hood River, Oregon, early next year.

 

VerdeGo Aero

An aviation visionary from the Seattle area with a famous last name has joined the crowded field of personal air taxi startups. His new company unveiled a design that competes with a similar Airbus prototype expected to begin flight testing in Oregon soon.

Airbus A^3

A prototype of a single-seat passenger drone has arrived at Pendleton, Oregon's airport for flight testing. That according to the Silicon Valley-based Airbus subsidiary A^3—or “A-cubed”—behind the Vahana Project.

The battery-powered, self-flying aircraft has been reassembled after shipping and is now undergoing ground tests.

Insitu

One of Boeing Defense subsidiary Insitu's 45-pound high-tech unmanned aircraft joined the fight against the Eagle Creek fire this weekend.

Insitu

Two Air National Guard reconnaissance planes were called in Wednesday by the National Interagency Fire Center to help detect and map wildfires in the Pacific Northwest. The twin engine, turboprop RC-26 aircraft will be temporarily based at Spokane's Fairchild Air Force Base and at Eugene's airport. In the near future, their assignment may be carried out by unmanned aircraft. 

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The cluster of unmanned aircraft systems companies in the Columbia River Gorge led one online journal to dub the rural region east of Portland, "Dronetown, USA."

Oregon Senate Clarifies Rules For Drones

Jun 13, 2017
Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The Oregon Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would make exceptions for the use of drones.

Eric Salard / Flickr - tinyurl.com/h7o933o

The Federal Aviation Administration says reports of unsafe flying by civilian drones "have increased dramatically" over the past two years.

Andri Koolme / Flickr - tinyurl.com/zxyevkj

The Consumer Technology Association estimates about 1.2 million drones were sold during the just-completed holiday shopping season. Now one state lawmaker from western Washington wants to give you the legal right to tell a drone operator to buzz off.

Crews Say Drones Hamper Firefighting Efforts

Aug 1, 2016
Courtney Flatt / Northwest News Network

A wildfire in southeast Washington has grown to 70,000 acres between Yakima and the Tri-Cities. More than 100 crew members are working to keep the Range 12 Fire from spreading.

But they say something could slow that work down: drones.

Inciweb

The Federal Aviation Administration emailed all 500,000 drone owners in its registry this week to remind them to stay away from wildfires. Close calls between hobby drones and firefighting aircraft persist across the West despite repeated warnings.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Routine operation of small drones for commercial or civilian purposes have clearance for takeoff. The Federal Aviation Administration Tuesday finalized rules to replace the previous case-by-case assessment of drone uses.

NOAA Fisheries/Vancouver Aquarium

Boats have to stay 200 yards away from the Northwest’s endangered resident killer whales. But what if one of those boaters launches an aerial drone to take better pictures from closer up?

It's not a theoretical question. And the answer is not as clear as law enforcement would like.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

It just became easier for students to fly drones as part of their class work. The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday loosened restrictions on the use of unmanned aircraft in academia.

WSDOT - tinyurl.com/yddspl8b

The Washington state Capitol campus could soon be a no-fly-zone for drones. The agency that oversees the 486-acre campus is considering a strict ban.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

If you want to go to college to learn how to design, build, fly or fix a drone, your time has come. Many institutions of higher learning around the Northwest are recognizing that unmanned aircraft could become a key technology of the future.

Insitu

The Boeing Company's unmanned aircraft subsidiary based in the Columbia River Gorge passed a milestone this week in commercializing drone technology.

NOAA Fisheries/Vancouver Aquarium

Killer whale biologists used a hexacopter drone last month to capture stunning, overhead photos of every single member of the endangered Puget Sound orca population.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Consumer drones look like child's play after you get a look at the unmanned, water-dropping helicopter that was pitched to the federal government Wednesday. The K-MAX chopper is the largest of several remotely-piloted firefighting aircraft to get a tryout this year.

Insitu

Multiple times this summer, the sighting of a wayward hobbyist drone has grounded aerial firefighting aircraft at Western wildfires. But unmanned aircraft have the potential to be useful at wildfires too.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Idaho fish and game regulators want there to be no doubt that hunters cannot use drones. In Oregon as well, lawmakers have tried to head off a fair chase issue before it rears its head.

Vicki Burton / Flickr

The Federal Aviation Administration has recently granted clearance for takeoff to big batches of commercial drone operators.

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