SAN JOSE, Calif. , Sept. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), more than 1,200 incidents of sighting drones in restricted airspace and near airports were reported in the United States last year. As drone use grows, so do the safety concerns around it.
From unanticipated flight behavior to aerial encounters, the growth of commercial drones might pose threats to aerial safety. "Your imagination can run wild with the problems of hitting hard metal objects at 200 mph," said Tim Canoll, president of the Air Line Pilots Association in a Bloomberg article.
To assuage worries about drone safety and to push forward the industrial uses of drones, a Chinese drone company, Ziyan UAV, has decided to bring a promising new force, unmanned helicopters, into this battlefield.
Their newly released product, the ZYG 800, has outstanding performance in load-bearing, safety and speed, making it a more dependable and efficient unmanned aerial vehicle, especially in industrial applications such as aerial logistics.
Drones, Safety Problems, and What?
According to Wall Street Journal, Federal Government-issued rules authorizing small businesses to start using small drones went into effect in June 2016.
However, most of the serious safety issues remain unresolved, such as "flying drones over people or beyond the visual sight of designated pilot." The lack of drone rules is true in many other parts of the world, especially in China, where commercial use of drones is growing fast and the government is moving slowly.
Some manufacturers are looking to bring tethered drones into the market. However, the FAA has not opened the door for these kinds of drones because there's no proven evidence that they are safer than their counterparts.
These safety concerns not only impair drones' potential in the commercial market, but also blocks its way into the industrial market, which has higher safety and efficacy standards.
What makes unmanned helicopter different, then?
When compared with unmanned helicopters, quadcopters appear to be neither safe nor efficient- they are limited in size and are inefficient because of their numerous propellers and the blade tip vortices they generate. And they lack the aerodynamic lift brought by the wings and body of a fixed-wing aircraft.
Almost 5 years after DJI hit the market with its quadcopters, it would not be abrupt to say that the market education of drones has been completed. The public awareness that drones could turn the logistics industry upside down, the setbacks of quadcopters, the need of the big name logistics companies, the ultimate crave for more space of the human kind altogether have brought the unmanned helicopters back on stage.
"Unmanned helicopters are steadier in the air. They also have better performance in load bearing and speed," said Jiangping Wang, founder and CEO of Ziyan UAV. All these performance differences make unmanned helicopters a safer choice when it comes to industrial uses, including logistics, farming, mapping and military uses.
Unmanned Helicopters Back on Stage
Until now, however, unmanned helicopters have never been as popular as quadcopters due to the stricter requirement on autonomous flying abilities, flight control, frame design and much higher cost of development and research.
The good news is that both material and electronic sciences have been moving forward rapidly in recent years, lowering these technical barriers for unmanned helicopters. Ziyan UAV has astutely seized this opportunity and started their research and development process in early 2015.
"We figure that the autonomous guidance system is the core," said Wang. The breakthrough of Ziyan UAV in this system also prepares it for future industrial use.
Currently, Ziyan is developing several different unmanned helicopters, each distinct in size and power. With modularized system integration, they are able to provide unique designs for clients in response to their different needs.
According to Wang, Ziyan produces unmanned helicopters that have competitive lightweight bodies of 5 kilograms and at the same time a high net load of 20 kilograms. Its major product, the ZYG 800, can reach a cruising speed of 100-130 km/h and a maximum flight speed of 160 km/h, which is four times of that of a quadcopter.
The reliability and efficiency of their product has been proved by repeated tests conducted in south China.
"Ever since the ZYG 800 was completed, we've been testing it under extreme conditions every single day and it is still solid," says Wang. He explains that to test the ZYG 800's flying ability, they've been testing it for at least two hours every day along the coast, where winds are strong and unpredictable. With a guaranteed transportation speed, this unmanned helicopter can deal with a maximum wind level of fresh gale.
Ziyan UAV will bring its unmanned helicopters to the 11th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition held in Zhuhai, China in November.
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SOURCE Ziyan UAV