First Drone Passenger Flight Set for 2018 in London

Robinson+Cole Data Privacy + Security Insider

The first drone passenger flight (test flight that is) is set for 2018 in London. These passenger drones (also known as vertical take-off and landing aircraft—VTOLs) could cut the travel time from the Charing Cross train station to Heathrow airport to only 12 minutes from 40 minutes. Martin Warner, serial entrepreneur, inventor, and owner of Autonomous Flight has performed a few flights without passengers in its Y6S drone, and is set to run further tests using sandbags to adjust for human weight sometime this summer. The Y6S has a maximum speed of 70 mph and can fly at an altitude of up to 1,500 feet. The Y6S is powered by a lithium-ion battery and can travel within an 80-mile range. However, much like the U.S. and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), drone flights in London are regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority and there are rules for all aspects of flying drones. Warner says that those rules don’t necessarily extend to VTOLs. Regulations for these type of flights are currently under discussion by regulators and the VTOL sector is likely to be the ‘new gold rush’ in transportation and aviation.

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