Top drone industry news October 24 2016

Top drone industry news, hand-picked for you by Skytango’s team and commented by Steve Flynn, Skytango’s CEO. Edition: Oct. 24th 2016.

Drone Industry News

To kick off this week’s Newsletter we’re announcing that Skytango will officially launch on the 3rd of November at Drones, Data X Conference in Dublin, Ireland. This is an important date for all of us here at Skytango, and for all of our beta testers who have supported us so far. We have been working hard for a year to get to this launch. Like all new software I’m sure there’ll be bugs, but with your help, we can sort them out quickly. So send us your wishes and join us on the 3rd!

(get a sneak preview of one of our features: the world’s first real-time Uber-style map for drone service booking)

CB Insights and KPMG International have released their latest quarterly Venture Pulse report on VC trends. As Sally French ( highlights in MarketWatch, venture capital to drone companies dropped 48% in the third quarter and it’s down 59% year-over-year, and the investment focus is now switching to software rather than hardware – pssst…Skytango actually focuses on software…for any investors reading this 🙂

A good example of this trend comes from Colin Guinn’s (ex-DJI, ex-3DR) new company Hangar,which announced a $6.5 million seed financing round led by Lux Capital. Hangar will provide business intelligence services through drones across multiple industries.

I read some interesting news about Amazon this week. Amazon filed a patent for a new type of mini-drone which can be voice-controlled.

Dailymail offers an exclusive insight inside Amazon’s secret lab in Cambridge, UK where Amazon is developing drones that aim to deliver packages to customer’s homes within just 30 minutes.

Talking about delivery, last week I mentioned a U.S. Postal Service survey on public perception of drones for delivery. A new survey, commissioned by London & Partners and conducted by MG Insight/ YouGov, found that the majority of American respondents expect drone pizza delivery to be “normal” by the year 2036.


While DJI is finally shipping the Mavic after a week of delays, I read an interesting piece by investor and economy expert George Kesarios on why GoPro is much more than Karma.

Some news from Australia: CASA (the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority) anticipates there will be in excess of 1,000 approved operators by the end of 2016Drone Magazine reports. CASA is also working on an app called ‘Can I Fly Here?’, that will show drone pilots where and when they are allowed to fly.

What’s the current state of drone-vertising? CBC News journalist Dan Misener talks about  some recent examples of drone-vertising and safety & privacy concerns around the use of drones as flying billboards.

Who is “Drone Lawyer” Brendan Schulman? Get to know Brendan, DJI’s VP of Policy and Legal Affairs, in this video profile produced by the Chinese manufacturer.

Drones For Good

I’m introducing a new section to highlight specific cases of drones’ uses for good.

Remember that the UAE Drones For Good Award are still accepting entries for the 2017 event. The winner of the award will receive $1 Million! The closing date for submissions is October 31, 2016.

Drones were used by researchers of the University of British Columbia (UBC) in intensive research on the biology and feeding behaviours of the bowhead whale, the longest-living marine mammal in the world, close to the Arctic Circle. Drones allowed researchers to observe in real-time, without disturbing the whales in their natural habitat.

Aerial Filming/Photography News

UK’s tourist board VisitEngland and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have launched “400ft Britain”, a drone photography and videography competition to educate people about using drones safely. Participants are encouraged to ‘celebrate the beauty of the English countryside’ by taking photos and video respecting the CAA’s Dronecode. It sounds like a great initiative, well done!

Drone Events

The Commercial UAV Show recently took place in London and was a really great event. We were there and are working on a write-up if you missed it.

The F3Expo in Georgia (U.S.), originally planned for November 2016, has been postponed to a date to be confirmed in 2017.

Upcoming events:

Drone Film/Photo Festivals

Now open for submissions:

Aerial Video of the Week

Skynamic produced the aerials for this commercial for Mercedes which has just been released. Great examples of how aerials should work in narrative filming.  As well as doing the heavy lifting, the drone itself makes a cameo appearance!

Welcome To Farewell – A Blind Man’s Poem from Storz & Escherich on Vimeo.


Thanks for reading and for sharing,