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Airbus Aerial Provides a Whole New View of the World

WIRED

You may know Airbus as that Boeing competitor that also makes planes, but the European company is in fact an defense and aerospace giant that makes helicopters, satellites, and drones, and now it's using its aircraft not just to move people, but to give those on the ground a whole new view from the skies. A year-old effort called Airbus Aerial will seek to serve climate modelers, farmers, city planners, engineers, first responders, and anybody else who needs a a particular view of the world. The company combines data from observation satellites (of which Airbus is the largest global operator), manned planes with cameras slung underneath, and drones, to get to the places others can't reach. Airbus Aerial packages it all up, and presents it neatly to the customer, via a cloud-based interface. "It's a very complex thing to just say'I need satellite data'," says Jesse Kallman, president of the company.


Lufthansa jumbo reports near miss with drone over Los Angeles

The Guardian

The pilot of a Lufthansa passenger jumbo jet has reported that a drone aircraft nearly collided with his airliner on its landing approach to Los Angeles, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The close encounter between the wide-body, four-engine Airbus A380 and the drone occurred at about 1.30pm at an altitude of 5,000ft (152 metres) as the unmanned aircraft passed about 200ft (61 meters) over the Lufthansa flight 14 miles (22.5 km) east of the city's international airport, the FAA said. No evasive action was taken by the airline crew, and the plane, Lufthansa Flight 456, safely made its landing minutes later without further incident, according to FAA spokesman Ian Gregor. The FAA immediately alerted the Los Angeles police department's air support division. The number of passengers and crew aboard the plane was not reported by authorities, nor was the flight's origin.


Airliner lands safely after being first over Canada to collide with drone

The Japan Times

QUEBEC – A Canadian passenger plane landed safely after it was hit by a drone in the first case of its kind in the country, a Cabinet minister said Sunday. With increasing numbers of unmanned aerial devices in the skies, collisions are still rare, but authorities around the world are looking at ways to keep jetliners out of harm's way. The Canadian incident happened last Thursday when a drone collided with a domestic Skyjet plane approaching Jean-Lesage International Airport in Quebec City, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said in a statement. "This is the first time a drone has hit a commercial aircraft in Canada and I am extremely relieved that the aircraft only sustained minor damage and was able to land safely," said the minister, a former astronaut. The aircraft, carrying six passengers and two crew, was struck on its right wing at an altitude of about 1,500 feet (450 meters) and roughly 2 miles (3 km) from the airport, according to Le Journal de Quebec newspaper.


Alphabet, Intel, FedEx, AT&T Among Drone Pilot Winners: Universities

U.S. News

A Memphis Airport Authority official told Reuters that it had also been picked and that FedEx Corp is a partner that will use drones for inspection of aircraft at its hub in Tennessee as well as parts deliveries for aircraft and some package deliveries between the airport and other Memphis locations. Another partner is General Electric Co, Memphis said.


Amazon drone delivery gets closer to reality with $1.4 billion hub in Kentucky

Mashable

The tech giant will build a $1.39 billion hub for drone delivery service Amazon Prime Air at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Kentucky. The Cincinnati Business Courier reported the news on Tuesday and Amazon confirmed it with a press release shortly after. The 900-acre project will serve as Amazon's primary air cargo hub and as the home to its fleet of Prime Air cargo planes. Amazon leased 40 dedicated cargo planes last year, and 16 of them are in service today. "As we considered places for the long-term home for our air hub operations, Hebron quickly rose to the top of the list with a large, skilled workforce, centralized location with great connectivity to our nearby fulfillment locations, and an excellent quality of living for employees.