certified cargo dronesGoogle Seeks OK to Test Drones for Firefighting

September 14, 2021by helo-10

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Google asked the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for permission to test drones to research how the technology can help monitor and control fires.

The Alphabet Inc. company’s climate and energy research group said it plans to use the drone at a private property in Firebaugh, Calif., according to a filing with the FAA. The drone, weighing between 55 and 98.8 pounds, is made by Homeland Surveillance & Electronics and is mass-produced for agricultural applications.

The FAA has previously granted waivers to other organizations that sought permission for similar operations. The drone Google is using is designed to spray chemicals on crops, so could theoretically be used to douse a fire. It holds 20 liters of liquid, or about 5 gallons. Loaded up, HSE says the drone can fly for 8 to 15 minutes.

Alphabet continues to develop drone technology with its moonshot project Wing. The main focus has been on autonomous drone delivery to increase access to goods, reduce traffic congestion in cities and help ease carbon emissions. The company said it began working on that technology in 2012.

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There is more to being a drone pilot than just buying a machine and flying in your backyard. It can be that simple, but most of us will need to understand some drone laws before we try to take to the sky.


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