Fort Benning’s small drone class has new home

By Capt. Joshua B. Good, 3rd Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment, 316th Cavalry Brigade

FORT BENNING, Ga. (June 27, 2018) – With the precision snip of a ribbon by a drone, the 3rd Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment, 316th Cavalry Brigade, opened its new small unmanned aerial system (SUAS) course facility June 11.

The former convenience store at Camp Cornett will make life more convenient for students and instructors, says Sgt. 1st Class Hilario Dominguez, the lead instructor for the class.

“It gives our course a sense of permanence,” Dominguez said of the new facility.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Barta, 3-16 commander, presided over the SUAS building opening.

“This building represents an incredible new opportunity to the small unmanned aerial system course,” said Barta. “For several years now it was operating in a small cramped classroom insufficient to meet program instruction requirements. Thanks to the work many on the squadron staff, the 316th Brigade S4 shop, and the garrison Directorate of Public Works and Network Enterprise Center, we were able to turn the vacant structure into a vibrant classroom, training leaders to make the Army better.

“Unmanned aerial systems are the way the future,” continued Barta. “And this new school can grow to become the center for aerial robotics in conjunction with the Columbus community through a partnership with industry and education.”

Staff Sgt. Arturo Saucedo flew the remote-controlled quad-copter into a pair of red and white ribbons, slicing the paper in half. Precision flying is what Saucedo teaches the 10 or so students who attend each course. He tells his students to think of the small helicopters as a way to chase down armed enemy soldiers.

“Instead of chasing him through a booby hole, you just track him,” he said. “Now you have a grid of his location and you can do what you need to do.”

Instructors teach Raven and Puma fixed-wing remote-controlled drones and a variety of helicopters, including the tiny InstantEye copter, which flies as quietly as a hummingbird.

The students who pass SUAS are typically infantrymen and cavalry scouts who go back to their units to be a brigade or battalion-level master trainers, Dominguez said. Dominguez said certifying experts build trust and helps company and troop-level commanders get over the fear of losing drones because they mistrust their drone pilots’ skills.

Dominguez has expanded his course to co-train with basic trainees so they can become familiar with drones before they show up to their units. During a recent field exercise, the SUAS students showed the trainees how the drones fly and how to describe drones if they see one flying over their formation.

Capt. Sean Minton, commander of the D Company, 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry Regiment, said his recruits learn how to fill out a seven-line report when they spot a drone and send the information to higher headquarters by radio. Drill instructors also teach the trainees how to hide from an enemy drone or disperse to avoid mass casualties from drone-directed field artillery.

“Our enemies have drones now,” Minton said. “And we don’t always own the air.”

The future of UAV industry at Oxford’s first Robotic Skies Workshop

About the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs

The Centre produces research on the transforming impact of modern technology on international relations, government, and society. Based at Oxford University’s Department of Politics and International Relations, it is the first global research initiative focusing on the study of technology in a political science department at any of the world’s major universities.

The Centre seeks to create a new body of knowledge on the political and social impact of ongoing technological changes and to apply these new understandings to the guidance of policy practice. The Centre’s research is wide-ranging. Faculty, researchers, and associates explore developments across a broad spectrum of technological dimensions – including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics. Connections between our researchers and the wider world of government and industry are at the heart of our impact mission. is Different was built to address the specific insurance needs of commercial drone operators. Here are a few features that set us apart from the crowd:

1.Works at the speed of business. fits the on-demand nature of a commercial drone operator’s workflow. There’s no more waiting on certificates of insurance or claims submissions — with a few taps, pilots can get a certificate of insurance, add additional insureds, and submit a claim, all in real time.

2. Provides distinct coverage options. offers a unique combination of continuous ground coverage along with the ability to add episodic flight coverage on-demand, for as little as a day, or as long as a year. Beyond that, we have higher limits for episodic flight liability coverage, offer physical damage coverage, and have coverage options for ground equipment and sensors.

3. Fuels industry growth. Large enterprise companies are facing a roadblock. They need to hire local drone operators, but struggle to find operators that meet their risk department’s insurance requirements. And when those local operators try to secure required coverage, they find that it’s either not provided, or they’re forced to shoulder the cost of flight coverage year-round—a cost they can’t afford. eliminates this roadblock — opening up growth opportunities for both enterprises and local operators.

4. Eliminates radius restrictions. Unlike some other providers, the policy offered through doesn’t limit the geographical area that can be flown during a job at the time of booking. As long as the pilot is operating in accordance with FAA regulations, if an agricultural crop consultant wants to fly one small corn field then pack up their equipment and drive down the road a few miles and set up and fly another field, they’re covered. Coverage extends to nearly everywhere in the world- allowing drone operators to fly with peace of mind no matter where their job takes them. *Subject to local law, policy terms, conditions and exclusions.

5. Designed just for drones. Some traditional carriers make “drone insurance” policies out of generic business insurance policies — which means operators aren’t often getting the drone-specific coverage they need, from advertising injury to protection for expensive sensors. Ill-fitting coverage can make running a business less efficient, reduce flexibility, and leave operators exposed to unwanted risks that non-drone insurance companies wouldn’t think to cover. offers the best of both worlds: the strength of a well-capitalized and seasoned insurance carrier, and a policy carefully crafted to provide just the right coverage for drones and drone operators.

6. Ensures transparent billing and pricing. allows for convenient monthly billing for annual base policies. And we provide clear pricing for daily, weekly, monthly and yearly flight liability coverage. All of which helps businesses make more informed decisions and manage cash flow more easily.

7. Covers more manufacturers. Operators want to use the right drone for each job. helps them do that, by covering 40% more drone manufacturers than other industry participants.

8. Makes adding sensors easy. Sensors can cost more than the drone itself. To help operators protect all their key assets, includes sensor coverage options as part of the product. Through the online dashboard, we support adding and tracking a wide variety of leading sensor systems, including LiDAR, hyperspectral, thermal, visual, and multispectral cameras.

9. Supports fleets. In addition to special fleet pricing, the dashboard lets fleet operators easily keep track of coverages, drones, pilots, and jobs.

10. Goes beyond line of sight. supports FAA approved beyond-line-of-sight flights — essential for commercial drone operations in industries like oil and gas, utilities, and large agriculture.

11. Allows for seasonal use. Not all drones fly all year round. In northern states, for instance, drone operators often don’t fly in the winter. lets operators keep drones protected in the offseason without incurring unnecessary costs.

12. Coverage related to captured video and images. Drone operators are often capturing still images and video — and publishing those comes with its own set of risks. base policies include coverage to protect against personal and advertising injury.

*Coverage is subject to local law, policy terms, conditions and exclusions.

Small UAV Coalition Member Fresh Air Educators Launches

The Small UAV Coalition is pleased to announce that Coalition member Fresh Air Educators has launched an online preparatory safety course for aspiring Part 107 pilots at

Since the Part 107 regulations have come into effect, there has been a growing demand for knowledge test preparation and resources across the industry as test takers have taken note of the relative difficulty of the in-person knowledge test, most notably for first-time or new unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operators looking to obtain a drone license.

“We’ve heard from operators of all kinds expressing the need for proper training resources to adequately prepare for the in-person test,” said Michael Drobac, executive director, Small UAV Coalition. “Fresh Air Educators has proven that their expertise in online education leads to better outcomes for learners of all types. The launch of this online course will result in UAS operators being better prepared and educated as the industry continues to see rapid expansion in the United States and abroad.”

With the launch of, UAS operators can now access the interactive, industry-leading online study guide provided by Fresh Air Educators.

The safety course is fully narrated, complete with video and animated competency exercises based on e-learning best practices while also covering all required standards and competencies for the in-person Part 107 knowledge test.

Over the past 20 years, Fresh Air Educators has helped train more than two million outdoor enthusiasts to boat, hunt and operate off-highway vehicles. “We’ve applied our proven training and certification process for UAV pilots at,” said Greg Gulliver, general manager, Fresh Air Educators. “Pilots can expect the same high pass rates, test scores and user ratings that our industry partners have come to expect from our courseware.”

The online safety course also offers a Practice Part 107 exam based on real FAA questions used during the in-person knowledge test.

“We share the core belief that our skies should be safe and that properly training our drone operators will ensure that both the pilots understand their capabilities and that consumers have confidence that pilots are certified, trained and properly tested,” added Kerry Moher, V.P. business development, Fresh Air Educators.

Safety and accountability across the UAS industry are critical to ensuring safe integration and unleashing the potential for increased and expanded commercial UAS operations. The Small UAV Coalition calls on the federal government to proactively establish education and training requirements for all UAS operators. Specifically, the Coalition supports online education and training programs to make these opportunities more easily accessible.

Torvol Carrying Solutions

Torvol Carrying Solutions & Accessories For DronesTorvol Carrying Solutions & Accessories For DronesTorvol Carrying Solutions & Accessories For DronesTorvol is an international drone accessories brand from Red Pimiento Europe. The idea of making drone backpacks and accessories was born 2 years ago. During this time, our dedicated team worked together with top FPV drone pilots while designing and creating the products. We design with the pilot’s needs at the heart of our product to offer the best carrying solutions to date for their demands and usage. Our products:

FPV Racing:

In FPV racing, pilots unfortunately spend more time assembling and repairing quadcopters or changing LiPo batteries and propellers than being in the air. With this knowledge, we created the PITSTOP range, bags with a dedicated drone workspace which allows for quick and effortless adjustments and modifications to quads.

Our PITSTOP line-up includes the Quad PITSTOP Backpack PRO, the crown jewel of the PITSTOP range, which can carry up to 4 quads, as well as all gear required for racing, and much more. The modular divider set gives pilots the freedom to arrange their bag to suit their requirements. A Tripod and a foldable chair can be attached to the outside. The Quad PITSTOP Backpack is a compact version of the PRO. It is able to carry 2 quads, props, tools, LiPo’s and spare parts. In addition, our FPV range includes the Quad Transmitter case, and the fire resistant LiPo Safe Pouch, allowing you to safely transport your controller and all your LiPo’s anywhere you go.


Like we did for FPV racing, we looked at the two other main categories in the droning landscape. The Freestyle PITSTOP Bag, which can be used as a hand bag or a shoulder bag, is the ideal match for diehard freestylers. The bag fully unzips to create a flat and clean PITSTOP area. The Drone Day Backpack and Drone Session Backpack, smaller and lighters backpacks, complete the Torvol Freestyle lineup. They feature dedicated drone straps to carry fun drones for a flying session outdoors or at a friend’s house. Finally, the Indoor Race Pack is included in the Torvol product catalogue.


For Imaging enthusiasts, we designed the Drone Adventure Backpack, the best companion for drone photographers to take their gear on the go. It provides ample space for all your drone, DSLR camera, and travel necessities. It features hard-shell protection for your drone and camera gear. With the internal modular divider the interior of the bag can be arranged to hold most drone models similar to DJI Phantom. This bag easily turns from a drone daypack into a spacious and comfortable travel backpack by an expandable roll top compartment which can hold clothes, food, and other travel gear. The Drone Landing Pad allows for clean and save lift-off and landing of your imaging drone and protects it from dirt and other filth from clogging up the motors and smudging the camera lens.

Our story:

We launched our products in the beginning 2018. At the same time, we launched the very successful online Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign (122% funded). It also saw the start of our sponsorship deal with Holland’s premier FPV team, SQG Racing. In April, our very own race team, Torvol Racing, finished 4th during the Utrecht Internationals, part of the IDRA 2018 Drone Racing Series. Subsequently, the Torvol supported team grabbed the third spot in those very same finals. We are now in sponsorship negotiations with the US based team NEXXBlades Racing, one of the greatest drone racing teams in the world.

On top of all these exciting evolutions, we recently showcased all of Torvol’s products during CEBIT 2018, in Hanover DE. CEBIT is Europe’s leading Business Festival for innovation and digitization. The interest and excitement around our booth was sensational. Additionally, Walter Kort of Torvol Racing finished 3rd during the DMFV – Drone Racing Series held at CEBIT. It was also an unprecedented occasion for our team to meet up with top freestyle pilots Mr.Steele and Konasty FPV.

As for now, Torvol is growing immensely fast, and the word-of-mouth is rapidly spreading, which really excites us. To increase this positive vibe, we are opening new sales channels throughout the EU, as well as the US. Our FPV influencer and ambassador list is steadily growing. Noteworthy is the highly regarded French FPV racing professional, Pablo Sotes, a true asset within the French community for the Quad PITSTOP Backpack PRO. The rest of Europe is following suit, with ambassadors from Germany to the UK, and from the Netherlands to Spain.


See more posts about Torvol

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Alpiq EnerTrans improves inspection efficiency by 50% for Swiss network grid operators

Citizens across Switzerland are provided power through an immense network of power lines – totaling 250,000 kilometers (over 55,000 miles), long enough to wrap around the earth 6 times. Working behind this network is – among others – Swissgrid, the national transmission grid operator, who is tasked with not only keeping the lines online but also tying the Swiss energy grid into the larger European grid network.

With lines running along valleys and across Switzerland’s notoriously steep mountain ranges, Swissgrid, who owns 6,700 km of transmission lines, and the local network operators have a difficult task to ensure the vast network remains operational year round – especially through harsh weather conditions. Making situations more difficult is that much of the network was originally built decades earlier, with only one third of the critically important extra-high-voltage transmission lines being built after 1980 and the majority of concrete poles holding up the medium and high voltage lines erected in the 50s and 70s. Due to the networks’ aging nature, grid owners are increasingly looking to raise the frequency they inspect each individual line – surpassing legal minimum frequencies of two to five years.


As the demand for inspections increases, grid operators have turned their eyes towards their standard operations to see how new technology can increase efficiency. This becomes increasingly important as existing inspection methods require a pylon to be taken offline, costing tens of thousands of Euros per hour – and adding up to millions over the years.

The conventional method for inspecting power pylons begins with an inspector using binoculars to gain a first assessment of the tower. If a potential defect or damage is spotted, the inspector will climb the tower for a closer look. This process is both time consuming and dangerous as the inspector risks falling on each mission. In addition to the human risk – due to the requirement of synchronizing with the transcontinental grid – the operator needs to plan months in advance for the inspection so the line can be turned off and the downtime causes a network redundancy reduction. The last component that limits legacy methods to meeting new demands is that, in addition to risk to personnel and production loss, the process isn’t guaranteed – the inspection can still be delayed due to bad weather or other cancellations.


Working alongside Swissgrid to keep this network running is Alpiq EnerTrans, who constructs and operates power lines and switchgear systems – with a specialization on high and medium voltage lines. Starting in 2014, Alpiq established a drone services team to supplement their existing work with national and regional network owners with aerial inspections.

Working with a local power supplier, Marc Tschachtli, Head of UAV operations at Alpiq EnerTrans, and his team helped inspect 65 pylons along a 50KV line. Marc sums up his years of experience utilizing drones for grid inspections, saying “UAVs for power lines inspection offers unknown perspectives on the object and the workflow can be streamlined considerably. With an expert eye damages can be detected easily while flying each pylon on two sides from a diagonal angle.”

Despite these benefits, his team has previously been concerned about flight time and stability. With Alpiq’s previous drones, Marc and his team had to land and swap out batteries every 10 minutes. The problem was solved once his team acquired a DJI Matrice 210 RTK unit, which offers up to 24 minutes flight time with dual payloads and TB55 batteries. In addition to a prolonged flight time, the DJI M210 RTK also met Alpiq’s internal safety requirements. This flight stability is provided by its use of multiple GPS units to determine heading instead of a compass – which is easily affected near strong power lines. Marc summarizes it best, saying “the DJI M210RTK provides extremely stable flying behavior even very close to the pylon where the magnetic interference is high.”

Once Marc and his team was comfortable with the drone’s flight performance, they turned their eyes on securing the most relevant data. To do so, Marc uses the DJI Zenmuse X5S with a 45mm lens and Zenmuse Z30 in case a closer look is needed. Marc explains, “the picture quality of the DJI X5S lets us interpret the damages mid-flight and properly document them. We primarily find lighting strokes, broken insulators, crumbling concrete or rusting metal structure.”

In addition to standard visual data, Marc has started attaching the Zenmuse XT thermal camera onto the teams’ M210 RTK to help understand the thermal footprint of electrical components. This has helped the team detect anomalies or hotspots before they become larger issues.


The Alpiq EnerTrans drone inspection team works closely with operators to ensure their aerial imagery delivers the quality of data needed. Anton Zgraggen, Head of Network Construction at Altdorf Utility Company, and his team operate their local energy network and have seen the benefits of Alpiq’s drone services. “Typically there is a limited time window for inspections of a defined section of the grid” explains Anton, “Alpiq EnerTrans was given 5 days to inspect 65 pylons and completed the work in 3 days. If we would have done the same 65 pylons in the conventional way with a line controller it would have taken 6-7 days, so it saved us 40-50% of time, let alone the increase in job safety.”

In addition to the raw efficiency and safety benefits of drone technology, Anton’s team is able to establish a detailed digital documentation of errors or defects using the data from Alpiq’s, relying in their technical expertise available. The reporting allows the Altdorf Utility Company’s team to determine, for each pylon, the level of existing damage or degradation rate. By tracking each aerial photo to the pole’s number, the grid operator is able to rapidly go from identifying damages to a detailed repair plan. The repair process still requires a portion of the grid to be taken offline, but the drone data eliminates the majority of the downtime.

REIN’s Launches with On-Demand Coverage Plans to Better Serve Commercial Drone Operators

REIN, an insurtech company focused on creating new insurance solutions around the emerging risks posed by robotics, mobility and online ecosystems, is announcing the launch of its first digital portal, It provides a smart and paperless drone insurance experience, offering dynamic policy solutions to address the unique risks, pain points and insurance needs of commercial drone operators. is an automated platform that lets commercial drone operators safeguard their business and self-manage coverage solutions online. For a monthly amount per drone, businesses can protect their ground operations. Then, operators can purchase flight liability coverage on-demand, for as little as a day, or as long as a year, with a range of limits.

“This product is about empowering commercial drone operators,” said Christopher Dean, CEO at REIN. “From higher liability limits for episodic flight coverage to sensors and physical damage coverage options, our product aims to solve the unmet needs in the commercial drone insurance industry. Our platform will enable the industry to grow with the dynamic and evolving drone use cases and their emerging risks.”

Underwritten through Liberty Specialty Markets,’s offerings are now available in selected States of the United States1 via an intuitive web and mobile-ready dashboard.

“At Liberty Specialty Markets, we have a chance to match REIN’s market-leading technology, distribution system and data proficiency with innovative insurance policies to create a best-in-class solution for the drone market,” said Mike Gosselin, Chief Underwriting Officer, Liberty Specialty Markets. “Technology is rapidly changing the insurance landscape, so partnering with REIN to launch makes perfect sense to meet this increasing demand.”

To learn more, visit is now available throughout the United States except NY, NJ, KY, IL, WV and MN. Insurance services are provided by Acend Insurance Solutions, LLC (“AIS”), a licensed surplus lines producer in all 50 U.S. States. AIS operates in California under license No. 0L70741. Additional licensing information is available at


Cutting-edge technology demands cutting-edge coverage. Powered by REIN’s insurtech platform, replaces paperwork and complexity with data-driven automation and user control to offer on-demand insurance coverage solutions designed to address the unique risks, pain points and coverage needs of commercial drone operators. REIN was founded in 2015 and is located in Maynard, MA and Chapel Hill, NC. REIN’s wholly owned subsidiary, Acend Insurance Solutions, LLC is a licensed surplus lines producer in all 50 U.S. States and provides insurance services. For more information, visit and

MyDefence Launches PITBULL – Wearable Counter UAS Jammer

MyDefence is launching PITBULL – the next generation wearable Counter UAS solution that utilizes smart jamming to defeat enemy drones. PITBULL was developed to have minimal impact on other signals while jamming, in an effort to maintain own communication. The Counter UAS jammer is a tactical solution weighing just 775 grams, designed to be worn on the uniform with the purpose of minimizing the cognitive load of dismounted soldiers, so they can focus on the mission instead.

Last month MyDefence launched the WINGMAN 103 – wearable drone detection for special operations forces – and now joined by the PITBULL, dismounted soldiers will be able to both detect and defeat enemy drones. PITBULL is plug-n-play and requires minimal training to operate. Used together with the WINGMAN detector, the entire process of detecting and defeating malicious drones can be fully automated, allowing the operator to carry on with the mission without worrying about enemy drones.

This is a big leap in the technological advancement of active countermeasures against malicious drones. There exists an immediate demand in the Counter UAS market for wearable solutions for dismounted soldiers that does not interfere with their function in a unit. We are therefore proud to introduce the PITBULL wearable smart jammer that allow dismounted soldiers to defeat enemy drones while maintaining own communication”, says CEO of MyDefence, Christian Steinø.

Product features

  • The only wearable Counter UAS jammer on the market
  • Covers 2.4-2.5GHz, 5.2-5.8GHz and the GNSS frequency bands (other frequency bands will be covered by an active external antenna later this year)
  • Ultra-light form factor with a weight of only 775 grams (w/o battery)
  • Up to 20 hours standby battery time and 2 hours of continuous jamming
  • Both automated and manual jamming modes
  • Jamming range of 1,000 meters
  • Average power output is 2W

MyDefence is inviting customers to purchase the initial version of PITBULL, which features up to 20 hours standby battery time and 2 hours of active jamming. The PITBULL has an effective jamming range of 1000 meters and can be fully automated in collaboration with the WINGMAN wearable drone detector. With its rugged exterior, the PITBULL has been designed to operate in demanding environments and is the perfect companion to the WINGMAN products.

The PITBULL drone jammer will, based on the detection signals from the WINGMAN, automatically start jamming the control signals of the detected drones. PITBULL requires no training – simply turn on the devices and you are protected against detected drones, making it ideal for dismounted soldiers, who can instead focus on their mission”, says Christian Steinø.

Weighing less than a kilogram, the PITBULL smart jammer is the ideal solution for dismounted soldiers operating in hostile environments, where enemy forces utilize commercially available drones for reconnaissance and as weapon delivery systems.

About MyDefence

MyDefence is founded by military officers with insight into military operations and advanced radio technology. We have specialized in developing sensors and effectors for military customers to mitigate the threat of malicious drones.

We nourish a culture within our corporation with a strong desire to develop revolutionary and superior technology, which protects soldiers from drone threats. By listening to our end-users and combining their learnings with our technology, we have made truly unique Counter UAS solutions.

DroneDeploy Raises $25M of Series C Funding to Bring Drones to Every Job Site

DroneDeploy today announced that they have raised $25 million in series C funding. DroneDeploy is the largest cloud-based drone data platform with a community of 30,000 users having mapped 30 million acres in 180 countries on 400,000 job sites. The round is led by the Invenergy Future Fund, a venture capital firm focused on making technology investments into early-stage companies that make energy and industrial operations more affordable, reliable, and secure. The round is also backed by AirTree, one of the largest venture capital firms in Australia, as well as existing investors, Scale Venture Partners, Uncork Capital, Emergence Capital and AngelPad. The Series C funding round brings the total amount of equity investment raised by DroneDeploy to over $56M.

“We started DroneDeploy to make drones accessible tools to everyone, and we’ve since become the world’s largest commercial drone software platform by providing drone software that’s both easy to use, and powerful,” said Mike Winn, CEO and co-founder of DroneDeploy. “With this new funding round, we have the opportunity to work with more customers who will bring our platform to new industries, and transform workflows on every job site.”

DroneDeploy plans to use the funds to extend its position as the market leader by expanding their ecosystem of over 80 platform apps and integrations, and accelerating a series of industry-focused solutions. With increasing adoption in the Energy, Construction, and Agriculture industries, DroneDeploy plans to invest heavily in artificial intelligence to build new workflows that solve some of the toughest challenges facing companies today.

“Our investment process into this market was customer-led,” says John Tough, a Partner at the Invenergy Future Fund. “The consistent theme we heard from customers is that DroneDeploy’s product and accompanying applications help achieve significant ROI and reduce risk on the job site. We are excited about the early and growing market leadership the company has established in power and energy industries.”

DroneDeploy has seen unparalleled growth in 2018 through the continued release of new features and developing strategic partnerships with SoftBank, Accenture, and The Climate Corporation. Most recently, they launched the industry’s only real-time mapping solution, Live Map, which stitches RGB and thermal imagery on the edge using iOS devices—providing instant insights on the job site. Their newly released enterprise cloud capabilities provide the management and security tools necessary to scale drone operations across large organizations. And DroneDeploy’s App Market now has more than 80 software integrations, making it the largest drone data ecosystem on the planet.

Mark Wharry joins Martek Aviation

Martek Aviation has announced the official appointment of highly-acclaimed aviation expert Mark Wharry as their Head of Aviation. Mark brings over 20 years of unparalleled aviation experience to Martek, in both high-profile leadership and training roles.

The drone industry is booming and Martek is the driving force behind the most disruptive and talked about UAS technology that’s taking the market by storm! The appointment of Mark fulfils a crucial element of Martek’s strategy, which will help to cement them as world leaders in unmanned aerial services.

Mark began his flying career as a Qualified Flying Instructor with the RAF, training students going through the RAF’s Basic Fast Jet Training course. He was later selected to fly Tornado GR4 aircraft and flew his first front-line missions from RAF Lossiemouth. His time there took him on detachments across the world, including combat missions flown in Afghanistan.

Mark then volunteered to fly the MQ-9 Reaper and was sent to train alongside the US Air Force. Soon, his academic, technical and instructional knowledge resulted in his posting to the senior position of Officer Commanding Standards and Evaluation for the RAF MQ-9 Reaper force. He was the RAF’s most highly-qualified Reaper SME, working to develop safety, regulation and training standards. He was seconded to the Central Flying School, as its first-ever unmanned examiner and became the first OFI to reach an “A” grade qualification as a UAS instructor.

On leaving the RAF, Mark worked as an aviation consultant on projects ranging from examining Small Unmanned Air System pilots to designing training syllabi for nations procuring military RPAS. During this phase, he prided himself on being able to fly, instruct, examine and work with unmanned aircraft from 500g to 5000kgs! He has also advised governments on the development of UAS regulation, contributed to multi-million US dollar bids, and sat as a member of working groups into UAS standards for the British Standards Institute.

Mark has been a specialist in UAS at all levels, with a particular focus on training, safety and regulation, for almost a decade. His experience ranges from teaching air law to people with no aviation experience to advising on training and operations relating to the most complex systems in the world today.

“I am delighted to join Martek Aviation who are pioneering high-end UAS services at this exciting time for the unmanned industry. With a strong operational background and excellent safety and quality processes behind us, I look forward to building a professional team who can deliver best in world unmanned operations. As the sector continues to develop, we will be superbly placed to take advantage of the opportunities and become industry leaders; in service provision, operations, and training” says Mark.