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FAA hits turbulence with drone registration

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The FAA is trying to address glitches in its new online drone registration process.
The FAA is trying to address glitches in its new online drone registration process.
Photo: Cult of Mac file

Several thousand drone pilots registered their aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration within the first 24 hours, but glitches in the system briefly shut it down after takeoff.

The FAA said the new mandatory online registration had to be shutdown for troubleshooting but would reopen Thursday.

FAA will force fliers to register drones before Christmas

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Drones and HD cameras are affordable, giving everyone a chance to make beautiful, cinematic video.
Drones and HD cameras are affordable, giving everyone a chance to make beautiful, cinematic video.
Photo: DJI

While you’re writing that thank you note to the Santa who bought you the quadcopter you’ve always wanted, you will also want to take a moment to register your aircraft with the FAA.

The registration rule was signed into law last month by the Federal Aviation Administration and any drone weighing between .55 pounds and 50 pounds must be registered starting Dec. 21.

A micro flier that proves drones are big fun no matter the size [Deals]

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The AERIUS Drone is as small as they come, but just as much fun as the big birds.
The AERIUS Drone is as small as they come, but just as much fun as the big birds.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Lots of us want a drone, but not all of us have the space for a giant four-rotored helicopter in our lives, let alone the cash. Thankfully, drones are a bunch of fun at any size, which the tiny AERIUS Drone proves in a big way. It’s one of the smallest fully functioning drones you can buy, perfect for indoor or outdoor use, and right now you can get your own for only $34.99.

First manned drone uses 54 propellers

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A British man made a personal helicopter with the rotors of several quadcopters.
A British man made a personal helicopter with the rotors of several quadcopters.
Photo: gasturbine101/YouTube

History is full of DIY flying machines, including the occasional Joe who ties a bunch of helium balloons to his lawn chair.

So it was only a matter of time before someone would figure out the number of drone propellers it would take to put a man in the air The answer is 54.

A British man may have made the first manned drone flight, if there can be such a category, when he fastened a 54 rotors from quadcopters to make a personal helicopter he dubbed the Swarm.

Next-gen drones vie for air supremacy

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DJI's Phantom 3 is available for pre-order and will soon be sharing airspace with another new drone, the Solo by 3D Robotics. Photo: DJI/YouTube
DJI's Phantom 3 is available for preorder and will soon be sharing airspace with another new drone, the Solo by 3D Robotics. Photo: DJI/YouTube

Comparing two impressive new quadcopters is like comparing a hawk to a falcon. Both birds are impressive.

That might make a tough choice for drone enthusiasts looking to upgrade, but for the rest of us, it’s easy: Just watch the awesome marketing videos and drool.

Drone geeks get a blast of Star Wars speed in this new sport

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That blur there is a quad-copter, racing through a sweet forest obstacle course. Screengrab: New Scientist
That blur there is a quad-copter, racing through a sweet forest obstacle course. Screengrab: New Scientist

It may be hard to tell from the image above, but that’s a hot-rodding quadcopter speeding through the forest at about 100 miles an hour. The drone is taking part in the first large-scale first-person video drone race ever in the United States, held last week in Los Angeles.

For the operators, staring at video screens or wearing virtual reality goggles while their drones record the high-speed chase via tiny mounted cameras, the experience is not unlike the best part of the prequel Star Wars movies — the podracing scene.

Check out the video below for a better sense of what these guys are doing.