7.23.19 -You Rang?

“People have questioned why we spend the money, is it necessary? If it saves one life, it’s worth every penny.” -- Fire Chief J.D. Pancake with the Upper Township Volunteer Fire Department in Ohio 

Stay tuned to the end to read more about his new drone program!


Cape gives Chinese drones the boot


You probably remember us talking about this early in the year -- how we worked with Cape to snag the first public safety COA that has a special provision for allowing flight beyond visual line of sight. Cape has some pretty amazing software that lets you fly your drone remotely, which is what our friends in the Chula Vista Police Department have been doing. Now Cape’s back in the news with this huge announcement: It plans to stop producing software compatible with drones made in China. Yep, it’s a massive blow to DJI and just another example of the ongoing security concerns between the U.S. and China. If you’re currently using Cape with your DJI equipment, then you’ll be allowed to ride out the rest of your contract as you are now. After that, you’ll have to switch to one of their approved partners, which only includes Skydio at the moment. Skydio says it’ll be releasing a new drone this fall, which we’ll be eager to see. We work closely with our friends over at Cape and are happy to answer any questions you have about their big move -- just give us a call!

What you need to know:

  • Cape says it will no longer support Chinese drones with its software, citing security concerns.

  • If you currently use their software with your DJI drones, then you can ride out your contract. You’ll then have to switch to an approved drone partner.

  • Cape’s software lets you fly your drone remotely. Skyfire worked with Cape to secure the first public safety COA with a provision for BVLOS flights.

Why should you care?

Technology companies continue to get caught in the crossfire when it comes to the deteriorating relationship between the U.S. and China. You can expect this to continue to affect our industry!


Track planes above your wildfire


Here’s some pretty sweet technology we spotted in the works over at the Center of Excellence in Colorado. They’re working on a prototype that would track the location of aircraft above a wildfire. So not only would you be able to track your own aerial assets, but you could see civilian planes, too. Pair this with a drone-detecting device, and you’ve got yourself a pretty sweet set-up there. Can you believe at least 23 aerial firefighting operations were shut down last year thanks to the interference of drone hobbyists? There are ways to detect drones flying around your scene, and we can help you with that! If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, give us a call -- we’ll walk you through your options.

What you need to know:

  • CoE is developing a prototype that will detect firefighting and civilian aircraft above a wildfire.

  • Speaking of fires and things that fly -- did you know a couple of dozen firefighting operations were shut down last year thanks to drones?

  • We have some solutions to help you spot drones flying around your scenes. If this is a common issue for you, give us a call!

Why should you care?

Drone hobbyists interfering with public safety scenes is an issue that really grinds our gears. Every time we talk to the media, we make sure to tell people, please for the love of God do not fly near a scene under any circumstance. It sounds like there haven’t been many incidents this year (thankfully) so maybe all the outreach is getting through to people. But even so, there will still be some jerks out there who might interfere with your work, and we don’t want to see that happen. Call us if you need a solution that detects drones in your area.


Flame-throwing drones are a thing now

  • Please tell us you’ve seen this story already. And if not, you’re welcome! This thing is insane. I mean, what else is there to really say about a drone that shoots flames. Okay, I guess you probably want some of the details and maybe a reason for why the heck you’d want one of these things. This is called the Throwflame TF-19 Wasp. It’s basically a $1,500 flame-throwing attachment for your drone. One gallon of fuel buys you 100 seconds of flame-throwing goodness. Range: 25 feet. There are some actual use cases, like clearing debris from power lines and igniting controlled burns. And obviously also for grilling burgers at our new restaurant concept, The Skyfire Grill. It’s dinner and a drone show with dishes delivered via drop system. Now taking reservations.

    What you need to know:

    • It’s a flamethrower attachment… for your drone!?!

    • The Throwflame TF-19 Wasp shoots targets up to 25 feet away and can burn for 100 seconds on a gallon of fuel.

    • There are allegedly several legitimate uses for this thing.

    Why should you care?

    Because you thought you owned all the cool drone things but obviously you don’t so hello Christmas in July! And if you don't want to burn cash, you can register to win one. Their site is super slow but we managed to log on and enter!



August 7-10

Innovation Station and Live Drone Demonstration at FRI

Come see Skyfire in action!

August 17-18

Part 107 + UAS Skills Camp | North Georgia

Two-Day Skills Camp

September 13-14

Advanced UAS Training | Atlanta, GA

Two-day Course, Including Thermography and More Intense Flight Training



We wanted to give a shout out to the Upper Township Volunteer Fire Department in Ohio! We spotted them in the news last week talking about their drone program. They’re now able to use it for so many different missions from structural fire overwatch to finding lost people who ventured into the country on horseback.

You can read more about the program here.

Alright, folks -- that’s it! Hope you have a great week!  P.S. You digging Propellerheads? Yeah? Us, too! Why don't you forward it over to a buddy or encourage them to sign up   here  . We have a blast putting it together each week and the more the merrier!

Alright, folks -- that’s it! Hope you have a great week!

P.S. You digging Propellerheads? Yeah? Us, too! Why don't you forward it over to a buddy or encourage them to sign up here. We have a blast putting it together each week and the more the merrier!