Scotland is at the forefront of drone delivery trials and Scottish media outlet thecourier.co.uk scores a scoop for posting an intriguing 4 minute long video (sped up) of “a pilot’s eye view” of medical drone flights presently being trialled between Angus and Dundee. Watch it on Fullscreen for the best effect.

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This latest trial, launched ten days ago, is a two-month NHS Tayside program to test the effectiveness of using drones to fly items such as blood samples and medicine to and from Ninewells Hospital. It is a public-private partnership between Angus Council and drone company DTLX, to establish Scotland’s first drone port in Montrose.

The video follows a flight between Brechin and Dundee. The craft is programmed to fly within a defined segregated air space corridor, 1,300 ft wide and at a height of up to 400 ft. It travels at speeds of up to 60mph and is operated Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS). The drone can carry a payload close to 11 lbs. Flights are operating between 4pm and 7pm in the trial’s opening phase.

Richard Stark, Director of DTLX, comments, “The technology is not a problem, the challenge is in meeting the regulations, so it’s taken us 18 months to get the route approved.”

He continues, “The operator follows the entire flight on screen. They don’t have a joystick controller, but have pre-determined functions which can change the journey to make it circle, return home or make an emergency landing at an alternative location. Rain generally isn’t a problem and it can fly in up to 35mph winds.”

Richard Stark/Credit DTLX

The trial is using Skyports drones. There are two approved flying corridors. One from Montrose to Stracathro and the other Stracathro to Ninewells. Flight times take around 30 minutes.

Stark explains, “We wish to allay any fears the local population might have around the use of delivery drones. And we want to prove to the aviation community they’ve got a purpose and are useful.”

He continues, “We’ll gather the data that should allow us to make the case for it to be done across the whole of Angus.” Adding, “This is just the first phase in our longer project as part of the Mercury Drone Port.”

Mercury is Scotland’s first drone port to be created as part of the ZeroFour innovation hub at Montrose.

(News Source: https://www.thecourier.co.uk/)

(Top image credit: Mhairi Edwards/DCThomson)