UAV/UAS: “Paper airplane” gets FAA approval

A Section 33 exemption has been granted to first powered paper airplane to fly in commercial airspace

Bridge Inspection News August 28, 2015
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved the first ever toy powered paper airplane to fly commercially in U.S. airspace.
A Section 333 Exemption, which endows a specific person or entity to operate an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in open airspace, was granted to Peter Sachs, a drone advocate, lawyer and commercial helicopter pilot.
The “aircraft” Sachs received the 333 for is a Tailor Toys PowerUp 3.0—an actual paper airplane that is remotely powered for flight. According to the manufacturer, it “transforms ordinary paper into a smartphone-controlled flying machine.”
The paper plane has a 180 ft range and is capable of sustained flight for 10 min on a single battery charge.
The FAA is presently vetting and responding to more than 4,500 comments received on its proposed UAV/UAS rules, which were made available to public comment through April of this year. Official recommendations are not expected until sometime in 2016, but the Section 333 Exemption process has been engaged as a means of allowing operators and companies to develop UAV business operations in the interim.
More on this topic will be available in the September issue of Roads & Bridges, which will appear on this website by September 4.

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