FAA Weighs Waiver for Water-Spraying Drone

Photo courtesy of Chris Barbalis via Unsplash.

Aviation officials are considering granting a waiver for a tethered drone that can fly up to 300 meters and deliver a stream of hot or cold water to fight a building fire, clean the surface of a wall or clean and deice a wind turbine’s blades.

The waiver is necessary because the drone weighs more than the 55 pounds allowed to fly under the current Part 107 rules. The unmanned aircraft system under consideration weighs 200 pounds and can carry a 60-pound payload. Other versions of the drone can carry up to 400 pounds, according to Techcrunch.

The drone is doubly connected to the ground, first through a hose that carries water and second via a cable that supplies electrical power. The unmanned aircraft can use its 28 motors to hover over a spot to deliver water or move methodically across the surface of a building up to 300 meters tall for cleaning.

Originally launched in Latvia the firm moved to San Jose, California after securing backing from the Y Combinator incubator. The firm plans to offer a cleaning service to start rather than selling the drone itself, according to Techcrunch.

More information on the Aerones drone can be found at aerones.com. The waiver petition is at regulations.gov/ under docket number 2019-07690. Comments on this petition must identify the petition docket number and must be received on or before May 7, 2019.