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We’re still riding a wave of drone innovation as companies dream up new ways to put new drone technology to use. But here’s an application you’ve probably never seen before: using a giant tethered drone to de-ice a wind turbine.The drone itself is built by Latvian firm Aerones, which specializes in heavy-duty UAVs. These powerful craft have up to 36 propel lors and can lift as much as 100 kilograms. Aerones has been making them for years and says they have a range of potential uses, including help in rescue scenarios, firefighting in high-rise buildings, delivery, and industrial cleaning.

It’s the cleaning that gets spotlighted in the video above (via IEEE Spectrum), with one of the drones seen knocking snow and ice off the blades of a wind turbine. The craft has a tether line supplying water, which it sprays at up to 100 liters a minute, and another for power, meaning it can stay aloft indefinitely.

This cleaning process is good for general maintenance, but it also helps increase power efficiency. If snow and ice build up on a turbine’s blades, it slows the rate at which they produce power and can even bring it to a complete halt. Aerones adds that using a drone for de-icing is both quicker and safer than sending humans up using a cherry picker.

Erecting scaffolding for the benefit of inspecting warehouses, industrial units and many different types of properties can be time consuming and extremely expensive. No doubt it has it's place, but at Vistaworx we provide an effective and inexpensive alternative.

Through using the latest in drone technology, we can provide you with hi-resolution photographs and/or HD video of all those inaccessible and difficult to get to places. In addition, we also stream a realtime HD video feed to a second monitor so you can get a bird's eye view of exactly the areas you want to see.

Why not give us a call for an informal chat and see just how we can help save you some time and money.
Some returning visitors to our website are likely to be immediately aware of a new look to the site. We have undertaken a complete revamp to take advantage of the latest Google search engine criteria by making the website mobile friendly. It has taken quite a few weeks of design work in conjunction with our design agency, Bonline. We also hope it is easier to navigate and loads quicker. If you feel there could be some improvements made, then please drop us a line with any thoughts you may have. In the meantime, if you have any questions about drone filming or survey work, then please give us a call at any time.
Drones, or remotely piloted aircraft, have been around for quite some time now, and have within the past couple of years, not only started to make an impact in TV and cinema but also in many areas of industry. From spectacular cinematic shots and real estate photography through to topographical data capture and thermal imaging, there are becoming fewer and fewer applications that cannot be successfully utilised by most businesses and industries.

So, what response should you expect from a drone operator when you make that initial enquiry. More importantly, what should you expect after having commissioned the operator to undertake work for you.

I believe at Vistaworx we operate in a concise and professional manner. Most of our enquiries are via emails, if that is the case we would follow up the enquiry with a phone call, as we always prefer to discuss a project directly with the client. While on the phone we can usually ascertain whether the job can be flown legally and within the relevent CAA regulations by referring to the task site with Google Earth and cross referencing it with our topographical air chart. By doing this we can usually get a pretty good idea as to the viability of the proposed task.

Once we have established the job as a 'goer' and following any further project details, we then submit a formal quotation. We always suggest a contingency date, as UAV operation is generally weather dependent, to a degree, and so having an alternative is extremely important. We conduct a pre-deployment survey from the office, where we research the task area and ensure any relevent permissions for flying are obtained, check any obstacles with the aid of an OS map and any local activity that may prove a concern. We cross reference the task area with our topographical air chart, ensuring we are not infringing into any airspace. This is normally not an issue, as we have found if we contact the relevent air traffic control, the response has always been very positive and helpful. Even in areas of high intensity military activity permissions have been granted.

Once basic research has been completed, we then cross reference the weather forecasts in preparation for the selected task date. Once we're happy with the weather, we usually arrive at the task area 30 minutes to an hour prior to flying and undertake a site safety survey. Once satisfied that safety to property and individuals in the immediate area is secure, we would then and only then undertake the set task.

It's important to remember that the operator in control, the UAV pilot, not only takes into consideration the safety of everyone in the area, but also the integrity of the aircraft and so the final decision on any flying rests with the pilot in charge. Except for the smallest of jobs, we always fly as a two man crew, either as a pilot + camera operator or as a pilot/cameraman + flight observer.

Vistaworx is proud of it's pedigree and believes strongly in safety at all times. With competition continuing to rise in this fascinating and exciting industry, it's important for those hiring a drone operator to consider only those who display a professional approach to flying. A commercial drone operator should be qualified with the relevent qualification, have Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approval with Permissions for Commercial Operation (PfCO) and be fully insured to a minimum of £5000,000 public liability.

As in most industries, it's always tempting for those doing the hiring to cut costs, but when dealing with aviation, cutting costs should be an option which is given careful consideration.
If you're like me and love flying, then you'll always try and get the window seat at every opportunity. Although these days, I like to sit in an aisle seat to lessen climbing across other passengers, upsetting their snooze and spilling coffee across everyone. But whenever I do take time to look outside of that sought after window seat, I never cease to be amazed at how the world takes on a such different perspective.

As a drone pilot perhaps I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. I love the way clouds cast their shadows across the terrain, the way different landscapes vary so much within your view, and when the sun goes down, wow, the beautiful long shadows cast by the mountains draw beautiful shapes so clearly defining areas of the land all those thousands of feet below. The world up high is most definitely seen in a completely different perspective.

So the next time you're thinking about how best to film or photograph something, think skywards and imagine how much more interesting, informative and exciting an aerial perspective can be.

Some guys really do know how to do things right! Here is a short video from DJI, profiling the work of Rufus Blackwell...

Monday found us at Hinkley point C in Somerset, shooting PR material for EDF energy. The day started in the dark at 07.30 and finished in the dark! It was the coldest day so far I have ever spent in zero temperatures! We captured some great footage with the Inspire 2, which is an absolute gem of an aircraft. There is nothing this machine can't do and it does so in loads! Here is a quick drone selfie of the Vistaworx team in action.
A merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all our customers. I wish you well for a fruitful 2018.

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