Drones are a hot new technology, and like any new technology there are some hiccups to work out. One of the big ones that's driving airlines and the FAA crazy is people operating drones near airports and nearly crashing into planes on landing and takeoff. According to the FAA, this happens 25 times a month, which is definitely something I didn't want to know.
So you might be surprised to hear that British airline Easyjet is planning to use drones near its planes intentionally. However, it's actually going to make your flight safer.
One of the problems of maintaining large jets is that they're so tall and there's so much surface to examine. If engineers think there's a trouble spot, they have to grab a crane or go climbing. And the difficulty of getting to some places means they might not get examined as much as they should.
Enter drones, which can fly anywhere around and above the aircraft to get a close-up look at the surface and other points of interest that might have a problem. Engineers can stay on the ground until they actually need to fix something.
Easyjet's planned drones aren't just equipped with video cameras, however. They're also going to have laser scanners that can precisely map each plane's surface to detect wearing and warping over time.
Right now, Easyjet is researching drone designs to find one that can handle flying outside in strong winds. It's also looking into video-streaming headsets so engineers at remote locations can inspect aircraft without being on-site.
Do you think this is going to make flights safer? Let me know in the comments.