When a four-alarm fire started burning at a Santa Clara, California construction site down the street from Impossible Aerospace Corporation, the startup sent one of its US-1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone equipped with thermal and optical sensors to help ground crews battle the blaze.
According to Impossible Aerospace, the US-1 delivered high-definition thermal video to ground crews, allowing them to easily identify hot spots to share with first responders. The aircraft was operated by Impossible Aerospace pilots as part of the company's Rapid Response program offered to neighboring agencies.
A testament to the endurance of modern small electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, the US-1 hovered on site for one hour and six minutes before the fire was extinguished, outlasting three news helicopters that also arrived on scene.
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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.
Contact him regarding any article or collaboration ideas by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.