Vapor Unmanned Helicopter Lands Atop New FAA Weight Restriction

LAWRENCE, Kansas (May 16, 2012) – Pulse Aerospace, a Lawrence KS based unmanned helicopter developer, is pleased to see the weight cap on law enforcement use unmanned systems increased. Police, fire and similar agencies will be able to fly drones weighing as much as 25 pounds without applying for special approvals needed under previous regulations, the Federal Aviation Administration said today in a statement on its website. The Company’s Vapor Unmanned Helicopter, in its standard ‘Close Air Support Edition’, which includes gimbaled EO/IR camera with video link, a full authority digital flight control system enabling simple operation, and a battery load providing up to 1 hour endurance comes in just ounces under the weight cap.

“We took a gamble on creating a new helicopter that was smaller than current existing electric UAV helicopters, and now we are glad we did,” said a company representative. “At that time, we thought the weight cap would be 55 lbs. and we knew we wanted to offer something smaller than that for public agencies.”

The new weight allowance is crucial to providing support to fire, rescue, and law enforcement entities who do not budget for full scale helicopters, or where manned helicopter surveillance does not make economic sense. Furthermore, the 4.4 lbs weight cap was seen by many as just a teaser, since it is difficult and expensive to outfit UAVs of this size with high quality EO and IR cameras and video links, and in the end, 8-15 minute endurance and strict wind limitations were the standard for VTOL vehicles of this size. The Vapor can now offer higher grade imaging for 4-5 times longer time on station, which will be a huge benefit to entities in need of the UAS technology.
“The key for us now is to continue to maintain high quality manufacturing, verification, and training to ensure Vapor’s success,” says Bill Donovan, President of Pulse Aerospace. “We have been working with and training companies specializing in UAV training and maintenance courses, such as UTEC, on the Vapor helicopter operation. These companies are well versed on what coursework and material is required to train law enforcement entities how to safely operate unmanned systems. It makes sense to work together to professionally train new Vapor customers on operations and maintenance.”
For further information on Vapor Unmanned Helicopters, Pulse Aerospace can be contacted at

Bill Donovan


Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.