CNN has acquired A Delta X8 from Altus Unmanned Aerial Solutions of New Zealand to advance its efforts to employ unmanned aircraft for their aerial newsgathering over public and property. Selected as one the Federal Aviation Administration’s three Pathfinder organizations, CNN has been actively engaged in identifying and evaluating UAS systems that meet both the functionality and safety requirements of this demanding role.
After meeting with CNN in May 2015, Altus UAS was chosen to demonstrate the capabilities, redundancies and safety features of the Delta X8 unmanned aerial system. Later Altus UAS, in conjunction with their US partner Blue Chip Unmanned Aerial Solutions, further demonstrated the Delta X8 to the FAA and the Pathfinder Program leaders. Blue Chip UAS holds current Section 333 Exemptions for commercial UAV flight operations across multiple industries, one of which is aerial filming and photography.
Since the purchase of the Delta X8 by CNN the current arrangement has Altus UAS providing technology and support, while Blue Chip UAS will provide operators and training to CNN, with all three parties reporting on the system to the FAA’s Pathfinder Program. In addition, Blue Chip UAS has facilitated the comprehensive testing of the system airworthiness, capabilities, safety and procedures at the National Institute of Aviation Research (NIAR) located in Wichita, Kansas. Blue Chip UAS will oversee the continued testing of the Delta X8 at the NIAR facilities in coordination with CNN, and report back to the FAA.