Altitude Angel overhauls UK drone flight planning app Drone Help


United Kingdom-based drone pilots seemingly observed a significant replace to their iOS and Android units this week in the event that they already had Altitude Angel’s Drone Help flight planning app obtain. And in the event that they didn’t have already got it downloaded, now may lastly me the time to do it.

Altitude Angel, which relies in Studying, United Kingdom and supplies a spread of airspace administration knowledge and providers for drone producers, builders and airspace stakeholders introduced this month plans to consolidate all of its current apps into one, single, Drone Help app. It’s a transfer that brings app growth again in-house and can — in idea — place the app to be greater and higher than ever.

This week, the corporate relaunched its Drone Help flight planning app with a sequence of options set to boost the person expertise and so as to add a extra sturdy set of industry-ready flight planning instruments. Among the many new enhancements features a direct connection to Altitude Angel’s UTM platform, providing ‘one-tap flight authorizations at related airports and services not simply throughout the UK, however worldwide. 

And now that it’s being positioned as Altitude Angel’s flagship (and solely) app, it’ll function an necessary preliminary gateway to a complete host of U-House providers provided by Altitude Angel and operated by its prospects. Over the approaching months, this new Drone Help will substitute all the corporate’s current apps.

Drone Assist App Altitude Angel
A view of the newly-relaunched Drone Help app from Altitude Angel. Picture courtesy of Altitude Angel.

The brand new model of Drone Help, started rolling out this week on each iOS and Android, and the corporate mentioned it considers this to be probably the most in depth replace for the reason that app was first launched in 2016. Altitude Angel says the updates make the app extra user-friendly and intuitive for novice pilots, while offering a number of business-critical providers for extra skilled {and professional} operators. Among the many updates within the new Drone Help app:

  • Enhanced built-in flight planning.
  • Superior flight plan drawing instruments.
  • Improved approval providers together with the flexibility to make use of the app to request entry to fly digitally in airspace similar to an airport FRZ, or land with entry restrictions.
  • New map layers together with satellite tv for pc view.
  • Enhanced airspace filter controls.
  • Refreshed person expertise and person interface.

In brief, count on enhanced flight planning options throughout. For instance, Drone Help now permits customers to plan their flight, detailing precisely the place they’ll be flying utilizing the superior drawing instruments by way of both polygons or waypoints. They will then submit the flight plan to the app which is displayed not solely on the app for all to see, however throughout all of Altitude Angel’s UTM platforms, together with these utilized by airports and GA pilots – making different airspace customers (even when they’re not Altitude Angel prospects) conscious of their presence.

Along with enhanced built-in flight planning & drawing instruments, Drone Help additionally consists of new ‘pilot profiles’ and plane administration, which supplies customers with the flexibility to log drone operator profiles, hours flown, and airframe hours used.  These options might assist skilled drone operators higher handle operations and airframe service intervals.

For those who actually need to geek out about what’s within the new Drone Help app, Sean Hickey of the Geeksvana YouTube channel put collectively a 10-minute video explaining all of it:

What’s Drone Help like at the moment?

Typically, Drone Help is taken into account the highest flight planning app for skilled and leisure pilots throughout the UK. However that doesn’t imply it’s an ideal app. It’s been a bit — as Hickey calls it — “creaky.” In actual fact, the present Drone Help UK app has a tough 3.7 out of 5 stars on the Google Play retailer, and an much more brutal 2.3 out of 5 stars on the Apple App retailer, all throughout lots of of opinions.

At present, it appears as if the app has potential however simply doesn’t execute. As one reviewer put it, “the highway to hell is paved with good intentions.” Different readers cite that it’s arduous to even simply login and get setup and complicated buttons when you’re in.

With the brand new Drone Help app, which may change. Count on it to consolidate options that had existed in what was beforehand a small household of apps.

For instance, Altitude Angel additionally had two different apps, FlySafe and Guardian. Guardian was a free app that used your location to show close by no-fly zones and floor hazards (in addition to these in a rising variety of nations all over the world). Coverdrone FlySafe was a companion utility for current prospects of Altitude Angel-partner Coverdrone to offer quick entry to important drone security knowledge while on the transfer.

Forward of this week’s new rollout, Altitude Angel mentioned it had been working a beta testing program with greater than 400 energetic contributors who supplied suggestions which was integrated into the app’s design and construct.

And although the app acquired a mega replace this week, the corporate says this week’s replace is simply the primary in a sequence of deliberate enhancements and new options within the quick pipeline.

What’s Altitude Angel?

Drone Help is now the flagship app of Altitude Angel, which was based in 2014 and builds UTM (Unified Site visitors Administration) software program, designed to help drone pilots as they function or develop UTM/U-House options, permitting them to rapidly combine sturdy knowledge and providers with minimal effort.

Altitude Angel additionally has an open developer platform.

Altitude Angel can be main a consortium of companies to construct and develop 165 miles (265km) of ‘drone superhighways’ connecting airspace above Studying, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Coventry, and Rugby over the subsequent two years. That Skyway superhighway community undertaking, which was introduced in March 2022, makes use of Altitude Angel’s patented ARROW expertise. That’s just like the well-known drone hall in New York, although this one higher democratizes BVLOS drone operations. Altitude Angel says that any drone firm — so long as it completes a sequence of fundamental technical integrations (which don’t truly even require specialist {hardware} on-board the drone, besides) — is supported.

And finally, Altitude Angel says it intends to make its drone superhighway expertise obtainable for any group, airport, city, or metropolis looking for to determine their very own drone superhighways by way of a licensing settlement.