Draganfly Innovations says its Draganflyer X4-ES unmanned aerial system (UAS) is joining the permanent collection at the Vertical Flight Exhibit of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.
According to the company, it is the first small UAS operated by public safety to be responsible for saving a human life. Now, it is being preserved in what Draganfly says is the most visited museum in America.
On May 9, 2013, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigated a single rollover accident in a rural area of Saskatchewan. Ground units and a manned helicopter searched for the seriously injured driver for two hours until the RCMP called in the Draganflyer X4-ES, which quickly located him, Draganfly says.
The UAS is an electric-powered quad-rotor helicopter capable of carrying several different payload systems. In the search-and-rescue mission, the helicopter was flying with a FLIR TAU camera system transmitting live aerial video to the RCMP officer operating the aircraft during the search.
The FLIR camera located three potential heat sources, one of which was the injured driver. With the aid of the aerial perspective and real-time live video feed, the pilot directed rescuers to the injured driver. Had the driver not been located, it was determined that he would have died from the injuries sustained during the crash and exposure to the cold, according to Draganfly.
The National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va. The National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall is in Washington, D.C. Attendance at both buildings combined exceeded 8 million in 2013.