While it’s important to check out recently flown airplanes for any signs of damages or defects, aircraft inspection is a process riddled with many challenges. The aviation industry wants to modernize this system with smart, automatic drones. And in Europe, one company has achieved a major milestone by completing a fully automated outdoor airport drone inspection of a commercial aircraft at an active airfield.
Based in the Netherlands, Mainblades is a drone service provider that specializes in automated aircraft inspections. Earlier this week, they created European aviation history by using a DJI Matrice 300 RTK drone to autonomously inspect an Airbus A330 plane outside a hangar.
Typically, airports allow airplane drone inspections to be conducted only inside the hangar. Though pilot projects in front of hangars have been conducted in the United States, in Europe, this has never been allowed at an active airport.
Now, hangar space is expensive to rent and not…