Boeing patents drones that can fly forever!

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This week we got an awesome patent for you. This patent is from Boeing. The patent mentions the names of two inventors James Childress and John Viniotis.

Congratulations James and John on receiving this patent.
I am excited to show you how this patent works.

The patent discloses a buoyant drone that can be charged midair. Currently, it is difficult to operate drones for extended time periods. So this invention solves a major problem with using drones.

These inflatable drones include a tether that connects with a ground-based power supply to provide power to the aircraft.

For example, for a pizza delivery service, the drones are required to be operational almost throughout the day. Using charge points at various locations, these drones can charge when free or when their batteries are drained out.

The drone can be recharged from a ship in ocean, from other flying objects, from a moving vehicle on ground and even high altitude balloons.

Patent Information:

Patent Number – 9,045,218
Patent Title – Autonomous aircraft with disconnectable tether

Inventors: Childress; James J. (Mercer Island, WA), Viniotis; John J. (Bellevue, WA)
Applicant: The Boeing Company
Appl. No.: 13/791,105
Filed: March 8, 2013

Systems and methods to launch an aircraft are disclosed. In one embodiment, a system comprises an electrically powered buoyant aircraft, a control system to maneuver the aircraft and a tether adapted to couple to the aircraft and to a ground-based power supply to provide power to the aircraft while the aircraft is coupled to the tether. The aircraft can disconnect autonomously from the tether in response to a command signal.


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