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ANA tests drone's-eye view for plane inspections

Airline seeks faster damage checks as routes increase

All Nippon Airways experiments with using a drone to check for damage to planes.

TOKYO -- All Nippon Airways flew a drone to check for damage on a passenger aircraft Tuesday, a new use of technology seen reducing flight delays.

The ANA Holdings unit conducted the experiment at Osaka International Airport in the afternoon. A drone carrying a camera ascended to about 16 meters above the ground and scanned a 57-meter-long Boeing 787 parked in front of a hanger. It flew in an automated mode at a speed of 1 meter per second while capturing images of the midsize jetliner from above, then landed after about 10 minutes.

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