In case you didn't know--and you probably didn't--today is National Aviation Day.
Thank ol' FDR for the holiday. Franklin D. Roosevelt established the first National Aviation Day on Aug. 19th, 1939.
Why Aug. 19th? That was Orville Wright's birthday. If you don't know who Orville Wright...well, your teacher wasn't doing his or her job. Orville and his brother, Wilbur, made the first successful airplane flight on Dec. 17th, 1903. The brothers' monoplane few for 2 min. and a length of 1,500 ft. Within two years, the brothers' planes were hitting speeds of over 30 MPH and ranges of over 20 miles.
Consider that for a moment. Two minutes and 500 yards were milestones in aviation. Those are blips when compared to today's popular drones. A Phantom 4 can easily breach 30 MPH and fly over a mile. And who knows how fast and far drones will go by decade's end.
Looking at the Phantom 4 and Inspire 1, one can't help but be impressed by how far aviation has come along. Pretty cool, eh?
PC Mag just published its Top 10 drones of 2016…and the list is revealing.
For starters, DJI drones make up six of the ten spots. The Phantom 3 Standard is still present with an overall rating of 4 out of 5. The Phantom 4 tops off the list with a perfect score of 5. The Inspire 1 and Phantom 3 Professional are close behind with 4.5 each. The Phantom 3 4K and Advanced come in fifth and sixth with a rating of 4 each.
What of the other four spots?
Here is where things get interesting. The Xiro Xplorer G comes in seventh place with a 4. Xero (pronounced “zero”) is a relatively new entry to the field, being based out of Shenzhen in China. PC Mag seemed reasonably impressed: “The Xiro Xplorer G is a compelling drone for GoPro owners. It's compact, inexpensive, and able to transmit video to a smartphone up to the edges of its operating range. Battery life isn't spectacular, but it is pretty good when compared with similar quadcopters.”
The 3DR Solo comes in eighth with a 3.5. The Solo debuted last year. Despite solid reviews, the Solo and 3DR have struggled to find a large audience. PC Mag noted a weak GPS system and short battery life as being the biggest hindrances. The Horizon Hobby Blade Chroma (a “solid” drone, to use PC Mag’s own words) and Parrot Bebop (“it’s easy to fly”) round out the last two, each rated at 3.5.
The list's most interesting omission is that of Yuneec's drones, though author Jim Fisher mentions the Typhoon Series in the accompanying article. Yuneec has struggled to release its latest hexacopter, the Typhoon H, in the face of litigation and frequent delays.
Overall, the list of Top 10 drones isn’t a surprise. DJI has dominated the consumer and prosumer aerial drone market for at least two years. The steady roll out of firmware updates, as well as new hardware and price cuts, have undercut competitors such as 3DR and Yuneec. Drone World just recently announced major price cuts for its Phantom 4 and Inspire 1 Pro drones and bundles.
Remember that you can find those deals on our website at http://www.drone-world.com/.
With a new month comes a new Phantom 4 sale from Drone World.
The Phantom 4 needs no introduction. The world’s best-selling prosumer drone now retails for $1,199, or $200 off. And the same goes for all of Drone World’s Phantom 4 bundles, including the new Executive Kit V2.0. On top of that, buyers can get up to two new batteries for $99 each.
The commercial-grade Inspire 1 Pro drone and bundles have an even bigger price cut--$500 off. The price now falls to $3,399.
That’s not all. For the first time ever, Drone World is offering the Nanuk 950 with hydro-sculpted Phantom 4 insert as a standalone product. The Custom 950 had previously been exclusive to the Executive Kit.
See these latest deals and more at http://www.drone-world.com/.
We receive a lot of questions about the DJI Phantom 4 at Drone World, but one of the most common is over which accessories are recommended, and which ones are necessities, for the best-selling quadcopter. The answer: Too many to list. But we went ahead anyway. Our just-published Top 10 Phantom 4 Accessories page is a quick and simple guide that lists, and describes, the must-haves for any Phantom 4 pilot.
Although most of the entries are general items, we covered some specific examples, including the THOR Supercharger, Nanuk 950 wheeled carry case, and Hoodman Sunshade. Our list also includes several Drone World exclusives, such as our L-Series Lens Filter Kit and Long-Range System. Even with this bevy of products, Drone World shows no sign of letting up with plans to add even more accessories--including exclusives--to an already sizable lineup.
SEE ALL OUR TOP 10 ACCESSORIES AT http://www.drone-world.com/top-10-phantom-4-accessories/.
Drone enthusiasts rejoice: The long-awaited Inspire 1 v2.0 sale has arrived!
Drone World has slashed the price of the DJI Inspire 1 v2.0 from $3,099 to just $1,999. That's a 36% price drop. Read that again: Thirty-six percent.
The v2.0 is the base model of the Inspire 1 quadcopter, DJI's professional-grade drone. The v2.0 ("vee-two") includes all the essentials: a detachable Zenmuse X3 camera, remote control, battery charger, and 16 GB SD card.
Thanks to its four large and powerful motors, the Inspire 1 can hit an official top speed of 50 MPH; however, expert pilots have reported top speeds of nearly 90 MPH.
The real big draw with the Inspire 1 is its camera. The X3 camera delivers 12-megapixel images and Ultra HD video of 2160p (4K). A Sony EXMOR 1/2.3" sensor powers the detachable camera. Thanks to retractable landing gear, the Inspire 1 camera enjoys uninterrupted 360-degree visibility. Even better: The Inspire 1 live-streams video in 720p HD.
An added bonus: The Inspire 1 supports dual remotes. One remote can pilot the drone while another works the camera.
On the downside, the Inspire 1 v2.0 comes stock as a pretty spartan package. Luckily, Drone World is more than able to fill in with its Everything You Need and Upgrade kits.
Some of the things the Inspire 1 Everything You Need Kit, priced $2,737, adds:
- an extra DJI factory remote
- a Hoodman Commercial Sunshade
- an extra 4,500 mAh battery plus hub charger
- and a drone skin wrap
Drone World's Inspire 1 Everything You Need Upgrade Kit, priced $3,299, further adds:
- a 64 GB memory card
- a lens filter kit
- a bonus 5,700 mAh high-output battery
- and a wheeled hard case (with custom foam insert)
Customers can add further options, including: extra batteries, pre-installed firmware updates, a GPS tracking device, a 180W rapid charger, and FPV HD goggles.
"What about the Inspire 1 Pro?" you ask. Sadly, the Inspire 1 Pro remains priced at $3,899...for the time being.
When it comes to the Inspire 1 and Osmo, we receive one question above all others: DJI X3 vs X5 -- what's better?
If you need an answer, visit our comparison page for the DJI X3 vs X5.
If you know nothing about the Inspire 1 drone, then "X3" and "X5" sound confusing.
Aren't those BMWs? you might think.
Yes, yes they are. But they are also the names for two powerful DJI cameras found on the Inspire 1 quadcopter and Osmo handheld stabilizer.
The Zenmuse X3 is the standard camera on both. Its specs are like those on the DJI Phantom 3 Professional and Phantom 4. Those key specs are:
- 4K UHD max video resolution (2160p)
- 12.4 MP (Mega-Pixels) max photo resolution
- A 1/2.3” sensor (the size of the "brain" of the camera)
The Zenmuse X3 has specs like those of other action cams, especially the GoPro Hero Series. The advantage with the Zenmuse X3 is that it doesn't have the GoPro's "fisheye" effect. The Inspire 1 v2.0 and Osmo come with the X3. And, yes, it's detachable.
The Zenmuse X5 is a step up, found only on the Inspire 1 Pro. Its key specs are:
- 4K UHD (2160p) max video res
- 16.0 MP max photo res
- Micro-4/3" sensor
The X5 captures a wider and more dynamic range of picture. The X5 supports a wide variety of lenses. The X3, by comparison, doesn't.
Who is each for? What is the price difference? Is it right for you? Find the answers to those questions at our comparison page.
Also be sure to visit our Inspire 1 information guide where you can learn more about features, specifications, and how it stacks up to other drones.
The Yuneec Typhoon H may finally hit the market. The long-awaited hexacopter drone was a darling of this past Consumer Electronics Show. Set for release in early April, Yuneec's flagship was quietly postponed to mid-April, then late April, and now May 5.
There's indication that the May 5 release could be for real. The Yuneec Typhoon H has been back on the news-wire, with its remote being featured on The Verge and the drone itself showing up at the Security and Counter-Terror eXpo (SCTX) in London. That appearance at SCTX hints that Yuneec International is looking to other targets beside the general consumer market.
And that isn't a “unique” (see what we did there?) trend, either. 3D Robotics recently shifted--or expanded, depending on who you ask--focus from general consumers to industry with the Solo. But at least the 3DR Solo appeared on the market--the Typhoon H has been an absent figure almost a month after its promised launch.
That absence may have a lot to do with its modest specs. On one hand, the Yuneec Typhoon H camera shoots 12 MP photos and 4K UHD video. It also has retractable landing gear for uninterrupted 360-degree filming. On the other hand, the Typhoon H can fly at just 22 MPH max and has a mere 1-mile video transmission range. By comparison, the Phantom 4 hits 45 MPH and transmits to 3 miles—5 miles if you use a Phantom 4 Range Extender.
Then there’s the legal front. DJI sued Yuneec International for patent infringement in early April. That, along with the Phantom 4 debut in March, surely altered Yuneec International's plans for US sale--the former suspending distribution, the latter forcing Yuneec to reconsider strategy.
The H is the fourth entry in the Yuneec Typhoon Series. The other Typhoons include the G, 4K, and Q500+ quadcopters. Yuneec also sells the pro-grade Tornado H920 hexacopter. Yuneec currently retails the Typhoon H for $1,300.
Does it stand a chance against DJI's Gen 4 wunderkind? Check out our comparison page a judge for yourself.
It always feels nice to leave behind a good impression, and it looks like we left behind another one. Reviewer Perry Brauner of Gear Diary recently tested one of our Phantom 3 Advanced drones, coming away totally impressed with the little quadcopter.
"Plain and simple, the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced is the most fun I’ve ever had piloting a drone," Brauner gushed. "Its simple controls and fantastic stability can make even a novice drone pilot like myself feel invincible. "
The Phantom 3 Advanced's smart features and simple design knocked out Brauner. Priced at $799, the P3 Advanced includes a 2.7K (1520p) resolution video and 12 MP camera, linked to a three-axis gimbal. Powered by four motors, the Phantom 3 Advanced can travel up to 35 MPH and 25 min. of flight time (or so the factory says...). The Phantom 3 Advanced sensors enable the aircraft to hover indoors, while up to three dozen satellites provide accurate outdoor navigation. Like the Pro, the Phantom 3 Advanced can also stream hi-def video for up to 1 mile and standard-def for 3.
All those features make getting rich and smooth video, as well as simple maneuvers, a breeze. It's no wonder the Phantom 3 quickly became the best-selling consumer drone ever. (At least till the Phantom 4 succeeds it...) DJI currently offers for variants of Phantom 3: Standard, 4K, Advanced, and Professional. Don't be surprised if the Standard and 4K fall by the wayside as DJI concentrates on its higher-grade offerings.
Brauner did have one gripe with the Advanced: Signal range. "The 3.1 mile distance was tested by DJI in perfect conditions without obstacles or interference, but in my neighborhood, I could only get about 1,500 feet away before the video feed started cutting out."
Maybe we should supply him with one of our Phantom 3 Range Extenders and see the difference?
In the meantime, you can read more about Gear Diary's report at http://goo.gl/cQGxc2
ESPN, America’s largest cable sports network, has partnered with the International Drone Racing Association (IDRA) to air FPV racing live. This marks the first time that a major network has jumped aboard the up-and-coming FPV bandwagon.
FPV is short for First-Person-View, and refers to special goggles that allow a pilot to see through a drone’s camera remotely, as opposed to a separate monitor or mobile device. Dedicated racing drones can easily average speeds of 60-70 MPH, with some reaching top speeds around 100 MPH--hence the exhilaration from the FPV experience.
Prior to the ESPN deal, drone racing has relied on the Web for coverage. But the extraordinary growth in the drone market, and increasing interest in drone racing, have propelled an underground phenomenon into the mainstream.
The deal shows just how serious big media are taking this young sport. It also shows how fractious that sport still is. The IDRA is just one of several organizations trying to take the lead in the sport. The Drone Racing League is one example, which concluded its initial season in Tampa. Dubai hosted its own event, the World Drone Prix, just last month.
The IDRA’s first televised race airs this August on ESPN3. In the meantime, stay connected to Drone World for all your drone racing information.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed at this week's F8 conference that Facebook will allow live video steaming from any camera, including the DJI Phantom Series. Just as Phantom pilots can stream video to YouTube, soon they will be able to stream footage to Facebook.
Phantom streaming to Facebook sounds nifty. And each side benefits from the partnership. DJI gains another big Silicon Valley name beside its banner. Facebook, meanwhile, finds another outlet for another app.
Zuckerberg demonstrated the Phantom 4's Facebook Live stream in front of an audience this week. The stream was in clear 720p, though Facebook and DJI were quick to point out that resolutions can be higher.
OK, let's be honest. Is this really a big deal for Phantom 4 owners?
The Phantom pilot community is pretty active on Facebook, and any new outlet to deliver live feed is, well, a new outlet. And not even just for hobbyists. The P4's improvement in video quality (as well as stability) has pushed the Phantom Series deeper into commercial-grade territory. In other words, don't be surprised to see major networks--Engadget, CNBC, the Goat Enthusiasts' Channel--upload their P4 footage to Facebook Live.
It's unclear how and when the FB Live integration will be offered on the Phantom range. When it is, we'll keep you informed.
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