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/.
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.
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.
Drone World and CNET have partnered for the latest Crave Giveaway. The prize? Your choice of DJI Phantom accessory: the Nanuk 950 Premium Wheeled Hard Case or our Range Extender System. Either will be customized for a Phantom 3 or Phantom 4, depending on the winner’s choice.
The basic rules are simple:
- Be a registered CNET user
- Leave one comment on the giveaway page
(For a full list of rules, click here.)
Drone World’s 950 hard case features custom-made, easy-to-clean synergy foam inserts. Our Range Extender System mounts onto DJI’s standard remote, strengthening signal range beyond the 1 mile (for Phantom 3) and 3 mile (Phantom 4) factory limit.
The winner will be chosen at random and be notified via e-mail. No purchase is necessary. (Though we hope you take a chance to browse our store…)
Submissions are open until April 11th midnight Eastern Time. So get on it!
Drone World is taking DJI Phantom 4 orders, and will begin shipments on April 1st. The Phantom 4 is the most anticipated consumer drone in memory, offering new modes and “sense-based” obstacle-avoidance technology. The Phantom 4 also includes a sleek body, modular parts, and a more powerful battery and motors.
The Phantom 4 can now fly for up to 28 minutes and as fast as 45 MPH. Compare those stats to the Phantom 3, which could fly for about 23 minutes and up to just 35 MPH. The Phantom 4 also includes “active-tracking,” “tap-to-fly,” and Sport modes. A sturdier and upgraded camera puts out 4K video and 12 MP more polished than those on the Phantom 3. DJI also made the Phantom 4 easier to work with. The battery compartment is simple to access and propellers just twist off.
Drone World is also taking orders for Phantom 4 accessories and Phantom 4 bundles, ranging from the $1,529 Basic Kit to the $2,799 Executive Kit. Customers can see our Phantom 4 kits and more at our Accessories and Bundle pages. Among the accessories being offered are heavy-duty carry cases, Fatshark FPV googles, Apple Lightning USB charge cables, and SD cards and readers. Customers can also see our Phantom 4 vs Phantom 3 comparison and check out how the new entry stands up to the old.
You can read the full press release here.