We use the recently released “Spark” quadcopter. This amazing aircraft from one of the Worlds 2 leading manufacturers features all the same proven technology that appears on their biggest aircraft, (plus a bit more), but in a small lightweight unit that excels at nimble, flexible photo and video shooting.
These aircraft have to be among, if not actually the safest in the air. Radio controlled with video and “cockpit” information fed by wi-fi to a ground based monitor, the connection from the ground to the aircraft in flight is absolutely dependable. Should the worst happen, the aircraft knows it’s flying on it’s own with no pilot, and simply comes back home using it’s built in GPS navigation !!!. Flying at a safe height it’s obstacle avoidance system avoids anything it meets on the way and eventually executes an automatic landing on the exact spot it took off from.
We’ve tested “return to home” under both “loss of ground control communication” and “running out of fuel” scenarios, from over one and a half miles away. The Spark did indeed automatically come home landing safely within 1.5 feet of it’s original take off location !
Colleagues have tested a Spark “to destruction”, deliberately flying into trees, in the rain, in high wind and even with one propeller missing. The Spark always behaved impeccably, and safely … automatically.
Sparks are equipped with a 1080p video / 12 million pixel still picture camera on a controllable and image steadying mount, direction adjustable while in flight, to ensure really great images.
Pilot control gear:
For a pilot’s view from the drone camera and in flight information (aircraft speed, height, fuel reserve Etc.) we use dedicated 10 inch (250 mm) Android tablets running Android O/S 7. They are “clean” with only the necessary apps installed and never have “general” use (email, internet Etc.) to keep them as fast and stable as possible. They are mounted, along with the Spark physical joystick controller on the acclaimed Mavmount tablet adapter giving a stable and secure base for the pilot’s ground control system.