The future has arrived. Technology has advanced to the point of allowing a multirotor aircraft to remain aloft for hours instead of the minutes we currently deal with now. Previously, one of the biggest downsides comparing quadcopters to the fixed wing unmanned aircraft was the length of flight time and the speed with which most fixed wing models (the gas versions) can be re-fueled and back up in the air. Unless you have a bag of spare batteries with you (which are pricey) and charged, you were out of luck with the single and multirotors. Although, to be fair, most higher end helicopters are gas powered but only a very few are talented enough to pilot those.
Which brings us back to the current state of quadcopters, hexopters and octopters. Think, for a moment, of the evolution of what we call “the drone”. Most helicopters and model aircraft when I was a kid was purchased in a kit, was built by hand, used nitro gas and took a very long time to learn how to operate. I spent weeks building a balsa wood plane to see it auger in after a few minutes of flight time on several occasions. But that was the learning curve. We had a buddy system where some of the older, more experienced guys would help us younger whipper-snappers, yet poop still happened.
A decade ago, very simple 2-channel helicopters started popping onto the scene which allowed anyone with $30-$50 in their pocket an immediate experience with flight. They charged for an hour and flew for about 5 minutes; but hey, you were flying. Plus they were SOOO easy. That morphed into the 3 channel and 4 channel battery operated helicopters that were ready to fly out of the box. Then the quadcopters began showing up. The largest quadcopter company (or at least most well-known) is DJI. Why would they be the most well-known you ask? Simple, DJI was one of the first commercially viable quadcopter with a camera/gimbal setup coupled with GPS navigation. It began a revolution.
Well, the next revolution is beginning to percolate. Imagine not having to land every 15-20 minutes to switch batteries! Hydrogen fuel cells will allow a quadcopter to remain in the air for up to 10 hours. If you add the weight and electrical demands of cameras, gimbals and gps systems the flight time is reduced to 3-4 hours. This isn’t a pipe dream, but a reality now. A British company and one from Singapore have developed prototypes. Within a year or two, keep a look out for these incredible machines.
As always, fly safe!
One of the best things about the new flock of RC quadcopters is the video you are able to capture. Recently, Syma released their new X8 with an 8 mega pixel camera that takes stunningly clear video and it’s affordable. The Walkera X350 series quadcopter is capable of attaching high end video equipment and I would consider the “poor [...]
The Federal Aviation Administration has stated that drones must be registered beginning December 21 st 2015 with the Federal Government. According to the rule, all aircraft that is operated exclusively as a model aircraft before December 21 st 2015 must be registered with the FAA no later than February 19 th 2016. All other model aircraft purchased (or not used before) December 21 st, [...]
In the last few years we have seen an evolution in the hobby world the likes of which we may never see again. The single rotor helicopter that was easy enough for anyone to pilot out of the box (and affordable RC gear even for the beginner) gave way to a multirotor which morphed into a video transmittal and [...]
It is 2015, and we at UJ Toys have had an incredible year. Spending a little time reflecting on our past while looking to our future as we develop annual plans has led to some stark realizations. We were one of the pioneers in modern consumer RC sales. We began selling Mini-Cars and stunt cars [...]
This a memorial for a US Naval Ship that served our country well. The final few miles of a famed United States Aircraft Carrier were memorialized by aerial videography and photography shot using a DJI Inspire multirotor. The USS Ranger (CV-61) was not only one of four Forrestal-class Supercarriers commissioned in the 1950s it was also seen on the [...]
Recently in California, firefighter’s efforts were hampered by drone pilots looking to get aerial video of the blaze. Prior to that, a drone crashed into a crowded University of Kentucky stadium. There isn’t a question that in the wrong hands, unmanned aerial vehicles can be dangerous. Since 2013 states have been active in legislating new rules for [...]
Sir Winston Churchill famously quipped that “Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.” Video production has evolved from pictures, to moving picutres, to film, to handheld video recorders, to digital to the ubiquitous GoPro to the aerial videography of video drones and now is beginning a new innovation with the [...]
The popularity of owning a personal drone has gone up dramatically over the past year, thanks to the increase in available of cheap video drones for sale. With so many different types and brands out there, it can be hard to decide on which drone you should buy for your first purchase. We’ve looked [...]
The advent of multirotor aircraft has ushered in a new age for hobbyists. I can recall spending countless hours with my big brother building airplanes out of balsa wood in the mid 80’s just to watch it auger in as we learned to fly! Now things are so much different. Helicopters exist that you don’t need a PhD to [...]