Tag Archives: Phantom 1

DJI pushing on

It appears that DJI are grabbing the bull by the horns so to speak.

With their fantastic new HQ in Shenzhen which looks stunning and plans to train 10,000 pilots in Japan at three different levels of expertise – you have to say that they are taking a lead in both controlling drone use and pushing the limits and design of their fleet of great UAVs.

This can only be a good thing for an industry striving for success and will lead to a more professional and galvanised approach to industry advancement.

With the FAA pushing for compulsory registration at purchase I think the UK government can learn from this approach.

Read more on their new offices:

Read more on training:

Amazon pushing the drone ticket with Clarksons help – Publicity stunt?

Jeremy Clarkson unveils new Amazon delivery drone

Amazon delivery droneImage copyrightAmazon Prime Air

Amazon’s drone delivery project Prime Air has unveiled a new prototype in a video featuring former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson.

According to the video, the drone could fly for up to 15 miles (24km) and deliver a parcel within 30 minutes of the order being placed.

There was no indication of when it might be used by the retail giant.

The firm was given permission to test delivery drones in the US earlier this year.

It also has drone delivery development centres in the UK and Israel.

The prototype will be part of a “family” of delivery aircraft, Mr Clarkson added in the clip, and is one of around a dozen devices the firm is developing.

The drone is equipped with “sense and avoid technology” and can fly at a height of 400 feet.


Tech lawyer Luke Scanlon from Pinsent Masons law firm said security could be an issue if this technology is software-based.

“‘Detect and avoid’ systems rely on software and given the current climate of hacking and data breaches, it is very important that co-ordinated efforts are made to ensure that systems are put in place which are given the highest level of assurance in terms of security,” he said.

“Once these standards are agreed by technical experts, arguments to support the creation of commercial drone services beyond the line of sight will gain more support in the ongoing regulatory reform discussions and forums currently taking place.”

Amazon said it would not launch the service until it was able to “demonstrate safe operations”.

The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has strict criteria for commercial drone use and some American politicians have called for the setting up of a drone register.

The FAA estimates that by 2020 there will be around 30,000 commercial drones and many more civilian devices in use in America.

More on this from the BBC:

Drone giant DJI launches crop-spraying drone

Drone giant DJI launches crop-spraying drone

DJI crop spraying droneImage copyrightDJI

Billion-dollar drone company DJI is expanding from consumer and camera drones into the agriculture industry.

The Chinese firm’s latest model is a crop-spraying drone, which it claims is “40 times more efficient” than manual spraying, despite having just 12 minutes of flight time.

It will be released in China and Korea where hand-spraying is more common.

DJI made $500m (£332m) in drone sales in 2014 and some analysts predict the firm will hit $1bn in sales this year.

The Agras MG-1 has eight rotors and can carry up to 10kg of crop-spraying fluids per flight.

The foldable device is also dustproof, water-resistant and made of anti-corrosive materials, the firm says on its website (in Chinese).

Farmers around the world have used drones for some time but generally for monitoring their crops and livestock.

Huge farms use aircraft for crop-dusting but they can be very expensive.

“With this new product, we’ve shown that DJI can not only offer the ultimate aerial experience for the mass consumer, but also improve the efficiency of production and benefit so many others in all walks of life,” said DJI chief executive and founder Frank Wang.

The Wall Street Journal reports it is expected to be priced at around $15,000 (£10,000).

DJI’s current best seller, the Phantom 2 Vision+ camera drone, costs around $1100.


DJI Phantom FC40 Review

Manufacturer: DJI
Product: Phantom FC40

Okay, so this is an old product. But, it is a great way to start learning to fly a UAV. It is simple, you can pick them up second hand for a reasonable amount of hard earned cash, and you really will not have to worry about it.

I bought mine of Ebay at the beginning of the year. It came with a case, a few batteries, charger, remote control, quadcopter itself and a few spare rotors and tool kit and a hard case.

The first thing you notice about the Phantom FC40 is how light it is. Even with a GoPro mounted on it and a battery inserted it comes in at just under 1200 grams.

Although the FC40 comes with it’s own camera, I decided to mount a GoPro Heroe3 on it as this is of a higher and more versatile capabilty than that of the FC40’s.


Starting up for take off is quite a simple procedure. Turn on the remote control, insert the battery into the Phantom, connect it’s plugs and shut the battery cover.

Now just wait for the rear light to start flashing steady green. Prior to any flying and as this was the first time I flew this machine, quickly flick the GPS/ATTI switch (S1) up and down six or so times, then you should be able to calibrate the compass by turning the Phantom 360 degrees clockwise and then holding it vertically and turning it another 360 degrees clockwise. This basically sets the compass to your location.

There is a large clip you can attach to the remote control to hold your smartphone so you can control the GoPro.

With the compass set, it’s really time to fly. Ensuring the S1 switch is in GPS mode slowly pull the left and right sticks down to opposite bottom corners and the rotors kick into life. Release the sticks to their central location. Then push the left hand stick up and the rotors start to go mad and up it goes.

That’s it really. Once the FC40 is up it’s really easy to control with GPS mode. Up, down, left, right – all on the left hand stick. Forward, backward and sideways all controlled with the right stick. If you panic, just let the stick go and hey presto, it hovers where it is.

Fly around, take some video and pictures, it really is that easy. For an introduction to flying these are really good machines to play with. You can be reasonably confident that should you experience a heavy landing, or a tree confrontation, your Phantom is going to survive as long as it has a softish landing!

Product overall view

Great kit for learning and playing around with. For an introduction to the world of UAVs it is definitely worth considering. Product details and specs are still available from DJI.

Commercial UAV Show

As a commercial operator I found I had to visit the #CommercialUAVShow a few weeks ago. Having just tuned in our Blog page, I thought I should share some of the experience with you.

Housed in the Excel Centre it was quite a big show with plenty of stands offering their take on the next big thing in the UAV world. I did find it interesting, especially chatting to people at stands such as Aberdeen University and Surrey Fire and Rescue services.

Here I wanted to particularly focus on two of the big UAV manufacturers. Of course, I am biased towards a particular manufacturer as I have their kit myself.

As a fairly new entrant to the scene I thought, in my head, that being a leading manufacturer DJI would have this massive stand with tech everywhere and people everywhere. I thought other manufacturers might have much smaller versions of this preconceived idea.

So, armed with my show map I headed into the fray. Now where is that stand? I meandered around for a while, catching up with the guys who ran the training program I was on. Inspected some high tech equipment, And then, there it was.

The #DJI stand in all it’s glory. I stood for quite some time as I waited to speak to a rep from DJI. As I stood, I inspected the stand. It really did look like a mess. One tall glass cabinet with a few Phantoms and their controllers thrown into it. A podium at the front and a tall desk at the back. There was hardly anyone there, but I waited and waited. The reps seemed to be more intent on talking to each other than anything else.

Finally, after 20 minutes, here was my chance. I caught the eye of one the chatting reps and he came over. So I was interested in the OSMO, just out of curiosity. Although he had two there, he really seemed reluctant for me to hold one. I had to ask five times. Then I asked him a few questions about it and he seemed to be lost. I kind of helped him along as I had read a few things about it, and then he wanted me to go, you could tell he just wanted to get back to chatting. How bizarre I thought as I was also interested in the Inspire. There was no sign of the new cameras, or any useful information. I really wasn’t inspired at all.

So, out with the map again. Lets visit the #Yuneec stand I thought. Would it be better?


Yuneec had all their range set out on plinths, very easy to inspect with full data sheets and pricing structures. They had an abundance of staff, each one fully clued in on what people are looking for. In this industry, innovation is key to the success of businesses like Yuneec and DJI. Although battery technology on the Yuneec range is not ‘smart’, they have some great ideas about other aspects of their business. Like customer focus. I could ask anything about the equipment and the team had the answer. They had a TV hooked into one of their remote control stations to allow you to learn to fly without damaging anything, just using a USB dongle.

Now that is a great idea. I was inspired by Yuneec and would look forward to testing one of their UAVs.

Although I am a DJI supporter, you have to question their commitment to customers when the experience was so incredibly different. Keep an eye out for Yuneec as they will definitely be taking off.