Aerial Drone Update

DJI Inspire 1 Drone

Following much deliberation and delay, drone flying in South Africa is soon to become “legal and licenced”, at least for commercial drone operators, via new drone regulations that “are anticipated to be promulgated towards the end of March 2015” as per an informative article by John Gore, published at www.filmcontact.com. The proposed legislation is impressive, with stringent rules regarding licencing, pilot qualifications and go/no go fly areas, etc.

Pilots will have to have equipment like fire extinguishers, two-way aircraft radios and their relevant licences and documentation with them on shoots. For the general public, “fun” flying will only be permitted without licenses for drones weighing 7kg or less, and within strict limits such as “below 400 feet, within 500m of the pilot (LOS), more than 50m from people, buildings, roads, and more than 10km from aerodromes”- applying to most urban areas.

With a view to enhancing our offering in terms of phenomenal aerial perspectives for our clients, we recently took delivery of a DJI Inspire 1 drone (pictured above). This significant upgrade is much more expensive than the iconic DJI Phantom 2, which remains a superb option in its relevant price bracket. The space-age Inspire 1 has all the technology built into it that would otherwise typically be added on, packaging it into a turnkey platform that raises the game for commercial drone operators when it comes to flying and filming. This includes outstanding telemetry. You can use 2 iPad Mini’s as monitors, together with two remotes that allow the pilot to focus on flying and the camera guy to concentrate on getting the best shots.

The carbon fibre legs perform acrobatics to fold out of the way, allowing the camera a full 360 degrees of panning ability and over 90 degrees of tilt. In addition, the bespoke DJI camera is excellent, boasting full 4k video at 25 fps and full HD at 120 fps, with Sony components. You can remove the rock steady gimbal to accommodate upgrades and new technology that DJI are hinting at but not revealing. I am guessing Infrared, FLIR and the like. Regardless, this technology is already set to contribute tremendously to an extensive range of marketing, training and commercial applications. Be sure to stay informed and consider it when planning how best to promote your business and your brand.

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