Yuneec Mantis G: can it stand up to the DJI Mavic

Yuneec Mantis G: can it stand up to the DJI Mavic

Chinese drone manufacturer Yuneec just launched a new drone to its lineup of consumer drones under $1,000: the Mantis G. The Mantis G is a $699, 4K, foldable camera drone that largely resembles the DJI Mavic Air. And there’s not a lot of reason that it’s any better, save for one, that could be a huge selling point for some pilots: flight time. The Mantis G (and its predecessor, the Mantis Q), can fly for 33 minutes on one battery. For comparison, the Mavic Pro can only fly for 27 minutes, and the Mavic Air an even less 21 minutes. The DJI Spark can only fly for 16 minutes. The drone is another addition to Yuneec’s existing Mantis series (which previously consisted of just the Mantis Q). The Mantis series has been a mixed bag. In some ways it’s disappointing that Yuneec, which largely has followed its own unique (pun intended) designs rather than knocking off the DJI designs (as competitors like Autel have done), basically ripped off the Mavic design for their Mantis series. But Yuneec also has put their own spin on things, moving the needle and pushing drone technology further with some unique features of its own. The Mantis Q drone was the first mass market drone with voice control (users could power on, take a photo or begin recording video all without having to manually take their hands off of the controls), earning it a CES Innovation Award. What’s inside the Yuneec Mantis G box The

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Colorado drone jobs get lift as Pix4D opens new Denver office

Colorado’s drone industry just got a big lift, as enterprise software provider Pix4D opened a new Denver office in August. Pix4D’s new office is located in downtown Denver, Colorado, where it will serve as the base from where Pix4D will develop enterprise solutions tailored to the North American market. Denver is known to be a hub for geospatial technology, which played into why Pix4D chose the location, said Dr. Christoph Strecha, Founder and CEO of Pix4D. Pix4D does not currently have any job postings for its Denver office as of publication, but the company is growing, which job openings in many of its other locations around the world, especially in Europe. Pix4D is known for its end-to-end mapping solutions which convert images into georeferenced maps, models and tangible information. Their software uses computer vision, photogrammetry, and machine learning, to deliver survey-grade accuracy to aerial images gathered via drone. Drone laws in Colorado are fairly progressive. While you can’t fly drones in all Colorado State Parks, the state has set forth designated areas specifically where you can fly drones, including at Cherry Creek State Park and Chatfield State Park in their model airfields. And in other parks, like Staunton State Park, you can get special use permits by contacting the park directly. The National Park Service has even used drones for an extensive mapping project at Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park to visualize and document the park’s natural resources for protection purposes.  And another state law requires that Colorado’s Department of

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A casual reminder from the FAA that weaponized drones are illegal

A casual reminder from the FAA that weaponized drones are illegal

In case you didn’t already know this was the case, here’s a casual reminder from the Federal Aviation Administration that weaponized drones are illegal. The FAA recently sent out a rather unheralded news release, reminding everyone that yes, it is illegal to operate a drone with a dangerous weapon attached. “Perhaps you’ve seen online photos and videos of drones with attached guns, bombs, fireworks, flamethrowers, and other dangerous items,” according to the news release from the FAA. “Do not consider attaching any items such as these to a drone because operating a drone with such an item may result in significant harm to a person and to your bank account.” Their memo may have been referencing the drone pictured in the video of this tweet: Drones now have flamethrowers and this probably won’t end well. pic.twitter.com/bWweydygOe — PCMag (@PCMag) August 5, 2019 That drone was enhanced by a company called ThrowFlame, which recently caught media attention for with its $1,500 “TF-19 Wasp” drone flamethrower attachment (ThrowFlame claims that their flamethrowers are ‘tools,’ not ‘weapons,’ thus they aren’t illegal). Their video primarily features a DJI Matrice drone (either the DJI S1000 or DJI M600) with their own custom attachment. Note that DJI does not necessarily condone such an attachment. Another once-viral video that’s a few years old now shows a drone firing a handgun. Other videos show drones operating not so much as weapons, but highlight their danger. If you’re a banana, then this video of drones slicing fruit could seem

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Waitlist now open for Drone Launch Academy’s aerial roof inspection course

Waitlist now open for Drone Launch Academy’s aerial roof inspection course

Want to make serious money in drones? The drone pilots making more than six-figures generally aren’t the ones flying their drone for just any job they’re offered. They’re skipping the real estate gigs, where a local agent might pay them $50 for a photo. They’re skipping the indie film gigs, where they work for hours for “exposure.” The pilots making real money in drones are the ones who have a specialized expertise. And one of the burgeoning fields for building expertise around drone flying is in roof inspections. Drones and roof inspections are a perfect pairing. With a drone, inspectors can safely see any roof from all angles while capturing ultra-high resolution images and being able to get accurate measurements— without having to actually climb on the roof, which could be dangerous. So how do you do a roof inspection with a drone? Drone Launch Academy, known primarily for their Part 107 course (and nifty flashcards!) for drone pilots looking to get their commercial license, has opened up their waitlist to join their new Aerial Roof Inspection Pro course. The course will go over topics such as the different roof types and materials you may come across, knowing common types of roof damage to look for, knowing how to properly plan your flights (airspace authorization, flight automation software, weather, and more), knowing how to collect the images you need, how to create orthomosaic maps to get precise measurements, and how to create a comprehensive roof report. Joining Drone Launch Academy’s waitlist

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Drone geeks: get free admission to dozens of aviation museums around the nation (for one day only)

Drone geeks: get free admission to dozens of aviation museums around the nation (for one day only)

Attention all drone and aviation geeks! For one day only, you can get free museum admission to dozens of air and space museums around the nation. As part of the Smithsonian magazine’s 15th annual Museum Day, more than 1,300 museums across all 50 states and plus Washington, DC will be open to the public for free on Saturday, Sept. 21. And 44 of those museums have some sort of either air or space tie-in (and some even feature drones). The Hiller Aviation Museum Among the many amazing air and space museums include the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Francisco’s Bay Area. That museum has its own indoor droneplex complete with flight simulators, demonstrations and more. Admission is usually $18. For pilots with their sights set on space, check out the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, which is home to rockets, achievements, and artifacts of the U.S. space program. Tickets to that museum are usually $25. In Washington State, the Museum of Flight (tickets normally $25) is located in Seattle’s oldest airport, displaying over 160 airplanes. The museum also includes the original Boeing Aircraft factory. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington holds the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. To take advantage of the free admission, register for and download a Museum Day ticket here. Each person who registers is allow to download one ticket per email address, which provides free general admission on Saturday, September 21, 2019, for two people. (If

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