17 low-cost holiday gift ideas for the drone fan in your life

The following guest post was submitted by my friends over at AirVuz.

Do you have a friend or loved one who’s looking for a drone or some drone accessories under the Christmas tree this year, or stuffed into their stocking?

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), more than 2.5 million drones are in our skies today, with an estimated 7 million drones in the air by 2020. Clearly, whether for fun or for commercial use, drones are becoming a regular fixture in our day-to-day lives.

So, if you’re looking for gift ideas for the drone enthusiast in your life, AirVūz, the world’s largest online community for drone videos and photography, has created the ultimate holiday gift ideas list. From small items to entry-level drones, the list offers a wide range of gift ideas to fit just about any budget.

dji mavic pro review drone girlStocking Stuffers ($5-$10 + small items)

●      Spare drone props (DJI Phantom 4DJI Mavic), $8 – for a pilot who already has a Phantom or Mavic drone but could always use some extra props.

●      Battery straps for FPV racing drone, – the perfect gift for the first-person view (FPV) pilot who loves drone racing.

Drone Gift Ideas Under $25

●      AirVuz shirts and hats, $20-$25 – with more than 1.25 million content creators and fans, AirVūz is the world’s most popular online community for drone enthusiasts. Time to join the fun.

●      1-year subscription (6 issues) to Rotor Drone Magazine, $19.99 – for those who want to read up on the latest drone products and news.

●      The flying Santa Claus drone, $24.99 – the perfect gift for people of all ages who love Santa and drones.

Drone Gift Ideas Under $50 Continue reading 17 low-cost holiday gift ideas for the drone fan in your life

3 advantages, and 3 disadvantages of having a Part 107 license

The next question in our Ask Drone Girl series has to do with the Part 107 license. But it has nothing to do  with how to get one — but rather IF you should get one. Turns out there are pros and cons to having a Part 107 license — besides the obvious one of making money.

What are the advantages to having a FAA drone license versus recreational use other than making a profit? Are you allowed to fly the drone in more areas?

While having a Part 107 license is essential if you want to use your drone to make money, there may actually be some negative things that come with having the license.

For the uninitiated, the Part 107 license is like a driver’s license for commercial drone pilots. To get one, you must pass a written test proving knowledge of the airspace. Once you have one, you must also agree to  a strict set of rules, including that you will not fly in controlled airspace, won’t fly over people, won’t fly after dark, etc. — all unless special permission is obtained. Continue reading 3 advantages, and 3 disadvantages of having a Part 107 license

Drones for real estate: here’s your getting started course

You’ve got the real estate license — now you want to get into drones too?

The Drone Trainer has launched a drone training course specifically for real estate agents, real estate photographers or existing drone pilots who want to break into the real estate industry to shoot aerial images and videos of homes and commercial spaces.

The Drone Trainer’s real estate course goes through important topics like site surveying, outbuildings, data management, clip selection and video editing topics like color correction and cutting.

*Note that to operate a drone for commercial purposes, you’ll need a Part 107 license. Here’s my guide to taking and passing the Part 107 course. Continue reading Drones for real estate: here’s your getting started course

The best drone films of 2017, according to FRiFF

The Flying Robot international Drone Film Festival — also known as FRiFF — came to San Francisco this week for its third year in a row, and the winning films just keep getting better.

The film festival played at the Roxie Theater in the city’s Mission District, showing 25 films across eight categories.

Related read: The best Instagram video of all time just came from…Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos?!

This year’s videos are seriously brilliant. With the best in show winner, 2D run, I can’t tell which is more impressive — the drone filming or the athletes featured. Continue reading The best drone films of 2017, according to FRiFF

39% of cell sites are still out of service in Puerto Rico post-hurricane. AT&T’s drones are fixing that.

More than two months after Hurricane Maria, much of Puerto Rico still does not have cell service.

Drones could fix that. The Federal Aviation Administration today announced that it had approved the use of AT&T’s Flying COW drones to help restore cellular service. The Flying COW drones — which stands for cell on wings — functions like a cell tower in the sky, to provide voice, data and internet service. The drones can fly up to feet above the ground and cover 40 square miles.

AT&T says it is using the drones as a temporary cell service solution while it rebuilds the permanent infrastructure on the island.  The company had previously touted the drones as a lifesaver for getting those Snapchats and tweets in while service is overloaded at crowded music festivals and sporting events.

But the drones are proving to serve a real humanitarian need. Continue reading 39% of cell sites are still out of service in Puerto Rico post-hurricane. AT&T’s drones are fixing that.

Have an awesome drone startup idea? Women Who Tech wants to give you $50,000 to get started

Have an idea for a drone business and in need of some funding?

Google is co-hosting a pitch competition with U.S.-based non-profit Women Who Tech that will give winning female entrepreneurs $50,000 toward their startups.

The competition is called the Women Startup Challenge: Emerging Tech, and is focused on showcasing top early-stage women-led technology startups.

The group is already accepting applications between now and Dec. 15. Of those applications, the judges will narrow it down to 10 finalists, who will pitch their ideas to a panel of investors including Nisha Dua, Partner at AOL’s BBG Ventures, Rebecca Kaden, Partner at Union Square Ventures, and Hoolie Tejwani, Vice President at Obvious Ventures, at Google’s office in New York City in March 2018. Continue reading Have an awesome drone startup idea? Women Who Tech wants to give you $50,000 to get started

DJI just launched a limited edition Mavic Pro Alpine White drone — but only at these two stores

Want a DJI Mavic Pro that stands out from everyone else’s? This new version has something in common with the drone that put DJI on the drone map — the Phantom.

DJI today announced its limited edition Mavic Pro Alpine White. The drone will only be available at two retailers —  the Apple Store and at DJI Flagship stores. It will also be available on both Apple’s website and on DJI’s website.

DJI’s Flagship stores are located in places including Shenzhen, China and Hong Kong.

The Mavic Pro Alpine White will be offered as a Holiday Combo which includes a remote controller, two extra Intelligent Flight Batteries, two additional pairs of propellers and an aircraft sleeve, at a  retail price of $1,049 US.

The DJI Mavic Pro still remains The Drone Girl’s favorite drone to date. The DJI Mavic  Pro offers a 12-megapixel camera and shoots 4K video at 30 frames per second, and a maximum flight time of 27 minutes.

Related read: DJI Mavic Pro vs. Spark: which is better?

DJI is also offering its Care Refresh plan for the new DJI Mavic Pro Alpine White for $99.

The fight that’s roiling the drone industry: small businesses see an “ol’ boys club’ forming

This is an excerpt of a piece originally written for MarketWatch.com. Read the entire piece here.

The U.S. government is farming out the difficult task of establishing drone regulations to private companies, but the choice of one of the world’s largest telecom companies to lead a recent effort is not sitting well with smaller companies in the tightknit drone industry.

Verizon Communications Inc.’s airspace-management company, Skyward, is the first to offer drone companies instant access to fly in controlled airspaces. The ability to fly instantly in controlled airspace is a huge advantage for pilots who subscribe to Skyward’s service.

It is currently illegal for commercial drone pilots to fly within 5 miles of an airport without permission, and getting approval has been a lengthy, paperwork-ridden process that could take months. That made situations like police monitoring crowds during a protest, electric companies inspecting a problem with a power line or first responders trying to find lost hikers impossible, should those drone flights occur near an airport.

Skyward Co-President Mariah Scott said the Federal Aviation Administration has a backlog of about 28,000 requests asking for approval to fly in controlled airspaces.

The yellow circles indicate controlled airspace, meaning commercial drone operators cannot fly there without approval. Before Skyward, the approval process could take months, making impromptu drone flights like search and rescue missions illegal. Most of the area within 5 miles of all airports would be considered controlled airspace.

That could soon change, now that Skyward has rolled out software that makes it possible to fly in controlled airspace in a matter of minutes.

“Automating it is good for the industry,” drone industry analyst Colin Snow said.

But here’s the problem: The ability to offer a service like Skyward’s is currently limited to only about a dozen companies handpicked by the FAA to participate in a beta program to test how those instant approvals would work. That approach is becoming common for the FAA, which has a history of creating public-private partnerships when it comes to solving drone-related problems.

See also: ‘Swarm drones’ could replace fireworks and more, but fear keeps them grounded

The issue is that FAA’s instant-approval beta program is becoming more than that. Skyward has rolled out a full working model of its instant-approval software, and competitors who weren’t chosen to be a part of that beta program—as well as others in the broader drone community—are not taking the news well. Continue reading The fight that’s roiling the drone industry: small businesses see an “ol’ boys club’ forming