Category Archives: Q&A

What is the deal with the drone cage?

You’ve seen them before. It’s a bird, it’s a plane…nope, it’s a zoo. What are these cages that people are flying drones in?

photo 1We asked drone fan Andrew Amato of Drone Life for his best guess during a press event for DJI’s Inspire 1 (there was in fact a drone cage present).

“I guess it’s safety first,” he said. “Sense and avoid is the next thing they have to work on, so until we have, we’ll have these.”

We also asked DJI spokesman Michael Perry for the official answer.

“There’s this psychological concern when we’re out of the tents,” Perry said. “When we’re flying at events, either people would be standing back, or we can put a cage and people will get closer to them. It’s a better experience and saves space. We’ve made something that is easily transportable and easy to set up.”

Is it to keep the drones in or the people out?

“Probably both,” Amato said. “Did you see the drink menu (at the DJI Inspire 1 event)?”

The drink menu includes items named after drones, including the Phantom. They’re all sparkly, fruity cocktails – who knew a Phantom would taste like tequila with some watermelon and lime juice?

photo 2 copy

“Too many Phantoms,” Amato said, “and you don’t want to be crashing the actual Phantom.”

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Ask Drone Girl: What flight simulator software should I use?

Got a question for Drone Girl? Email it to me!

Question: I was wondering if you can recommend or point me in the right direction of a flight simulator software and joystick that I may use on my computer as a stepping stone into the drone world.

Answer: That’s a great question, and to be honest – I’ve never used a flight simulator software! In my eyes, drones are an awesome tool because they have a multitude of entry points based on your pre-existing skill level. If you don’t have any drone experience, you can pick up a toy drone to practice on. If you have RC experience, pick up a Phantom. The graduate to a more expensive, bigger drone that suits your needs.

However, I won’t leave you hanging. Thus, I reached out to Arland Whitfield, President and Founder of The SkyWorks Project. (Check it out!)

Here’s what he told me:

You can actually use the real remote to control a flight sim on your computer. I highly recommend getting AeroSim and purchasing a Spektrum DX8. That way you can use the actual remote you are going to use to fly the real drone. The AeroSim software comes with a cord that will allow you to plug your DX8 directly into your computer! It really doesn’t get better than that. The software allows you to fly the DJI Flamewheel as well as bigger drones such as the Cinestar.

So there you go – and thanks for the additional advice, Arland! Happy flying!

Ask Drone Girl: What’s a good first drone for video?

This is the first question in a new series called Ask Drone Girl. Got a question for Drone Girl? Email it to me!

*This question has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Question:

Hi Sally,

I feel overwhelmed.  I am just beginning to learn about Aerial Photography/Videography with drones. I want to make sure I buy the right one that will suit my needs. (Quick back story- I am going to buy my first mini-quad (hudsan x4) on Friday, so that I can start learning to fly.  And in a couple of weeks, I want to buy my first Quadcopter.  I participate in an organization that will have a retreat in August.  They always do a group photo and promotional videos and what better way to do it this year than with shots from the air.  For now I want a drone that will grow with me.  Any advice?
Sincerely,
Lois
Answer:

 

Thanks for the email! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, because there are so many drones out there! A lot of what I can recommend depends on what your goals are with your drone.
First, I would start by looking at the Drone Configurator. This will help narrow down products within your price range, ability and intended use. Secondly, I think it’s great that you want to practice on a mini-quad. It’s much better when that flies into a big tree and gets stuck rather than a quad in the $1000 range!

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