It looks incredible right?
The flashy release… high quality videos… streams of online content.
Freefly are to drones what Apple are to mobile tech and we in the creative world lap up their products.
The Alta range was a game changer and the Movi Pro is possibly the best gimbal on the planet for aerial work.
But have they gone a step too far with the Alta X?
Launched yesterday (10/9/2019) to a large fanfare across the world, this aerial platform has some unique feature.
Badged as the ‘worlds toughest drone’ it boasts up to a 35lbs or 15.8kg payload.
With flight times up to 40 minutes with a 5lbs payload and 10 minutes with 35lbs its potentially a game changer.
The airframe folds down to fit in the same size box as the Alta 8 and as anyone who’s been on location with a heavy lift knows, portability is key!
So why are we all worried?
Well for some reason it’s a quad. Thats a single point of failure right there.
And one that the drone community cannot understand.
Why have Freefly gone down this road?
But conversely, how many quad tech failures are there these days?
Then again, on say a DJI Inspire 2 the money in the air is nothing like a fully loaded cinema package.
Then there is the motors and propellers.
Alta X uses DJI E7000 motors!
Freefly say that ‘After extensive testing by Freefly, these motors have proven to be very robust and reliable.’
We will see as many of us had very bad experiences with some of DJI’s larger motors.
Then there is the is the new blade design which Freefly say:
‘ActiveBlade allows the blades on Alta X to flap to counter some of the undesirable impacts of dissymmetry of lift and cyclic loading. ActiveBlade reduces peak vibration levels to 1/5th of the level seen without ActiveBlade.
This enables better reliability, and more precise flight characteristics.’
Well it seems you cannot use any other props but the supplied ones and the system itself introduces another failure point.
But are we being overly concerned?
Is the fact of the matter this… Tech has come on so much since the early days that heavy lift quad with all the advantages that brings is actually now a game changer?
I guess as the 2019 film season winds down to winter testing we will see!
Looks cool though huh?