Little Dronies on the Prairie.
Topics: Java Blog
Our Java Post Aerial Photography crew recently headed outside the city to put some flying time on our new Freefly ALTA UAV.
For our test payload, we mounted a Blackmagic Design 4K Cinema camera.
As we do with every new UAV aircraft we acquire, Java Post Aerial Photography spends a lot of time conducting flight tests. Depending on the manufacturer, each UAV can have distinct flight capabilities and unique control aspects.
Think of UAV as being like race horses. Some may only need the lightest guidance to excel, while others take a different kind of handling to perform at their best. Until you get them out on the race track, you won't know for sure. And these are not the kinds of things you want your UAV pilot to be learning on-the-job.
That's why Java Post's certified UAV pilot and camera gimbal operator put each of our UAVs through its paces long before we put the aircraft in an actual working situation.
Test flight's don't have to look pretty, they just have to let our crew see what the UAV will (and won't) do. But, test flights are also a good time to grab a few "dronies" (selfies taken with a drone). Above you can see our crew and their van parked on a rural road.
If there is anything that southern rural Saskatchewan has plenty of, it's wide open spaces and a flat horizon that goes on forever. Perfect for some UAV test flying.
Whoa, that horizon line looks pretty tilted now. Well, we know our crew is sober, so we'll chalk this up to some gimbal rolling. This is why we do the test flights: to check all aspects of flight and camera operation.
And there are our guys: UAV tech and gimbal operator Trevor Bennett on the left and primary UAV pilot Jack Tunnicliffe on the right.
The black rectangle on the ground is our very high-tech launch/landing mat. Our UAV tech/gimbal operator Trevor reported that the prop wash (the downward thrust of air) from the ALTA UAV propellers was so powerful it kept blowing our landing mat across the field. "We could make our own alien crop circles with this thing," exclaimed Trevor. And, although the rural road was quite deserted, the orange safety cones are in place around our vehicle, just in case. Safety first!
With a final look at the endless flat horizon of rural southern Saskatchewan, we leave you with one final little dronie on the prairie. Try not to crowd anyone out there, guys.