When it comes to quadcopters, ProDrone hopes that the Byrd will be the word
Yep, it's another prosumer quadcopter – ProDrone's Byrd. So, what's so special about this one? Well, among other things, it combines folding propeller arms with swappable camera gimbals and a 29-minute flight time.
The Byrd is designed to fold down to a rectangular package, for easier transport and storage. Once the propellers and arms are unfolded and the thing is fired up, its 14.2V/7,000-mAh lithium battery can reportedly keep the Byrd in the air for just short of half an hour – by comparison, the DJI Phantom manages about 25 minutes.
Depending on what users want to do with the drone, its 3-axis gimbal can be replaced with one better suited to their choice of camera, or with another type of payload device. The quadcopter can lift up to 4.5 lb (2 kg).
There are actually three models of Byrd – the Standard, Advanced and Premium. The Standard comes with its own 1080p/60fps camera, the Advanced comes with a GoPro mount (camera not included) and the Advanced features its own 4K/30fps camera.
The Standard has a data transmission range of 500 meters (1,640 ft), with the other two models reaching 2 km (1.2 miles). All three feature GPS-aided navigation, letting them follow preprogrammed flight paths, circle around a specified point of interest, or automatically return to their take-off point. The Advanced and Premium also have visual and ultrasonic position-holding systems, along with a Follow Me function in which they can fly along above the user while tracking their smartphone's signal.
Additionally, it's possible for two users with separate controllers to both pilot one Byrd – useful for tricky maneuvers, or when teaching new pilots. The video feed from the onboard camera (where applicable) can also be watched on up to three device screens simultaneously.
Although exact pricing probably won't be available until the official product launch later this year, ProDrone says that buyers can likely expect to pay between US$800 and $3,000 depending on the model.