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Next-Generation Gas Turbine Engine Technology for UAV’s

OK, so you’re not about to retro fit your quad with one of these anytime soon. Clearly this is a commercial engine for larger UAV’s, but it does represent a major step forward for engine technology.

UAV_Turbines

UAV Turbines, Inc. (UAVT) announced today the launch of its leading-edge gas turbine technology to the Unmanned Aircraft industry. Ranging in power from 30 hp to 150 hp, UAVT’s engines are designed specifically to address Group 3 and above UAV programs. These engines will increase reliability, flight duration, payloads, and operational ceilings, while greatly reducing noise. Fuel consumption is low, using a variety of heavy fuels.

Peter Bale, UAVT’s Senior Industry Advisor, comments, “For fifteen years UAVT’s predecessor company has been pioneering new, high performance turbine engine technology in unprecedentedly small engines with many potential applications. About three years ago, new management with fresh capital assigned the engineering team the task of creating a family of turbine engines that would be superior in performance and more reliable than any other engine in the UAV marketplace.”

The team looked at the alarming unreliability of internal combustion unmanned vehicle systems actually operating in the field, many of which show mean-time-between-overhaul (MTBO) at less than 100 hours. They have solved this problem, developing engines designed for MTBO in thousands of hours.

“UAVT’s strength has been its extraordinary engineering team,” says Bale, “Many are retired long-timers in the industry, key figures in development of the major military and civilian propulsion systems on which our society relies. They felt that they had more contributions to make, and the result is this remarkable new generation of turbine propulsion technology.”

UAV Turbines is demonstrating to potential qualified buyers prototypes of its family of small, powerful engines that will help meet the urgent demands of the UAV industry.

“This technology is a game changer,” Bale added.

Located in Miami, Florida, UAV Turbines, Inc. (http://www.uavturbines.com), is privately held.

DJI Releases Phantom 3 Pro and Advanced Quad’s

DJI has just announced the release of the Phantom 3 quadcopter. The new addition to the DJI family will come in two versions, “Pro” and “Advanced”, both of which offer major improvements over previous Phantom releases.

The Pro version, with a US$1,259 price tag, offers 4K video at framerates of 24, 25, or 30 FPS. The Advanced version will retail for US$999 and shoots in 1080p at frame rates of up to 60 FPS. The Phantom 3 can also shoots stills in 12 MP RAW format. The company says its battery will allow for up to 23 minutes of flight.

Quanum XJ470 Folding Quadcopter Frame Review

If you’re after a mid size portable quadcopter frame that can hold a gimbal and fold down to fit into a backpack, this might be the ticket.

While it’s not as cheap as a DJI 450 flamewheel, this airframe has the looks and the practicality lacking in many similar frames it’s size. We also love how the gimbal mount as it’s elevated so your GoPro won’t be dragging it’s ass on the ground (hopefully).

HobbyKing has this for sale at around USD$100. Would make for a nice upgrade to for smaller cheaper setups.

Here’s a video review from HobbyKing.

Features Include

  • Full Carbon fiber and CNC hard anodized aluminum construction
  • Folding design for easy transportation
  • Metal folding and lock system
  • 16mm carbon arms with billet aluminum motor mounts
  • Full forward facing gimbal mounting options for a wide range of gimbals
  • 470mm wheel base for a wide range of power options
  • Unique styling and functional design

For more details, see the HK product page.

The Neo Drone’s X8 Setup is Totally Unique

No, you’re not seeing double. The Neo Drone from Acecore Technologies has an X8 setup where the rotor arms sit one above the other. It’s a pretty amazing looking machine.

The NEO blurs the lines between art and performance with stunning styling and the handling performance to match. This with a large P-Load range of 1.5KG up till 6.5KG.

New 3DR Drone Teaser Video

3DR are releasing a new “prosumer” next Monday, and they’ve created a teaser video to wet your appetite. Apparently it’s going to be so easy to fly, a monkey could do it 😉

Checkout the teaser video below.

New Wide Angle Lens Mobius

Mobius Wide Angle

The Mobius action camera now comes with a wider angle lens, which is awesome news if you’re using one as your FPV camera.

The new version has a greater horizontal field of view with in increase of 9 degrees over the old lens, binging the total field of view to 131 degrees.

The lens will of course have an increase in fisheye curvature, but this can usually be offset in post production using something like Adobe Premiere if you’re fussy about your multirotor footage.

According to Mobius, the picture is noticeably brighter across the entire frame and has much better flare reduction.

You can pick one up from Banggood for about around $100.

An Apple Drone? This Concept Does the Apple Styling Justice

AppleDrone

Many major tech companies are eyeing drones — Amazon, Google and even Facebook. It’s unclear at this point whether Apple wants in, too, but one designer has envisioned what the company’s version of a drone might look like if it ever launched one.

German designer Eric Huisman mocked up a sleek drone concept called the Apple Quadcopter, which has a minimalistic black-and-white design. It’s very, well, Apple.

Source: Mashable

Iris+ Quadcopter Review by National Geographic

Kike Calvo from National Geographic reviews 3DR’s Iris+. Well worth a read if you’re considering purchasing a platform for aerial photography.

The Iris was co-developed by Chris Anderson, who was the editor-in-chief of WIRED Magazine until 2012. In October 2007, Anderson flew a remote-controlled aircraft equipped with a camera over Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which ended up crashing into a tree. Despite a bit of a rough landing, this experience inspired him to co-found 3D Robotics, a robotics manufacturing company which was a spin-off of the website DIYdrones.com. Today, 3D Robotics produces the Ardupilot series of autopilots, which are based on the Arduino platform.

Source: What You Should Know About the Iris+ Quadcopter – (blog) National Geographic

Aerobatic Tricopter with Folding Frame – Amazing Moves

tricopter-hobykinglrg

These amazing mini tricopters from Hobbyking just popped up on our radar. Based on the price point, if you have some 2206KV motors laying around and a flight controller that will handle a Tri, it might be worth picking up a frame.

HobyKing recommend the following additional products:

  • Motors: 3 x 2206~2209 class (2206 ‘Baby Beast’ motors recommended) 14~19mm slot mounting
  • ESC’s: 3 x 10~20A (Afro 12A recommended)
  • Flight Controller: CC3D, Naze32, KK Mini, HKPilot Mini or similar size
  • Propellers: 3 x 5~8 inch (Gemfan HQ 6045 recommended)
  • Lipoly: 1000mah~1400mah 3S Lipoly (MultiStar 1400 Race Spec recommended)
  • Servo: 1 x 9G metal geared servo (TGY-9018 MG)

Visit the product page here