The ease with which this helicopter can be piloted is the most revolutionary feature of the Draganflyer X6
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (PRWEB) August 27, 2008
Today, Draganfly Innovations announced the launch of the Draganflyer X6 helicopter, a miniature aircraft for commercial/industrial aerial video and photography. The Draganflyer X6 helicopter is easy to fly, capable of operating autonomously, and has an appearance that is nothing like a conventional helicopter. The unique design utilizes six main horizontal rotor blades and allows the Draganflyer X6 helicopter to hover efficiently and maneuver rapidly using differential thrust.
Remotely controlled aircraft are available for many purposes, and most fall into a class somewhere between toys and the high quality models piloted by hobbyists. Beyond this class is a large gap approaching the point where full size aircraft must be used to achieve tasks such as commercial photography and industrial inspection. In the past this gap was filled by model aircraft with additional equipment grafted on, which required skilled and trained pilots to operate. Draganfly Innovations has created a better alternative; a purpose built self-stabilizing multiple rotor helicopter specifically designed for filming high definition video and photographing high-resolution aerial pictures.
The Draganflyer X6 is a fully functional miniature unmanned electric powered helicopter. Aimed at industrial and commercial use, it provides reconnaissance and inspection information using on-board wireless video and still cameras. The Draganflyer X6 helicopter is able to fly autonomously or can be flown manually by remote control. The Draganflyer X6 helicopter achieves its stability by using an on-board processor running more than ten thousand lines of code and receiving data from eleven on-board sensors (three gyros, three accelerometers, three magnetometers, one barometric pressure sensor, and one GPS receiver). It can be piloted by users with minimal or zero training. The Draganflyer X6 helicopter determines its own orientation and motion and moves where the operator instructs it, automatically handling the complex attitude and altitude adjustments that would ordinarily require a practiced pilot. "The ease with which this helicopter can be piloted is the most revolutionary feature of the Draganflyer X6" says company president, Zenon Dragan.
The Draganflyer X6 helicopter can be put into GPS hold mode where it will maintain its position without any user input. This means that after activating GPS hold, the pilot can set the handheld controller on the ground while the Draganflyer X6 helicopter flies itself. This mode will allow the user to focus on other tasks such as aerial photography from the Draganflyer X6 helicopter.
The Draganflyer X6 helicopter uses interchangeable cameras, covering different areas of use. A high definition video camera provides 1080p resolution. For dawn and dusk use, there is a low light (0.0001lux) video camera. For night use or search and rescue, the thermal FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) camera provides heat vision. High-resolution photographs can be captured with the 10.1 mega-pixel digital still camera. When using any of the camera modules, a viewfinder video signal is streamed wirelessly back to the operator for real-time viewing on video glasses. The camera mount tilts by remote control, and the helicopter can pan side to side or in a circle.
The Draganflyer X6 helicopter uses six custom designed high efficiency carbon fiber rotors and direct drive brushless motors which result in a quiet and maintenance free helicopter. The Draganflyer X6 helicopter weighs 1kg and has a payload capacity of 500 grams.
Durability and safety have been incorporated into the design of the Draganflyer X6 helicopter. With dual motors on each of the three arms, even if an in-flight collision causes one of the motors or rotors to stop working, the Draganflyer X6 helicopter will still be able to keep flying using the remaining five motors. This ability to fly with a missing motor or rotor is not found in any other comparable helicopter. Other safety features include bright LED navigation lights for safe flying at a distance or in darkness, and automatic self-landing if the radio link controlling the helicopter is lost. An on-board flight recorder (black box) stores telemetry and flight data in a removable memory card, and can be used for post flight analysis.
The Draganflyer X6 helicopter is flown using a custom designed handheld controller with a 2.8" color OLED touchscreen that displays telemetry and flight data. The handheld controller also receives streaming video sent by the Draganflyer X6 helicopter and passes this to the video goggles, enabling the operator to view what the helicopter is seeing while also keeping an eye on the helicopter itself.