What’s new in the DraganFlyer X6 helicopter?


We originally covered the DraganFlyer back in February. That unmanned airborne vehicle (UAV) was the X4 and cost £12,000. Ten months on and the new DraganFlyer X6 model is out, with two more X’s and £10,000 on to the price tag. So what does the X6 add that makes it soar above its predecessor and rivals?

Aside from a longer flight time and the ability to carry a heavier load, the new incarnation of the remote control helicopter features one big upgrade: the spring centred throttle. When the pilot lets go of the throttle, the UAV will no longer plummet to the ground, shattering a £20k investment. Instead, it’ll return to a central position and maintain its height through “altitude hold”. It also comes with a new automatic take-off procedure, so the pilot can set the vehicle up, slide the throttle up and watch it take off to around one metre off the ground. The pilot can then fly it in any direction, or ascend higher into the skies.

Check some sample footage out here:

This means it’s easier than ever to keep a stable picture, so photos of videos taken from the X6 will be better than ever. It also means the chance of crashing is greatly reduced – especially as the device floats out of sight. If you do lose it, or somehow manage to fly out of range, the DraganFlyer’s self-preservation training kicks in, initiating an automatic landing sequence and continuing its onboard flight recorder.

The battery gives about 15 minutes of flight time, which is monitored through the control unit. Other information wirelessly sent back include a video feed, the device’s orientation and motion (with onboard GPS), data from three accelerometers, three gyros and barometric pressure sensor to judge the altitude and positioning adjustments.

You’ll also be able to remotely control the onboard camera’s zoom, tilt and shutter. Quick-release landing gear and camera equipment make for easy transportation in your backpack once grounded.