DroningON – Drone News and Reviews https://www.droningon.co Fri, 26 May 2017 14:43:50 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Casey Neistat Finally Under Investigation By FAA For Illegal Drone Flights https://www.droningon.co/2017/05/24/casey-neistat-under-investigation-faa/ Wed, 24 May 2017 19:57:50 +0000 https://www.droningon.co/?p=2843 In his latest YouTube blog, Casey Neistat suggests that he is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), due to his illegal drone-related exploits within the airspace of New York, but the FAA have not yet commented officially to confirm the claim. For years, Neistat has been flying drones irresponsibly within American airspace with little … Continue reading Casey Neistat Finally Under Investigation By FAA For Illegal Drone Flights

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In his latest YouTube blog, Casey Neistat suggests that he is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), due to his illegal drone-related exploits within the airspace of New York, but the FAA have not yet commented officially to confirm the claim.

For years, Neistat has been flying drones irresponsibly within American airspace with little regard for law, regulation or rules . It is unknown as to whether Neistat holds a certified Part 107 license but it is highly unlikely in consideration of his style for handling and piloting RC aircraft.

Last year, he tested the ZeroTech Dobby in central New York, only for him to lose control shortly after take-off resulting in a fly-away across a busy street.

Casey Neistat Loses Drone In New York
Casey Neistat launches Dobby on its maiden flight, but in central New York, where he then loses control.

In his latest video, a review of the newly launched DJI Spark drone, Neistat is forced to find an alternative location in which to test the drone.

“There is one small problem with testing this though, and that is that I’m under investigation by the FAA and I can’t fly in New York City anymore and so I don’t want to get into trouble, and its irresponsible and you shouldn’t do it either…”, Casey Neistat

It is positive that Neistat appears to have finally acknowledged that piloting drones within a city is not wise, but his realisation may be too late if the FAA are genuinely investigating his actions.

Last year we reported on numerous drone incidents involving Neistat and his disregard for the safety of those around him during his drone exploits. The article received a mixed response from the drone and quadcopter community with some Neistat supporters defending his actions.

The news comes at a time when the FAA have just published a new report detailing 583 separate drone incidents, all reported between August 2015 to January 2016.

At this time there is no official confirmation that an FAA investigation is pending, his suggestion could simply be part of an attention-seeking marketing opportunity.

We will update this article with the latest as we receive it.


Be sure to join the DroningON Discussion Group for the latest news, reviews, exclusives and interviews.

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DJI Spark Officially Announced, The Ultimate Selfie-Drone? https://www.droningon.co/2017/05/24/dji-spark-officially-announced-ultimate-selfie-drone/ Wed, 24 May 2017 18:40:54 +0000 https://www.droningon.co/?p=2825 Following many months of speculation, DJI have finally revealed their latest product, the compact and impressive DJI Spark, but is the price-point overly optimistic for a drone capable of only 1080p. DJI struggled to keep this product quiet, months prior to the official launch today, images and even video were leaked revealing the drone, app and even … Continue reading DJI Spark Officially Announced, The Ultimate Selfie-Drone?

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Following many months of speculation, DJI have finally revealed their latest product, the compact and impressive DJI Spark, but is the price-point overly optimistic for a drone capable of only 1080p.

DJI struggled to keep this product quiet, months prior to the official launch today, images and even video were leaked revealing the drone, app and even flight test footage.

To buy the Spark directly from the DJI, click here! But be quick as the DJI Spark is in demand!

Today DJI official revealed Spark and it has so far been met with positive reaction due to the size, functionality and featured packed specification.

DJI Spark Design…

It is an odd choice for the DJI Spark not to incorporate folding arms, after-all that would have significantly reduced the core size of the drone during transport.

Existing small-scale drones, such as the Dobby from ZeroTech, have been incredibly successful in the market but they do not incorporate a gimbal and that has limited the quality of the video footage.

The DJI Spark is an impressive, compact and truly portable drone!
The DJI Spark is an impressive, compact and truly portable drone!

Overall, the size and weight of the DJI Spark allows it to be legitimately pocket-sized, even with the fixed arms. Prop guards are also available for the DJI Spark and are not included in the standard package.

Charging is a ‘breeze’ with the DJI Spark, it features a USB port which can be used to charge it without the need for a full-size charger.

DJI Spark Specifications…

Despite its tiny size, the DJI Spark packs in features which would normally be found only on larger devices, and even sporting a flight time far beyond that of competing small-scale drones.

The impressive sensor array of the DJI Spark.
The impressive sensor array of the DJI Spark.

The weight of 300g (50g above the previously imposed FAA restriction for registration) will no longer be of concern to those based in the USA.

Max Speed 31 mph (50 kph) in Sport Mode without wind
Max Flight Time 16 minutes (no wind at a consistent 12.4 mph (20 kph))
Satellite Positioning Systems GPS/GLONASS
Takeoff Weight (with battery) 300 g
Dimensions 143×143×55 mm
max wind speed 13‑18 mph (20‑28 kph)

Drone manufacturers such as Wingsland, Dobby, Vantage Robotics and others have struggled or failed to incorporate viable obstacle avoidance into their miniature drone projects, DJI appear to have succeeded.

Obstacle Sensing Range 1-16 ft (0.2 – 5 m)
Operating Environment Surface should be larger than 20×20 cm and enable diffuse reflection, with reflection rate >20% (eg. wall, tree, people)
The DJI Spark with its 2-axis gimbal.
The DJI Spark with its 2-axis gimbal and 1080p camera, capable of 30fps video.

A disappointment for some eager customers will be the limited video and photo resolution of only 1080p @ 30fps, far below the 4K promised by the pre-order campaign for Snap (Vantage Robotics) and delivered by Wingsland with their S6 drone, despite the lack of mechanical gimbal.

Sensor 1/2.3″ CMOS
Effective pixels: 12 MP
2-1/8000 s
Lens FOV 81.9° 25 mm (35 mm format equivalent) f/2.6
(shooting range: 2 m to ∞)
ISO Range Video: 100-3200
Photo: 100-1600
Image Size 3968×2976
Still Photography Modes Single Shot
Burst Shooting: 3 frames
Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3 bracketed frames at 0.7 EV bias
Interval: 2/3/5/7/10/15/20/30/60 s
Video Resolution FHD: 1920×1080 30p
Max Video Bitrate 24 Mbps
Video Format MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)

The camera is even attached to a mechanical gimbal providing 2-axis stabilisation which should be adequate for more purposes. The missing axis is for yaw but once in straight-line flying motion, the lack of stabilisation here will be almost unnoticeable.

Controllable Range Pitch: -85° to 0°
Stabilization 2-axis mechanical (pitch, roll)

And the DJI Spark even has a transmitter which utilises a smart-device but this is at an additional cost within the ‘Fly More Combo’.

Customers may however be frustrated by the limited control range of only 2km for FCC compliant countries (USA), only 500m for CE (UK), but with such a limited flight time, it would not be wise for DJI to have provided a greater range.

The DJI Spark, palm sized and controllable via gesture movements.
The DJI Spark, palm sized and controllable via gesture movements.

As an additional option, the DJI Spark can be flown with WiFi smart-device control alone, therefore negating the requirement to carry the transmitter with you, although in this mode the control range is limited to around 100m.

But the DJI Spark can even fly without either, using gesture control alone you can power-up Spark and fly by controlling it with just your hand.

Max Transmission Distance 2.412 – 2.462 GHz (unobstructed, free of interference)
FCC: 1.2 mi (2 km); CE: 0.3 mi (500 m); SRRC: 0.3 mi (500 m)
5.745 – 5.825 GHz (unobstructed, free of interference)
FCC: 1.2 mi (2 km); CE: 0.18 mi (300 m); SRRC: 0.7 mi (1.2 km)
Battery 2970 mAh, 950 mAh @3.7 V
Supported Mobile Device Size Thickness range: 6.5-8.5 mm
Max length: 160 mm

The onboard battery consists of a generous 3 cell lithium polymer but a capacity of only 1480mah, it is impressive that DJI have managed to squeeze a flight time of 16 minutes out of this moderately-sized pack, although as with all DJI products only the real-world flight tests will provide a true flight time.

Capacity 1480 mAh
Voltage 11.4 V
Battery Type LiPo 3S
Net Weight Approx. 0.2 lbs (95 g)
The underside of the DJI Spark, showing the sensors, ultrasonic and optical flow cameras.
The underside of the DJI Spark, showing the sensors, ultrasonic and optical flow cameras.

Stable indoor flight has always proven to be a challenge for drone manufacturers, DJI have utilised their proven VPS (Vision Positioning System) technology to keep DJI Spark hovering on the spot, even without GPS coverage.

Velocity Range ≤22.4 mph (36 kph) at 6.6 ft (2 m) above ground
Altitude Range 0-26 ft (0 – 8 m)
Operating Range 0-98 ft (0 – 30 m)
Operating Environment Surface with clear patterns, enables diffuse reflection with >20% reflection rate
Adequate lighting (lux>15)

But then there is the price…

It was always hoped that the DJI Spark would be priced competitively, at an affordable but realistic level but at $499 (USA) and £519 (UK), this new drone not cheap. If you require the transmitter and additional accessories then the price rises to $699 (USA) and £699 (UK) respectively.

It has to be considered that due to its specification and the proven DJI flight controller platform that it warrants the premium price, but for a drone targeted at the ‘selfie’ crowd, it may be just a little too costly.

Once again, DJI have set the benchmark high for this class of drone, current pre-order campaigns may struggle to retain their patient customers over the coming months if they do not deliver.

Where to buy DJI Spark…

You can buy the DJI Spark directly from DJI, but demand will be high and so place your pre-order quickly to avoid delay.

At this time, only the ‘white’ Spark is still available.

DJI Spark Reviews…

A number of DJI Spark reviews have already appeared on YouTube from the lucky recipients of early production models.


Be sure to join the DroningON Discussion Group for the latest in drone news, reviews, exclusives and interviews!

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GoPro Karma Drone Crashes Into Crowd At Baseball Game In San Diego, California https://www.droningon.co/2017/05/22/gopro-karma-drone-crashes-major-league-baseball-game/ Mon, 22 May 2017 09:49:17 +0000 https://www.droningon.co/?p=2798 Updated 22/05/17 with more video footage: A GoPro Karma drone crashed on Sunday, narrowly missing spectators, during a Major League Baseball game in the USA. The incident occurred on Sunday at Petco Park during a game between the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks. It is not clear yet whether the pilot or the drone was at … Continue reading GoPro Karma Drone Crashes Into Crowd At Baseball Game In San Diego, California

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Updated 22/05/17 with more video footage: A GoPro Karma drone crashed on Sunday, narrowly missing spectators, during a Major League Baseball game in the USA. The incident occurred on Sunday at Petco Park during a game between the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks.

It is not clear yet whether the pilot or the drone was at fault for the impact which narrowly missed a spectator sat in the audience, but the lack of autonomous sensing and obstacle avoidance would not have helped in the GoPro Karma avoiding such a scenario.

“At this time, only GoPro and the drone pilot know why the Karma crashed at this event, lets hope that one or the other releases a statement soon…”, DroningON

The drone is reported to have been flown illegally and without formal permission from the owners of the ground. The speed at which the drone crashed into seats would without question have caused serious injury if it had hit a person.

GoPro Karma held by CEO Nick Woodman at the launch event in 2016.

The GoPro Karma was launched as an affordable but basic drone, targeted at customers of the already popular Hero/Session action-cameras, but consumers were disappointed that features to aid the pilot during flight were excluded from the design.

In competition with the Karma is the equally portable DJI Mavic Pro which is equipped with visual and ultrasonic sensing to help prevent impact and collision, even if the pilot loses control or attempts to fly the aircraft towards objects such as buildings and people. In our comparison between the GoPro Karma and the DJI Mavic Pro, the Karma lost points due to its lack of intelligent sensing.

So what happened?

The GoPro Karma drone is initially spotted hovering around at a fairly high altitude, above the stadium in San Diego.

The GoPro Karma drone is initially spotted hovering around the stadium at fairly high altitude.
The GoPro Karma drone is initially spotted hovering around the stadium at fairly high altitude.

The drone then ascends upwards towards the flood-lighting, potentially the pilot attempting to escape the stadium having realised that he has been spotted.

The GoPro Karma then ascends up towards the flood-lighting and score board.
The GoPro Karma then ascends up towards the flood-lighting and score board.

Before then rapidly descending and heading towards the spectators area, flying upright, at speed and directly towards the crowd.

Before then descending and heading towards the viewing spectators area.
Before then descending and heading towards the viewing spectators area.

The drone narrowly avoids specators by crashing into the space between two people sat at the back of the stands.

And narrowly avoiding specators by crashing into the space between two people.
And narrowly avoiding specators by crashing into the space between two people.

Broken props and drone parts can be seen flying from the crash, it is not clear whether anybody was injured by the flying debris.

Broken props and parts can be seen flying from the crash, fortunately not injuring anyone.
Broken props and parts can be seen flying from the crash, fortunately not injuring anyone.

The doomed Karma drone appears to have attracted anything but positive karma since its launch last year, where Karma was recalled shortly after multiple reports of unexpected crashing, caused by a battery design fault.

The drone was relaunched six months later with minor redesign but still lacking pilot aids such as obstacle avoidance sensors.

GoPro has not yet commented on the incident, nor has the pilot been named or found it seems. We will update this article with the latest news as we receive it.

Statement from San Diego Padres…

Watch the full video…

The full video of the crash was shared on Instagram by the ‘SportsCenter’ channel, the video is already approaching 1m views.

It's not every day you see a drone crash into the seats at an MLB game.

A post shared by SportsCenter (@sportscenter) on


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FAA Embarrassed By Reversal Of Drone Registration Policy https://www.droningon.co/2017/05/20/faa-embarrassed-reversal-drone-registration-policy/ Sat, 20 May 2017 19:29:46 +0000 https://www.droningon.co/?p=2781 In 2015 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), responsible for policing the American airspace, introduced a policy demanding that all drone pilots register their individual aircraft. Following a court ruling this last week, the policy has been officially reversed. The lawsuit was brought to the FAA in January 2016 by a private individual named John Taylor, a model … Continue reading FAA Embarrassed By Reversal Of Drone Registration Policy

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In 2015 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), responsible for policing the American airspace, introduced a policy demanding that all drone pilots register their individual aircraft. Following a court ruling this last week, the policy has been officially reversed.

John Taylor, responsible for the reversal of the FAA drone registration policy in the USA.
John Taylor, responsible for the reversal of the FAA drone registration policy in the USA – @wolfenstock

The lawsuit was brought to the FAA in January 2016 by a private individual named John Taylor, a model aircraft enthusiast. His claim that the rules were in violation of a law passed by Congress in 2012 was accepted by the court whom ruled in his favour.

The specific law, named the ‘FAA Modernization and Reform Act’ under section 336, prohibited the FAA from regulating the operation of model aircraft, put simply the laws which determine how non-commercial drone operators must fly and manage their aircraft.

The FAA may appeal the decision and might even have the support of leading manufacturers such as DJI, whom have previously shown support for the concept.

In an initial statement, the FAA responded as follows:

“We are carefully reviewing the U.S. Court of Appeals decision as it relates to drone registrations. The FAA put registration and operational regulations in place to ensure that drones are operated in a way that is safe and does not pose security and privacy threats. We are in the process of considering our options and response to the decision.”, FAA Statement Regarding US Court of Appeals Decision

Whilst the concept of drone registration is positive for policing the community and ensuring that pilots are given cause to fly safely and responsibly, those that would be in breach of competent flight would be unlikely to pursue formal registration regardless, consequently the system is flawed.

The Federation Aviation Administration Logo
The Federation Aviation Administration Logo

The question now is whether the FAA will be forced to compensate and refund the 800,000+ drone owners that had paid $5 to officially register their aircraft, such a process would only be considered and triggered following the completion of the appeals process.

“Drone owners in the US no longer need to register their drones in order to fly…”

The lawsuit will prompt other global aviation authorities to reconsider any plans that they may have had to introduce similar regulation within their jurisdiction.

You can read details of the full lawsuit here.


What do you think about this ruling? Comment below and be sure to join the DroningON Discussion Group for the latest news and reviews.

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RunCam Teaser For New FPV ‘RunCam Split’ Camera Product https://www.droningon.co/2017/05/18/runcam-split-fpv-camera-product-preview/ Thu, 18 May 2017 16:05:54 +0000 https://www.droningon.co/?p=2776 The GoPro competitor, RunCam, have just published a new product page, hinting at the launch of a new FPV product designed to replace the RunCam 3 which was recently the target of a GoPro law suit. The product page unfortunately gives very little away, only to suggest that the product will be FPV focused and … Continue reading RunCam Teaser For New FPV ‘RunCam Split’ Camera Product

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The GoPro competitor, RunCam, have just published a new product page, hinting at the launch of a new FPV product designed to replace the RunCam 3 which was recently the target of a GoPro law suit.

The product page unfortunately gives very little away, only to suggest that the product will be FPV focused and is associated with the RunCam 3 product, a visual clone of the popular GoPro Session action camera, which was discontinued earlier this month following a legal dispute between RunCam and GoPro.

“Transformed from RunCam 3, our Latest Innovated HD camera for FPV, RunCam Split is coming soon!”, website quote

The graphic provided on the product listing shows a hand holding an item which is potentially smaller than the RunCam 3 product, but the image does not provide any clues regarding the justification or reasoning for the ‘Split’ product name.

The graphic provided for the preview of the new RunCam Split product.
The graphic provided for the preview of the new RunCam Split product.

We have a theory that RunCam may be addressing the common need for FPV pilots to fly with two cameras, one a low resolution camera for realtime 5.8ghz video transmission, the second a high resolution camera to capture flight footage such as the RunCam 3 and GoPro range.

By combining both cameras into a single unit, there could be weight savings and it would simplify racing quadcopter construction, this is of course just a theory.

We hope for RunCam to provide more information soon regarding this new product, be sure to check back as this article will be updated.


Join the DroningON Discussion Group for the latest news, reviews, exclusives, interviews and more from the drone industry!

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EXCLUSIVE FIRST: Extreme Fliers Introduce Carbon Racing Kit (Unboxing, Build & Flight Test Review) https://www.droningon.co/2017/05/15/extreme-fliers-carbon-racing-kit-build-flight-test-review/ Mon, 15 May 2017 11:54:45 +0000 http://www.droningon.co/?p=2492 Extreme Fliers truly entered the market in 2016 after introducing Micro Drone 3, brought from concept to production via a crowd-funding campaign. Now they have launched their first true-FPV product, the ‘Carbon Fiber Racing Kit’ and we have one of the first. A ‘BIY’ (Build It Yourself) Drone… Raising over $3.5m in revenue via the IndieGoGo crowd-funding … Continue reading EXCLUSIVE FIRST: Extreme Fliers Introduce Carbon Racing Kit (Unboxing, Build & Flight Test Review)

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Extreme Fliers truly entered the market in 2016 after introducing Micro Drone 3, brought from concept to production via a crowd-funding campaign. Now they have launched their first true-FPV product, the ‘Carbon Fiber Racing Kit’ and we have one of the first.

Micro Drone 3.0 (or as we call it, 3.1)
Micro Drone 3.0 (or as we call it, 3.1) featured during our review of the updated MD3.1 in 2016.

A ‘BIY’ (Build It Yourself) Drone…

Raising over $3.5m in revenue via the IndieGoGo crowd-funding platform, the original Micro Drone 3 (MD3) was a big success for Extreme Fliers, the revenue from which has helped them to launch their latest product.

Utilising the baseline technology from MD3, the Carbon Fiber Racing Kit is a ‘build it yourself’ bundle incorporating all components necessary to construct your own mini light-weight drone, but unlike the original MD3, the Carbon Racing Kit drone is slightly lighter (around 5g) and designed specifically for attaching a 5.8ghz FPV VTX and camera, providing minimal latency live video into your screen or FPV goggles.

To turn the kit into an FPV racing drone, you will need a few additional components to complete the kit, these can be ordered as optional extras via the Extreme Fliers store.

The additional elements will depend on whether or not you are an existing Micro Drone 3 owner, as parts are interchangeable.

Existing Micro Drone 3 Owner…

  • Extreme Fliers Carbon Racing Kit.
  • 5.8Ghz VTX + Camera (available from ExtremeFliers).
  • Suitable FPV Goggles or Headset (capable of receiving 5.8ghz RF video, not to be confused with ‘Cardboard’ or similar).
  • Additional Batteries (optional and available from ExtremeFliers).

Not An Existing Micro Drone 3 Owner…

  • Extreme Fliers Carbon Racing Kit.
  • Suitable FPV Goggles or Headset (capable of receiving 5.8ghz RF video, not to be confused with ‘Cardboard’ or similar).
  • 5.8Ghz VTX + Camera (available from ExtremeFliers).
  • Transmitter (available from ExtremeFliers).
  • Battery + Charger Bundle (available from ExtremeFliers).

Watch our video review…

Due to our desire to provide comprehensive video reviews but without extending them beyond 20 minutes, we have split this review video into three parts. Please be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our channel to for notification of our latest reviews!

Part 1 – Introduction, Unboxing & Inspection…

Part 2 – Build and Setup…

Part 3 – Flight Test…

Where to buy…

At this time, you can only buy the Carbon Racing Kit direct from Extreme Fliers:

You will also need a compatible FPV headset/goggles capable of receiving 5.8Ghz video, we recommend the following budget/entry-level sets:

The positives…

❍ The box, branding and packaging is nice, a good gift.
❍ Building your own basic quad is fun, good for beginners.
❍ Fairly cheap at $65 + $25 for the transmitter.
❍ 5g lighter than the standard Micro Drone 3.
❍ Flies nicely, not bad flight time but do avoid wind.
❍ Simple to fix and repair with spare parts easily available.
❍ The props are well out of the way of the camera view.

The negatives…

❍ Instruction manual is too vague/brief for beginners.
❍ Needs roll protection to prevent damage to the VTX Antenna.
❍ No ‘lost model alarm’, these are essential with mini-quads.
❍ The LED’s have no simple way to attach/fix to the frame.
❍ Motor wires are exposed and vulnerable.
❍ Transmitter has too much dead-zone and doesn’t give precise control no high resolution on inputs.
❍ No capability to use your own transmitter.
❍ No ‘Rate’ or ‘Horizon’ mode which is common when flying FPV.


Be sure to join the DroningON Discussion Group for the latest reviews, news, exclusives, interviews and more!

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Diodon, An Inflatable, Waterproof, Professional Drone https://www.droningon.co/2017/05/10/diodon-inflatable-professional-drone/ Wed, 10 May 2017 10:35:00 +0000 http://www.droningon.co/?p=2559 Drones traditionally have a rigid structure and frame, Diodon is different because it is inflatable and even waterproof, but the undisclosed pricing may concern potential customers. Designed for the professional/prosumer market by French manufacturer Airvada, Diodon is said to have safety, search and rescue, industrial inspection and military missions as its primary focus. An added … Continue reading Diodon, An Inflatable, Waterproof, Professional Drone

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Drones traditionally have a rigid structure and frame, Diodon is different because it is inflatable and even waterproof, but the undisclosed pricing may concern potential customers.

Designed for the professional/prosumer market by French manufacturer Airvada, Diodon is said to have safety, search and rescue, industrial inspection and military missions as its primary focus.

“DIODON Drone Technology choosed the best fabric during the development of the inflatable structure of the DIODON family. These fabrics are particularly resistants to perforation and cuts in order to protect the inflatable chamber.”

An added benefit of being inflatable is that it floats and it has also been given full waterproofing, therefore it can even be deployed in heavy rain and take-off from water.

Each DIODON is easily transportable thanks to the compact and inflatable structure.
Each DIODON is easily transportable thanks to the compact and inflatable structure.

The inflatable arm structure is said to take around 60 seconds to inflate and deflate via an air supply, concerns would however be around penetration into wind, an inflatable structure is lightweight and hollow, therefore it may not fly particularly well in heavy or gusty weather. The website does not state the wind capabilities of this aircraft.

Three models are currently available although their website specification is rather vague, omitting key technical elements such as motor size and type, battery capacity and voltage, speed, autonomous capabilities and other important elements:

SP20 MP40 HP150
Weight 200g 400g 1500g
Payload Examples HD video downlink 2-axis stabilised HD video downlink Optical & LWIR sensors on 3-axis stabilised gimbal
Size (Folded) 20cm x 20cm x 10cm 30cm x 30cm x 15cm 40cm x 40cm x 20cm
Size (Unfolded) 60cm x 60cm x 10cm 80cm x 80cm x 15cm 150cm x 150cm x 20cm
Flight Time ~20 mins ~ 30 mins ~35 mins
Waterproof Yes Yes Yes
Setup Time 60s 60s 60s

In addition, pricing is not publically available and consumers are prompted to ‘Ask for a quote’ which is unfortunate for interested customers.

In terms of real-world value, the niche factor for this drone is the inflatable and waterproofed element, besides that the parts look to be fairly standard (off the shelf). The website features no detail of the control method, nor visibility of the transmitter or autonomous features.

We would not expect the baseline pricing to exceed £2,000/2400 EUR for the larger of the three models, subject to specific customisation and sensor choice.

No public reviews of the Diodon drone range appear to be available at this time. This raises concerns as to whether the drone is out in the wild and being tested by real-world customers.

The lack of RRP detail bundled with the very non-technical published specification suggests strongly that this drone may still in development, based on this suspicion we contacted Diodon for clarification and received the following response.

“The pricing will be announced later, our drones are still under development,”, Diodon

You can read more about Diodon via their official website, available in English and French language:


Be sure to join the DroningON Discussion Group for the latest news, reviews, exclusives and interviews from the drone industry.

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KingKong 90GT Brushless Unboxing, Binding & Flight Test Review https://www.droningon.co/2017/05/05/kingkong-90gt-brushless-unboxing-binding-flight-test-review/ Fri, 05 May 2017 21:51:31 +0000 https://www.droningon.co/?p=2730 The first micro brushless that we reviewed from KingKong was good, the Q90 impressed us as an entry-level mini FPV racer, but the new model, the 90GT is even better. Despite the slightly clunky design of the earlier KingKong Q90 model, it flew well and was pretty crash resistant, but the specification lacked elements which … Continue reading KingKong 90GT Brushless Unboxing, Binding & Flight Test Review

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The first micro brushless that we reviewed from KingKong was good, the Q90 impressed us as an entry-level mini FPV racer, but the new model, the 90GT is even better.

Despite the slightly clunky design of the earlier KingKong Q90 model, it flew well and was pretty crash resistant, but the specification lacked elements which have since become the ‘norm’ on such FPV racers.

You can see our review of the old KingKong Q90 below…

KingKong have since launched the new 90GT which is a far superior quad, with slim-line design, 4-in-1 ESC (speed controller) board which even runs BLHeli.  At 10g lighter than its predecessor it is also quicker and more agile.

Watch our video review…

Due to our desire to provide comprehensive video reviews but without extending them beyond 20 minutes, we have split this review video into two parts. Please be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our channel to for notification of our latest reviews!

Part 1 – Unboxing, RX Install, TX Binding and Flight Controller Configuration (BetaFlight)

Part 2 – Flight Setup & Flight Test (LOS and FPV)

The positives…

❍ Will be published after the Flight Test…

The negatives…

❍ Will be published after the Flight Test…

Where/what to buy…

Here’s our recommendation on the products and accompanying accessories that you’ll need to fly the KingKong Q90 brushless.

KingKong 90GT Brushless
KingKong Q90 Brushless

KingKong 90GT Spare Props
KingKong 90GT Spare Motors
King Kong 90GT/Q90 Spare VTX

Recommended accessories:
FrSky AC800 Receiver or
FrSky XSR Receiver or
FrSky XM+ Receiver

FrSky Taranis Q7 Transmitter
FrSky Taranis X9D Transmitter
SkyRC Q200 Charger

ESC Calibration…

A few drone-fans have mentioned that they have had issues with the motors on KingKong 90GT, the symptoms include flipping when trying to take off and general instability.

There is a simple cure which should be performed even if you are not experiencing issues, as it will ensure that your motors and speed controllers are synchronised. This procedure is also shown within our Part 1 review video.

  1. Ensure that the battery is not connected to the quadcopter.
  2. Connect the USB from the flight controller to BetaFlight.
  3. Head to the ‘Motors’ tab and check the warning checkbox, now slide the ‘Master’ slider up to maximum throttle.
  4. Plug the battery into the quadcopter (don’t worry, the motors won’t fire up) and wait for the beeping to stop.
  5. Now slide the slider to its lowest setting and wait for the beeping to stop.
  6. Disconnect the battery and quadcopter from the USB cable.

And that’s it, the above steps will calibrate the quadcopter which can improve performance and stability.


Be sure to join the DroningON Discussion Group for the latest reviews, news, interviews and exclusives!

The post KingKong 90GT Brushless Unboxing, Binding & Flight Test Review appeared first on DroningON - Drone News and Reviews.

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DJI Spark Is Coming On May 24th – Racing Or Selfie Drone? https://www.droningon.co/2017/05/03/dji-spark-drone-launch-may-24th/ Wed, 03 May 2017 19:33:10 +0000 https://www.droningon.co/?p=2674 Following the disappointing anti-climax of the April 23rd DJI event held in Las Vegas, a new date has been announced and this time the event is strongly rumoured to launch the new DJI Spark drone. Selfie drone, racing drone, or both… Consumers are desperate to see more of the latest drone product said to be … Continue reading DJI Spark Is Coming On May 24th – Racing Or Selfie Drone?

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Following the disappointing anti-climax of the April 23rd DJI event held in Las Vegas, a new date has been announced and this time the event is strongly rumoured to launch the new DJI Spark drone.

Bookmark www.dji-spark.com to be the first to the preorder campaign on May 24th – it will take you to the right place, saving you precious time in being able to place your preorder

Selfie drone, racing drone, or both…

Consumers are desperate to see more of the latest drone product said to be announced on May 24th by the market-leading drone manufacturer, DJI.

Speculation is rife concerning the target market of this new product although the more likely intention is for it to conquer the growing ‘selfie-drone’ trend.

DJI "Seize The Moment", awaiting the forthcoming announcement of the DJI Spark
DJI “Seize The Moment”, awaiting the forthcoming announcement of the DJI Spark

The graphic incorporating the event invite gives clues as per usual DJI PR strategy but those clues are not absolutely clear. The twirling pattern of weaving curved paths suggests drone-racing, reminiscent of the drone-racing arena at the UK Drone Show, whilst the 2-axis gimbal suggests selfie-drone, therefore the DJI Spark may be a dual purpose device.

As we predicted during our review of the Wingsland S6, 2017 is the year of the smaller drone and DJI are looking now to seek a share of this growing market, a market which has caused many other startups to trip and fall through the complex hurdles of design, manufacture and distribution.

Leaked images continue to appear in the build-up to the announcement, many will be curious as to whether DJI intentionally distributed these leaks in order to build excitement and curiosity.

Early leaks of forthcoming products also prompt consumers to reconsider their drone pre-orders for campaigns such as Snap (Vantage Robotics) and Staaker, projects which continue to delay and postpone delivery.

DJI-Spark-Batteries (Exclusive image from DroningON.co
DJI-Spark-Batteries (Exclusive image from DroningON.co

The new DJI FPV Goggles were announced during the 23rd April event no doubt in preparation for the DJI Spark announcement, watch  strthis space for the latest.

Latest DJI Spark information…

In the meantime, take a look at our article covering the DJI Spark specification, photos, rumours and speculation, as well as our article covering the leaked tear-down video.


Be sure to join the DroningON Discussion Group for the latest news, reviews, interviews and exclusives from the drone industry.

The post DJI Spark Is Coming On May 24th – Racing Or Selfie Drone? appeared first on DroningON - Drone News and Reviews.

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A Guide To CAA UK Drone FAQs, Rules And Regulations https://www.droningon.co/2017/05/02/caa-uk-drone-law-questions-answers/ Tue, 02 May 2017 21:12:58 +0000 http://www.droningon.co/?p=2537 With drones now flooding the consumer market, they are now a common sight within most households. Drone owners must be aware of the rules before taking flight, this article hopes to assist with understanding these regulations. The rules and regulations concerning drone flight in the UK are still fairly loose, considering the potential risk of an … Continue reading A Guide To CAA UK Drone FAQs, Rules And Regulations

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With drones now flooding the consumer market, they are now a common sight within most households. Drone owners must be aware of the rules before taking flight, this article hopes to assist with understanding these regulations.

CAA - Civil Aviation Association
The UK CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) Logo, responsible for drone rules and regulation in the United Kingdom.

The rules and regulations concerning drone flight in the UK are still fairly loose, considering the potential risk of an aircraft wandering into commercial airspace. There are however basic guidelines, many of which have been present for many years in order to regulate the traditional fixed-wing RC hobby.

New owners of drones and quadcopters are rarely aware of the guidelines applicable to their use. The rules and regulations can be complex to interpret but they are important in order for hobbiests to continue to enjoy the freedoms that we have today, also to avoid a heavy fine for breaching them.

We have been in dialogue with the CAA, the following FAQs will assist pilots in understanding how to safely fly their drones.

We are in direct contact with the CAA department responsible for these regulations – if you have any queries or require clarification, comment at the bottom of the article.


Where can a recreational (non-paid work) drone be flown?

As a general rule, unless the drone pilot has permission from the CAA, he or she should not be flying within 150m of a ‘congested area’ (e.g. town or city) or at a public event. When the pilot does have permission from the CAA, such flights are usually restricted to flight distances no closer than 50m from persons, vehicles and structures that are not ‘under the control’ of the pilot. Direct over-flight at any height is not usually permitted.

These restrictions mean that the use of a drone in public places is limited and often not suitable or legal unless the operator has received the appropriate permission from the CAA.

What is the CAA definition of a “congested area”?

The definition of a congested area is: ‘Congested area’ in relation to a city, town or settlement, means any area which is substantially used for residential, industrial, commercial or recreational purposes’.

How do I report unsafe drone activity and who do I report it to?

The Police often have greater resources, response times and powers of investigation than the CAA. To support this, the CAA has now agreed with the Police that they will take the lead in dealing with drone misuse incidents, particularly at public events, that may contravene aviation safety legislation or other relevant criminal legislation. We recommend that any such incidents are reported directly to the Police.

Certain types of drone flights, i.e. those that may be endangering an aircraft or are made in the vicinity of an airport or airfield, in addition to being reported to the Police, should also be specifically reported to the CAA using form FCS 1520. The CAA’s remit is limited to safety and does not include concerns over privacy or broadcast rights.

What is the difference between a ‘drone’ and a ‘model aircraft’?

Before describing the differences, it is important to note that both can be classified as ‘small unmanned aircraft’ and that there are civil aviation regulations covering how and where they can be used. Recent technological advances mean that a much greater variety of small unmanned aircraft are now available. These vary from the ready-to-fly multi-rotor types that represent the popular conception of a ‘drone’, through to the traditional kit or plans-built model aeroplane or helicopter.

A typical multi-rotor drone is heavily gyro-stabilised and can use GPS for guidance in addition to acting on Radio Frequency (RF) commands from the pilot. The traditional model aircraft usually uses only an RF signal, requires much greater pilot training and skill, and is flown only at specific recreational sites away from persons and property. In regulatory terms, the only real distinctions made are that small unmanned aircraft used for commercial purposes, or that are fitted with a camera (i.e. equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition), have additional requirements or limitations that restrict their use in certain circumstances.

What is the CAA definition of a ‘Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA)’?

In terms of these regulations (the Air Navigation Order), a ‘small unmanned aircraft’ means any unmanned aircraft, other than a balloon or a kite, having a mass of not more than 20kg without its fuel, but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight.

When an unmanned aircraft weights more than 20kg, additional regulations come into play and recreational aircraft in this category are usually classified as ‘large model aircraft’.

Are there any specific regulations for drones (small unmanned aircraft)?

Yes, under the Air Navigation Order 2009, Articles 166 and 167 apply, imposing the following regulations apply:

  1. A person must not cause or permit any article or animal (whether or not attached to a parachute) to be dropped from a small unmanned aircraft so as to endanger persons or property.
  2. The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft may only fly the aircraft if reasonably satisfied that the flight can safely be made.
  3. The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft must maintain direct, unaided visual contact with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions.
  4. The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft which has a mass of more than 7kg excluding its fuel but including any articles or equipment installed in or attached to the aircraft at the commencement of its flight, must not fly the aircraft:
    1. in Class A, C, D or E airspace unless the permission of the appropriate air traffic control unit has been obtained;
    2. within an aerodrome traffic zone during the notified hours of watch of the air traffic control unit (if any) at that aerodrome unless the permission of any such air traffic control unit has been obtained; or
    3. at a height of more than 400 feet above the surface unless it is flying in airspace described in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) and in accordance with the requirements for that airspace.
  5. The person in charge of a small unmanned aircraft must not fly the aircraft for the purposes of aerial work (paid) except in accordance with a permission granted by the CAA.
  6. The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly the aircraft above (at any height) or within 150 metres of any congested area.
  7. The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly over or within 150 metres of an organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 persons.
  8. The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not fly within 50 metres of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft or within 50 metres of any person (excluding the pilot).
  9. The person in charge of a small unmanned surveillance aircraft must not be flown within 30 metres of any person during take-off or landing (excluding the pilot).

If I am flying FPV, how do these rules apply to me?

When flying via FPV, it is essential to have a spotter present whom can maintain visual track of the aircraft. The spotter is classed as an ‘individual under your control’ and consequently is exempt from the 50m rule concerning flying in proximity to other people.

What is classified as ‘paid work’ and requires a CAA certification?

The Air Navigation Order defines ‘aerial work’ as:

“Any purpose, other than commercial air transport or public transport, for which an aircraft is flown if valuable consideration is given or promised for the flight or the purpose of the flight.”

At the present time, any activities involving the remunerated carriage of persons, cargo or mail are prohibited to drones although occasionally permission may be given to ‘drop articles’. The term ‘aerial work’ allows a broad variety of flight applications, predominantly centring on aerial photography or the operation of other sensors and data-gathering devices. The essential question that needs to be asked is “what is the purpose of the (specific) flight?” i.e.”If I were not receiving payment/valuable consideration for making the flight, would it still take place?”

Example 1: A drone operator holding a CAA permission for aerial work is engaged to film or survey a building development site or infrastructure facility. This is clearly within the remit of the permission and the operation can proceed within the limitations and conditions stated on the operator’s permission.

Example 2: An estate agent or builder’s firm wants to use a drone for aerial imagery/survey as part of their service. This also would be considered aerial work even if it only comprised a small part of the service to the customer, e.g. advertising a customer’s house or checking the property for the extent of works required. The operator of the drone would need to have a CAA permission for aerial work. The estate agent or builder’s firm should gain a permission or use the services of an existing permission holder (a list of such permission holders is provided on the CAA website (last link at the bottom

If I upload my drone footage to YouTube or my own website which features advertising/monetization, is this classed as commercial-use?

No, not if advertising revenue received as a result of persons visiting a website or social media page where video or photographic stills shot from a drone are displayed/posted. This is because these types of web-pages may be legitimately used to post recreational video material that was not commissioned by another party, but was conceived and wholly funded by the poster. This would not apply if the photographic material had been directly commissioned by another party for the purposes of display or marketing on their website.

Also, an individual or business would not usually be considered to be doing ‘paid’ aerial work if the flight is provided only for their own use. However, imagery generated in this way should not be sold to another party.

I live near an airport/aerodrome, am I allowed to fly?

In practical terms, drones of any weight could present a particular hazard when operating near an aerodrome or other landing site due to the presence of manned aircraft.

Operators of small drones are therefore strongly advised to remain clear of charted aerodromes by at least a distance of 5km, whether or not the aerodrome is in controlled airspace or has an associated Aerodrome Traffic Zone (ATZ).

Are drone flights indoors exempt from all CAA regulations?

The Air Navigation Order makes no distinction between flights made indoors or in the open; the drone safety criteria continue to apply. Notwithstanding this, certain hazard factors are heavily mitigated in that the aircraft is flying in an enclosed environment and access to the venue can be controlled. Persons within the building, and who may be exposed to a hazard by the flight, should meet the criteria for ‘persons under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft’ or else have safety precautions taken on their account (e.g. safety netting, tethered drone, etc).

Minor indoor recreational use of a very small and light ‘toy’ drone is not generally regarded as having the same safety implications as for larger drones used outdoors or in commercial service.


Read more about the UK drone law, guidance, rules and regulations via the CAA website, click here for more information.

Note: Whilst these regulations are UK-specific, the guidelines are well constructed and could be utilised in countries where no such regulations currently exist. Always check your local country guidelines before taking flight.

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