We have three stories for you in this week's drone news updates. The first one is the FAA acting administrator is out, the Mavic 3 Pro was released, and then Sony announced some upgrades to its Airpeak. Let's get to it.
Bill Nolan, the FAA acting administrator resigns
As the first story this week, Bill Nolan, the FAA acting administrator, has announced his resignation from the agency starting this summer. He served as the FAA's Deputy Administrator before recently taking over as the acting administrator. During his tenure, he oversaw the implementation of several key aviation initiatives, including the integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace system and the implementation of new pilot training requirements. His departure is coming at a time when the current administration is struggling to find a replacement after Phil Washington withdrew from consideration. The FAA has been under a lot of pressure after several near misses on the airline side, as well as Congress working on the upcoming Reauthorization Act. We hope the FAA is not leaderless for too long; we need somebody in charge, and we need the agency to move forward.
DJI Mavic 3 Pro released
The second story this week is the release of the Mavic 3 Pro. Two models, the 3 Pro and the Pro Cine, are the latest additions to the Mavic 3 lineup, bringing the total to eight different variants of the Mavic 3. The 3 Pro is the new flagship, featuring three sensors and covering a range from 28mm to 70mm to 166mm (1x, 3x, and 7x). The main sensor is still a four-thirds sensor from all the other Mavic 3s, except for the 3 Thermal, and the same 7x sensor we saw from the Mavic 3. The new half-inch sensor was added, and it has the 3x camera on top of it that will support the D-log M, a new log format designed to improve image quality. The battery and overall design remain the same, and we'll have more information about this drone as we spend more time with it, testing it thoroughly and providing comparison footage as we always do.
Now, it also appears that with this release, DJI quietly took the Mavic 3 and the Mavic 3 Cine out of the store, and the Mavic 3 Classic and the Mavic 3 Pro are now the only two base models available on the consumer side, at least. The Enterprise model is still available as well.
The DJI Mavic 3 Pro is priced at $2,199 at the lowest point and $3,889 depending on how many batteries you want and the type of controller you want, whether you want the regular DJI RC or the DJI RC Pro. You'll pay $4,799 for the Mavic Pro Cine version, which includes an internal SSD and ProRes capability, just like the Mavic 3 Cine had.
Upgrades to Sony Airpeak
As the last story, Sony announced that they have new upgrades to the Airpeak drone. This includes an RTK positioning system, a new gimbal, and new batteries as well. If you're not familiar, RTK is the system that provides more accurate and stable positioning by using satellite navigation and a ground-based station. The RTK will be priced at $3,999. There's also a new gimbal, the GREMS PX1, which is priced at $3,999 as well and is designed specifically for the Airpeak. It is compatible with full-size mirrorless cameras such as the A7 and A7 R4. The new battery is expected to have a higher capacity than the previous one, bringing the total flight time to 20 minutes with a payload and 30 minutes without a payload. These batteries are expected to cost $399.
That's it for now. A quick reminder that we will be at AUVSI Xponential from May 9th to May 11th in Denver, and we hope to see you there. Make sure you stop by our booth, say hi, talk drones, and do all that good stuff. Also, on Monday, May 8th, we will have a live “Ask Greg Anything” session. Make sure you mark your calendars for this event.
That's it for this week's drone News updates. Have a great weekend, and we'll see you next week!
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