Welcome to your weekly UAS News update. We have three stories for you this week. A new DJI Enterprise drone has been released, Guardian Agriculture gets SC1 approval – that's a very large drone – and lastly, we have a whole bunch of Pilot Institute updates. So, let's get to it.
DJI Matrice 350 RTK
Our first story this week is about the new DJI drone that was released yesterday, the DJI Matrice 350. You may be familiar with the Matrice 300, which has been a big workhorse of the industry for a long time on the enterprise side of things, and now they're coming up with the 350.
It boasts 55 minutes of flight time and features the new DJI O3 Enterprise transmission system, which interestingly uses four different antennas. Two of them receive the signal and can switch so that you get the best possible signal. It's IP rating has improved from IP45 to IP55. It has a locking mechanism that can detect if an arm is not locked, which I think is essential for all those drones that need to be deployed and put in place, especially such a large drone.
It comes with an optional CSM radar that can be mounted on the top and the new DJI RC Plus remote which uses the Pilot 2 app, a little different from the typical DJI Fly App, offering enhanced features for enterprise users. It uses the TB65 batteries, which are the same as the batteries on the DJI Inspire 3.
The gimbal system on the Matrice 350 RTK has the ability to support a single downward gimbal, a dual downward gimbal, or a single upward gimbal. It also has what's called an E-Port open interface on top of the drone.
Now, you can use the Zenmuse H20, H20N, the P1, and the L1, and of course, any third-party gimbals that would come with that type of drone.
We don't have any pricing at the moment; we're recording this a bit earlier than DJI's official announcement. But if you reach out to your favorite dealer, they will give you more information about the pricing, or you might even find it on the DJI website by the time you watch this.
FAA's Guardian Agriculture drone approval
The second story this week is Guardian Agriculture's drone approval. The FAA has granted Guardian Agriculture approval to operate their large spraying drone, which is called the SC1. The drone has a 200-pound payload capacity and can cover 60 acres per hour, which is massive.
The drone is made in the US, fits on a flatbed truck, and has some cool features like other UAS, such as return to home and programmable missions, things you would expect to find even on such a large drone.
Guardian has said that they have over a hundred million dollars of pre-orders, so we're interested to see if this new drone will change the agriculture market, which has been growing pretty fast.
Pilot Institute update
Your final story this week is an update from Pilot Institute. We've been working on quite a few things.
The first one is our new news update. You may have seen it; this is designed specifically for public safety. We realized week after week that there are a lot of topics that are really cool to talk about, some of which appeal to public safety and not really the general public in most cases.
So, we've decided to partner with Brandon Carr. If you've taken our free public safety COA course, you're probably familiar with Brandon. He's a retired law enforcement officer and a member of the DroneSense team. He has an amazing expertise in this industry, especially with BVLOS and Drone as a First Responder, among other things.
Brandon is going to be telling you all the latest news specifically for public safety every two weeks. For now, we're going to start every two weeks and we'll see if we run during this every week, but the first episode was a hit, and we look forward to having a lot more of these.
The second update from Pilot Institute is that this is episode 208 this week which means, yes, we've been doing this for four years. That's really exciting! Thank you for tuning in every single Friday. I know a lot of you do. I get this at every trade show I go to; people stop me as I'm walking around or come to the booth and say, “Thank you for the news update, I watch it every week religiously.” We couldn't do this without you and all of your support, so we're looking forward to yet another year after this.
Finally, we have some upcoming events. We'll be at Flite Fest which is in late June of this year. If you're not familiar, Flight Fest is put on by Flight Test in Ohio. This is probably the biggest RC airplane convention in the country, possibly even more.
You can see some monster-foam RC airplane, and one of the coolest things we did last year was the combat where everyone takes off at once and then tries to hit one another. It's really cool; it's a ton of fun. If you have time, make sure that you come in and say hi. You'll see some cool celebrities from Flight Test themselves out there, and then a lot of other YouTubers as well that come over and fly their aircraft.
Just a few weeks after Flite Fest, we'll be at EAA AirVenture, also known as Oshkosh. This is, I think, the largest general aviation air show in the world, and it's that big. We'll have a big tent, we'll have simulators, we'll have our airplane—a brand new airplane is going to be there. It's going to get a paint job on Monday, so when we get it, it's going to be fresh off the factory.
We'll have the whole team out there talking about airplanes primarily, but also talking about drones and helping people get their questions answered about drones. I'll be speaking, I think, at one of the FAA events as well. So if you're in the area, make sure that you stop by and then come and chat with us in the tent.
And then one more thing: On Monday, we'll have our bi-weekly “Ask Greg Anything” session. It starts at 4 PM Pacific, 7 PM Eastern, and then I'm going to answer as many questions as I can in one hour. I love those actually—it's more like a marathon of answering questions. I love all the questions you guys have. It's always very packed with all of our followers and anybody else that wants to join. So that's it, that's all I have. Have a great weekend and we'll see you next week.
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