I've been in the 'Drone Industry' since we were flying large model helicopters with cameras attached to them, back in 2009. We've seen all sorts of concepts, manufacturers and operators come and go; often with wild and wacky ideas about what they're going to 'do with drones'...
But there's one type of drone flying that's been around since the beginning and that, I think, is about to become the next BIG THING for Drone Pilots...
First Person View or 'FPV' Drone Flying.
But why do I think this? And, if it's been around for years, why do I think NOW is the time to take a look at it if you're serious about getting into the drone world and becoming successful?
Approx read time: ~5 minutes... Or you can listen to the podcast episode where I discuss this in detail by clicking the image below! :)
WHY DO I THINK FPV IS GOING TO BE THE NEXT BIG THING?
It's a great question to be honest...
Why, suddenly, do I think that something that people have been doing for years is suddenly about to become the 'in thing' and the thing we should all be taking a SERIOUS look at if we want to make a name for ourselves and become successful in the Drone Industry?
Well, there are a number of factors which we'll explore below...
1. IT'S EVERYWHERE!
If you've got an Instagram account or you spend ANY time on YouTube and you follow other 'droners', then you can't have failed to miss that there's some AWESOME FPV footage out there in the wild...
When it's done right, it looks absolutely incredible and provides an angle that just isn't possible without these types of drones and mastering the 'art' and skills associated with flying FPV.
If you haven't seen what I'm talking about yet, or you just want to see some FPV awesomeness, then I've linked a couple of great videos below to whet your appetite!
2. It's in demand
People are starting to REALLY want to get this type of footage; from content creators and media houses through to live sports broadcasts and Hollywood film producers...
We're seeing that people who have put the time in to master the art of FPV flying are really starting to become an 'in-demand' asset and the money and gigs you can command/get called in, to work on are similar to those that we saw at the start of the drone industry; when you had to have the 'stick-skills' and experience, to be able to fly a remote aircraft manually and without the aid of GPS and Flight Controllers.
3. IT'S BECOMING MORE ACCESSIBLE
Traditionally, FPV has always been considered a bit of an 'underground' scene within the drone community... You needed to spend days or even weeks learning the 'dark art' of building, soldering and then programming these types of drones... Then you had to just get out and fly.
MANY, MANY crashes and PLENTY of time rebuilding and repairing later and you MIGHT be able to fly one to the point of keeping it in the sky for a full 3-4 minute battery pack, without turning your drone back into a 'kit of parts' that needed to be swept into a black plastic bag and taken home to see what you could salvage!
Now, with the likes of DJI entering this area of the market with their DJI FPV Drone in 2021 - it's starting to become MUCH more accessible to those of us who don't have the time, patience and/or skills to build an FPV drone.
Also, as the technology has advanced and companies such as DJI bring products like this to market, they bring with it their usual elegance of implementation... An ecosystem of 'plug and play' parts, batteries, charging systems, controllers and FPV goggles that just... 'Work'.
Combine this ease of entry into the FPV world with the fact that DJI's FPV Drone has built-in GPS and a flight controller that's designed to help people with little to no experience with FPV (but that you can unlock and turn the thing into a manually controlled electronic banshee of a machine), they seem to have got the recipe pretty damn right!
Oh... & did I mention that they've also created a 'get out of jail' button?
Not that this thing can bend physics BUT if things start to go wrong, you can hit the 'pause'(PANIC!) button and the computers on board the DJI FPV Drone will do whatever they can to bring the drone to a stop and give you a sniff of a chance at taking it home to fly another day...
Instead of taking home 16,000 tiny pieces of plastic and metal and a whole heap of remorse that you didn't purchase 'DJI Care Refresh' within 48 hours of opening the drone box! ;)
4. YOU CAN PRACTISE IN YOUR LIVING ROOM
Yep, you read that right folks... No longer, (having spent 27 years building, soldering and watching YouTube videos on how to program 'PID's') does your first 15 second take-off and crash have to happen with your 'real' FPV drone...
You can save big-time on the cost and time it takes to build and smash your first FPV Drone and instead, learn to fly FPV in the comfort of your own home; on a big screen (or goggles if you wish - but the family will probably think you're REALLY weird)!
You can get a copy of the 'Drone Racing League' or DRL simulator for just a few pounds/dollars on Xbox/Playstation and get practising your skills... Or, plug a traditional transmitter into your PC/MAC and get flying with your own gear in a simulator such as 'liftoff', which you can pick up on Steam.
That's what I'm doing...
I'm setting aside 30 minutes each day to practise and I'm going to see if I can get up to a 'commercial FPV' flying standard in the next 12 months... So stay tuned!
Want to get involved? Drop me a line and let me know YOUR thoughts on the next big thing... Or join The Drone Mentor Community on Facebook by clicking HERE and let's chat.
Until next time,
Fly safe & blue skies,
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