This whole aerial photography thing is going ballistic, judging by the number of new products coming on to the market every month. We’re seeing quadcopters at extremely low prices, toys with cameras on board and at the top end sophisticated flying machines which deliver the kind of video photography usually reserved for helicopter footage.
But the one problem is that most of the time, piloting these flying cameras is a royal pain, unless you spend countless hours learning how to avoid trees and get the craft up and down again in one piece.
Cue the Lehmann Aviation LA100, which is the first low cost model aircraft specifically designed to run a pre-programmed flight path whilst carrying a high definition GoPro video camera. The ‘fully autonomous UAV’ as they call it, will soar in a set pattern at a height of 80 to 100m for 5 minutes per flight, with absolutely no user control needed.
You can set the camera on top or slung below the craft, or indeed mount two cameras on the 850gms flying wing. You’ll need a space of around 50 meters available to hand launch (i.e. throw) the product into the air and retrieve it on completion, but apart from that it seems like a fully fly and forget solution if you’re looking to grab some high quality aerial footage of an area on a budget.
Speaking of which, the whole kit, excluding the camera/s, comes to €990 (around $1300), which means it’s way cheaper than most pro kits out on the market at the moment. The downside of course is the fact that you can’t control the flight path, and have to rely on the flight pattern to deliver the video you were hoping for.
As you can see from the above unedited raw video, the results are pretty nice. Could this mark a whole new era in aerial surveys, surveillance and Bigfoot hunting?