Parrot has released footage of its latest drone prototype, a fixed-wing design called the Disco.
The French electronics and drone manufacturer is marketing the Disco as ‘the first ready-to-fly fixed-wing drone’, with built-in technology so advanced that ‘no piloting skills are required.’ (Apart from flight management, fuel/endurance planning, regulatory compliance and meteorological knowledge, but we digress…)
Complete with automatic take-off and landing, removable wings, GPS return home, pitot tubes, a reported maximum speed of 80km/h and a 45-minute flight time, the Disco is sure to gain plenty of attention.
Weighing 700 grams, the lightweight design is launched, as shown in the above video, by literally being thrown into the air. From there the single pusher propeller takes over and propels the Disco skyward, flying autonomously until the operator takes control.
The new fixed-wing design also comes with a nose-mounted 14-megapixel camera, the same as in the quadrotor Bebop 2, giving the operator a first-person view via Parrot’s Skycontoller and smart device.
Parrot says the Disco can go into ‘loiter’ mode to orbit around a point of interest, and a new autopilot mode enables the pilot to play with pitch ‘without the risk of a bad manoeuvre or a stall.’
Parrot showed the Disco at the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 in Las Vegas earlier this week and plan to take it to market by the end of the year.
Find more information about the Disco via Parrot’s website.