For years, DJI has been one of the leading names in drone equipment. Their newest drone, however, might be the company’s most audacious.
As reported by Drone DJ, DJI’s new Storm model is so high-end that it comes with a dedicated operating crew. Unfortunately, drone enthusiasts probably won’t get their hands on one anytime soon.
The Beast Rises
Given its hefty hardware and specs, the Storm rises above other DJI pro drones like the Matrice 600 with ease. Featuring eight rotors and capable of carrying 18.5 kg (about 40.8 lbs.), DJI built the custom drone to accommodate professional cinema grade cameras and lenses. That payload also includes DJI’s Ronin gimbal stabilizer.
Notably, the Storm is also capable of decent speed. The drone boasts a top speed of 80 km per hour (50 mph), which is about 10 mph faster than the Matrice 600. Furthermore, the accompanying Storm promo video reveals that it can operate in extreme temperatures (-10 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius) and also has a battery life of…wait for it…15 minutes.
Battery life, however, depends on what camera and payload the Storm is hauling around. When deploying the Storm for a film shoot, battery failure could disrupt progress. No one likes to hold up production. Thankfully, the Storm’s dedicated operating team monitors battery usage to prevent that.
In the promo clip, a DJI crew in a DJI truck follows the robust drone around as it captures breathtaking aerial shots. The visual also shows the crew changing the device’s batteries, and the process looks relatively simple.
For the Big Boys
Anyone making a low-quality, low-budget student film, probably won’t want to book the DJI guys for a few shots.
For one thing, the Storm costs a pretty penny. That’s because DJI lumped using the drone into its Custom Aerial Cinematography Service. The package includes the crewed DJI van and access to DJI’s other drone equipment like the Master Wheels and the Force Pro remote. Thanks to their aerial operation, both devices give filmmakers better camera control.
Furthermore, the Storm is currently located in China. As Drone DJ points out, DJI rolls out larger drones in Asia and countries like New Zealand where drone regulations aren’t as stringent. Any plans for a U.S. launch are unknown.
However, The Verge discovered at least one Storm sighting outside of China. California-based helicopter services company Helinet Aviation posted a video of the aerial giant in action on Instagram. Check out the post below:
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enjoying DJI’s X8 “STORM” Sport mode. that R2 gimbal kick back… 📷: @robgluckman_photography Helinet Production Group: @k2_larosa @broby_thimpson @aexandraalejandro @michaelfitzmaurice @dronepilotmike @jaredslater @scherbas @bruno_04cl7 @airborneimages @bentonward @joe.kocsis @paddymoynahan @robgluckman_photography @jip_01 @steve_koster @insdangraming @tj.millard @mrsteelefpv @stingersswarm @helinetaviation @helinetmoviehawk @cinejet #claudiomiranda #johnburton #cameronfitzmaurice #philpastuhov #jasonlafargo