Some new footage from Sony’s still to be released Airpeak drone has emerged. The footage was shot in Iriomote Island in Japan using a Sony a7S III and a 35mm FE14mm F1.8GM lens.
Sony unveiled its Airpeak drone at CES 2021. Sony has been teasing their drone for quite some time and there is still no indication of when it will be available to buy or how much it will cost. This is despite Sony saying that the AirPeak will be officially launched in Spring 2021.
The Airpeak brand is a new business for Sony that is being targeted squarely at professional photography and video production. It is interesting to see Sony try and tackle the highly competitive drone sector, especially given DJI’s dominance.
Above you can watch Sony’s quick intro to Airpeak at CES 2021.
Sony has also posted a video showing the Airpeak undergoing wind resistance testing. The wind tunnel at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) can generate an artificial airflow at a constant speed. Sony’s goal was to see how the drone would be affected by strong wind. They did this to work out what wind speed the drone could endure. Sony’s tests showed that the prototype could maintain stable flight up to around 20m/s. To put that figure in perspective, an average person would have trouble standing upright in wind speeds that high.
A drone’s propulsion system, which mainly comprises the propellers, motors and ESC (Electric Speed Controller), is essential to maintaining stability in strong wind. According to Sony, Airpeak’s propulsion system has been optimized to ensure stable flight even in strong winds, It also features an ESC designed for superior control, highly efficient and responsive 17-inch propellers, and lightweight, high-performance, high-power brushless motors.
According to Sony, the key to stable flight is to design a system that is both highly responsive to the environment and one that can maintain control under any conditions.
Sony goes onto say that they are developing a unique propulsion system and flight controller for the device.
Above you can see a BTS video of the VISION-S road test in Austria, shot by Airpeak. The camera being used is the α7S III.
This is not a small drone
The Airpeak drone isn’t a small, compact drone that has an in-built camera. Instead, it is a modular platform that has more in common with some of the larger DJI drones.
The drone uses a folding arm design that is similar to what DJI does with the Inspire and Inspire 2.
While not listing any official payload capacity Sony does state that the Airpeak is able to carry an Alpha mirrorless camera. Judging by the lens and cameras that have been used it is safe to assume that the payload capacity will be at least 1.25kg.
Sony states that the Airpeak is the industry’s smallest class of drone that can be equipped with a Sony Alpha camera system. The drone uses two quite large batteries to power it.
Above you can see what the interface screen and controller for the system looks like.
There is no indication of what safety features the drone may or may not have. Above you can see what looks to be another camera on the top of the drone which could well be there to allow for another view if the drone is being flown by two operators.
Sony’s marketing line is that Airpeak ‘Is capable of dynamic filming and precise, stable flight, and aims to contribute to the world of entertainment while also pursuing new possibilities for creative expression‘.
There is still no further information available about payload capacity, price, flight time, or anything else.
What do you think about Airpeak? What would it have to have and how much would it have to cost for you to consider it?