Drone News Roundup: High Octane FPV Drone Shots from Fast X, Main Specs Leaked for the DJI Air 3, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
20 July 2023

This week we’re covering FPV drone footage shot by Johnny FPV for the most recent Fast and the Furious installation, Fast X.

We’re also covering new leaks revealing specs for the DJI Air 3, a series of shark bites spurring an increase in using drones to keep beaches safe in New York, Amazon Prime Air’s shortcomings on drone delivery, and the FAA rescinding Remote ID compliance for the Mavic Pro Platinum.

Now on to the links!

High Octane FPV Drone Shots from Fast X

Fast X Drone Shots - Johnny FPV

More and more, action movies are using FPV drones to capture high energy sequences, bringing the viewer even closer to the action. Michael Bay’s Ambulance featured FPV footage shot by Drone Racing League champ Alex Vanover. And the new Fast and the Furious movie, Fast X, features high octane FPV shots from drone pilot Johnny FPV. The footage was captured with an approach that was new for Johnny FPV, who shared that this was “quite literally my first time flying a gimbal drone (lol).” But not all the shots he captured were with the gimbal drone. He went on to add, “Gimbal FPV is proving to be an extremely powerful tool, but of course I’m also very happy a bunch of my traditional FPV shots made it into the film . . . It’s super interesting seeing the two styles side by side and feeling the different energy that they can bring.”


DJI Air 3 Specs Revealed in New Leaks

DJI insider Jasper Ellens recently shared this tweet, which contains a ton of new information about the forthcoming DJI Air 3. According to these leaks, the Air 3 will have:

  • Two cameras. Two sensors with the same 1/1.3″ size but different focal lengths—one is a wide-angle camera (2.4um pixel size, 24mm format equivalent, f/1.7 aperture) and the other is a 3x medium tele camera (2.4um pixel size, 70mm format equivalent, f/2.8 aperture).
  • O4 video transmission. Looks like the max range will be about 12.5 miles, with 1080p/60fps live feed video.
  • Vertical shooting. Great for posting to Instagram or other social media platforms.
  • 46 minute flight time. 15 minutes more than the 31 minutes you get with the DJI Air 2S.
  • Omni-directional obstacle sensing. All around obstacle avoidance for safer, more stable flying.

There have been lots and lots of leaks lately about the Air 3. Most likely we’ll see it launch some time this month.


After a Series of Shark Bites, New York Increases Use of Drones for Monitoring Sharks

Credit: New York State

Five shark bites have been reported along the beaches of Long Island, New York so far this summer, leading to a significant increase in using drones to monitor the waters for sharks. The state of New York first started using drones to keep people safe from sharks in 2018, after an increase in shark sightings and bites. After the recent bites, dozens of new drones to monitor shark activity will be sent to three of Long Island’s most popular state parks, as well as to parts of New York City. There are currently 33 beachfront staff members trained to fly drones for shark monitoring. In addition to the drones, funding has been allocated to train even more park personnel, and get them Part 107 certified.


Amazon Wanted to Do 10,000 Deliveries This Year—So Far It’s Done 100

Credit: Amazon Prime Air

Amazon Prime Air has been plagued by setbacks and delays since it launched. Finally, this year Amazon launched its first drone delivery programs—one in College Station, TX and another in Lockeford, CA. But despite the fanfare around getting started, the programs aren’t delivering that much. In February we learned that only 10 drone deliveries had been made since the two programs launched. And more recent reporting from CNBC finds that Amazon has made just 100 deliveries across both locations so far this year. Compare that to the 10,000 it projected for 2023, and it’s clear that Amazon Prime Air is struggling. In 2013, Jeff Bezos famously predicted that Amazon would be making regular drone deliveries by 2018. It’s now five years past that deadline, and that reality still seems a ways off.


FAA Rescinds Remote ID Compliance for Mavic Pro Platinum

Credit: DJI

DJI has been out in front of Remote ID requirements for the majority of its models. But one model—the now-outdated Mavic Pro Platinum—recently had its Remote ID compliance rescinded. Despite a lot of chatter in the drone industry about the compliance being taken back, the story seems pretty simple. In January, DJI submitted a declaration of compliance (DOC) for the Mavic Pro Platinum to the FAA, stating that it was now Remote ID compliant. TheFAA accepted the DOC at its word (a standard practice), and issued the compliance for the drone. But then DJI realized that the DOC submission was made in error and told the FAA. After that, the FAA rescinded the compliance it had issued for the Mavic Pro Platinum. That is, both the compliance and its rescission were initiated by DJI. And maybe that’s the real story—that the FAA doesn’t seem to have a review process in place to verify all these DOCs, so there’s no mechanism to catch bad actors who submit bogus compliance forms, or for companies that make honest mistakes.


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