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Sony Airpeak S1

Sony Airpeak S1

The Airpeak S1 is still under development, but Sony has announced some information before their fall launch. It’s a larger aircraft, similar in size and shape to the DJI Inspire 2, but with more power for beefier payloads, quicker acceleration, and full remote camera control.

Onboard cameras map the surrounding environment to brake when obstacles are detected and help keep it steady when GPS isn’t available. With GPS enabled it has return-to-home, a customizable geofence, and other basic safety features.

The S1 is more likely to be used in production environments and starts at $8,999.99, not including the camera, lens, gimbal, or even spare propellers. You get the S1, a single remote control, two flight batteries, and four propellers in the kit.

The Airpeak S1 supports dual operator control. For use in cinema, that means you’ll have a licensed pilot operating the aircraft and a cinematographer handling the camera and gimbal controls.

The S1 accelerates from 0 to 50mph in 3.5 seconds, is stable in 44.7mph wind, and can fly at just under 56mph without a payload. The S1 is powered by two flight batteries, but is only good for about 22 minutes of flight time without a payload.

The S1 supports the Sony a1, a9 II, a7S III, a7R IV, and FX3 and FE prime lenses from 14mm through 85mm. Airpeak S1 requires an iOS device to run its control app, and Sony hasn’t yet committed to developing a version for Android devices. The S1 remote is big enough to hold a tablet, and Sony expects more operators to use iPads as a display due due to the large screen size.

Web-based software is included too. Airpeak Base is a cloud app for fleet management—useful for rental houses and production studios. It also includes mission planning tools for preset waypoints and camera movements and a logbook so you can review previous flights.

Sony expects to ship units this fall.

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