Heliguy Interviews Aerospec Ltd.

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As we continue to develop our focus on the enterprise marketplace, Heliguy has been reaching out to trainees to find out what they have been up to since successfully completing our PfCO training course. We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships developed through holistic, device focused training, supplying industry leading aircraft and offering an unparalleled level of knowledge to each and every one of our clients.

Recently we caught up with Nick Morgan of Aerospec Ltd. an aerial surveying company with strong ties to Heliguy. Based in Lockerbie, Scotland, the company is managed by Nick and Elena Coppola and undertakes a range of surveyance and inspection operations requiring unmanned aerial platforms.

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Nick completed his Ground School with Heliguy in February, passed his flight test in May and was awarded his permissions by the CAA in July. This illustrates how quickly you can achieve certification with the right attitude, trainers and support network in place.


Key Details: Aerospec

Here’s a rundown of Aerospec’s drone fleet, camera equipment and software to give our readers some idea of what’s required to function as a successful aerial surveying company.

Aircraft

> Inspire 1 Pro
> Phantom 3 Standard
> Carbon Core Hexa 950 (x2)
> Bormatech Maja Fixed Wing

Cameras & Other Equipment

> DJI Zenmuse X5
> DJI Zenmuse X3
> DJI X3 ft. NDVI-7
> Lumix GH3
> GoPro (modified)
> Prime and Zoom Lenses
> Camera Cranes & Masts
> Handheld Gimbals
> In-house CNC Machining
> GPS Ground Control Stations
> Ground Markers
> RTK resources

Software

> Terramodel
> Global Mapper
> Agisoft Photoscan
> Pix4D
> Drone Deploy
> Altizure
> Litchi
> UltraGPS
> Magix Video Editor Pro
> Adobe Lightroom
> Adobe Premier Pro
> Sony Vegas

Example Projects

> Classic Car Rally Filming
> Residential Property Imaging
> Orthomosaic Mapping
> Digital Elevation Modelling
> 3D Modelling
> Event Coverage (Video & Still Imagery)
> Roof Inspections

 


Interview

We invited Nick Morgan, the Technical Director of Aerospec, to discuss how he’s been getting on since completing his training with us. Outlining his views on the market, his favourite aircraft for commercial use and also providing advice for those looking to pursue a business model featuring UAVs; it’s a must-read for current industry professionals and those looking to move into the sector.

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Images Courtesy of Aerospec Ltd.

 

What drew you towards working with drones?

NM: A lifelong passion for aviation including flying full size and radio controlled aircraft.

 

Do you find that there’s a lot of demand for aerial work?

NM: The interest in the use of UAVs is increasing as potential clients become more aware of the capabilities and potential of unmanned aircraft.

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How do you think the industries you work within have been changed by UAVs?

NM: Industries that thought UAVs had no place in their business model are now seeing uses for aerial platforms to complement and enhance their existing resources.

 

What is your favourite rig and why?

NM: For me, the Inspire 1 Pro is my main workhorse with interchangeable cameras and, for the X5, a number of lens options including NDVI. DJI are a leading manufacturer of UAVs and I have three of their aircraft. One of the really good things about using DJI products is the ability to download flight logs that saves so much of the paperwork that is required for CAA permission.

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Can you describe a typical job Aerospec are called in for?

NM: The work that Aerospec has undertaken since its formation has varied from promotional videography to high accuracy surveying. No one job is typical as each has to be planned and undertaken as a unique operation. We may see patterns forming as we move into next year and will tailor our services accordingly.

 

What has been the most rewarding job you’ve taken on?

NM: From a personal point of view, we were commissioned to film a classic car rally over a summer weekend. The resulting video comprised of aerial cinematography along with scenes shot using camera cranes (designed and built by Aerospec). The final video was professionally edited in-house and contracted out for copying and packaging. The profits from the DVD went to cancer charities and I was proud to be a part of the team.

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How was your experience with Heliguy’s training?

NM: I enquired about training with Heliguy as a result of a recommendation and I have since recommended them to a number of people that I know are interested. Whilst all aspects of the course and the tests were addressed in an enthusiastic and professional manner, the biggest thing that I have taken away from Heliguy is the genuine friendliness and readiness to help. You are not an anonymous account – you are a name and a face that the guys all know – for me that is a very important thing to remember in business.

 

What advice would you give to people wanting to operate drones commercially?

NM: Understand the requirements to obtain a PfCO, take a really good look at yourself to decide if you are going to meet the requirements, decide whether you want to start your own business or join an existing business, research the training options; THEN CALL HELIGUY!

We’d like to thank Nick Morgan and Aerospec Ltd. for taking the time to answer our questions and also for their kind words about our training. We wish them all the best moving into 2017.


Get Started With Heliguy

What better way to start the new year than by investing in drone solutions for your business? It’s a great time to become involved in a rapidly growing commercial ecosystem which spans everything from agriculture to offshore surveying.

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Heliguy offers you the means to make this a reality as a one-stop-shop covering service, supply, training and long term support.

We pursue a holistic approach which gives all of our trainees in-depth knowledge of the aircraft they’re most likely to be using. As a licensed DJI supplier we’re always in the loop with the latest developments in products and with an on-site repair centre we’re here to help you beyond the point of sale.

If you would like to find out how Heliguy’s CAA PfCO training courses can bring your business into the drone age, there’s plenty of information to be found on the training pages on our site.

Want to speak to someone? No problem, we’re available from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

Email

info@heliguy.com

Call

0191 2961024

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider blog for more information about commercial uses for UAVs, interviews with industry professionals and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2016/12/29/heliguy-interviews-aerospec-ltd/

Heliguy’s 2016 Drone News Round-up

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It’s safe to say that drones have had a hectic 2016. This is the year that they have really begun to capture the public’s imagination and with a range of readily available, high-quality products and they even managed to get a mention from Her Majesty The Queen. With all this in mind, there’s little wonder that predictions from a range of media outlets state that this Christmas will be dominated by drone purchases.

As we draw close to the start of another full year of drone news, Heliguy has compiled a brief roundup of the biggest stories covered by Insider this year – giving you the chance to look back at the highs (and sometimes lows) that characterised 2016.


Drones in the Media: The Good, The Bad and Everything In Between

While the vast majority of drone pilots are responsible operators looking to fly either recreationally or as part of their business plan there are a few outliers whose dangerous behaviour attracts negative media coverage. For this reason, there have been a two main stories which have preoccupied journalists throughout 2016; near misses with commercial aircraft and prison contraband smuggling. You can read how Heliguy helped police solve the first recorded case of drone smuggling in a UK prison HERE.

 

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This isn’t to say that there haven’t been positive stories doing the rounds. The use of drones in a range of commercial ventures such as delivery, infrastructure and emergency service operations has become a mainstream topic this year. The possibilities for unmanned aircraft in these sectors and many others has captured the public’s imagination and proved that drones can be a real force for good when used for the right reasons.

Then, of course, there’s the novelty angle. Disney and Intel have collaborated to create drone-based light shows, mischievous pilots have made Halloween and Christmas themed drone decorations and then there are the obligatory animal videos.

It’s not really surprising that drones are a polarising subject but, as greater understanding (and less sensationalist coverage) proliferates, it will be interesting to see what next year will bring for UAVs in the media.


DJI’s Product Filled Year

There can’t be a drone news summary without a mention of Shenzhen-based market leaders, DJI. This year has been anything but boring, news ranging from partnerships with Drone Deploy and Hasselblad, patent disputes with Yuneec and release controversies have dominated the drone world in 2016.

All in all, it’s been a huge year for the Chinese drone manufacturer and that’s not even mentioning the vast catalogue of releases they piled into 12 months.

 

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Just in case you blinked and missed any of them, here’s a list of the main product releases from DJI in 2016:

Please Note: This isn’t a full list of every single item they have released, as we said, they’ve had a busy one.

It’s been a year of huge announcements from March’s Phantom 4 unveiling, right through to their Inspire 2 launch at Warner Bros studio lot – the swift pace of progress and effectiveness of marketing campaigns has demonstrated a maturing company with an increasingly global outlook.

Unfortunately, there have been drawbacks to the rapid turnaround and stylish adverts with lofty promises. With so many products being released in a short space of time, there have been issues with shipment delays, especially as the end of the year approaches. This really is a shame due to the quality of the products they have rolled out. We’re in contact with DJI on a daily basis trying to reach a favourable solution to the delays (which is affecting dealers across the world) and ensure everyone gets their aircraft as soon as possible.


GoPro Karma Recall

It’s hard not to feel a bit sorry for GoPro, it hasn’t been the best of years for the action camera company. Their initial foray into the drone market didn’t go exactly to plan with delays and hype building towards an ill-fated release.

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Rumours started to circle as early as 2015 that GoPro would be releasing a drone alongside their new range of Hero cameras but speculation was left to swirl until mid-2016 when promotion began ahead of a September release.

After a reveal event that has now retrospectively found itself on the receiving ends of many jokes, parodies and mashups – the Karma (introduced as ‘More Than a Drone’) was only on sale for two weeks before every single one of the 2,500 units shipped had to be recalled. The error was related to the power supply of the foldable quadcopter which meant that there were many reports of them simply falling out of the sky which has the double distinction of being both impractical for pilots and dangerous to the public.

The other unfortunate symptom of the Karma’s launch was DJI’s decision to move up the launch of their Mavic Pro quadcopter which has led to worldwide delays in shipping which are still affecting both customers and dealers.

Despite their dubious first attempt, GoPro remains adamant that drones are part of their business plans moving forward but recent layoffs and poor quarterly returns have cast doubt on their ability to deliver. Will they be able to claw back from ‘Karmagate’? We’ll have to wait until 2017 to find out.


Drone Regulation Updates

With drone usage increasing in popularity in both commercial ventures and a growing hobbyist community, it’s inevitable that regulatory frameworks will become more defined and far-reaching as aviation authorities and governments attempt to keep up. While regulations can be a good thing (CHECK OUT OUR 2016 SURVEY RESULTS), there’s always the risk that these authorities overreach and alienate the responsible users these guidelines apply to.

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2016 saw the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bring about stricter rules for drone pilots in the USA. These laws are mostly common sense such as the standard height/distance restrictions we’re already used to in the UK but also some additional measures like their mandatory drone registration which will undoubtedly become a feature of global drone regulation moving forward.

While the above regulations were received (mostly) favourably due to the opportunity for advanced commercial permissions, the proposed rules from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) didn’t have the same success. After being torn to shreds by various organised groups of drone users (most prominently the British Model Flying Association) the guidelines have been furiously backpedalled and seem unlikely to see the light of day in their original form.


Heliguy’s 2016

A busy year for the drone industry means a busy year for Heliguy and what a year 2016 has been. We’ve made great steps forward with our NQE PfCO training courses, settling on three optimal locations spanning the UK and even adding more focused offerings such as our Drone Video Editing sessions. Our training schedule has also undergone an overhaul as we move into 2017 with the Heliguy Ground School course now taking place over three days.

We have also developed longstanding commercial partnerships with companies ranging from professional filmmakers operating out of Pinewood Studios to a selection of UK universities and emergency service departments among others. These collaborations and support-based relationships have been aided greatly by our increased focus on enterprise solutions such as Thermography, with our license to sell DJI’s Zenmuse XT and the ability to construct and provide custom rigs such as the Matrice 600 with a Micro-Epsilon thermal imager.

There have also been a range of events this year which allowed us to travel the country and meet up with customers and industry insiders; including the Farnborough Airshow, Manufacturing & Engineering North East and, most recently, DJI’s Phantom 4 Pro/Inspire 2 London launch event.

We’d like to thank all of our loyal customers for choosing us as your one stop drone shop. From everyone here at Heliguy HQ, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a great start to 2017.

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider blog for all of the up to date drone news you’ll need in 2017.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2016/12/20/heliguys-2016-drone-news-round-up/

Heliguy’s Christmas Sale

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The Offers Listed in This Post Are Live on Our Site From 12th December 2016


We’re almost halfway through December and everyone’s getting that festive feeling. What better way to celebrate the holidays than finding a great deal on DJI products through Heliguy?

We’re dropping the price of a number of DJI drones and gimbals, giving you a chance to get your hands on a spectacular Christmas present (or alternatively a treat for yourself). Find out what’s available below.


DJI OSMO Mobile

The OSMO Mobile offers the stabilisation of DJI’s industry-leading handheld gimbal range, applying it to your mobile device. If you’re always taking videos with your phone, why not add a new level of professionalism with the OSMO Mobile; a shake free, easy to use gimbal from DJI.

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If you order during our Christmas sale, you’ll get a FREE base and a 980mAh OSMO battery included.

LEARN MORE – HERE –

OFFER PRICE: £319 (ft. Free Base & Battery)


DJI OSMO+ (PLUS)

The OSMO+ (Plus) is a high-quality stabilised handheld gimbal which offers users 7x zoom. Looking to get closer to the action and have the option to shoot in a variety of modes in smooth 4K? This is the solution for you. Compatible with a range of accessories and continuing the stellar performance of DJI’s OSMO range, don’t miss our battery combo offer.

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If you order during our Christmas sale, you’ll get a FREE 1225mAh OSMO battery included.

LEARN MORE – HERE –

OFFER PRICE: £689 (ft. Free Battery)


DJI RONIN-M

The Ronin M offers flexibility to your filming. Its brushless gimbal stabilisation system offers industry quality footage whether you’re filming handheld, on a job, crane, tripod, or anything else. Three mounting modes enable you to approach a shoot creatively and achieve even the most challenging shots.

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Searching for something to elevate the quality of your footage at a reasonable price? Take a look at the Ronin M this Christmas.

LEARN MORE – HERE –

OFFER PRICE: £1,054


DJI RONIN-MX

The Ronin MX brushless gimbal was designed specifically for use with the DJI Matrice 600. It’s the most adaptable Ronin yet allowing you to shoot with a range of cameras up to and including the huge RED EPIC. The MX is a top line professional aerial filmmaking solution and, as part of DJI’s festive offers, it’s on sale with us over the holiday season

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If you order during our Christmas sale, you’ll get a FREE Ronin M Wireless Thumb Controller & Grip included.

LEARN MORE – HERE –

OFFER PRICE: £1364 (ft. Ronin M Wireless Thumb Controller & Grip)


DJI Phantom 3  Standard

A great value, robust quadcopter from DJI. The first of the Shenzhen drone manufacturer’s hugely successful Phantom 3 range – it’s a perfect aircraft for hobbyists looking to get to grips with their first drone.

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Offering the ability to shoot 2.7K HD video and capture 12MP stills, you’ll find plenty of uses for this classic aerial camera and, with this Black Friday deal, you really can’t go wrong.

LEARN MORE – HERE –

OFFER PRICE: £449


DJI Phantom 3 Professional

Still one of the most popular quadcopters out there, the Phantom 3 Pro allows you to shoot 4K videos at 30fps and capture quality 12MP stills.

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Building on the success of its predecessor, the Phantom 3 Standard, the Pro is an intuitive, ready-to-fly system that packs in some great features.

LEARN MORE – HERE –

OFFER PRICE: £819


DJI Phantom 4

The gold standard of quadcopters used by both hobbyists and professional videographers, DJI’s Phantom 4 is the culmination of years of experience and customer feedback. Full of intelligent flight functionality and even front-facing obstacle avoidance, the Phantom 4 literally helps you fly.

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This isn’t to say you can’t take full control and hit some serious speeds. With the in-built ‘Sport’ mode you’re able to reach 45mph and indulge your inner drone racer.

You can’t talk about the Phantom 4 without mentioning the camera, offering 4K at 30fps and Full HD 1080p at 120fps through a custom designed lens (as well as 12MP stills), you’re able to capture spectacular imagery.

LEARN MORE – HERE –

OFFER PRICE: £1,099


Heliguy Offers

Don’t forget to check out our Christmas Deals section for a huge range of reduced RC Heli parts and accessories. This is an amazing opportunity to save on parts you’ll struggle to find anywhere else (especially at this great value!).

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Don’t miss out on these fantastic seasonal deals! Keep checking back to our social media channels for more Christmas offers, all the best deals on quadcopters, gimbals and aerial cameras and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2016/12/12/heliguys-christmas-sale/

NEWS: GoPro Layoffs & Apple’s Drone Mapping

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There have been some big announcements from huge companies this week and, as look would have it, much of it is drone-related. So, without further ado, let’s delve into this week’s biggest stories and get you updated ready for the weekend.


GoPro Announces Staff Cuts Following Karma Recall

Action Camera company GoPro has announced that it plans to reduce its staff by approximately 15% (equivalent to 200 full-time employees) and reduce its reliance on contractors. On top of this, they have also revealed their plans to dissolve the entertainment division.

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Tony Bates, the company’s president, will also be leaving at the end of 2016. Stating that his three years at the helm were “an incredible experience”, and that GoPro “has a solid leadership team deeply focussed on its core business and profitability”, the split seems to be amicable.

It’s no secret that the company has been underperforming, suffering huge losses in its third quarter, the pressure is on to prove the viability of their action cameras as a mass-market product and not something squarely aimed at the extreme sports crowd. This has become more of a struggle for GoPro as smartphones are increasingly able to provide the quality and convenience that consumers desire.

All of this has come out following the ill-fated release of the company’s Karma drone which was totally recalled (all 2,500 sold) due to units “falling from the sky”. Despite this setback, GoPro is adamant that UAVs are a cornerstone of their future strategy.


FLIR Systems Purchases UAV Firm

In an interesting move, thermographic sensor manufacturer FLIR Systems made an announcement earlier this week, stating that it has acquired a Norwegian micro-UAV company, Prox Dynamics.

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The takeover is reported to have cost $134m and will integrate Prox Dynamics into FLIR’s UAV Systems business, specifically under the umbrella of Surveillance.

In their statement regarding the acquisition a representative for FLIR outlined the company’s aim to aid in the development of Prox Dynamics’ ‘PD-100 Black Hornet’ micro-UAV by improving the existing range, cost, and overall performance.

In other FLIR news, they have just released a thermal sensor for smartphones – an affordable solution that broadens their portfolio and offers an affordable (if slightly less powerful) thermographic solution.


Apple Uses Drones to Improve Mapping

Since cosying up with DJI for the launch of the Phantom 4 quadcopter, Apple is now reportedly looking to use drones to help improve its mapping capabilities. Insiders are speculating that this has been kick-started by the Cupertino-based tech giant’s desire to compete with Google Maps.

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Apple is currently amassing a team of robotics and data experts to utilise drones which will capture map information quicker than its existing method of ground-based road mapping.

According to sources within to company, Apple intends to use drones to complete tasks such as examining street signs, note any changes to existing roads and report back if areas are disrupted by construction. This data will be fed back to Apple’s specialist teams who can update the Maps app in almost real-time offering users up-to-the-minute information.

In March this year, the FAA granted Apple permission to “operate an unmanned aircraft system to conduct data collection, photography, and videography,” which pretty much confirms these plans although there hasn’t been much in the way of official acknowledgement.

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider blog for more of the latest news from the drone industry.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2016/12/02/news-gopro-layoffs-apples-drone-mapping/