Parrot has rolled out the all-new Disco drone, a fixed-wing, automatic takeoff and landing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that the company says is designed for a “fully immersive flight experience.”
Available starting next month for $1,299, the Parrot Disco comes with a first-person-view headset, Parrot Cockpitglasses, technology that streams footage captured by Disco’s HD frontal camera. In addition, the new, lightweight (1.6 lbs.) Parrot Skycontroller 2 remote control offers a theoretical range of 1.2 miles.
Parrot Skycontroller 2 can also connect to an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet via the new FreeFlight Pro application, providing the pilot with video streaming and a platform to refine the settings of Disco: e.g., geofencing, limitation of the altitude/distance or recording video on the 32 GB memory of the drone.
Parrot Disco is made from expanded polypropylene and reinforced with carbon tubes – making it both lightweight (1.6 lbs.) and robust, the company expalains, adding that the wings are specially engineered to optimize both stability and speed in flight, thanks to an aerodynamic airfoil that reduces trail and improves lift.
The UAV is propelled by a brushless engine with a folding, bi-blades propeller, which enables the aircraft to reach a speed of 50 mph and resist winds of 24 mph. In addition, the battery offers up to 45 minutes of flight time.
Disco also includes an advanced autopilot: the Parrot C.H.U.C.K (Control Hub & Universal Computer Kit), which secures each phase of the flight, says Parrot.
To prepare the drone for takeoff, the pilot has to push the switch on the upper part of Disco nose, push the “takeoff/landing” button on the Parrot Skycontroller 2 remote control, and toss the drone toward the sky like a frisbee.
Parrot Disco then takes flight, ascending automatically to an altitude of 164 feet, at which point the drone will fly in a circular pattern until it receives instructions from the pilot.
To land, the pilot must press the “takeoff/landing” button on the remote control. Disco then inclines its flaps and descends below 19 feet in altitude. Following indications from the altimeter, ultrasound sensor and vertical camera, the engine’s thrust reverses to reduce the speed in order to ensure a smooth landing in a straight line, according to Parrot.
The company says Parrot Disco is also compatible with the majority of other remote controls: Model aircraft enthusiasts can connect an RC transmitter (not included) directly to Parrot C.H.U.C.K. The pilot can then perform acrobatics with the drone in full manual mode.