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Terry

Multicopters everywhere I look!

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It seems not a week goes by that I dont see or hear of a new multicopter doing AP. On Facebook there must be 20 users with there own page and posting videos or stills just in my area. Most of them are probably not legally allowed to sell photo's or video's but from what I hear they are.

Is 'UAV' AP a viable business in the US these days or it it just over here? I always found it at best a good second income but now it seems to have reached the point where there are just so many easier and more reliable ways to make money.

Terry

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Multirotors are everywhere in the USA too. Nearly all seem to be carrying a camera such as a GoPro. The regular Joe's call them drones and I have given up trying to change that negative label.

The multirotor market appears to have transitioned from DiY/kits to ready-to-fly solutions. I think this is because the latest customers rarely have any R/C experience. My guess is that DJI has probably sold several hundred thousand Phantoms to American hobbyists. I bought one just to see for myself why it is so popular. I can best describe it as amazing technology, well built, and cool looks. But somewhat boring to fly out of the box (too easy, no challenge).

Some of the multirotor pilots are entrepreneurs with dreams of operating a business that involves their model. The USA's FAA does not allow it at the moment, so any commercial activity is done in ignorance and/or defiance of the regulations. But not a day goes by where I come across someone that is setting up a model to do just that.

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Yes DJI RTF are the main aircraft of choice here to. Nearly all the 'pilots' I have seen had no RC aircraft experience before buying the multi. They seem to be students mainly but older guys with lots of money are the remainder.

Generally it seems a very similar story on your side of the water. Even as little as five years ago I would show people what I was doing and they would say 'wow' now they just say 'oh my mate does that'.....

Terry

Edited by Terry

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Even as little as five years ago I would show people what I was doing and they would say 'wow' now they just say 'oh my mate does that'.....

As little as two years ago this stuff still blew away the average Joe in my area. Between TV reporting, newspaper articles, and that ridiculous Amazon drone delivery propaganda, there's not a soul on the planet that isn't an "expert" on them now. The best part is that now the unsupervised 5-year olds leave me alone at the park. :)

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Between DJI (and Hobby King and the whole pantheon of Hong Kong merchants) saturating the market with Multirotors at a decent price point and in an ARF/RTF configuration and advertizing "easy to fly, no experiencxe needed", a lot of idiots with no RC experience or even aptitude, but with a loaded VISA card, are inclined to get a Quad. And this is dangerous since there is still a great deal to be learned about safe and competent flying. And this is giving/ could give/ our branch of the hobby a great deal of bad publicity tahty we just don't need. I don't think it will change the Regulatory side of the hobby since that was clearly a done deal from it's inception.

I've flown model aircaft since I was a kid, but I've been working on building my Quads over the Winter months and doing a lot of practice with a small 180-size RTF and getting even more time on a flight Sim.

One positive note is that with the slack in the R&D budget of multi's has been taken up by the market glut, and the cost and availability of multirotor avionics, power systems and airframes for the DIYer has never been better. We're more or less in he "Golden Age" of Multis. I hope that is not quashed when the Other Regulatory Boot Drops. Also which is not good for American R&D in this area-- as expected, almost all of the maufacturing and most of the R&D is done in China or overseas. One of the new startups-- "3D-whatever"-- has their manufacturing plant in Mexico assembling Chinese parts. I may not have a choice with the country of origin of these parts, but I buy from US-based distributors whenever I can.

I cringe when Noobs call Multis "Drones", too, and feel that the word has bad connotations that we don't need. Things have even gotten bad for the "casual hobbyist". Five years ago I could go most anywhere and fly my GWS Slow-Stick and get by with the "old guy flying a toy aeroplane" act. Now people come up and want to know what I'm doing with that DRONE. Ugh.

Anyways, enough of my morning rant. It's drizzly and cold ouside and I'm witing for the shop to warm up so I can go work... Have a great day... :)

--Bill

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