The ALTA gets a chance
Ok so I posted not so long ago a review on the Freefly ALTA drone. Since then, I decided to take the plunge and give the little drone a $13,000 go.
I must say, that if one sticks to the payload requirements, then this drone is fantastic. It saved my ass on a shoot down Victoria way on the Murray River last month, when the custom X8 heavy lift drone I had on the job as well had a failure of landing gear, so wham, out came the ALTA and saved the afternoon.
I was flying a Red Dragon, with a Vintage Zeiss Superspeed on the front, and had a takeoff weight of around 13.8kg. Which was 800 grams over the recommended flying load, but it handled it quite well. The only issue I had was in the wind, which was quite extensive on the days we were shooting. When the wind came to a safe level of around 25km/h we flew, and the ALTA was rather messy. So after a quick change of gear, the X8 was up and running again.
Since then I have tested the ALTA numerous time with various payload, the latest being last weekend with 6kg strapped to it. I gave it a good push around and it performed very well. Flight times were lasting around 10 minutes, or 11 minutes if I pushed the batteries to 15%. This is with 6kg payload!
Unfortunately on the same weekend, the X8 had a crash due to a failed propellor and is now back on the bench, which pushes the ALTA to the top again and now has its opportunity again to show us what its got!