(Author- Jeff Foster)
Who hasn’t dreamed of becoming a pilot? Sitting in the cockpit, stepping on the gas, taking-off and seeing the landscape pass right before their eyes Today, Parrot makes this dream accessible to everyone with Parrot Disco, the first easy-to-fly, fixed-wing drone designed for a fully immersive flight experience. The ultra-lightweight, Parrot Disco is powerful, reaching 50 mph and offering 45 min of flight time.
Press Release 23 August, 2016
There is no need to be an experienced pilot with the Parrot Disco. It takes off and lands automatically and comes fully equipped with a powerful autopilot function to help control the flight. For example, when the joystick of the remote control is tilted to the right, the fixed-wing drone will curve in the same direction, while the autopilot takes care of lightly tilting the wing and of increasing the speed of the engine.
The immersive experience is very intuitive and accessible to all. Parrot created a first person view (FPV) head set, Parrot Cockpitglasses, which puts the pilot in the heart of the action by streaming the airborne footage captured by Disco’s Full HD frontal camera.
Parrot Disco can be flown with complete precision thanks to a new, compact remote control, Parrot Skycontroller 2. Model aircraft enthusiasts will also be able to pilot Parrot’s fixed-wing drone from their own RC controller in full manual mode after connecting a module (not included).
Unique by its design and its performance capabilities, Parrot Disco offers everyone the possibility of an immersive flight without having technical knowledge, and the possibility to record high quality aerial shots using the fixed-wing drone’s 32 GB memory.
- Availability: September 2016
- MSRP: $1,299 USD (Parrot Disco + Parrot Skycontroller 2 + Parrot Cockpitglasses)
Parrot Disco: lightweight, compact, powerful
A unique aerodynamic shape
Compact (22 in x 45 in), Parrot Disco is a fixed-wing drone made from EPP (expanded Polypropylene) and reinforced with carbon tubes, making it both lightweight (1.6 lbs) and robust.
The Parrot Disco’s wings are especially engineered to optimize both stability and speed in flight, thanks to an exclusive aerodynamic airfoil which reduces trail and improves lift. The extremities of the wings are equipped with Winglet (the vertically hooked part) and mobile ailerons positioned on the trailing edge, to support steering like an aircraft.
Powerful, for a unique flight experience
Parrot Disco shows impressive flight performances. It’s propelled by a brushless engine with a folding bi-blades propeller which can reach the speed of 50 mph and resist winds of 24 mph! To fully benefit from this unique flight experience, its Lipo battery offers up to 45 min of flight time.
Parrot Disco: impressive performances and assisted piloting
Parrot Disco includes advanced autopilot with no equivalent computing power: Parrot C.H.U.C.K (Control Hub & Universal Computer Kit), which secures each phase of the flight thanks to its numerous sensors.
Automatic take-off and landing
To prepare the fixed-wing for takeoff, the pilot has to simply push the switch located on the upper part of Disco nose, followed by the ‘takeoff/landing’ button on the Parrot Skycontroller 2 remote control, and finally to toss the wing towards the sky like a frisbee. Parrot Disco then takes flight, ascending automatically to an altitude of 164ft, at which point the fixed-wing 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. Parrot Disco then inclines its flaps and descends below 19ft in altitude. Following the 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.
The stability of Parrot Disco comes from the algorithms developed for Parrot C.H.U.C.K. which adapt the parameters throughout the flight and prevents stalling when the pilot makes a critical manoeuver.
The Pitot Tube, used in the aircraft industry, provides the onboard computer with “airspeed” information which is crucial to adapt the engine output in real time and ensure the lift of the device. Coupled with an inertial navigation system (accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, and altimeter) and a GNSS module (GPS + GLONASS), the direction, altitude and speed of the flight are automatically maintained to simplify the piloting of Disco.
Finally, for optimum safety, the FreeFlight Pro application features “Return Home” and “geofence”, making it possible for Parrot Disco to automatically return above its takeoff position thanks to the precision of its GPS.
Parrot Disco caters perfectly to model aircraft enthusiasts and is compatible with the majority of RC remote controls. Enthusiasts can connect a RC transmitter (not included) directly to Parrot C.H.U.C.K. The pilot must then deploy all his skills to do acrobatics with the fixed-wing drone in full manual mode!
Parrot Cockpitglasses: the immersive experience with a smartphone!
To experience the most intense and extraordinary flight, Parrot created a FPV headset: Parrot Cockpitglasses*.
*The usage of Parrot Cockpitglasses requires the presence of a co-pilot. Before flying, verify local regulations.
The pilot simply inserts the smartphone** into the headset and then can stream live video captured by Disco’s 14 Megapixels Full HD frontal camera and enjoy a fully immersive, wide-angle HD view of the flight.
** iOS or Android
The FPV experience features perfectly stable images, with no distortion, and follows the Disco’s flight path with a display of a radar and telemetric data, placing the pilot in the cockpit of the drone.
Parrot Skycontroller 2: the high precision piloting for all!
Parrot Disco comes with Parrot Skycontroller 2, a new and XS-format Wi-Fi MIMO remote control which offers a 1.2-mile theoretical reach. Completely redesigned to blur the boundaries between gamepads and RC controllers, Parrot Skycontroller 2 is lightweight (1.6 lb), compact and very easy to handle.
The 2 joysticks independently maneuver to ensure in-flight precisions, control the drone’s speed, direction, and altitude. Its customizable ‘direct access’ buttons and ‘trigger’ buttons give access to the numerous functions and options of the fixed-wing drone and the Parrot Cockpitglasses. This includes the “direct view” function which enables the pilot to see Disco through the camera of the smartphone when wearing Parrot’s FPV headset.
Parrot Skycontroller 2 can also connect to an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet via the new FreeFlight Pro application, providing the pilot with seamless video streaming and a platform to refine the settings of Parrot Disco (e.g. geofencing, limitation of the altitude/distance, recording video on the 32GB memory of the flying wing, etc.).
FreeFlight Pro: the application dedicated to Parrot Superdrones
FreeFlight Pro application is available for free on the AppStore and on Google Play. Its intuitive interface enables the user to tailor the commands and flight parameters to their level. This includes speed, altitude, and distance, as well as management of the Wi-Fi connection, photo/video parameters, and to watch live video footage from the Parrot Disco on an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.
Parrot cloud is also free and integrated within FreeFlight Pro to store the data of each flight. The application also enables configuration of the Parrot Skycontroller 2 in order to customize its commands. Finally, it gives users access to ‘Flight Plan’ (in-App purchase option) to easily create automatic flights.