The FT Aviator is a new one-handed remote control for your DJI drone. It is a Kickstarter campaign led by NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski. Scott felt the two-thumb method of controlling drones was difficult to master and developed this new way to maneuver that the development team believes will give pilots more control and allow them to master flying faster. Time will tell if it can catch on.
The FT Aviator works with most DJI drones and connects to your existing DJI controller. One interesting feature is that it gives the user haptic feedback and should eliminate unintended drift. If I can get my hands on one (and I think I can) I’ll give it a shot with my Mavic 2 Zoom.
Here is what FT Aviator has to say about their drone:
When an astronaut designs a drone
Using an astronaut’s perspective on intuitive motion through space, we have patented a unique and intuitive drone controller that anyone, whether they’re eight or eighty, can pick up and begin using immediately. The FT Aviator is designed to incorporate the relevant 4 degrees of freedom of movement (x, y, z, and yaw) to drone flying, eliminating the awkward interface and steeper learning curve of existing dual thumb-controlled drones. It intuitively unlocks human potential to fly and capture stunning imagery.
- Intuitive, single-handed design eliminates the complexity of dual thumb controllers
- Smooth, controlled flight, virtually eliminating aircraft instability
- Advanced camera controls for high-quality photo and video capture
- Situational display indicators so you always know your drone’s location and orientation
- Easy to use, right out of the box
- 5-hour battery life
- Compatible with most DJI drones, including the Mavic, Phantom, Inspire and Matrice series*
FT Aviator Drawbacks
I really like the idea of simplifying the remote controller. I’ve put in countless hours learning to fly and I have to agree the dual-thumb controller may not be the best design. However, it is THE UNIVERSAL DESIGN. Whether you are flying DJI drones or FPV racers, the dual-thumb controller is what all drones use. It is going to be very difficult for FT Aviator to break the mold even if this controller is easier for pilots to use.
The FT Aviator also looks quite large. We will see if it is cumbersome or heavy. If a pilot has to carry their DJI remote in addition to this one that is also going to be a difficult sell for many people. The Kickstarter price isn’t terrible at $225, but the retail price of $450 is also going to be a difficult pill for your average consumer to swallow. The target market for this joystick is probably enterprise customers with extra money to spend and a lot of pilots to train.
FT Aviator Improvements
I wonder if FT Aviator has any plans of making the FT Aviator for more than just DJI drones. I think this contoller has serious potential for drones outside of the DJI market. I think flying an FPV racer with this controller would be an interesting experience. If FT Aviator built in a multiprotocol module you could fly all sorts of drones. If it could become a universal drone remote it then opens up a much larger market. I think of it like my Jumper T8SG, but better. That could be a game changer. I love my Jumper remote because of the flexibility. I’d love to see the Aviator have more options.
|Learn more about the FT Aviator||Learn more about the Jumper T8SG|
FT Aviator Specs
What Is the BEST Drone?
So what is the absolute best drone out there? That question isn’t as easy to answer as you’d think. BUT…for most people the answer is the DJI Mavic Air. It is portable, has an awesome camera and excellent flight modes. Learn more about the Mavic Air HERE.
What Is Our FAVORITE Drone?
The Mavic Air is great but the drone that has us excited to go fly the most right now is the Parrot Anafi. The camera and gimbal setup on this drone allow it to do things that no other drone can. Plus, having the ability to zoom in on what you are filming is priceless. Learn more about the Parrot Anafi HERE.
What Drone Is the Best VALUE?
The best value on the market today has to be the DJI Spark. Now under $400, this little dynamo can do things that once upon a time cost over $1000. Learn more about the DJI Spark HERE. Still too much money for you? There are still some great options. Check out our list of the best drones under $200.
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If you want to learn more about taking great pictures or flying FPV then check out our comprehensive guides on those topics. Also, take a look at our articles on how to choose the right drone for great aerial photos or for getting started flying race drones. Learn more about drones and how to get the most out of them in our Drone Academy. In the Academy, we also detail some of the advanced testing we do including drone thrust testing and camera quality testing.
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