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. We got our hands on one and put it through the paces. I flew it, Chris flew it and I even got my wife, an inexperienced pilot to give it a try. You’ll definitely want to check out this video.
Here is what FT Aviator has to say about their remote control.
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*
Can this really replace your drone remote?
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.
However, it is undeniably more intuitive to learn. I think that it could be an excellent option for police and fire departments that may need many different operators able to fly without having to spend hours learning to pilot
Another drawback is that you have to have both the FT Aviator and your DJI remote. The lanyard works well but it is a bit of an annoyance.
FT Aviator Improvements
I spoke with Scott and he said that he’d love to have the FT aviator available for drones other than just DJI models. That, of course, will take some time. 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.
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