The FT Aviator is a joystick that was designed by NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski. He believed that there was a better and easier way to fly than the traditional two-joystick controller. This unique remote will connect to most DJI drones and gives the pilot a whole new experience in flying. I was incredibly skeptical, but after I got my hands on one, I understood exactly why Parazynski developed it. Keep reading to learn more about this one-of-a-kind $349 remote control.

DJI Spark

FT Aviator

With the FT Aviator, flying is rather intuitive. You balance the joystick base in one hand and grip the joystick with the other. With your control hand, the drone will go in the direction you push the joystick. Push the joystick forward, and the drone will fly forward. Push the stick right, and the drone flies to the right. If you want to yaw or spin the drone, then you spin the joystick in the direction you want to turn the drone. Altitude or throttle is controlled by a trigger on the joystick. Being able to execute these movements took almost no time at all for me to figure out. But then again, I fly drones almost every day. So I needed to find someone who doesn’t.

ft aviator with dji mavic and phantom

Is the FT Aviator more intuitive than a traditional remote?

I decided my wife would be a perfect candidate to put the FT Aviator to the test. She has flown a drone once or twice in her life and she wasn’t pleased with the experience. After a quick tutorial, we initiated auto takeoff. She was able to maneuver the drone almost immediately. She told me that using the Aviator was easy, and that she was even having fun.

ft aviator

I tested the FT Aviator with my Mavic Air and my Phantom 4 Advanced drone. I found the precision of the controls to be much better with the Phantom than the Mavic Air. I personally still feel that I can control my drone better with the traditional remote, but then again, I’ve only logged a handful of flights on the Aviator, versus countless others using a traditional remote.

Using the FT Aviator doesn’t replace your original DJI remote. You have to connect them together via a USB cable. That means you are carrying an extra piece of equipment with you when you fly. You are also unable to disable obstacle avoidance when using the FT Aviator. The gimbal controls also didn’t seem to be quite as dialed in as those on the DJI remote. Currently, the Aviator will work with most DJI drones from the Mavic Air up to the Inspire 2.

Should you get an FT Aviator?

alternative to dji remote

I don’t think that most experienced pilots will be swapping out their traditional remotes for the FT Aviator. It is more intuitive, but if you have already mastered flying, I don’t think it is a necessary accessory. However, a new pilot may want to give it a try. This could also be an excellent tool for first responders. If there is a large group of people that need to be able to fly a drone without having to put in tons of hours, the Aviator could be an excellent tool.

While the current price of the FT Aviator is $349 that is for a limited time. The typical price is $449 but right now you can take advantage of the $100 discount. In fact, FT Aviator has offered DroneDJ readers a $50 off discount with an exclusive code, FTA$50DRONEDJ. That means you can pick up an FT Aviator for only $299.

Learn more about the FT Aviator here.

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