About the Author

Jack Towne

Jack loves to fly all drones, from FPV racers to the Mavic 2 Pro he flies them all. When he isn’t flying he is teaching, coaching or hanging out with his wife and three children.

Jack Towne's Favorite Gear

Yesterday

When Autel announced the folding Evo it looked like DJI was going to have some stiff competition. It took quite some time for Autel to actually launch after it was teased and early firmware glitches didn’t get the Evo off to a smooth start. DJI released the Mavic 2 lineup and people quickly forgot about the Evo. However, Autel has since addressed the firmware issues it carries a lower price tag than the Mavic lineup at $999. After spending some time with the Evo and comparing it to both the Mavic 2 Zoom ($1149) and Mavic 2 Pro ($1499) I have to say I’ve been impressed. expand full story

June 13

The UVify OOri is a unique quadcopter. It was built by a company that has its roots in FPV drone racing but was uniquely designed with a beginner pilot in mind. The OOri can be flown like a traditional FPV freestyle or race quad that tops out at 50 mph. However, it also has a beginner mode that utilizes vision positioning software to help make it incredibly stable. expand full story

DJI Spark

June 12

Fat Shark is the undisputed leader in FPV goggles and headsets. Their top of the line HDO goggles are absolutely brilliant. The biggest problem is that buying a good pair of Fat Sharks HDOs will cost you upwards of $500 after you’ve purchased a receiver to go along with them. That is why Fat Shark created the Scout. The Scout ($199) is a top-end box style FPV headset that has some excellent features but at a fraction of the price of the HDO lineup. expand full story

June 11

It is no secret that I love my original Emax Tinyhawk, but the new Tinyhawk S takes it up a notch. The original is a great drone for flying both indoors and out. Emax did all the little things right when they made it. My only wish was that it could handle a 2S battery. Now it can and it is an absolute dream. This is the best beginner drone out there, but I wouldn’t stop there. If you fly FPV then you need this drone. Yes, it’s that good and it won’t break the bank starting at $99. expand full story

May 30

The URUAV UR85 HD Bushido($155) is a Cinewhoop that you can fly right out of the box. This one is basically a lighter version of the popular Beta 85x HD. Because it is roughly the same size, but substantially lighter (23 grams) it is a much more capable drone. While it still isn’t something I’d recommend for strictly flying freestyle it is a lot of fun to fly and can capture some pretty awesome cinematic HD footage that just isn’t possible with a larger drone. If you haven’t flown a Cinewhoop style drone then this is definitely something you’ll need to check out. They are a blast and will get you video footage that you can’t get with really any other style quad. expand full story

May 17

Are you looking for a real estate drone? Aerial real estate photography is becoming more popular all the time. In some markets, it is almost a requirement that a listing has photographs, and often video, taken from the air. Professional pilots today can earn fees starting at $200 for a 30-minute job. So what is the best drone for the job? And what do you need to know before you fly? We are here to help. expand full story

May 16

The BetaFPV Beta85x HD is a new drone in the growing class of Cinewhoops. Cinewhoops are small FPV style quadcopters that are capable of recording HD footage. While there are plenty of HD capable drones out there Cinewhoops make it possible to get HD footage from a palm-sized drone that pilots can fly in tight spaces that wouldn’t be possible with bigger drones. Not only can they fly in tight quarters, but they can fly acro style and are built to be able to withstand crashes. expand full story

May 13

There is a lot of chatter online about the upcoming DJI event on May 15th. The lack of hype around the event almost certainly means it won’t be a new drone. The “Unleash Your Other Side” campaign features a beautiful bikini-clad woman suspended underwater and most sources believe that this new product will feature a waterproof camera. As the leaks pour in that seems to be confirmed as the Verge among others believe that the event will be highlighting the new DJI Osmo Action, a GoPro Hero style action camera. expand full story

The ZLRC Beast SG906 is a very intriguing drone. It is the first GPS drone with a 4K camera that we have seen to release for less than $150.  It has a handful of intelligent flight modes and an impressive flight time of 23 minutes all for $149.99. Could this be a game changer? How will it stack up against the 4K Mavic Air that it mimics? Will it be the end of the DJI Spark or is it too good to be true? Let’s take a closer look. expand full story

May 5

The iFlight CineBee 75HD ($179) is what is known as a cinewhoop drone. Cinewhoops are rapidly becoming popular because you can fly them first-person view and record HD video without having to add an additional camera. The Cinebee is small, only 75 mm from motor to motor so you can capture HD footage with it that would be impossible with a larger drone. expand full story

May 3

The Bell Nexus was arguably the exhibit to see at this year’s AUVSI XPonential 2019 in Chicago. It is an impressively large passenger drone / Air Taxi capable of carrying five passengers. The Nexus looks like something right out of a SciFi film. Bell built this behemoth to be able to be flown either autonomously or by an onboard pilot. While the model on display at the McCormick Center was not capable of flight it was still quite the attraction. Bell believes that their Nexus will be a way to solve the current problems that plague transportation. Bell looks to be a leader in the growing future market of air taxis . expand full story

April 16

The Eachine Trashcan is an excellent brushless micro FPV quadcopter. It is a direct competitor to the very popular Mobula 7. In fact, on paper, the Trashcan is better than the Mobula in almost every way. Is it actually the better drone? We will take a closer look, but one thing is clear. The Trashcan definitely is NOT garbage. expand full story

April 15

The XDynamics Evolve is an intriguing alternative to the DJI lineup of drones. Starting around $2500 it slots in between the $1500 Phantom 4 Pro and the $3000 base model Inspire 2. In fact, that is precisely the niche that the XDynamics Evolve is looking to fill. This carbon fiber drone looks awesome, but can it hold its own against two of the best drones that DJI has produced? Let’s take a closer look. expand full story

April 1

Xiaomi has been busy producing aerial photography drones that look to compete against some of DJI’s flagship drones. We have already taken a look at the Xiaomi Fimi A3, a $299 Spark competitor. Now we will take a closer look at the Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE. It is a foldable drone capable of shooting 4K footage for only $499. How does it stack up against DJI Mavic lineup? We will also look at how it compares to the Hubsan Zino and Parrot Anafi. expand full story

March 29

The Eachine M80 ($62) is a small brushed FPV drone with a few interesting tricks up its sleeve. It is an excellent option, perhaps the best option for anyone looking to learn how to fly FPV. That is because the M80 has three very different modes. It can be flown in altitude hold mode, angle mode and even acro mode. Very few FPV drones have all three of these options and that is what makes this quad so special. expand full story

March 28

The Frsky Taranis X-Lite ($130) is an innovative design for an RC controller. Most drone remotes are large and cumbersome. They seemingly have hundreds of switches and are intimidating to novice pilots. Frsky decided to build a game-pad style remote for those looking for a more ergonomic and portable option. I recently picked one up and put it to the test. expand full story

Drone racing has been a growing sport over the last few years and you can find thrilling championship races televised on ESPN. Did you know that it also is a high school varsity sport? The GoDroneX Chicagoland Championships just crowned a handful of New Trier students champions in its third season. There are races for both varsity and junior varsity students so they can compete at different levels of complexity. expand full story

March 12

The Micro Drone 4.0 is an intriguing low-cost drone ($200) that carries a 1080p camera on a two-axis gimbal. It is being funded via an Indiegogo campaign and has recently just passed 1 million dollars. Not only that but the former CEO of DJI North America Colin Guinn has given it a ringing endorsement. Will the Extreme Fliers Micro Drone 4.0 be the beginner drone we have been waiting for? expand full story

The Happymodel Mobula 7 is one of the most popular FPV drones on the market right now. It’s small size and powerful 0802 15,000 KV motors make it a lot of fun to fly on either 1S or 2S batteries. At $79 is it a better option than the $109 Emax Tinyhawk? Let’s take a closer look. expand full story

March 8

Xiaomi is making a push into the consumer drone market with two new drones, the Fimi A3 and the Fimi X8. In doing so, for the first time, Xiaomi is trying to pull customers away from the DJI Spark and Mavic Air. With lower price points and specs that look to compete with DJI, does Xiaomi have what it takes to beat the world’s leader in drones? expand full story

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