On May 7th, Chris Murphy, the Junior Senator from Connecticut had sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, expressing his concerns over an additional purchase of 16 DJI drones in addition to the hundreds of DJI’s drones already purchased by U.S. government agencies and the Department of Defense. In his letter, Murphy mentions that at least three separate agencies have found that the commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) from the Chinese drone manufacturer pose a potential national security threat. He urges the DoD to cut Chinese drone-maker DJI out of its business and suggests that the department works with domestic drone makers instead, even if they may require some assistance. A source close to the matter has indicated that the DoD has stopped using DJI as of May 24th as a result of Murphy’s letter.
Exclusive May 30
Exclusive May 24
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen various photos pop-up of two grey/silver DJI Phantom drones with an interchangeable lens system. Many people, including us, had been hoping that this was indeed a prototype of a new DJI Phantom drone with interchangeable lenses. Potentially an amazing setup for any serious photographer, who appreciates the flexibility and quality of fixed focal length or prime lenses, but without breaking the bank. Sort of a mini Inspire 2 / Zenmuse X7 combo. However, without saying that such a drone may never be introduced, DJI did state in an email to DroneDJ that these photos do NOT show a new DJI Phantom 5 drone, but a one-off custom built drone for one of their enterprise customers. Bummer, I know…
Exclusive May 7
It was only yesterday that we showed you a screenshot of what seems to be the new DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. Today we are excited to share with you what seems to be a first official image of new drone. It appears that the official launch date of this new product is May 8th, which of course at the time of me writing this, in China it already is. It is very hard to tell, but based on the lo-res photo it seems that this new drone may, in fact, have the silent propellers we first saw on the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum Edition. We later saw these new props also surface in an FCC filing.
Exclusive May 2
DJI’s VP of Policy and Legal Affairs, Brendan Schulman talks about the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Congress and how new upcoming regulations may impact hobbyist drone pilots. Brendan has been part of the Aviation Rule Making Committee (ARC) to create a report with recommendations for the FAA. This report addresses among other things, remote identification. Brendan is also working with other stakeholders from the manned aviation world, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and DJI customers on a proposal for Congress to create an online test or tutorial for recreational drone pilots and to prevent section 336 from being repealed.
Yesterday, we had the chance to talk to DJI’s Managing Director of North America, Michael Perry at the AUVSI Xponential 2018 in Denver, Colorado. Michael spoke to us about the new Zenmuse XT2 dual-sensor thermal camera as well as the payload SDK and DJI’s push into the commercial drone market. We also spoke about how drones can help save people lives around the world and of course we asked him about what else consumers can expect from DJI this year.
Exclusive April 27
Earlier this evening two new photos were posted on Twitter that show two silver-colored DJI Phantom drones with interchangeable lenses. They seem to be the same two Phantoms we have seen before. One photo shows a 50mm f/2.8 DJI lens detached from the lens mount. We are still unsure at this point what kind of DJI Phantom this might be. But it is hard not to get excited about a new quadcopter with an interchangeable lens system that might not break the bank like the Inspire 2 and Zenmuse X7 lens combo does.