Boscawen, NH, September 6, 2016 – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently enacted rules that have opened up the commercial use of drone technology in the United States, and Boscawen-based BirdsEyeView Aerobotics was ready with a product called the FireFLY6 PRO, which started shipping last week.
“The FireFLY6 PRO is the next step in our mission to bring flying robots to everyday people. People don’t need single-application toys. They need productive, flexible tools, and we’re happy to bring that to today’s professional operators,” said Adam Sloan, BirdsEyeView’s founder and CEO.
The FireFLY6 PRO is unique in that it performs like a traditional airplane but takes off and lands like a helicopter, vertically. This allows it to operate pretty much anywhere while covering significantly more ground (up to 450 acres) than the spiderlike quadcopter drones that are somewhat common today. All while retaining the ability to land softly and safely. In addition, it’s capable of carrying multiple different payloads for various applications: mapping, agriculture, and aerial assessment being current focuses of the BirdsEyeView team.
Sloan and his crew are veterans of the drone industry with ties to the early days of the US military’s use of the technology in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they’re proud that BirdsEyeView is a swords to plowshares story. They prefer to call their creations “aerobots” rather than drones and they consider themselves “operators” rather than pilots, reflecting the civilian focus and advanced capabilities of their flying robots.
Sloan says the BirdsEyeView team prides itself on being no-nonsense professionals, and their resulting frustration with some of the marketing tactics in the industry shows. “We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we’re tired of the smoke and mirrors that is so common with this technology. We hope that we can be the rock that serious professional operators stand on. No premature product announcements, no months-delayed deliveries, no puffed-up specs. By operators, for operators,” said Sloan.
The FireFLY6 PRO evolved from product offerings that BirdsEyeView initially aimed at hobbyists thanks to the regulatory environment at the time, which prevented the use of drones for hire in the US. With the release of the FAA’s formal rules for commercial operations at the end of August, called Part 107, the BirdsEyeView team is free to pursue the customers that they’ve long had their eyes on.
Sloan explained, “Part 107 allows us to showcase the FireFLY6 PRO’s productive potential, and productivity has always been the point for us. We’re happy that the regulatory environment has eased to a point that makes that viable, and we’re excited to start showing it off.”