The Byrd design is foldable, modular and comes in several configurations that include 1080p (plenty good for most web work). The model I tested was set up to carry a GoPro. Another available configuration is a 4K camera with the following specifications: 3840*2160P 24fps, 3840*2160P 30fps, 4096*2160P 24fps. An IR camera is also due out soon, and so are gimbals that can accommodate a DSLR (Cannon 5D III and the other mirror-less varieties with landing gear extensions), Black Magic Micro are also in the works.  GDU boasts a 5-pound lifting capacity. (Our testing only achieved a 3 and a half pound lift.) We have to assume they did a little research and are catering to the segment of operators who have designs on making money with drones.

It has acoustic sensors to fly indoors and offer stability without GPS. While it doesn’t have obstacle avoidance, some in the cinematography biz contend that hard robotic shots just don’t work in the movies. Out of the box, the altitude is limited to 400’ AGL but no Geofencing, which is a big plus for the professional. I’ve spoken to plenty of folks who have had delays in SAR efforts (lives at stake), TV and video gigs (thousands of dollars and hour) who couldn’t fly causing delays, frustration, and embarrassment.

Video from @thedronedealer

Things I like about Byrd(s)  

  1.    No Geofencing (Good news for the certificated RPIC)
  2.    Interchangeable gimbals
  3.    5-pound lift capacity (DSLR and
  4.    Factory QA/QC
  5.    Reasonable price point
  6.    Realistic claims
  7.    Long flight time
  8.    Stable flying and hovering (easy on the novice)

No snowflakes here it’s all welcome to the jungle 40c/105f and 95% humidity!!!

It has been hard finding any negatives about the system. While some systems are getting smaller, I can’t fault GDU for that here as someone is finally embracing the true enterprise concept of one platform with many uses. The folding design should translate into a welcomed smaller hard case.

I’m not going to list prices for the different variants as things change quickly, but I will say that the drone itself is economical as it is future resistant with software updates and gimbal configurations. It runs counter to the cell phone model that we are seeing running its course and ruining companies.  Why be stuck with one camera when you have the option to fly multiple “pay”loads?  

I believe that GDU and the Byrd variants can be counted as a contender in the U.S. drone market. We all know there is a need for competition that is useful in realizing a profit for the commercial and enterprise market. I hope to test and then report on some of the other sensors shortly.

The GDU (Global Drone Union) formally known as Prodrone is based in the new Silicon Valley of drones, Shenzhen China.

Company provided information –

Premium Byrd Stats:

  •        Only drone with interchangeable gimbal/camera configurations (purchaser is not stuck with only one camera)
  •        Future-proofed for use with DSLR cameras
  •        ‘Follow Me’ technology
  •        Smart ‘return-to-home’ feature
  •        OFDM HD 1000m video downlink system
  •        Optical and ultrasonic flight assistance (for inside flights)
  •        29-minute flight time
  •        Included 3-axis gimbal with 2.8 4K camera
  •        Route planning
  •        Intelligent orientation control
  •        Tested in the world’s harshest climates to ensure quality
  •        Military-grade materials for ultimate durability and quality
  •       14.2V 6700mAh 4S Li-battery

For more information on where to purchase and product details,


By Patrick Egan

Editor in Field, sUAS News Americas Desk | Patrick Egan is the editor of the Americas Desk at sUAS News and host and Executive Producer of the sUAS News Podcast Series, Drone TV and the Small Unmanned Systems Business Exposition. Experience in the field includes assignments with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Battle Lab investigating solutions on future warfare research projects. Instructor for LTA (Lighter Than Air) ISR systems deployment teams for an OSD, U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Surveillance Project. Built and operated commercial RPA prior to 2007 FAA policy clarification. On the airspace integration side, he serves as director of special programs for the RCAPA (Remote Control Aerial Photography Association).