Sony has been saying it would be entering the aerial imaging market since the beginning of the year but last night it made it official, announcing the company’s first professional drone: the Airpeak S1. The new Airpeak S1, which is being made in Japan by Sony, promises to be one of the fastest drones on the market when it goes on sale in fall 2021. It will also be one of the most expensive.
The Sony Airpeak S1, which the company says is the world’s smallest drone that can carry a full-size mirrorless interchangeable-lens Alpha camera, will sell for $9000. The Airpeak S1 will ship with two pairs of propellers, a remote controller, two batteries and a battery charger, however a third-party gimbal made specifically for the Airpeak S1 will be sold separately. Sony did not provide a price for the third-party gimbal.
According to Sony, the new drone uses a proprietary motor, propeller, control system and sensing technology that allows it “to fly at extremely high speeds with very stable wind resistance.”
The Sony Airpeak S1 is capable of flying at a maximum speed of 55mph, a maximum angular velocity of 180 degrees/s, and a maximum tilt angle of 55 degrees. Meanwhile, propulsion technology developed by Sony gives the Airpeak S1 wind resistance in winds speeds of up to 44.7mph. You can see a video of the Airpeak S1’s wind resistance being tested below.
The Sony Airpeak S1’s remote controller lets you capture aerial images and video and control the aircraft. The drone also includes obstacle detection, automatic flight control via sensing and increased safety via cloud management of the aircraft and flight information, Sony said.
Here’s a rundown of a few more of the key features of the new Sony Airpeak S1 drone:
- Flight time up to 22 minutes without a payload
- Landing gear with open/close legs to avoid appearing into images
- Detachable propellers for fast easy replacement and transport
- Sony developed stereo cameras and vision sensing processor with original algorithm for real time 3D spatial awareness
- Achieves stable flight in enclosed spaces or when out of range of GNSS
- Equipped with obstacle braking function by multi-directional sensing
- RCR-VH1 remote controller operates the aircraft, gimbal, and camera while providing real-time image output.
- Use with “Airpeak Flight” mobile app to control the aircraft, camera, and gimbal in-flight.
- Dual Operation Mode for independent control of Aircraft and Gimbal/Camera.
- Equipped with flexible flight modes
- “Airpeak Base” web app for integrated management of flight plans, flight logs, and equipment
- Airpeak S1 drone is made in Japan by Sony
You can learn more about the Sony Airpeak S1 on Sony’s website. For a good look at the drone in action, check out the below video showing it being field tested by Sony at Iriomote Island, Okinawa using the new Sony E-mount FE14mm F1.8GM lens.