Drone manufacturer DJI may have spread itself across a number of different sectors of late, most recently with its GoPro-trouncing Osmo Action camera, but it has always retained its drone footing with consumer-, professional- and even industrial-level offerings.
And now its pro range welcomes a new STORM option, described by its maker as a professional heavy-lifting aerial platform. Targeted at cinematographers, it packs eight propellers and incorporates the company's Ronin 2 PTZ gimbal, and is designed to carry cine gear weighing up to 18.5kg – considerably more than its current offerings, such as the Matrice 600.
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It flies at speeds of up to 80km/h, although this is reduced to 60km/h when used in its GPS mode, and it can also be used in freezing conditions down to -10C. As we might expect, being able to carry so much kit has an impact on flight time, although the exact time depends on what kit you're carrying. The system itself can fly for 25 minutes on its own, although a 12kg payload reduces this to 15 minutes and heavier kit can knock this down to just eight minutes.
Want to buy one? At least for now you're out of luck. It seems that the STORM is only set to be available as part of a DJI Studio Aerial Custom Cinematography Service, which includes a film crew and production van. That not only takes care of transportation and piloting, but also provides an uninterrupted power supply.
On top of that, it seems that the service will be limited to China, at least for the time being, and pricing information hasn't made available either.