In the drone and RC world, Parrot is perhaps most known for quadcopters, Rolling Spiders, and Jumping Sumos. But today the company has gone back to basics and brought us a single-rotor fixed-wing—the Disco. The Disco’s not your father’s model airplane, though. It features cutting-edge technology, including intelligent flight controller with GPS, Wi-Fi for control and video monitoring, and an electronically stabilized 1080p HD camera.
Since a plane seems so retro, you might be wondering what the benefits are. The biggest are longer flight times—up to 45 minutes—and a higher top speed of 50 mph. If you are using the drone for video, you can also expect a different aesthetic, thanks to a turning radius and the ability to cover a broader area on a single tank of gas. Plus, there’s the distinct experience of flying a fixed wing, including takeoff and landing, that many will appreciate.
While the flight control surface is new, there is a lot that those familiar with the BeBop line will recognize. Most notably, the Disco features Wi-Fi for control via an iOS or Android mobile device using the FreeFlight Pro app. It also integrates a 1080p camera that uses 3-axis sensors to provide image stabilization without the added bulk, wind resistance, and weight of a gimbal.
Also in keeping with previous Parrot offerings, the open source and customizable Linux-based flight-control system features GNSS (GPS and GLONASS), and multiple sensors allow the Disco to fly with a high degree of autopilot redundancy. As a fallback, there is an optical flow system that aids in navigation where GPS is unavailable.
Minimizing weight is key. To this end, the Disco is constructed from EPP foam with carbon tube reinforcement. As a result, it weighs just 26 ounces. Don’t let the weight fool you, though. With a wingspan of more than 45", the Disco may not easily fit in your pocket. However, the wings detach to make transport much easier.
For more information on the Disco and related accessories, please visit our product page.