FreeFly Is The BEST!

Discussion in 'ALTA 8' started by Josh Lambeth, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. Josh Lambeth

    Josh Lambeth Well-Known Member

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    Hey Everyone,
    I wanted to quickly make a post about Tabb and the whole FreeFly Team.

    A little background of where this story started... We booked a job shooting for Fiji Airways to shoot a new safety video. The client wanted to fly a proprietary 360* camera system as well as an Alexa Mini with CookeS4 Primes. Our current gear list wasn't going to be good enough to fly these setups safely. We decided to build a new heavy-lift X8 rig since I didn't think the ALTA 6 we had would safely fly this setup.

    We went with the DJI A3Pro and 95Amp ESCs from KDE. Long story short, I spent the last 4 days building the drone and then 2 days ago the production company moved the shoot up on me by a day. Last night (Tuesday) was the first time I had a chance to fly the X8 with a payload and it flew HORRIBLY! I started trying to tune it to get it to fly better when we got hit with a rain-storm which cut my testing short. I wasn't feeling confident at all at this point so I contacted Tabb and we started chatting about trying to find an ALTA 8 in LA that I could pickup on my way to Fiji (had a 6 hour layover in LA). I woke up early this morning and did some more tuning with the X8 to see if I could get it to fly better. Eventually it was flying okay but then I realized that my flighttimes were really really short. I was carrying a stripped down epic on the MoVI Pro with 32,000mAh of batteries onboard and got 7 minutes of flightime. After landing the motors were almost to hot to touch (and it was only 55*F outside). I was not confident at all.

    I contacted Tabb again and we ended up putting a plan together. I purchased the Alta 8 online from their store in Seattle. While I did this Tabb started asking people from his team to see who would be willing to jump on a flight from Seattle to LA and meet me here to deliver the A8 to me. Within 20 minutes I had Azure's (from FreeFly) contact information and I booked her a ticket. About 5 minutes after that Megan called me to confirm all of the items with the order and said it would be heading out the door in a few minutes with Azure to the airport.

    When I landed in LA I ran down to baggage claim and Azure was standing there waiting for me with my brand new ALTA8.

    I absolutely can't thank Tabb, Azure, and the entire FreeFly Team for helping me out of this tight spot. I fully trust the ALTA to perform in the way it's supposed to and am 100% confident in it working when we arrive in Fiji. Luckily I do have a test day built into the schedule so I can get it tuned.

    Thank you again and I can't wait to fly!

    P.S. This is a sign that I need to stop trying to save a few $$ here and there and just spend the money on the gear that just works like it's supposed to.I don't think I will ever build a custom rig again.

    A8.jpg Azure.jpg
     
    #1 Josh Lambeth, Jan 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  2. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Hey Josh: Nice to hear your story has a happy ending. But also nice to hear the BTS story.
    Yeah, when you really need kit to fly, I prefer to fly an ALTA. For run-and-gun, yeah, other copters from other vendors certainly can fill that gap, but it's the fourth law of thermodynamics that seems to apply most frequently, "you gets what you pays for." :rolleyes:

    For me, customer support/service matters more in the long run than the initial sales price -- it's the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) that seems to be the most important -- and the TCO includes the opportunity cost of not being able to shoot a particular gig because of equipment failure, plus my time futzing with the kit to get it to straighten up and fly right (or left).

    Cheers
    Andy

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
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  3. Haydar Biyik

    Haydar Biyik New Member

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    Yes, the ALTA flies really nice!
     
  4. Rolands Zelders

    Rolands Zelders New Member

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    fantastic service!!
     
  5. Rick Gerard

    Rick Gerard Member

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    The team is amazing. The Alta is amazing, though it takes some getting used to. I recently shot a job for the BSA at Camp Lassen in northern CA. At nearly 5,000' MSL my Alta 6 with a Sony A7SII, 35mm and 50mm SLR Magic Cine primes + Shogun inferno + Bolt hanging on the MoVI Pro, Dual opp using Futaba T8 for the MoVI and the 14SGH for the Alta. Also on set and used single op by my camera operator - Mavic Pro and by me Phantom 4 Pro +. You get the best results when you use the best tools you have for the job you have to do.

    The dual op Alta was able to capture carefully framed shots in 4K ProRez RAW, unfortunately only 8 bit from the A7, and I cranked up the data rate as much as possible on the Mavic Pro and the Phantom 4, which were used when we had to capture the action from two angles. The entire project would have been extremely difficult with one drone, the shots from the Alta added magic to the cut that you can't get with a single op drone no matter how good you are, and, in spite of the compression, we were able to match up the look of all three cameras to get a really nice final product. Every drone has its place. I would never follow an actor through the bushes at waist level with an Alta or even the Phantom because those machines are dangerous, but, unless the actor was naked, I'd put the Mavic pro right behind him with no real worries. Now that I have access to many drones I would never show up on the set for a paying client without my Alta and a second operator.
     
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  6. SeBaStIaN BArrEtT

    SeBaStIaN BArrEtT Active Member

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    My alta 8 goes to every job above a certain price point. there are a few music videos/small business commercials where the inspire 1 (with two operators, i agree completely there) was sufficient, but I never go to an out-of-town gig without the alta 8. Even tho we have a couple drone-building team members, everyone i work with seems to have all come to the same conclusion. . . . you can spend days (time is most expensive luxury in the world) tinkering, building. Or just get Freefly for a few bucks more and save yourself days (worth thousands of $) messing around to get similar results. We have built quality builds in a day, but not Alta quality, and definitely not an 8 rotor.

    Rick, can the Naked actor be a girl for my visualization purposes?
     
  7. Rick Gerard

    Rick Gerard Member

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    The Naked Actor can be anything you want...
     

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