I was wrong about Alta X

Discussion in 'ALTA X' started by Adam Varadi, Mar 6, 2020.

  1. Adam Varadi

    Adam Varadi Member

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    Honestly, when I saw the teaser video about Alta X, I was thinking it's a funny gag or something. I really didn't think anybody would build a super heavy lifter with only 4 motors. I talked with a lot of drone pilot and we didn't understand what is going on.
    Then... As weeks passed by, I started to appriciate the details and nuances that Freefly started to show. After 2 months I had a chance to fly one (Thanks Matjaz @Kopterworx), and I fell in love with it. The sheer power of the X blow my mind, and the ease how it flew with 12 kg payload, like it was nothing. Honestly, the sound just made me forget everything about my concerns.
    One hour after this test fly, I messaged Matjaz: "I want one!"
    It's been 3 months of flying this monster and I couldn't be happier with it. With the custom legs it's super stable at take off & landing even on uneven ground. The flight times are crazy. I use regular 6S packs and they work flawlesly. Just the other day I got 24 min fligh time with this setup.

    935D033E-0ECF-4B68-985A-BF7BDEB811AF.jpeg

    Also flew it with Ronin 2 and massive Cooke Anamorphic lens, and it flew like a dream! (It's just a bit too close to the ground)

    1DF1993A-93E4-4516-A33B-77E7A2027008.jpeg

    Have to say, I was wrong. This bird is amazing!
    It's not perfect (gps mode could imrpove plz?) but very very awesome!
     
  2. Tom Comet

    Tom Comet Member

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    I agree. We LOVE our AX as well and plan to buy a second unit soon. We no longer need to count the grams or try to convince DPs to fly smaller, lighter lenses or less accessories in order to stay under max gross weight. And, yes, the sound of those huge props is amazing! Our X sounds and flies like it is barely working when every other heavy lift machine we have would handle like a loaded bus and be working at near max capacity with the same or lighter payloads. I think this power "headroom" easily makes up for the lack of motor/prop redundancy. Like a diesel engine VS a gas one. Which works better pulling a big, heavy trailer (cinema package)? The diesel will out pull and outlast the gas every time.

    We just got the RTK GPS and look forward seeing to how that makes your AX even better. I know we don't always like to admit it but there are always those aerial shots where they just want us to hover in one place and not move. Being able to do that with cm level accuracy will be amazing. Not to mention bringing super accurate waypoint missions into the mix. Awesome - Keep it up Freefly!

    I am curious. Why did you need a bigger, heavier Ronin 2 over the MoVI to fly the package I see in the photo? It looks to me like a MoVI PRO with a nice set of Ignite Digi offsets and/or a little counterweight would have done the same job and been lighter. Not that weight is that big of an issue now but...
     
  3. Adam Varadi

    Adam Varadi Member

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    Hy,
    I use the Ronin 2 because the motors are much stronger than the Movi's. Yes, with counterweight Movi can carry almost any lens setup, but over 50 km/h it just can't hold it.
     
  4. Tom Comet

    Tom Comet Member

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    Yeah, that makes sense...
     
  5. Thai Christen

    Thai Christen Member

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    Alta X is a super powerful machine with impressive performance, yes.

    But as of July 2020 there will be new drone regulations within Europe that limits MTOW to 25kg in the open category! (30kg at the moment for Switzerland)
    Alta X empty weight is 10kg. Adding original 12S batteries and you are at 18kg. Leave you only 7kg for payload! Yes, you can probably fly with 4x 12000 mAh 6S batteries which saves you 1.5kg maybe. But still, very limited in terms of payload for such a big and powerful machine.
    I have discussed this matter with Matjaz from Kopterworx and I don't see any advantage of Alta X if you want to stay within the legal boundaries - unless you have a license to fly over 25kg in the specific category (the process and requirements of getting authorisation in the specific category is much more demanding and can be daunting for sure).

    As a comparison, my custom build X8 has a MTOW of 22.5kg at sea level (1.85:1 thrust ratio). Empty weight is 6kg (incl. landing gear). I fly with 2x 10'000 6S resp. 4x 4500 6S if working internationally, which makes setup 9kg. This leaves me 13.5kg of payload. In terms of weight thrust ratio, this is a much better drone than Alta X IMO.

    Or I am missing something?
     
    #5 Thai Christen, Mar 8, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
  6. Tabb Firchau

    Tabb Firchau Administrator
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    Glad you gave it a chance Adam! And that we won you over in the end ;)
     
    Daisuke Ide likes this.
  7. Adam Varadi

    Adam Varadi Member

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    You won me over hard!
    Now i only have one small favour to ask from you. Please improve GPS mode a little. I know i'm lazy to use it, but when 6 ppl are talking to me on set, it makes me feel much safer knowing that the Alta stay where it should. :)
     

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