ProDrone Byrd Folds Up Super Small
I've long thought that portability is a virtue that is frequently discounted when discussing the relative merit of different drones. To be sure, I like big birds more than most, but after we built one, I came to realize that it doesn't matter if it can fly for three hours or lift a 100-lb payload if you can't actually get it to the location where you intend to go flying.
That's one reason we're such big fans of GoProfessional Cases – they can make almost any drone portable, including our gangly, home-built aircraft. However, there is also something to be said for an aircraft with an intrinsically small footprint – and I think the ProDrone Byrd is about the most successful I have ever seen in that regard, especially considering the substantial payloads it is capable of carrying.
Obviously, you can see in the video how compact the Byrd is when it's folded up for transport – relative to its fully deployed size. However, there was something about seeing it in person that the video doesn't quite capture.
Here's an example: when we first walked up to the ProDrone booth and I saw a collapsed Byrd sitting next to one with its limbs outstretched, I was completely convinced that I was looking at two different aircraft – that the folded one must be a smaller model with limbs a few inches shorter than its neighbor. Nope – exactly the same...
ProDrone really seems to have nailed the portability issue with the Byrd. Now, I'm hoping we can get our hands on one of these (very) little beauties and see how she flies.
Roswell Flight Test Crew