Yuneec was once on a fairly short list of household names in the drone industry.
Several years back, the company’s Typhoon commercial drone produced a lot of buzz when it first came out. It was a rugged platform made for industrial work—one of the first to come out at the time—and it just plain looked cool.
But Yuneec has had some major financial struggles since then.
Back in 2017 it went through a major round of layoffs. A few years later rumors began circulating that the company had gone bankrupt, leaving customers to fend for themselves when it came to getting support for their drones.
Now it looks like Yuneec is bouncing back, returning from the brink of closure with a brand new drone made for commercial applications.
The H850-RTK Business Drone Credit: Yuneec
Called the H850-RTK Business Drone, it comes with an incredible 65-minute flight time and several other features that could potentially make it a competitor with a drone like DJI’s Matrice 300.
According to Yuneec, the drone is made primarily for inspections, surveying, and public safety applications.
It can also be used for fawn rescue—finding and rescuing baby deer that could be in danger from agricultural mowers if they go undetected.
About the H850-RTK Business Drone
In addition to the long flight time, one of the most impressive features of the new H850-RTK is that it’s compatible with several different cameras and accessories. Keep reading to get all the details for the H850.
Specs for the H850-RTK
Here are the key specs for Yuneec’s new drone:
- Weight. 7.9 pounds.
- Range. 5 miles.
- Flight time. 65 minutes.
- Max payload weight. 6.6 pounds.
- Max speed. 44.7 mph.
- RTK(RMS) Accuracy. .4 inches +1ppm(H); .6 inches+1ppm(V)*
* PPM stands for Parts Per Million
The H850-RTK also comes with an optional upward gimbal and an optional collision avoidance system that relies on millimeter-wave radar.
New Smart Controller
The HH850 comes with a brand new smart controller, which is called the T-1 and has a seven inch display.
To address the data privacy concerns that have led to the proposal of the American Security Drone Act (ASDA) and other drone ban-related legislation in the U.S. for drones made in countries like China, Yuneec has made sure to say that its controller has “No data sharing” and that “Flight data belongs to you and no one else” with the H850.
How Much Does the H580 Cost and When Will It Start Shipping?
How Much Does It Cost?
The H850-RTK is selling for $7,871.59. For comparison, the DJI Matrice 300 costs around $10,00 (the price will vary depending on the specific payload you want to use with it—as it will with the H850 too, of course).
When Does It Ship?
According to Yuneec’s website, the H850 will be released in less than two weeks, on July 26. It looks like it will be ready to ship as soon as it’s for sale.
Here’s everything that comes in the box:
- 1x H850-RTK
- 2x Flight battery
- 1x T-one controller
- 1x T-one battery
- 1x Transport case
- 1x Charger case
- 1x Repair tool kit
- 1x Quick start guide
- 1x Reference card
Learn more about the H850-RTK on the Yuneec website.
RTK and the Sensors that Are Compatible with the H850-RTK
One of the biggest selling points for the H850 is its compatibility with various payloads.
Several different sensors can be used on the drone, including:
- E90x cinematic camera
- E30Zx optical zoom camera
- E20TVx thermal imaging camera
- ETx FLIR thermal imaging camera
- S42x camera
- LiDAR (no manufacturer specified)
- Spotlight (2,300 lumens)
- Digital loudspeaker
The last two items—the spotlight and the loudspeaker—are primarily targeted at public safety use cases.
The spotlight could be used for pursuing a fleeing suspect in the dark, and the loudspeaker could be used to broadcast a message to a group of people (drones with loudspeakers were used by public safety agencies throughout the world in the beginning of the pandemic to help disperse gatherings that might lead to the spread of COVID-19).
The H850’s RTK Capabilities
RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) technology allows a drone to record GPS information as it flies so that it can geotag the pictures it takes.
The process works by using an active ground station that sends the drone raw GPS data, which the drone then combines with data from its onboard sensors to create accurate readings of its GPS location as it moves through space.
RTK is extremely useful for inspections, surveying, and a variety of other applications since it helps determine exactly where the drone flew and where images captured by the drone were taken.
Here’s are some key data points for the H850’s RTK capabilities:
- Dual RTK-antenna for high precision positioning. The dual antennas on the H850-RTK ensure that one antenna is always transmitting in the event that one becomes disabled
- 5 Hz update rate of position, velocity and time
- All data including raw GNSS data and real-time solutions can be logged on board – ready for PPK (Post Processed Kinematics)
- Support signals of up to four GNSS constellations among GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou
- Compatible with all existing Yuneec H520E camera payloads
Want to connect with other pilots using Yuneec’s drones and get people’s first impressions of the H850? Check out the discussions happening on the official Yuneec forum.
To learn more about the H850, check out this thread on the forum to see where news of the H850’s launch was first leaked by someone who snuck pictures of the drone at a tradeshow in the Netherlands.