Sony’s been teasing us with their new Airpeak drone system for almost six months now. Initially announced in November, Airpeak is designed specifically as an aerial platform for creators. These aren’t the hobby drones we might be used to, as Sony demonstrated in January of this year with the first full view of the drone with a Sony mirrorless camera mounted below.
Now, they’ve released a new teaser video showing some of the testing that they’re putting the drone through. In this case, that means flying it in a wind tunnel and ramping up the breeze to see how well it handles. And, well, it’s mighty impressive, showing some pretty stable holding power even in 43.62mph (19.5m/s) winds.
The tests were performed at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to see how well it fared for wind resistance, Sony says. So, no, Sony hasn’t built their own wind tunnel just for testing out the drone. A prototype was used during the testing, for which Sony mentioned on April 6th that the footage would be coming eventually.
Well, that footage is the video we see above with the wind slowly increasing from a gentle room breeze of 0.4m/sec (0.89mph) up to a very draughty 19.5m/s (43.62mph). The footage showing the drone is interspersed with clips shot by the drone showing how stable it can hold the shot at such wind speeds. When you consider the distance between the camera and what it’s pointed at and how steady it remains in the frame, that’s very impressive.
This kind of wind resistance would give it a big advantage over DJI in the pro-market. DJI’s high-end Matrice 600 Pro, for example, has a max wind resistance of only 8m/sec or around 17.9mph. The much smaller and newly announced DJI Air 2S has a max wind speed resistance of 8.5-10.5m/sec (19-23.5mph), although that’s still a far cry from Sony’s demonstration here.
It will be interesting to see how DJI responds to this one, both in terms of the drone itself and the cameras it can hold. Given that Sony’s Airpeak is built specifically to handle their full-frame mirrorless camera lineup, it’s going to be a fun battle at the higher end.