While Phantom fans are upset that DJI is suddenly discontinuing the 10 month old Phantom 4 Standard, the drone company is moving forward with a new set of accessories to make their Mavic Pro Drone safer and easier to fly.
Though the basic concept behind the Mavic Pro is it can be collapsible to fit in a back pack or even in your back pocket, this brought about the concern that having the propellers exposed during flight could be a safety hazard. To that end, DJI Global has announced a pair of propeller guards designed to provide an extra measure of safety and protection during the flight. The two different versions consist of a perimeter-based propeller guard which creates a small band wall around the propeller region, and a design which wraps the entire propeller area in a fan like wire cage.
For novices, the propeller cage provides the ideal combination of safety for the user, and protection for the propellers themselves, as in the early days of flight, you may find yourself landing hard and running into obstacles more often than you’d like.
The one downside to the propeller cage design, however, is that it lowers the Mavic’s flight time to 12 minutes, and DJI recommends flying in Tripod mode for better control. But that trade off is necessary to protect your Mavic Pro, yourself, and any others in those early flying hours.
As your skills improve, the perimeter propeller guard provides the means to block obstacles from harming the propellers, while acting as a barrier. The propeller guard mounts to the each rotor, just under the folding propellers and creates a perimeter wall, much like the old string array did on the early Phantom’s propeller guards.
The other downside though, is that the Mavic’s collapsible design translating to a quick deployment system from a backpack or pocket will not take a little more time to add the guards before flight, and it means you’ll have to carry them along with you. But such are the tradeoffs.
Other accessories announced this week include a new Advanced Battery Charging Hub, which enables users to charge four Mavic Pro flight batteries at once. The batteries are charged in sequence with power levels from high to low, to allow users to choose to fly as one battery fills and moves on to the next. The Advanced Charging Hub also charges Phantom 4 series batteries as well.
DJI has also created a new carrying sleeve to protection when carrying and storing the Mavic Pro. The nylon sleeve comes with soft interior padding and can keep the drone dust free during storage.
There’s also a new remote controller monitor hood to shield your monitor from bright ambient light, neutral density filters for the Mavic camera, and folding replacement propellers should the Mavic needs
replacements. Prices for the accessories are as follows:
- Propeller Cage: $159
- 7728 Quick-Release Folding Propeller: $9
- Propeller Guard: $15 (available at a later date)
- Battery Charging Hub (Advanced): $55
- Mavic ND Filters Set: $35
- Mavic Remote Controller Monitor Hood: $19
- Aircraft Sleeve: $7
All told, I think the guards are a good idea. I crashed my Phantom 1 into tree branches more times that I care to admit and really ripped up my propellers during that learning phase (which is why we suggest using a low-cost drone to learn with). But with such a dramatic loss of flight time to shoulder the weight and drag of those cage protectors, you’re going to want to get a few extra batteries.
Full details on all Mavic Pro accessories are available here.