Through a chance meeting while making a commercial for the UK Drone Show I was introduced to Clive and Daniel at Yuneec. The company has just had a massive investment from Intel, rumoured to be $60 million. This investment was almost immediately seen with the release of “real sense”. This made the UAVs which Yuneec sold have the ability to fly and avoid objects within their flightpath.

I loved the idea of the introduction of new safe ways to fly. The company, like their name, is unique. Though their products, like DJI, are made in China, Yuneec take a very different approach to customer service.

Having a base in the UK, Yuneec offers customer services only envied by DJI and other UAV manufacturers. Training with the larger UAVs they sell comes as part of the deal but the real plus is that if things go wrong, you take the UAV to them and they sort it all out! No sending off and waiting for weeks with no updates, no generic emails and no postage charge to Germany.

So why am I talking about Yuneec. I’ve brought enough DJI products and add ons to at least own a bit of the company, why am I suddenly switching sides.

During a meeting with an old buddy who runs a satellite truck we hatched a plan. Why can’t we broadcast live from the UAV down to the sat truck and then via satellite beam the signal to the newsroom. With a few small modifications and additional equipment purchases it quickly became apparent that DJI and their out of the box solutions wasn’t the best option for this project. Yuneec, however, had the flexibility and customer service that meant I could approach them, tell them what we wanted and then try to achieve it!

Having flown the Typhoon H several times to get used to flying a hex copter as opposed to a quad  copter and to learn a new system to fly with. The sat truck was booked, a location chosen and finally the day arrived.

Steve, the sat man and old friend of nearly 20 years, arrived with his landy of tricks. Looking at our coverage using a LiveU unit it was decided that the KU band satellite which is installed on the truck wasn’t needed. This amazing LiveU could handle our broadcasting needs. The LiveU only needs 5-6mb upload to broadcast. We were achieving 9mb so our broadcast was easily possible.

Using the standard ST16 controller with built in HDMI out we connect everything and the call came in to say we were LIVE! We put the Yuneec in the air. After a short 5 minute live broadcast we landed and held a discussion regarding the test. The conclusion was simple, a few minor changes to the work flow and wiring for broadcast and that’s all that’s needed.

80 miles away from where we flew, the whole newsroom stood and watched the UAV fly. We can now offer live broadcast from the air and thanks to Steve at Seeingeye.TV for the uplink, your newsroom can have the images delivered live.

A massive thanks to Clive, Daniel and everyone at Yuneec in the UK for their support and knowledge for this project.

You can find more info on Yuneec by visiting their website – www.yuneec.uk