By Mitchell Garrett
Hutchinson Community College makes sure to always stay ahead of the curve. Because of this, our school invested in an “unmanned aerial vehicle” to help our broadcasting department and Media Production students take film things they otherwise wouldn’t be able to shoot.
The one we have cost the school around three thousand dollars, and the cost was worth every penny. According to Andrew Tash, head of Media Communication and Production, “Our vehicle can be piloted from a mile, or 1370 meters away.”
He also said, “This is the same type of model that landed on the white house lawn.” Although the one that landed on the white house lawn was a more upgraded version of ours. The vehicle can fly for 20 minutes off of it’s battery under best conditions, but under windy conditions, stabilization drains that life down to about 10 minutes.
Kansas State University is just now trying to raise the money to purchase one for their communications department, but our school has had ours for almost 2 years now.
The camera automatically image stabilizes the footage, and the vehicle itself is incredibly smooth and stable. Putting the two together, the footage from the drone looks like the camera was smoothly running down a track. The result of smoothly hovering around campus is incredible. The KACCT, the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees, made a video of our campus using the unmanned helicopter, which can be watched here. Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDJM5f0YQzo.
Unfortunately, a recent crash rendered the vehicle unusable. The days the vehicle can be flown are limited, because conditions have to be optimal to fly it. Anything from wind, to birds or branches can take down the vehicle. According to Tash, “Recently during a harvest shoot, a gust of wind forced the unmanned helicopter to crash, but it is currently fully functional and fixed.”
After checking with the broadcasting department, we learned that the vehicle had been fully repaired and is now operational again. We will have many more neat videos coming from our Media Communications department soon.