April 21, 2016
NAB 2016

Flying Big Heavy Cinema Cameras is a Cinch for Freefly's New Alta 8 Drone

At this year's NAB, Freefly brought along their new drone, the Alta 8, which is designed with big, heavy cameras in mind.

Andy Zou stopped by the Freefly booth to talk to Justin Brown about the new drone. Even though the Alta 6 and Alta 8 are relatively similar, the 8 was designed with 8 motors and 8 collapsable booms, can handle a 20 lb. maximum payload — and with that max payload, it can sustain about 12 to 13 minutes of flight time — and has a quick-release for the top handle that comes standard.

Brown also discussed some of the new features included in the newest MōVI firmware, Akira, like time-lapse and target mode, as well as hyperstabilization, which by allowing the MōVI to communicate faster with the motors, gives users the freedom to use longer focal lengths and getting more precise images.

No Film School's complete coverage of NAB 2016 is brought to you by My RØDE Reel, Shutterstock, and Blackmagic Design.

No Film School's complete coverage of NAB 2016 is brought to you by My RØDE Reel, Shutterstock, and Blackmagic Design.

More of No Film School's coverage from the NAB showroom floor:

Your Comment


I love the Akira update.
Installed it 2 months ago: it really adds new possibilties to the MoVI.

April 21, 2016 at 6:51PM

Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer

20 lbs is NOT a big drone!

there are 8 rotor choppers that can do up to 100 lbs!
They're not cheap but they DO Work for the multi-cam shoots.

April 22, 2016 at 2:20PM, Edited April 22, 2:20PM

Henry A. Eckstein
Director, Research and Development

Exactly. Even a hexacopter using good quality 15kW motors can basically fly a lightweight person. These are the same motors used in the hoverboard videos on youtube with the guy flying a hexa copter board above the water! An octocopter, using these motors would literally fly a person, and their luggage!

And, it can actually be done for under $14k for a hexacopter setup according to our research. We have been working on a unit for mass production. The trick is in the motors, regular multicopter motors such as those from T-motor or others, which are aimed at "heavy lifting" applications can't really compete with a well built, 200CC 8-15kW dedicated brushless motor spinning 36"+ props! These are the motors used in some full scale glider applications for electric self-launch.

Bottom line is, super heavy lifters can be built economical with good quality parts.

April 22, 2016 at 5:16PM

J. Fandino
Drone sales at www.providentialsystems.com

In a lot of countries there a seperate rules and regulations for various weights (drone plus payload).
In the Netherlands there is a set of rules for 0 - 4kg and 4 - 25kg (approx. 50lbs). (And since the EU wants to make universal drone rules for the EU, this might be applicable to the whole EU.)
I haven't seen anything about 100 lbs (or above 50lbs): that probably takes a chopper license to fly. :-p

So, yeah, it is possibe to make such a drone, but that is even a smaller market.
Compared to the drones sold in toy stores (or drones with a maximum payload of 5lbs) 20lbs is big. It's just not the biggest.

April 23, 2016 at 4:30AM, Edited April 23, 4:30AM

Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer