Parrot has announced at CES 2016 that they are planning on releasing their new fixed-wing drone, the Parrot DISCO, later this year. Unlike the popular Parrot Bebop quadcopter drones, the DISCO is fixed-wing, like a traditional airplane, with just one 8” propeller on the back.
The advantages of fixed-wing drones over quadcopter drones are longer flight times from a more efficient lift design (the entire aircraft is shaped like a lift-generating wing), and higher maximum speed. These advantages are especially appealing to FPV pilots.
The current prototype uses a 14 Megapixel F2.3 front-nose camera that shoots 1080P video with 3-axis image stabilization for very smooth video. The current flight time is 45 minutes, almost twice that of most quality quadcopters. It uses ground sensors for automatic take-off and landing. You can set waypoints for automatic flight-paths and there is an option to return home using GPS. It has detachable wings for easy transport. The range can be extended to 2 km with the Parrot Skycontroller (standard range is not known). FPV goggles can be used thanks to its live video stream.
We do not know when in 2016 the Parrot DISCO will be released, nor what the maximum speed will be, but we are still very excited for this seemingly great addition to the fixed-wing drone niche. Here is the official announcement video: