Holding the Parrot Disco Fixed-wing Drone – Photo Courtesy of Brian Craig Photography

The Parrot Disco launched a year ago in September 2016, and we had the opportunity to try it at launch time. The experience was a lot of fun, and the technology is quite impressive for a consumer-grade fixed-wing drone.

Since then, Parrot released a Pro version of the Disco in May 2017, the Parrot Disco-Pro AG, an “end-to-end multi-purpose drone solution for small to medium-sized farms and cooperatives” according to the company. The pro version is much more expensive, currently available on Parrot website for $4,999.

Today, the Disco is available on Parrot website for $499 (discounted from $799), and you need to add $199.99 to get the Skycontroller 2 and the Cockpitglasses Vr headset.

Check the complete article with our first impressions, with the photos and video demos we shot during the Disco (first version) launch event, in August 2016.

Editor’s note – we got our hands of the Parrot Disco with the Skycontroller 2 and Cockpitglasses a little over a year ago, at launch time, but never took the time to finalize it until today (11/23/2017). 

Parrot Disco Drone  – Description

(Parrot Disco Drone consumer version – released Sept. 2016 )

Pro: 45-minute battery life – more than quadcopters such as Bebop 25 minutes – and speed 50 mph – in manual mode advanced pilots can fly drone aerobatics while shooting crazy videos.

Con: it takes more time to control even with autopilot assisted piloting and cannot hover still or backward for specific video shots – in FPV wearing the headset you may need to sit down to avoid discomfort

Bottom Line: the Parrot Disco is an impressive lightweight and elegant flying machine, that will provide a different experience than its quadcopter siblings (Bebop, Bepop 2) – although piloting has been made super easy in assisted mode, it takes a little more training to master the landing compared with the Bebop 2. For video maker enthusiasts, the quadcopters offer more control when it comes to shooting still video, slow ascent and fly backward, for a rear traveling.

According to the presentation delivered by Parrot CEO, it is clear that the Disco focuses more on the flying experience while using the drone rather than on the video capture capabilities for content production. Additionally, the wing allows the device to glide and use less power, which enables more flight time on one charge.

Parrot, one of the pioneers in the consumer drones industry, unveiled its first of a kind fixed-wing Disco Drone prototype at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, and Ubergizmo had the opportunity to be among the first to fly it in California in August 2016 just before its official release in the market in September 2016.

Last year, Parrot CEO, Henri Seydoux, introduced the new product with its pricing ($1299) and availability (September 2016). For that price, you got the drone, the Skycontroller 2 and the Cockpitglasses VR headset. A week before the official release, we went to a Golf Course in the desert with the Parrot team to try the Disco.

Today,  you can find it for $599 at BestBuy ($300 discount) or for the same price at Crutchfield. On the parrot website, you can order the Disco today for $499 (previously it was $799) and the Parrot FPV pack (Skycontroller 2 and Cockpitglasses) for $199.99. Or you can buy the Disco Adventurer bundle for (Disco drone+Skycontroller 2+ Cockpitglasses+ Disco backpack) for $699.99 (as of today, 11/23/2017)

The lightweight flying wing (750g) is fast and can reach a speed of 50 mph while flying for 45 minutes on a single charge, according to Parrot. It is a very good performance in comparison to its quadcopter competitors: you get only 25 minutes with the Bebop 2, which is similar to the DJI Phantom 4.

According to CEO Henri Seydoux, the product design enables a super easy flying experience although the technology behind the Disco is very complex. Thanks to its multiple sensors and brain, the device takes off and lands automatically after being thrown like a frisbee.

You fly it using the brand new Skycontroller 2 with a mounted smartphone, and with it, you can also use the Parrot Cockpitglasses FPV (First Person View) headset. Thanks to the 2.4 GHz standard WiFi MIMO connectivity, the Disco can fly up to 1.2 miles (2 km) from your location.

The Skycontroller 2 is a lot more compact than its predecessor, the Skycontroller.

The integrated wide-angle 14 MP camera placed in the nose automatically records in full HD video and streams at 720p.

For advanced drone pilots, a manual mode is available, simply by plugging an RC adapter to the hardware box, labeled C.H.U.C.K. (Control Hub and Universal Computer Kit), it will make the Disco compatible with the majority of RC remote controls.

We spent half a day flying the Parrot Disco, and you can read about my experience with the drone after the key features below.

How does it work?

Filed in Cellphones >Photo-Video >Reviews >Robots. Read more about Drones, Parrot.

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