Freefly ALTA Will Soon Be Here
The wait is nearly over. Early next month Heliguy is due to start selling the Freefly ALTA – the exciting new professional hexacopter designed with cinematography in mind. The ALTA works hand in hand with Freefly’s famous range of camera gimbals – the M5, M10 and M15. It’s a marriage made in heaven.
And what take the ALTA to a whole new level is its ability to carry a gimbal on top as well as underneath.
The ALTA has the ideal combination of lightness, strength and power. Despite its slender, elegant profile, it can lift a maximum payload of 6.8kg (15 lbs)*. What’s more it does it smoothly and quietly. The 6 X 18 inch carbon fibre and balsa, folding props combine with low noise, lightweight motors and Freefly Silent-Drive Sine Wave ESCs.
That all makes it highly suited to carry professional cameras including RED Dragon, Sony F55, and ALEXA Mini. The gimbal is quick to swap out too. It uses Freefly’s Toad In The Hole Quick Release System.
The ALTA’s flight control system is new so is it proven? Freefly say this about it: “The Synapse flight control system represents a new level of control, precision and reliability for unmanned aerial systems. The system combines high quality sensors with proprietary control algorithms to allow users to execute complex flight patterns with ease.
“The Synapse is the result of the industry’s brightest engineers working closely with leading aerial cinematographers to create a flight control system that empowers creativity. Freefly’s unique position as both a leading aerial cinematographer and industry innovator allowed us to create an advanced flight control system tailored to meet the most demanding applications.”
The ALTA’s satellite receiver takes advantage of both the GPS and the GLONASS networks, which should give it a quicker fix and more satellites for improved accuracy.
Power for the ALTA comes from two 6S (22.2V) batteries which can measure up to 240 x 180 x 80 mm.
Although the ALTA is a large aircraft, it does fold down into a compact form for transporting.
One nice little touch is that the colour of the LED orientation lights can be changed by using the Freefly ALTA app. There must be a serious use for this but it’s nice to be able to change the factory settings anyway.
At £6964 the ALTA is pitched at the professional operator, who will probably also need a Movi gimbal. They range in price from £3267 for the Movi 5 to £9520 for the Movi 15. The Movi 10 sells for £6610.
The DJI S900 (hex) or DJI S1000+ (octo) are cheaper alternatives but you have to bear in mind that the Zenmuse gimbals are camera and lens specific, which isn’t the case with the ALTA. The maximum payload of the ALTA is 6.8kg while the S900’s 4.9kg. The extra two props and motors on the S1000+ take its payload to 6.6kg.
Just to tease you even more, here’s a mash-up of some of the video snippets that Freefly have been releasing on social media in recent days.
* Compare ALTA’s flight times with different payloads and battery combinations.
Freefly ALTA specifications
Length: 1000 mm
Width: 1145 mm
Height (to base of TITH): 220 mm
Length: 532 mm
Width: 515 mm
Height (to base of TITH): 220 mm
Number of Motors: 6
Motor Type: Direct Drive 3-Phase PMAC Outrunner
Motor Model: F45
Motor Max Continuous Power Output: 350 W
Motor Max Instantaneous Peak Power: 950 W
Electronic Speed Controller: Freefly Silent-Drive Sine Wave ESC
Material: Carbon fibre with balsa core
Propeller Orientation: (3) CW and (3) CCW Props
Propeller Type: 18 x 6 Folding
Nominal Battery Voltage: 6S / 22.2V
Maximum Battery Size: 240 x 180 x 80 mm Maximum
Battery Quantity: 2 Battery Packs (Parallel)
Battery Connectors: 2x EC5 (Parallel)
Maximum Gross for Take-off¹: 13.6 kg (30.0 lbs)
Maximum Useful Load²: 9.5 kg (21.0 lbs)
Maximum Payload³: 6.8 kg (15.0 lbs)
Typical Standard Empty Weight: 4.1 kg (9.0 lbs)
Typical Specific Power 4: 145 W/kg
Thrust Ratio at Max Take-off Weight¹: 2.0 : 1
LIGHTING AND INDICATION
Orientation Lights: RGB LED’s
Orientation Light Locations: Outboard on Boom Ends Orientation
Light Colour: User Definable
Status Light: Rear-Facing Red/White LED
Accessory Lighting Port: 12 VDC
Accessory Lighting Port Location: Outboard on Boom Ends
Vibration Isolation System: Silicone O-Rings
ISOLATION SYSTEM OPTIONS
1. Soft / Light Payloads: Red O-Rings
2. Medium / Mid Payloads Teal O-Rings
3. Stiff / Heavy Payloads Black O-Rings
Mounting Locations: Bottom and Top Mount
Mounting System: Freefly Toad In The Hole Quick Release
Model Name: Freefly Synapse Flight Controller
Flight Modes: Manual
Height Hold Climb Rate Control (Vario)
Position Hold Ground Speed Control Return-To-Home
Supported Inputs: Spektrum, S.Bus, PPM, FPV SD Video
Outputs: PWM, I2C, CAN, FPV SD Video w/ OSD
Supported Radios: Futaba S.Bus & S.Bus 2
DSMX, DSM2 (Spektrum/JR)
PPM, PPM Invert, PPM Graupner
Supported Radio Controller Telemetry Systems: Futaba w/ built-in
voltage sense port
Supported First-Person View Systems: Skyzone
First-Person View OSD Telemetry: User Configurable
Installed Transceivers: Wi-Fi
Data Logging Rate: 25 Hz
1. AT SEA LEVEL, STANDARD CONDITIONS.
2. TOP AND BOTTOM MOUNT. INCLUDES BATTERIES.
3. PAYLOAD WEIGHT TOP OR BOTTOM MOUNT. BATTERY WEIGHT NOT INCLUDED AND MOUNTED ON OPPOSITE SIDE FROM PAYLOAD IN TYPICAL CONFIGURATIONS.
4. . AT MAXIMUM TAKE-OFF WEIGHT, SEA LEVEL, STANDARD CONDITIONS.