We all know that more and more drones are flying over our heads. But what type is it exactly? In the last month we saw another massive increase in registered UAV’s (by 333 exemption). By the end of Q2 2015 700+ operator were approved by the FAA. Now, three months later, there are more than 1700 (260% increase) and the market demand is still higher than the current capacities. One indicator is that the approved operator increased the size of their drone fleet to boost performance (in average every operator owns now 1,8 drones). In total we count approximately 3200 drones flying for commercial purposes over the US.
The way into commercial operation is usually has been born in the hobby sector which explains the large amount of semi-professional equipment. Don’t get it wrong, it’s good stuff, which obviously meets the operational demands – it’s just not high-end equipment, which indicates a certain field of operation.
Let’s have a closer look at the numbers and see which UAV models fly above our heads.
- China and DJI, in particular, are still dominating the TOP20 ranking of approved UAV models with a whopping 85%.
- The four American manufacturers 3D Robotics (5%), Trimble Navigation (2%), Yuneec (2%) and Lockheed Martin (2%) are holding 10% in total.
- The Swiss company SenseFly (4%) as the only European manufacturer ranks 3rd with its precision farming drone. This, in fact, is very interesting because we are looking at real high-end equipment and also because the primary use-case is agriculture in relation to the (DJI) film and photo superiority.
What is different to the last ranking? Obviously some DJI’s drones in the beginning are swapping ranking positions but who are the biggest movers?
- Phantom 3 Professional (+14) reflects the demand for semi-professional equipment best! 4K Camera and rather low initial costs are making this drone very attractive.
- Trimble UX5 (+12) beneath SenseFly Bee the next pure professional equipment and specifically designed for mapping and surveying professionals.
- Lockheed Martin Indago (+22) with main utilization in the civilian sector shows the highest increase. It’s quick deployment abilities and long endurance have been rewarded with rank 15.
As you can see below are massive improvements there as well. France for example has an own regulatory framework and currently even more operator (1920) than in the US!
Quite a lot of other European, Asian, Australian (incl. Oceania) and African countries have approved operator and as soon as we have up-to date numbers you’ll find them exclusively here on droneii.com