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Fewer propellers mean more battery-life for the Falcon bicopter drone

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Are two propellers better than four?

The Falcon and the falconer.
Credit: Zero Zero Robotics

When are two propellers better than four? When they give your drone extra battery life, greater portability, and reduce noise, claims Zero Zero Robotics. That’s the pitch for the company’s V-Coptr Falcon: a bicopter drone with an impressive flight time of 50 minutes — 20 minutes more than the comparable DJI Mavic 2.

For years, four propellers have been standard for consumer drones, offering greater power and stability. But Zero Zero says its tilt-rotor design, which lets each propeller swivel independently, allows the Falcon to match four-prop rivals. Tilting the propellers improves the drone’s aerodynamic profile, says the company, reducing drag.

Add to this the reduced battery drain from running fewer propellers and the drone’s compact form when the two arms are folded, and you have a pretty convincing sales pitch.

In addition to its bicopter design, the Falcon looks kitted out for aerial photography and videos. There’s a 12-megapixel main camera mounted on a three-axis gimbal, with a 1/2.3 inch Sony CMOS and Qualcomm ISP capable of capturing 4K video at 30fps.

There’s also a pair of stereo cameras on the main body that enable visual tracking and obstacle avoidance, similar to features offered on the company’s Hover 2 “selfie drone” (which some Kickstarter backers are still waiting to receive). Zero Zero is also promising easy filming on the Falcon with “pre-programmed flight paths for cinematic shots.”

We’ve seen video of the Falcon flying, but want to try it for ourselves to test its battery life and flight ability. Overall, though, it’s an interesting package. The V-Coptr Falcon is available to preorder for its retail price of $999, with shipping starting some time February this year.