Need some 4K footage quick, fast and in a hurry? Utah-based Teal Drones watched Top Gun a few times too many and felt the need for speed.
Most high-speed drones are the garage type monsters that blitz the sky. Teal is eschewing that mentality for the first production drone capable of speeds of 70mph. That’s not a typo. In fact, the company has been able to hit speeds of 85mph in perfect conditions. Someone had a tailwind that day.
Put another way; you can outrun cars on the highway. I don’t think they’ve seen me drive. But for those wanting shots of sports cars on straightaways, you may have found your platform. I can’t tell you how many times I wished my Phantom could track a Roush Mustang at speed.
Another feature that grabs my attention is due to a screw up I almost pulled the other day. Wind performance. We had a line of thunderstorms approaching, and I was thinking epic lightning shots.
Of course, I know better than to put a Phantom 3 Pro up in front of an approaching storm, but I did it anyways. It was stable at 300 ft. until it wasn’t. The wind came in, and it was a battle to get the drone back that had pushed 1000ft from its home point in seconds. Teal promises performance in winds exceeding 40mph. More than enough to handle the approaching storm I tried and failed to film.
Teal Packs a Tegra
It’s a monster on the track. Thankfully, the company didn’t build it for speed alone. It packs a 13-megapixel, 4K-capable camera with 3-axis electronic stabilization. It hits 70mph. The gimbal had to go, or it gets ripped off.
Speed and a camera. What else? The Teal packs a Nvidia Tegra TX1 for a processor. That’s a beefy processor for a drone and Teal has its reasons. The company is pairing the processor with a software platform to encourage the development of third-party apps.
Want a certain camera mode? Build it. Teal comes stock with the usual options for racing and follow modes you see on drones like the Phantom Series, 3DR Solos, etc. Future updates include modules to add radar-assisted collision avoidance, video-based positioning and thermal imaging.
Speed Comes at a Price
It’s not cheap. Pre-orders list a Teal at $1,299, though it comes with the high endurance battery if you order before August 15. There’s the other drawback. It’s not only cost but battery life.
Ten minutes of flight time is what Teal is advertising with the stock battery. Select the endurance pack and it’s extended to 20 minutes. You’ll lose a bit of speed, but it will leave other drones in its prop wash.