AirStrato "civilian" UAV goes into preorder

Whenever UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles are mentioned, two types almost always come to mind: the super powerful ones developed by the military or by corporations, and personal drones mostly used for fun, like taking sports action shots. These two groups also represent the two extremes of the pricing range, the most expensive and the most affordable ones, respectively. AirStrato is an air robot that tries to bring some of each group together, marrying the power of high-performance UAVs but without getting you bankrupt.

AirStrato is a UAV designed for civilian use, whether personal or commercial. it call to fame is that very few such UAVs exist that try to put a more or less affordable price tag on the air robots. But do not make the mistake of presuming that it will be as cheap as, say, a Parrot or a DJI product. The AirStrato's price tier is described to be like that of an expensive car. Cheaper than getting a military-grade UAV for personal use, for sure, but still quite expensive.

There are two types of AirStrato air robots available. The Explorer is the more daring of the two, able to reach max altitudes of 60,000 ft (18,000 m). It can endure 20 hours of flight and can be controlled via Satellite or GSM. It can reach speeds of up to 106 mph (170 km/h). Naturally, it has a higher price tag of $140,000. The Pioneer is smaller, more agile, and of course cheaper. 26,000 ft (8,000 m) is as high as it will get and 50 mph (120 kph) is its fastest score. It will last only 12 hours and it can only be controlled via satellite. The price tag for this model is $80,000.

What would this drone be used for? You and I may not have much use for it in our personal lives, unless we run a business that perhaps involves

delivering goods or lightweight groceries

. Research labs can also avail of this in order to divert more money on actual research than spending it on buying a drone or making their own (though that might be more fun and more educational). If you fall in any of those or do have the need, or even just the money, to get one, the AirStrato UAVs have started their preorder stage, with some benefits attached. The AirStrato Explorer gets a 20% off before it goes into production August 2015. The AirStrato Pioneer, on the other hand, only gets a 15% discount until production starts in March next year.

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AirStrato