Silent, safe and low cost, the Falcon has unlimited possibilities as a high endurance aerial platform.
About this project
The typical drone design has many strengths. You can capture incredible photos and video from previously impossible perspectives. Interface and control is relatively easy, and the common price points are affordable for many. But, as most leading designers would tell you, the technology is still in it’s infancy.
They’re loud. This noise output is exacerbated by a typically robotic appearance, overall lending to an invasive feeling. Everybody involved with drones is familiar with the headache of privacy.
They can be dangerous. Anybody with access to the internet can find a trove of disaster videos involving drones. Whether it’s a personal loss of cash from drone destruction, or a bystander is injured, every operator knows they’re at risk when at the controls.
They have limited payload functions. Photography and videography are far and away the most common (and realistic) payloads drones employ today.
And this leads us to the most significant weakness…
Limited flight times. The most common flight time range available today is 15-20 minutes. Longer photography shoots are possible, but not without interrupting the whole process to swap a battery.
But rather than complain about something and criticize a system without offering a solution, we came up with one better.
The Falcon is constructed of several components. The hull, or body, is composed of a shell and a bladder. The shell is made of a special lightweight fabric and possesses all the outfitting you need for handling, as well as the fins. The fins provide directional stability. Within the shell is the bladder. The bladder is a welded, gas-tight film inflated with Helium.
Helium is an inert noble gas, completely safe, and lighter than the air in the atmosphere. The atmosphere pushes upwards on the Falcon because of this fact, just as the ocean pushes up on a ship, keeping it afloat. We can take advantage of this effect by containing this gas and attaching a method of control. This means the Falcon can stay aloft for days on its own.
There are many reasons to support this project and get a Falcon.
It’s simple to use, and frees you up to focus on your task. Because of the tether, the Falcon is able to fly stable indefinitely. And it moves with your anchor point. If you’re a photographer, this means all your energy and focus can be spent on your craft, rather than piloting.
When you want to fly, inflate the hull, mount your payload, and release your tether. When you want to land, simply reverse the process. If you plan on flying your Falcon in the near future, only deflate as much as necessary to preserve helium for your future use!
Made with the user in mind, the Falcon offers several dynamic benefits:
Long Flight Times
Not limited by battery life to keep afloat, the Falcon can provide you with as much time as you need to accomplish your goals.
The Falcon is inherently silent. This means you can capture live audio, without having any interference from your platform (unlike a drone). This also means that you can capture footage or conduct research in areas that are sound sensitive, like ceremonies or wildlife habitats.
The shell is constructed of a durable rip stop fabric, protecting the bladder from damage in the event of a crash. And in this unlikely event, the balloon-like nature of the Falcon keeps everyone (and everything) protected. A really cool feature of the Falcon is a Flight-Termination-System built into the payload mount. Flip a switch in an emergency, and a hole will open up in the body, causing the Falcon to descend safely.
We expect the Falcon to be put to work. That’s why its built with a rugged design. The payload capacity means you can attach almost anything from a GoPro to infrared cameras to advertising. And this project is about enabling researchers and entrepreneurs alike to explore their options.
- Hull Size: Inflated 11.5′ long, 4′ at widest diameter
- Hull Size: Deflated, folded 1′ x 1′ x 5″
- Total Weight: 3 lbs (1362 g)
- Inflated Volume: ~ 80 cu. ft (2.12 cu. m)
- Payload Capacity: 500 g (1.1 lb)
- Wind Tolerance: 10 mph or ~16 kph
Arctic Sky is based in the state of Alaska. Here, wilderness is king. Yet, those who encounter it will experience a solitary beauty unlike anywhere else. This has inspired us in the creation of the Falcon.
Possessing both a unique personality, inherent to any airship, and a defined ruggedness, like any good tool, the Falcon carries the spirit of our home. Our goal is to bring this to the world.
The founder, Luke Wright, has a background in high-altitude airships. He has brought his technical knowledge and know-how to this project.
Hey! We want YOU. Sharing our story helps us bring you the Falcon. The highest impact shares will receive some special perks with their pledges, you don’t want to miss out on that!
The community that builds around this endeavor is vital for the Falcon’s success. Feedback,both negative and positive, is absolutely essential.
Group wisdom and insight is invaluable to us, and Arctic Sky will always integrate those on whom this effort is ultimately built- you!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge we expect to face is translating the manufacturing process from prototype to a full scale process.
Because the Falcon is such a unique product, much of the building methods need to be perfected. However, solid leads have been made and the time it will take to work through these challenges has been budgeted into the fulfillment process.