Every part, screw, and rotor of the Elios is designed to focus on a single objective, with an aim to ace confined-space operations. Elios is more than capable of flying in environments and completing tasks that can put considerable strain on all the other drones on the market making it the first choice for experienced drone pilots.

Even if the Elios has the same components and essential functions as other drones, Flyability, its Swiss manufacturer, has stringent requirements for new customers before this aircraft can be deployed. The said requirements include that the pilot undergo company-sponsored training before flying the Elios because it is considered an industrial tool intended only for sophisticated and proficient users.

Basic Overview of Flyability Elios Drone

Type: Confined-space inspection
Caged Size: 400mm
Flight Duration: 8 – 10 minutes
Camera Quality – Visible HD video of 1920 x 1080 pixels, 30 Hz and thermal FLIR Lepton of 160 x 120 pixels, 9 Hz
Selling Price: $25,000.00+

Perks and Premiums:

One feature that makes the Elios stand out better than other drones is its carbon-fiber cage that 100% surrounds the entire aircraft. The cage is a gimbal, adept of 3-axis rotations around the drone so it can bounce off hindrances and roll seamlessly along walls, floors, and ceilings. This feature gives the Elios the freedom to move around safely within confined spaces like utility corridors, crawl spaces, and ballast tanks for audit purposes, conducting assessments, or routine maintenance check-ups that would have otherwise needed a human to do. These dangerous and claustrophobic places are not ideal for humans, but it is also an imperative process in any organization.

Your Elios package comes in a solid roller case, and in it are all the essentials for a flight operation. You will get your actual drone, the transmitter, a Samsung tablet installed with Flyabilty’s personalized Cockpit app, two micro SD cards, five batteries, two battery chargers, cables, connectors, and all the spare parts and tools you need for your routine maintenance.

Flyability has also incorporated some pieces of DJI technology into the design of the Elios. DJI technology is well known in the drone market for its products, and even GoPro could not compete with them. The first adaptation is the controller, and for those who have any Inspire or Phantom drones, you'll notice the familiarity. There are still differences, though, like not having a 'Return to Home' button. Elios also doesn’t include a GPS receiver on board, which makes a lot of sense since it is almost impossible to get a decent reception from inside a concrete bunker or closed space anyway.

Additionally, Elios relies on the DJI Lightbridge to send and receive control, telemetry, and video. The Elios is equipped with a powerful transmitter, since it has been designed to fly inside narrow and restrictive structures.

It is also worth mentioning that the Elios design also incorporates two image sensors onboard. With an HD visible light camera and a low-resolution thermal sensor, this is a very practical feature when you need to use it in darker environments. This duo is also useful for diagnosing electrical parts and heat exchangers. Further, the high-intensity LED lights that can illuminate objects and subjects that are in close proximity to the drone.

Remember that although Elios' design is meant to be 'collision-tolerant, it is not considered crash-proof. Projecting parts such as its antenna, levers, and control arms can go through the cage, thus damaging the drone, stopping its propellers from spinning. It is always best to scout the perimeter where you will fly so you can have a heads-up of the obstacles. If this is not possible, the pilot should take an extra amount of precaution during the operation and turn the cameras so unexplored areas can be studied before venturing further.

Some might say that you can purchase a brand-new car for the price of an Elios, but this drone is very practical and necessary for industrial businesses. Further it challenges your piloting skills while providing you a lot of fun. Even skilled and adept pilots will enjoy pushing their boundaries with this toy.

Bottom Line

Given its jaw-dropping price and a little restricted mission portfolio, the Elios is not expected to be part of your usual commercial operator's drone collection. This is highly recommended for industrial organizations that conduct regular inspections in hazardous constricted spaces and is a safer alternative designed to improve competence, reduce liabilities, and potentially save lives.