What is a FPV Drone?
FPV drone is very different from traditional drones. The pilots fly the drone wearing a VR goggle. Livestream view from the onboard camera on the drone is transmitted to the goggle with low latency allowing the pilot to control the drone more precisely. In fact, with the immersive real time viewing, FPV drones equip the pilots with the ability to shoot stunning cinematic aerial images or videos and perform acrobatic drone moves like back flips and rolls. The VR integration brings the level of photography, cinematography and entertainment of drones to whole nother level.
FPV is hard!
Though FPV drones are much powerful compared to traditional drones in many aspects, they are also notoriously hard to maneuver. The need to control the drone with the first person onboard camera view means pilots need to get accustomed to the tilted view caused by the drone movement. Most drones have eight degrees of freedom (imagine an invisible xyz axis with drone centered in the origin, eight degrees of freedom are positive and negative x,y,z direction as well as clock wise and counter clockwise rotation), which means drone pilots need to learn to fly with 8 different camera illusion feedback from the movement. Let alone speed change. As a three year drone pilot, learning to fly a FPV drone still takes me weeks of training in the simulator to feel confident. While the DJIVirtualFlight is the VR simulator application that really helps here.
VR FPV simulator APP – DJI Virtual Flight
DJI Virtual Flight provides series of flight training sessions. From taking off, flying straight (you may be surprising that flying straight in a FPV is in fact not as easy as you think), turning, landing to some more advanced tricks. It also offers a few good maps for users to train their ability to shoot some cinematic clips or try out some acrobatic moves. Everything happens to the drone controller reflects on the view in the VR goggle.
Possible improvements for DJI Virtual Flight.
It is true that DJI Virtual Flight provides good amount of training for a new FPV drone pilot, but the accuracy still has room for improvement. From my personal experience, DJI Virtual Flight is only about 60-70 percent accurate compared to the actual flight. Also, there are only three free flight maps provided in the application, which is very limited. More importantly, those maps are all virtual maps, they cannot be served as an actual rehearsal. Imagine if real world places are provided, drone pilots will be able to fly across Swiss Alps or The Blue Lagoon, Iceland in the simulator taking their time to think about how to frame the video before their actual visit.