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Custom 1200s Cinema Drone with A3 Pro and LB2

Custom 1200s Cinema Drone with A3 Pro and LB2

We recently had the pleasure of building out this nice little 1200mm cinema drone. When you look at what is available on the market for multirotors (cinema or otherwise) there are not a lot of option that put the MTOW (max take off weight) directly at 25 kg or 55 lbs. You would think this would be the golden number for any heavy lift system because 25kg is the legal MTOW in most countries. (unless you have a waiver/ 333 or other exemption) But oddly enough that's not the case.

Our client does great work with the DJI Inspire and Freefly Alta but they were looking for something that could lift more weight and could have a better flight time. We calculated this aircraft would get between 12-15 minutes of flight with 10Ah batteries and 20lb load and we were pleased our calculations were right on the money.  This aircraft was meant to meet the following goals from our client.  

  • Cinema Aircraft for holding Freefly Movi Pro or DJI Ronin 2 gimbals
  • Easy to operate (similar interface to DJI Inspire) 
  • Max takeoff weight around 25kg
  • 1 Case for easy transport 
  • Redundant flight contoller system. 

To accomplish this we chose our 1200 size S frame to accommodate 22" props and 4 high capacity lithium batteries. For this system we recommend 4x 12Ah or 4x 10Ah batteries from Tattu. Because this frame is built for cinema we included the Z bend style arms to raise the arms above the camera payload and added retractable landing gear. The A3 Pro flight controller with Lightbridge controller was an easy choice as it makes flying this aircraft not only buttery smooth, but a very similar flying experience to the DJI Inspire 2. 

I've done my best to try and make a quick comparison between some of the readily available models. I'll be the first to admit this is an oversimplification but it's meant to give you rough idea of cost comparison. I did not include flight time comparisons because other companies will generally overstate their flight times and I can only compare from our real life numbers at the test field. There are a lot of factors that can't be put into this table so if you have questions and want more direct pro/con list feel free to email


Aircraft  Weight (Dry) Useful* Load MTOW Base Price w/ TX, FPV, Case
 BFD Systems 1200s 8.5kg 18.3kg 26.8kg $17,000.00
Freefly Alta 8 6.2kg 12kg 18.1 $18,464.00
DJI M600 5.6kg 9.4kg 15.1 $5,988.00

*Available Battery and Payload capacity weight

This is a great aircraft for cinema use although it could be a big hit for a number of industries. We design around your needs so if you have a project you want to get airborne drop us a line. (info@bfdsystems.com)

Custom A3 Pro Heavy Lift Cinema UAS (GD-40)

Custom A3 Pro Heavy Lift Cinema UAS (GD-40)

In cinema production pressure to perform on a tight timeline can be extremely high. Operators are often asked to fly heavy payloads, for long periods of time in less than favorable flying conditions. This 1400 SP frame with a 40 kg takeoff weight is a beast of a machine. With a 18 kg Payload capacity this aircraft can be used to fly the heaviest cinema packages required including a full size Alexa XT or XT-M as well as the JAUNT VR system.. Our customers choose this frame for is unmatched payload capacity, flight endurance and wind tolerance. 

Originally this system was built with a DJI A2 flight controller but was upgraded to and A3 Pro for its redundant IMU and GPS systems as well as an increased hover accuracy and improved flight performance. 

One of the challenges of this build was removing electrical RF noise from the FPV and OSD system. After a few days of deconstructing the entire FPV system and components we were able to solve the issue. Trouble shooting is a big part of building custom UAS systems and our customers choose to delegate that time to us so they can spend their time working on their business and flight operations.


1200mm HV Sensor Lifter

1200mm HV Sensor Lifter
This was a challenging project, but one we had a lot of fun with. The clients requirements were to lift a 23lb payload on the end of a suspended tether while maintaining an all up weight that was under 55lbs. We chose a 1200mm Gryphon Dynamics chassis to make an X8 high voltage lifter. The 48v system allows for plenty of power and punch when needed, yet highly efficient low amp draw at hover. We chose the A3 Pro for this system because precision hover accuracy is a must. This bird flies incredibly well and we were admittedly a little bit sad to send her off to her new home. But we're told there is lots of open space for her to fly around, which makes us feel better.