We’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff from drone developers in recent months. But one of the most interesting trends in the industry is the combination of drones and extreme sports. That has led us to this moment: The drone skydive. Obviously.
Maybe you remember that video of Casey Neistat snowboarding at Christmas time with the help of an enormous Samsung drone. Or perhaps you saw the drone surfing clip from Freefly Systems, where a similarly huge drone pulled a surfer along in the water.
Well this week both of those drone sports have been put to shame. They have been beaten hands down. A drone company in Latvia called Aerones decided to show off the power of its enormous commercial drone technology. Previously it’s been designed for and applied to help firefighters and search and rescue teams.
The company’s drone is big and powerful enough to carry a person, so they thought it would be a good idea to push that concept to the limit. We agree.
What follows in the video below is, to the best of our knowledge, the world’s first drone-assisted skydive:
So what about the monster drone that helped skydiver Ingus Augstkalns perform the world’s first drone jump? It was custom-made by Aerones and has no less 28 propellers.
To assist the jump, Augstkalns was collected from the top of a cell tower. He was then carried up another 200 metres before jumping off and releasing his parachute at an altitude of 330 metres. From then on it was just like a normal skydive.
“The emotions are fantastic,” he said. “Both feeling how easily and quickly the drone lifted me, and because Latvia has proved itself as an innovator of this technology. It is obvious that we will find increasingly important uses for drones in our everyday lives. My friends and other skydivers all over the world will be excited about these new opportunities. We live in an exciting time.”
The Aerones team have been experimenting with monster drones for a few years now. Back in 2016 they attempted drone snowboarding well before Casey Neistat:
We can’t wait to see how the drone extreme sports sector continues to evolve. Just as drones are replacing the need for helicopters and planes in aerial photography and search and rescue, perhaps it won’t be long until they are commonly used to help people skydive.