I have modified my quad and its available for half a million USD, limitless endurance, I have called it the pole copter.
For decent video and endurance you won't be spending less than $20,000
You could always tether a system though, but again a pole is just as good.
Well you will probably be best off with a wing, you can leap upto 60 minutes endurance right away. Its what you do with the product that counts, you will have to get a COA.
But right now, today with the awful happenings in Japan SAR tasks should come firmly to everyones mind.
You need to look at the Outback Challenge as well and that might help you realize that its no small task. Perhaps entering that comp first could be a task for you.
For that chemical spill, dont forget vehicles, no COA needed for them.
In my experience taking aerial photos no one tool fits many tasks. We have kites a balloon, Tri copter Quad and Octo, and several flying wings. We bring out different toys for different tasks,
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Thank you for the kind words. Yes, it is a hybrid.
We are already in the final stages of our COA as well as formal FAA registration of two airframes.
You are correct, agencies move very slow and it is our belief that people selling these aircraft will eventually have to have some form or official signoff as well as formal training in flight operations. A minimum of an FAA Medical and passage of a Private Pilot ground course as well will be the minimum requirements in order to demonstrate and operate a UAS of any size and weight. Both my brother and I are high time pilots which has helped tremendously with the FAA. Our official press announcement for the Hybrid is in about 45 days from now.
How about checking out lots blog? Quad 4 to 8 hour duration? Scroll down the blogs until you find it 4 to 8 hours duration 50 lb payload 100 mile range @ 4,000 feet Have a laugh then come back to reality Good luck with your project and have a nice day! I like the Pole camera Gary!