DGAC "the french FAA" accepted the first APMcopter


After a year of darkness, with a lot of crashes and deceptions, we manage to build our lightweight frame and get our manufacturer licence from the DGAC.

In France, europe will probably apply the same rules, the uav with batteries and dslr, has to be less than 4kg alltogether to be authorized in town. Our goal was to get 1 kg payload with 15 min and a full control of the dslr. Our overpowered quad is 2580g with paraglide, and has an autonomy of 12 to 15min with 2*4S2100mah (418g). The gimbal can carry 1kg payload and all canon dslr are driven by dslrcontroller from the ground.

We had a 6 months disscussion with the dgac to prove them the safety of the apm firmware.

Done, DGAC accepted the first manufacturer with something that is not DJI or MK.

Thanks a lot to everyone who helped us.

Nicolas hebert




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  • You re right thomas it flies like a dead stone ;-) when motors are cut...(2.5min in the video)


    ;-) i'm working on it for a year now, be sure that the cable are inside and outside protected, the aluminium are smooth at the end. I m not going in the cog discussion, there are good topics on diydrones, but if you put 420g just 5cm up and 1.5kg 25cm down...(tested aswell with 2*600g batterie pack and cog is still down).

    merci mathieu

  • Bravo Nicolas :)

  • Distributor

    We have 5kg in Germany, above that one needs to obtain a permission for every single flight.

  • fun ;-) administrations in france are well known to be fast and simple.

    I am kidding, DGAC is good in their part of the job, we really had a discussion, and it's good for the buisness to have someone looking into security.

    The hardest part was the firmware so it won t be to hard to change the board...


  • Hi Nicolas, from what you just explained to Tristan, it seems to be quite a headache (or fun, I don't know how much you like dealing with our administration ;-) ) to get this done. 

    Thanks and congratulations for opening the path (next challenge would be getting the PIxhawk certified?)

    Keep up the good work and good luck for your company



  • Hi tristan,

    yeah i do manage aswell to be in "conception amateur" a year ago with a cool apm hexa (we are going to certificate soon)- http://escadrone.com/drone-occasion/-

    but i swear you it's quite another thing to be a manufacturer (smth like 400 pages in 6 month with dgac, démonstrations, every single stuff studying for a while....)

    I am quite confident that now it will be easier to certificate ardupilot...


  • @ Gary, It seems that the firmware version is not an issue, as I know of another company here in France which were on the 2.6 version when started the certification process and by the time they received it it was the 2.9...

    As long as there are no changes on the DGAC requirement it seem it's not an issue

    @ Tristan, Drone in nice who runs on APM as well, and I heard of few others, but as you say they're operators not manufacturers

  • Hi,

    The DGAC accepted my Cinestar 8 with APM and now PX4 and my other quad with APM without a problem since last year already. But we are not manufacturer as you.


  • Thank you benoit, we are now the first and single company that has an uav allowed (in france ;-)) to carry a real DSLR in town!

  • That's a very good news! Nicolas' company "Escadrone" is the official drone sponsor for the Walking with a drone 2014 project . 

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