DJI is preparing a new version of its smallest and cheapest Mini drone and the Internet is already filling the first photos of alleged prototypes and final test kits with labels Mini 3 Pro.
In one of these galleries on Twitter by Jasper Ellens, we see a really classic quadcopter in gray Mini, but compared to its predecessors, with one dramatic difference. The original front plugs are filled with obstacle sensors: real flow camera tracking the terrain as on the more expensive drones of the Mavic series. Until now, the Mini series had only lower rangefinders.
Richer equipment could signal some more advanced features from the autopilot’s rank. Need automatic tracking of a person Active Track. According to the photos, the Mini 3 Pro also has reworked gimbal, better 4K camera and larger 2 453mAh battery. All this while maintaining the take-off weight up to 249 grams.
Low weight is key, because in the light of the new rules for drone pilots in EU countries, a similar quadcopter falls into the lowest and least regulated airplane categories.
With a similar quadcopter, the pilot can take off, even in general, in a park full of dog walkers, which is a problem with quadcopters with a higher weight. In their case, it is necessary to keep a safe distance from people.
Another year in transition
However, beware, there is still a problem with EU-wide rules for drones, as we are in a transitional period and there are no drones on the market that are armed with a European class label. C0-C4 (see table below).
This is the future: Drone classes C0 to C4. However, they do not yet exist in practice (Source: EASA)
Drones without a label are therefore viewed according to the original table (see below), which is stricter for drones with a take-off weight of over 500 grams (Mavic series, etc.).
And this is the present. Note that the C1 equivalent is missing here (Source: EASA)
In both cases, however, the small DJI Mini drone falls into the lowest category (<250 g / C0) and you can fly it in a similar way to a kite. Even in this case, it is forbidden to fly over groups of uninvolved people, however, it is already possible to fly over uninvolved individuals - for example, over a dog breeder, runner and another visitor to the park.
The transitional period should end on January 1, 2023. The manufacturers therefore have 9 months to finally equip their models of their drones with the coveted labels, which will simplify and make everything clearer.