Don't expect fashion in this column - you won't be wearing a leather coat and a RayBan's for drone flying. You'll be lucky to score a giggle hat and a worried expression - and no-one will be shouting " Chocks Away ", " Tally Ho ", and " Wizard Prang " when you stack your expensive machinery into the side of a bus.
If you're flying it with straight visual control you are in much the same position as any of the R/C airplane types - peering into the sky trying to see what altitude, attitude, and wind reaction is going on at any particular time. Good luck with that...I have memories of crashing balsa wood all over the place in my youth. Model airplanes move in three dimensions up and down, side by side, and fore and aft. Their pilots also move in these ways but they add the additional dimensions of fear, expense, and regret.
But back to the drones. Some of the civilian ones may be fitted with cameras rather than 20mm cannon and these cameras can send images back to the operator - this allows them to see what the drone sees - effectively putting the pilot in the driver's seat of a plane that has no seats. The images that come back to the ground can be received by smart phones and pads with appropriate apps.
Well and good, but anyone who has ever tried to see the screen of a flat smart phone or pad in glaring sun knows that it can be nearly impossible to pick up details. And if you are busy operating the radio control set with both hands you have no way to shade the screen. Until now.
Hoodman have brought out a set of hoods and accessories that will blank off extraneous light from iPhone 6. iPone6+, iPad Mini, and iPad Air devices. The hoods attach by various elastic straps and velcro pads to firmly grip the screens - no falling off in the heat of the moment if your flying style involves a lot of body English.
You're not restricted to just one style, either- if the shorter hood is not doing the job for you there are extension packs that velcro on with padded edges so that you can push your face right down in there and no extra light gets in.
If you need to poke away at the phone or pad screen there are cut-aways and elasticised panels that let your fingers into the dark. You may look like a bit of a robot attached to your control panel and screen but at least you will have the best view of what the drone is seeing and that has to give you better control.
You can buy the individual parts to fit iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ as well as the iPad Mini and iPad Air or you can elect to get them as paired kits. The all go under the moniker of Hoodman Drone Aviator and they are all very well made.
They are in stock right now at Camera Electronic or you can order them through the on-line shop. good insurance for that vital flight.