I have been doing some drone filming from ships this weekend, working on a project for Stena Line in the Irish Sea. Drone filming from ships is notoriously difficult as it involves taking off and landing from a moving target. I was glad of the power that our DJI Inspire 2 provides as I flew alongside the Stena Line Superfast Ship on Saturday morning, hitting a cruising speed of 21 knots and with a headwind of 10mph. The real challenge comes when its time to land though as you need to land the drone whilst flying at full speed which is pretty exciting! If you are reading this as a fellow drone pilot then I recommend using Atti mode – otherwise when you land the drone will fly off backwards as it locks into GPS mode. You will also need to change your return to home settings so that the drone does not fly off and land where it took off from in case of a loss of contact.
For any drone filming the weather is important but for drone filming from ships it is even more crucial. We needed to be flexible in our dates and availability as we knew that we would need to grab the right weather and conditions when they arrived. Blue skies, sunshine, light winds and a calm sea state – not too much to ask! Thankfully it all came together!
Drone filming from ships is definitely a challenge but the results were pretty cool – we were engaged to provide footage for the Stena Line Instagram page and so our work will soon be viewable there. In the meantime I have posted a couple of screen grabs below.