A U.S.-Based DJI Alternative, Terraview’s RangePro

Terradrone Rangepro droneTerraview wants to be the U.S.-based DJI alternative.  The RangePro XP8 is a commercial drone at a competitive price – that qualifies to sell to U.S. government organizations.

DRONELIFE talked to Bruce Myers, Terraview president, about creating an enterprise drone, working with the government, and competing with the world’s largest drone manufacturer. We recently wrote about Terraview in relation to their new product release on the RangePro XP8.

Born in the U.S.A.

Both the drone and the idea have roots in the U.S. military.  Myers and Terraview Founder and CEO, Paul Ausley, are former Navy F-14 pilots. “We actually met for the first time as junior officers in the same Navy squadron. I spent ten years on active duty and then another ten years in the Navy reserves. Both myself and our CEO have supported the US military either as a member or as a defense contractor for the bulk of our careers,” says Myers.

“The roots of the company are in Naval Aviation. Even though we focus on the civilian enterprise market we bring years of military aviation systems experience and development standards to our UAV,” says Myers.

Through his defense contracting company, Ausley supported Naval Air Systems command at NAS Patuxent River, MD. “Paul’s company provided program management support for numerous Naval Aviation development programs through the years, including military UAS development,” Myers says.  “The military is many years ahead of civilian drone development  – Paul always knew that the time would come when the civilian market would take off (no pun intended!)” About seven years ago,  Ausley teamed with Terraview’s lead design engineer, Derek Hughes.   Hughes was working on a proof of concept small drone for Navy Research Labs: when Ausley created a civilian drone services division of his company, Terraview’s first prototypes went into development.

Becoming a U.S.-Based DJI Alternative

Terraview has deliberately engineered a product that will be ideal for government customers.  With recent U.S. proposals to limit exposure to Chinese technology such as Huwei, drones have also come under closer scrutiny.  Some versions of a proposed bill would limit the use of some U.S. agency funding to purchase drones with any parts, including the gimbal or camera, manufactured in a “listed country” such as China.  These proposals have resulted in departments such as the Department of Interior downing its fleet of DJI drones.

Should these proposals become law, there would be an opportunity for a U.S.-based DJI alternative – a company  manufacturing smaller and less expensive drones.  “In a nutshell, TerraView’s goal is to become the number one or two US drone OEM in the world,” Myers says. “We build a high quality, high value enterprise UAV. Our drones are designed and manufactured in the United States and with our recent UAS, RangePro X8P, the majority of key components (FCS, GCS, radios, payloads, gimbals) are US sourced or at a minimum, from non-Chinese suppliers.”

“This moves us into compliance with Federal Government and key industry requirements such as the energy and first responder sectors.”

The RangePro Drone: Extended Flight Time

U.S. Based DJI Alternative

Terraview RangePro

Myers describes the RangePro: “The RangePro is an enterprise drone similar in size to the M200 but with much more payload capacity and flight time (typically over an hour but dependent on payload weight). Our focus is on the energy sector but we have seen very high interest from telecom/tower companies, US Federal Government, US DoD and first responders (law enforcement and fire).”

Terraview says that the RangePro is competitive in price with other U.S. made drones in the class – but has a better value proposition due to the extended flight times.  “More time in the air and less time swapping and charging batteries means more work completed,” says Myers.

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