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Just about a year ago, DJI released the Air 2S, a drone that has received many accolades throughout the world. However, everyone noticed a huge drawback. Even though this drone is great for photography and is a very stable flying platform there has been no programming to accommodate accessories.
There are many, many pilots who want to buy the Air 2S but the access to other options is still unknown. One such question is, does the Air 2S work in FPV mode with goggles?
DJI publications say that the Air 2S is not compatible with the V2 goggles and that this option is not a priority at this time. They advise that Air 2S owners watch for software updates for more information.
The Air 2S uses the Ocusync 2.0 transmission system just like the Phantom 4 Pro V2 and should be able to link to any DJI goggles without a problem, but DJI has decided not to provide the programming for that option at this time. They admit that it is just a programming issue when they say we should watch for software updates.
Why this decision has been made we don’t really know. There is a lot of speculation that this is to ramp up sales or make the customers anxious for more, or …. whatever other explanation you might be able to come up with.
The YouTube DroneingOn demonstrates that the Air 2S does have an FPV mode but this is only on the screen you are using. Not through goggles.
The Creators Cup YouTuber rants about how Best Buy and others have advertised that V2 Goggles and the Air 2S work together, but when he bought both items he found they did not connect, and DJI said they could not. He was so upset that he sent his Air 2S back.
He did however develop an alternative method for using his goggles. He duct-taped an Air 2S and a DJI FPV drone together. It was able to fly, but rather awkward to watch as it struggled to keep airborne with two drones taped together.
YouTuber Drone Emotion in May of 2021 stated that he saw an option on the V2 Goggles that showed you could switch between two flying options of “Switch to DJI Air 2S” and “Switch to Digital FPV System”. He did not demonstrate if this worked, and in a later blog, he said that he found this to be a hoax.
Dronedj.com said in May 2021 that “Earlier today, we received word from a source that the Air 2 will be FPV-capable, syncing up with the V2 Goggles.” This, too, proved to be false.
There are ways to fly FPV with your Air 2S #
The Drone X Factor posted a YouTube video in Jan 2021 that demonstrated two very workable options. Neither of these methods used the V2 Goggles, but one way came through at a rather cheap cost and the other was a lot more expensive.
The Expensive Way #
I say expensive because you need a Smart Controller and the V1 White Goggles. I did check with DJI and they confirmed that Air 2S is compatible with the Smart Controller, so there are no worries there.
On the front of the controller is an HDMI port that is easy to access. An HDMI cable with a regular HDMI plug on one end and a small HDMI plug on the other is needed and it will need to be long enough to go from the controller to your head with some slack in it so that you don’t get all tangled up.
The White Goggle set has a small HDMI plug access under a flexible plastic cover next to the SD Card port. Plug the ends of the cable in after you have started both the aircraft and controller. Of course, you will need to go into the settings of the Air 2S and set the gimbal to FPV mode, but you will have all you need in the goggles to fly.
The Inexpensive Way #
Go onto Amazon, or any electronics retailer and search for FPV Phone Goggles. These are the very inexpensive goggles that use your smartphone as the screen. It is a headset that you put your phone inside, then put the goggles on.
On the Air 2S controller, pull the handle up and gently pull out the data cable. Then plug in a USB-C cable to the controller and into your phone. Load the phone into the goggles and set the Air 2S to FPV mode and there you have FPV through goggles.
Granted, both of these methods are hard-wired and not WiFi or Ocusync, but again, DJI has not seen their way to set this up yet. But if you want the excellence of the Air 2S and viewing by goggles, this is how to do it.
Remember that flying with goggles on is very risky. You really need to have an observer with you because the goggles do not give you 360 degrees of view, side to side, or up and down.
Also, having the goggles on can be very disorienting. You will need to be sitting down or, at the minimum, leaning up against a solid post or wall.
On my first few FPV flights, I remember trying to follow with my body and tripping into a slight depression in the grass. Falling is embarrassing and you could lose control of the aircraft. Not very professional to watch.
Conclusions we can draw #
Flying with goggles is one of the most fun ways of enjoying your drone. Being in the camera’s eye is exciting and the closest thing you can get to a flying experience.
Getting one of DJI’s best and newest drones is always a goal of everyone who is a drone enthusiast, but if you want the Air 2S for the FPV goggle experience you will not be able to do that with the V2 Googles in the foreseeable future.
DJI is in total control of the consumers in that aspect, but you can get around that issue with a few minor adjustments, and fly with a data wire between the controller and your screen.
Choose your options carefully and fly safely while having fun.