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Why Does DJI Avata Have Duct Guards?

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DJI Avata is the second FPV drone released by DJI with outstanding features packed into a unique frame with duct guards. But what are those?

Why does the DJI Avata have duct guards?

The DJI Avata has duct guards to fly safely around people and objects and protect others and the propellers in case of a collision, minimizing the possible damage towards zero compared to a standard drone flying under the same circumstances.

The role of the duct guards on DJI Avata is game-changing, and this is a unique DJI drone many pilots have been waiting for. 

Let’s look at what else we need to know about the complete role of the duct guards on DJI Avata and the pros and cons of having duct guards on a drone.

What are the duct guards on DJI Avata, and what is their role? #

Drones, especially FPV drones with duct guards protecting the motors and propellers, are part of a category called cinewhoop drones. 

The DJI Avata is a cinewhoop drone with duct guards permanently installed and connected to the frame, with their primary role being to protect the drone propellers and motors.

The duct guards on a cinewhoop drone change the entire structure and flight pattern of the drone. 

We can safely say that nearly all drones with duct guards are only FPV drones. Rarely do standard drones have that.

But DJI created the Avata with this feature in mind to be able to fly even in normal mode and not only in manual mode, and many pilots took advantage of that.

The duct guards of an FPV drone, including DJI Avata in this case, are carefully designed and manufactured to support only a specific type of propeller, leaving very little space between the edge of the propellers and the duct guard.

The design allows air to be funneled directly through the duct guards with minimal loss.

Depending on the cinewhoop frame and the duct guards of a drone, the air is channeled in a precise way different from standard drones. In this way, the design supports good stability of the drone when flying.

We have to say, on top of safety, because safety is the core reason duct guards exist, the duct guards give the added advantage of being able to better fly your DJI Avata drone indoors, near people and objects, between branches of a tree, in a forest, or so many other inaccessible places for standard drones. 

The duct guards of DJI Avata are tiny compared to other cinewhoop drones. Some drone duct guards are as high as the drone frame itself, similar to a tube (times four). 

A good example would be comparing the DJI Avata frame with the BumbleBee V3 cinewhoop frame. 

Can duct guards be mounted on other drones? #

Yes and no. 

Custom duct guards can be mounted on some standard drones, similar to propeller guards. But this is not as if you could transform a typical drone into a cinewhoop drone.

This is because a cinewhoop drone structure has specific aerodynamics.

Trying to modify a standard drone to achieve the same characteristics as a cinewhoop, you may find that the drone has difficulty flying. 

In general, cinewhoop frames and drones are standard from the factory, including the DJI Avata, which cannot be changed. 

What are the pros and cons of having duct guards on a drone, including DJI Avata? #

There are obviously some pros and some significant cons of having duct guards to fly a cinewhoop drone like the DJI Avata:

Pros of having duct guards #

  • The DJI Avata can be flown in tight spaces, indoors, and near people and objects with minimal risks of harm or damage.

  • The possibilities of flying these drones are limitless, including inside forests, on concert stages (approved), etc.

  • With a cinewhoop drone (such as DJI Avata), you can expect to fly more at slower speeds and smoothly, approach objects, and perform inspections with little risk.

  • DJI Avata excels at creating unique slow cinematic footage with minimal effort because of duct guards and a unique drone profile.

  • The propellers and motors are protected; therefore, in case of a minor crash, there should be minimal to no damage to the drone or propellers.

  • Having duct guards adds strength to the drone structure and arms (depending on the design); therefore, the drone should resist better in case of significant impacts.

  • It is beginner friendly, and even if mistakes are made, they may not be so severe as with a standard drone (unprotected propellers).

  • Overall, a cinewhoop (duct-guarded) drone, including DJI Avata, is super resistant to flying in more harsh environments.

  • Transporting the DJI Avata drone without carrying it in a particular case or bag is more manageable, as the propellers will be protected.

Cons of having duct guards #

  • It is more challenging to freestyle with duct guards because of the drone’s aerodynamics and duct guard structure.

  • The speed of these drones, including DJI Avata, is much slower on average because of duct guards (vastly slower than DJI FPV Drone).

  • It is risky to fly super fast, perform free falls, take sharp corners or fly in super high winds, in particular with DJI Avata, where the drone structure, duct guards, and battery placement put the drone at risk of flipping over, losing control, and crashing.

  • Duct guards add air resistance, ultimately shortening flight times.

  • You simply cannot FPV race with a drone with duct guards.

  • Duct guards add extra weight to a drone.

Are there other drones like DJI Avata with duct guards? #

Yes, there are, but not any others made by DJI.

DJI Avata is the first and only cinewhoop-style drone made by DJI, but other companies have created and perfected quite a few fantastic designs and functional drones with duct guards.

But there is a catch: Those drones are mostly custom-FPV drones which will require you not only to learn to fly FPV Acro, but to invest in a complete custom FPV kit and fly manually with many more existing risks.

What else do we need to know about DJI Avata duct guards? #

As the DJI Avata duct guards are relatively small compared to the average duct guards found on cinewhoop frames, it is likely the reason for reducing the drone’s weight and allowing DJI to create a unique aerodynamic for the drone.

The propellers for most cinewhoop drones, including DJI Avata (that will work inside the duct guards), are 3-blade propellers, whereas standard drones typically have 2-blade propellers and are much smaller in size.


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