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Lifespan of Spark
4957 28 2018-3-3
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rockmsu
lvl.3
Flight distance : 90804 ft
United States
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What do we feel the life span of the Spark is? 5 years? Less? If you crash it after 3 years and it costs $200 to repair are you buying a new drone? I’ve had mine for 6 months, but I can see wanting a better camera in like 2 more years. What’s your plan for the future?
2018-3-3
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embayweather
Captain
Flight distance : 556667 ft
United Kingdom
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I would like to see mine last at least five years. I have no need for a replacement. The camera is fine, its a great product, does allI need. Why change?
2018-3-3
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A CW
Captain
Flight distance : 13838848 ft
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United Kingdom
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How long is a piece of string! Some crash and lose their drone on their first flight whilst others are still flying their Phantom 1 from 2012. Typically years rather than months if you don't crash and look after it. Batteries, props and motors will need replacing sooner though!
2018-3-3
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ACarvalho
lvl.2
Flight distance : 1184 ft
Brazil
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The Spark is the perfect starter camera drone, but as a typical hobbist, I believe pretty soon I’ll want more of what the spark gives me, like battery time, length, video resolution. But I’ll always fondly remember my first decent drone!
2018-3-3
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Gunship9
Captain
United States
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It will likely be replaced when they come out with a drone that works with a high resolution pair of virtual reality googles that have a very wide field of view.  Something that allows you to fly around with a clear view of the world without lag when you turn your head.  So a couple of generations of technology ahead of what we have now.   By then drones will have been banned or electronically leashed to stay near their owners.  


2018-3-3
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Kloo Gee
Captain
Flight distance : 14414295 ft
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United States
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I think rather than talking years, you probably should be talking about usage time.  It will easily last way more than 5 years if you don't fly it more than a couple times a year.  However, if you are going through 3 batteries a day, every day, then the length of time is would likely be far less.  Like farm and construction equipment, its probably more relevant to talk about it in terms of flight hours or something along those lines.

My Spark only has about 25 hours on it and it is still running like a champ.  That may be an interesting contest for DJI to run to see who has the most flight time on their aircraft.
2018-3-3
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Montfrooij
Captain
Flight distance : 2164990 ft
Netherlands
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It is an interesting question for sure.
2018-3-3
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sidtx
Second Officer
Flight distance : 266729 ft
United States
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I flew my phantom for 2+ years.   It's still flying great.

What triggered me to purchase a new drone wasn't better camera or flight time.   It was portability.  The Phantom 3S has a camera that is more than sufficient for my purposes, and the 22+ minute flight time is great.   However, it's large and takes a bit to setup and fly.

The Spark fit my need for an aircraft that I could throw in a small bag and go flying quickly.   Mavic Pro and Mavic Air also meet this need, but I don't need the better photo quality -- so why spend more.

I can's foresee replacing my spark for a long time.   The only features that would attract me to a new drone might be if someone releases a very quiet (or silent) aircraft.   Otherwise, unless my circumstances change (such as going professional drone photog) the Spark will be my go-to-bird for a long time to come.

And,  I still fly my P3S.  

Sid
2018-3-3
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SkyBug
Second Officer
Flight distance : 487566 ft
United States
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Still flying my p1 when I’m bored.. my spark isn’t going anywhere soon
2018-3-3
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frankengels
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2273796 ft
Luxembourg
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Kloo Gee Posted at 2018-3-3 10:30
I think rather than talking years, you probably should be talking about usage time.  It will easily last way more than 5 years if you don't fly it more than a couple times a year.  However, if you are going through 3 batteries a day, every day, then the length of time is would likely be far less.  Like farm and construction equipment, its probably more relevant to talk about it in terms of flight hours or something along those lines.

My Spark only has about 25 hours on it and it is still running like a champ.  That may be an interesting contest for DJI to run to see who has the most flight time on their aircraft.

You are certainly right and I think for "hobby users" like me, the Spark can last for years by taking care of the batteries.
The spark has no folding arms, which probably contributes to longevity
I am not scared about the motors, in my RC experience brushless motors are lasting nearly for ever if you don't crash and prevent entering  dirt or sand.

I also still flying my P3S but here the question is: how long DJI will maintain the DJI GO app to still work on newer phones and operating systems

I will not change anytime soon my Spark nor my Mavic pro, these drones are great and do everything I need.
Well, with one exception in relation with the coming EU drone regulation:
If DJI would build a GPS drone with mechanical stabilized gimbal below 250gr, I would add it to my drone collection. :-)
2018-3-4
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Locationscout_Bavaria
Captain
Flight distance : 62201 ft
Germany
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SkyBug Posted at 2018-3-3 13:20
Still flying my p1 when I’m bored.. my spark isn’t going anywhere soon

my spark isn’t going anywhere soon      
2018-3-4
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embayweather
Captain
Flight distance : 556667 ft
United Kingdom
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I wonder if it is time we and DJi started, to think about drone as rather like DSLR. You might by one rarely. You will look after it. You bought it because it does the job for you and have no need to chnage it until the jobs change. You would like to keep it working by getting it repaired if needs be.
Yes , I know, I have just seen a pink pig fly past my window (below 400ft too). DJI need to make lots of profit to keep shareholders happy, but I think all of us could possibly agree that the drones of today are far less 'disposable' than they were when the first ones appeared in out skies.
2018-3-4
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Kloo Gee
Captain
Flight distance : 14414295 ft
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United States
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frankengels Posted at 2018-3-4 02:23
You are certainly right and I think for "hobby users" like me, the Spark can last for years by taking care of the batteries.
The spark has no folding arms, which probably contributes to longevity
I am not scared about the motors, in my RC experience brushless motors are lasting nearly for ever if you don't crash and prevent entering  dirt or sand.

I like your vision.  Can you imagine a <250g drone with all of Mavic Air's features?  They wouldn't be able to make enough of them quick enough!!!
2018-3-4
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Langner91
Captain
Flight distance : 3474 ft
United States
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At the rate the weather is cooperating around here, I will have this same drone for 25 years.  I never realized how weather dependent the hobby would be.
2018-3-4
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frankengels
Second Officer
Flight distance : 2273796 ft
Luxembourg
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Kloo Gee Posted at 2018-3-4 05:58
I like your vision.  Can you imagine a

Fully agree, this would be a game changer.
Perhaps they are waiting after the ratification of the EU drone regulation :-)

I thing that today a "Superleggera Spark" (super light) is technically possible by using light composite materials like carbon fiber and would reach the below 250gr limit.
The problem is that the molding of these materials is complex, so expensive and time consuming.

Who knows what the future will bring?
2018-3-4
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Bing Err
Captain
Flight distance : 8899783 ft
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United States
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Kloo Gee Posted at 2018-3-3 10:30
I think rather than talking years, you probably should be talking about usage time.  It will easily last way more than 5 years if you don't fly it more than a couple times a year.  However, if you are going through 3 batteries a day, every day, then the length of time is would likely be far less.  Like farm and construction equipment, its probably more relevant to talk about it in terms of flight hours or something along those lines.

My Spark only has about 25 hours on it and it is still running like a champ.  That may be an interesting contest for DJI to run to see who has the most flight time on their aircraft.

I agree. I've put over 40 hours on it and 300+ miles. It doesn't fly as good as it used to, but it's still ok. I'm buying the Mavic Air but will still be taking my Spark to France and Iceland this month because it's cheaper, reliable, and still shoots decent pic and video.
I'd love to take the new Mavic Air but fear it being stolen, crashed in a distant country, or confiscated by a foreign entity. So the Spark will be just fine as my travel drone. Plus I have 5 batteries. That has to count for something.
2018-3-4
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fans772f3e1f
lvl.1
Flight distance : 734354 ft
Canada
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Bing Err Posted at 3-4 23:52
I agree. I've put over 40 hours on it and 300+ miles. It doesn't fly as good as it used to, but it's still ok. I'm buying the Mavic Air but will still be taking my Spark to France and Iceland this month because it's cheaper, reliable, and still shoots decent pic and video.
I'd love to take the new Mavic Air but fear it being stolen, crashed in a distant country, or confiscated by a foreign entity. So the Spark will be just fine as my travel drone. Plus I have 5 batteries. That has to count for something.

Hi. My spark is at 27 hours flight time. Recently one of my friends has just bought a brand new spark. I did have a chance to use it as well. I did not feel any difference between them while flying but when both devices are switched off, my spark's motors are turning more freely by hand. The new ones you can feel magnets are more powerful resisting to turn. And when they are both idling at the ground it sounds like new one rotates relatively slower than my spark. I wonder what kind of change did you feel over 40 hours. Could you be more specific?
2018-11-22
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Bing Err
Captain
Flight distance : 8899783 ft
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United States
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fans772f3e1f Posted at 11-22 19:20
Hi. My spark is at 27 hours flight time. Recently one of my friends has just bought a brand new spark. I did have a chance to use it as well. I did not feel any difference between them while flying but when both devices are switched off, my spark's motors are turning more freely by hand. The new ones you can feel magnets are more powerful resisting to turn. And when they are both idling at the ground it sounds like new one rotates relatively slower than my spark. I wonder what kind of change did you feel over 40 hours. Could you be more specific?

The Spark doesn't fly quite as straight as it did before. Still very functional and quick to respond, but I should fly a BRAND NEW Spark sometime to feel the difference. I'd say it still flies 90% as well as it did when new.
2018-11-22
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Flighty
Captain
Flight distance : 1977175 ft
Croatia
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34 flt hrs and the Spark is still going well, very well. I don't see a need for any change, and hopefully still flying in many years to come...
2018-11-22
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H. Arif - Nobody
First Officer
Flight distance : 258061 ft
Canada
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I've had 2 flyaways in about 3 months, so my answer would irrelevant. LOL
2018-11-22
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SAADHERO
First Officer
Flight distance : 1654042 ft
Kuwait
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i have 5 hours so Far and 58k Km
i Wonder when should i start doing repairs
2018-11-23
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jyc
Captain
Flight distance : 2026663 ft
Canada
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Mine has 42 hours of flight time and is as good as new, I plan to keep it. The next aircraft I acquire will fill professional needs, it could be fixed wing, quadcopter or even multicopter.
2018-11-23
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Nidge
First Officer

United Kingdom
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For the last decade multirotors/drones have essentially remained the same. They fly and if equipped with a camera they take stills and video. The technology they use has been improved upon with more advanced flight controllers, more efficient batteries and propulsion systems, more advanced autonomous functions. These improvements have greatly aided the user yet these same changes can still be implemented on to products the manufacturer now considers to be obsolete.
Example 1:  I still have a Phantom 1. This Phantom has an average flight time of 20minutes, is equipped with a 4K 3axis stabilised camera, capable of autonomous flight, true it only has a standard definition video downlink but still just as capable for lining up that all important shot.

These days, and I see this both as unfortunate and insulting, the trend amongst manufacturers is to adopt similar sales and marketing principles as cell phone manufacturers. By this I mean a year after release of a product they limit, or completely stop, support for that product in favour of their new kid on the block. This artificially makes the previous model obsolete compelling the user, at extra cost, to upgrade to the newer model even though the supposed enhancements are not necessarily so great in the first place.

Example2. I recently contacted DJI concerning a piece of equipment they still sell. My query was about changing the code in the APP so that the Geo-Zones were consistent with the rest of their product line. Their response was that it was no longer supported and that I should purchase newer hardware, N3 FC and RTK system. If it wasn’t bad enough their suggestion was for me to scrap perfectly good electronics for equipment both more costly and not available for use in my country.

What I’m trying to say, probably very badly, is that I believe a manufacturer has a moral commitment to support their customers and ensure the customer has the best experience with their products, and not to ditch support in favour of pushing them toward a product that to all intents and purposes is both geographically and financially unobtainable.

Ranty fist waving over.

Nidge

2018-11-23
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Tentoes
Captain
Flight distance : 4681243 ft
United States
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Sylvester will likely last as long as the Sgt Major lets me fly it. Then will likely sit in a closet forgotten.
2018-11-23
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jyc
Captain
Flight distance : 2026663 ft
Canada
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Nidge Posted at 11-23 05:20
For the last decade multirotors/drones have essentially remained the same. They fly and if equipped with a camera they take stills and video. The technology they use has been improved upon with more advanced flight controllers, more efficient batteries and propulsion systems, more advanced autonomous functions. These improvements have greatly aided the user yet these same changes can still be implemented on to products the manufacturer now considers to be obsolete.
Example 1:  I still have a Phantom 1. This Phantom has an average flight time of 20minutes, is equipped with a 4K 3axis stabilised camera, capable of autonomous flight, true it only has a standard definition video downlink but still just as capable for lining up that all important shot.

Well said, I agree one hundred percent.
2018-11-23
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NRRTRAINS 85
Second Officer

United States
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use it and don't worry about  life span .
2018-11-23
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djiuser_oRXVKkXYMjnQ
lvl.1

Finland
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Nidge Posted at 11-23 05:20
For the last decade multirotors/drones have essentially remained the same. They fly and if equipped with a camera they take stills and video. The technology they use has been improved upon with more advanced flight controllers, more efficient batteries and propulsion systems, more advanced autonomous functions. These improvements have greatly aided the user yet these same changes can still be implemented on to products the manufacturer now considers to be obsolete.
Example 1:  I still have a Phantom 1. This Phantom has an average flight time of 20minutes, is equipped with a 4K 3axis stabilised camera, capable of autonomous flight, true it only has a standard definition video downlink but still just as capable for lining up that all important shot.


We live in "consumptive society" for the lack of better word. It is nod good for business to make a long lasting product. It has to wear down, it has to brake down in order to make more sale. That's just to keep the business profitable and rolling.
2018-12-31
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ssylca44
Captain
Flight distance : 393701 ft
Canada
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Even if the device doesn't break down or even wear out, it comes a time when there will be a new model much more technologically advanced and also cheaper. Drones, phones, tablets, PCs all fall in this situation. All it takes is 2 to 3 years to make these devices obsolete.
Happy New year to All.
S.
2018-12-31
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Tentoes
Captain
Flight distance : 4681243 ft
United States
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Tentoes Posted at 11-23 09:30
Sylvester will likely last as long as the Sgt Major lets me fly it. Then will likely sit in a closet forgotten.

And I'm no longer allowed to fly Sylvester, so I expect that's about the end of his life.
2018-12-31
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