An overview of the pre launch testing Freefly completed to ensure Alta X performs to spec
The team at Freefly comes from a cinema background and spent the first decade of their career onset filming in some of the most demanding circumstances available. It was from this period and all the failures we endured (at the worst times) that we developed the testing philsophy that drives Freefly today.
We like to test early, test frequently, and test harder than any of our customers will. We push our drones and gimbals to the limits (and often destroy them) in order to make sure you can rely on them when time is short and the light is beautiful.
We sweat the details so you don't have to!
Product Development Process
Freefly typically follows an product development workflow with the following stages. We have developed this process over the last decade to help ensure adequate effort goes into each product we build at each of the critical stages of development.
Mule / Prototype
This is a very rough prototype that the team will build over the couse of 1 -2 weeks to quickly derisk any of the items that we are very worried about with our design intent. For Alta X this was a flat plate carbon chassis mule that we built over the course of a week designed to ensure flight performance and tuning.
EV - Engineering Validation
This is the first prototype that is based upon our intendend design. Often times we will rapid prototype parts and machine parts for this round in house. At this stage we are not sure if many of our designs will work and we want to get them built and testing as quickly as possible to figure where we missed. All the materials should be fully functional and testable.
For this stage we mainly want to know if we can build a machine that meets all functional requirments
We usually build 10 to 20 units during the EV test period
DV - Design Validation
This stage will feature one configuration that worked well from our EV testing period and be built with hard tools with production processes that are being refined for mass production.
We want to know if we can build machines that meet all functional, and cosmetic requirements
This might be 20 to 50 units
PV - Production Validation
Now we are scaling! Can we build machines that achieve our functional, cosmetic, and manufacturing metrics consistently? Are we able to build machines that repeatably delight our customers in a systematic fashion?