FlightData Manager is an innovative tool with which you can add personalized overlays to your Parrot drone videos. We recently caught up with Kenth Jensen, the developer of FlightData Manager, who told us more about why and how, he started creating this telemetry software that quickly found a coveted place among the Parrot community.
Hello Kenth, tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Kenth Fuglsang Jensen, I live in Denmark and I’m 43 years old. I’m a software testing engineer and I specialize in the development of automated test systems.
I have been working within programming for the last 20 years. I worked in the telecom industry for 13 years. And over the last 6 years, I’ve been working for a Danish company, developing hearing aids and accessories.
I developed FlightData Manager entirely in my spare time over the last 3 and a half years, as a hobby. I’ve had great fun developing the program, and I’ve learned quite a lot from it. It was the first time I had created a program that was used by other people. Most of my earlier programs didn’t contain any real user interfaces.
I’m in touch with users of FlightData Manager on an almost daily basis. The user are based all around the globe and they contact me via email or Facebook, whenever they encounter a problem with the program or have an idea for further improvements or new features.
How did you become a drone enthusiast and what attracted you to the Parrot brand?
I got a Parrot Bebop 1 drone as a present for my 40th birthday, and I’ve been hooked ever since. The attraction to Parrot was mostly a coincidence; Parrot Bebop 1 had just hit the marked at the time, containing cutting-edge technology at a reasonable price.
Tell us more about Flight Data
With FlightData Manager you have personalized overlays for your drone video. The overlays display the following information:
- Speed in km/h or mph
- Altitude in meters or feet
- Altitude over ground in meter or feet
- Distance between yourself and the drone in meters or feet
- Distance flown in meters or feet
- Battery level of the drone in percentage
- GPS track, shows a small track of the flight and a dot indicates the current position on the track
- WiFi signal level
- Number of satellites
What incited you create personalized overlays for the Parrot Bebop range?
I’m really into all kinds of technical things. When I first saw the videos taken by my drone, I was constantly wondering how fast it was flying and at what altitude etc. Then I realized that it was possible to extract this info from the drone and add it to the video.
I decided to make it available for other users by uploading the files to a very simple website and very quickly, other drone pilots adopted it.
They would often get in touch with me about new ideas they had for features or to report bugs in the program etc. Being contacted by an increasing number of users and drone pilots motivated me to continue developing new features for the program.
And today you’re adapting the software to ANAFI?
I saw a few videos and reviews of ANAFI on YouTube, and it looked very interesting, with amazing video quality. So, I decided that it would be a great idea to create a version of FlightData Manager for ANAFI too.
Have you had the chance to test ANAFI?
I’ve been spending most of my time creating a compatible version of FlightData Manager for ANAFI, so unfortunately I haven’t had that much time to actually fly it.
What were your first impressions of ANAFI?
I was really impressed with the compactness of ANAFI, due to the fact that it is foldable. Also I was surprised by how small Parrot Skycontroller 3 was. I was used to Parrot Skycontroller 1, which was bulky.
The video quality is truly amazing, so much better than many other drones. I think it was the right decision to move away from the fixed camera and integrated a gimbal instead. The fact that you can charge the battery with any standard USB charger is a nice touch. I’m aiming to get some more batteries so I can fly for longer.
What features would you like to see implemented on future drones?
Until now, ANAFI is almost everything I’ve wanted in a drone, but of course, it would always be nice to have an even longer flight time and faster speeds.