Skyward Software Platform

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Hey everyone!

I am currently looking into starting a drone photography business. The business would focus on filmmaking (not real estate, construction, etc...). I have been in contact with Skyward, trying to see if there are any services I would need from them. They said that they often work with small businesses offering their software platform. From what I see on their website it looks like the software may be used more for drone businesses focusing on real estate and construction.  Would anyone suggest that software for what my business would be doing?

I really appreciate any help!

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Kind of an open ended question.  

It really depends what you hope to accomplish with your business.  If you need to plan, schedule, track usage, apply for LAANC approvals for several teams being deployed confidently then this type of software could be benifitial.  It helps you glean operational information that helps manage your business.  

But if your a single artisan it’s likely not going to improve your operation enough to justify the additional expense and work needed to implement it.  If your planning on growing your business organically, starting with yourself and potentially adding one or two additional operators over the first year, you certainly don’t need this to get started.  

There are also other similar software that’s less expensive.  If it were me, I would focus on creating aerial cinema techniques that help demonstrate how reliable and efficient you are at getting the right shots or shots your competition can’t get. 

This type of software can certainly help improve the effieciency of your business but does very little to help you differentiate from your competition or get more business.  

Start without it, you can always add it later after you gain enough experience to answer this question yourself.



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What you need from a business sense is just some common organization to start.  Were still using excel spreadsheets.

I started using Skyward only for their LAANC authorization, and still do.  This is a free service.

Our shop started as a small one person one drone UAS "proof of concept", and now we are up to 25 pilots and 25 aircraft, from Spark trainer to M600 heavy lifters. (anafi and yuneec too).  We are averaging around 10 flights a month.

In terms of "managing" our personnel, hardware, and software, we still cannot afford spending $300-$500 a month on Enterprise type software.
There is just not that much value for the cost, and I very much dislike how the software forces you to conform to its particular way of entry.

We have started looking into Airdata...what that provides is incredible in terms of flight records viewing, battery maint, and history of missions.
There is a limited 100 flight Free Option in Airdata that has our pilots evaluating it personally/recreationally.
We are not big enough to justify the Enterprise version ($3000/yr).

We also are looking into FlightReader, which is only $300 (perpetual) for unlimited use on a single PC. 

FlightReader is PC based, not in the cloud like Airdata.



These may be what your looking for if the business grows beyond excel spreadsheets anymore.







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