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The Aero LaunchPad is the best way to let your drone take flight

Planes have runways, helicopters have helipads, and drones have … well … concrete or grass. Considering how fragile drones can be, it’s amazing that the best solution for launching them up until now has been placing them on the ground and lifting off from there.

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That all changes though with a new little accessory from Tether Tools. It’s called Aero LaunchPad and, as the name suggests, it’s a small, tripod-mountable platform designed to act as a liftoff and landing pad for drones.

Rather than kicking up the small pieces of dirt, grass, and gravel that are whirled around as drones rotors start to spin, the Aero LaunchPad enables drones to take off from a clean, elevated platform.

Not only does the Aero LaunchPad make for a clean surface for drones to life off from, when used with a tripod or light stand, it acts as a platform for making pre-flight and post-flight assessments. Batteries, propellers, gimbals, and everything else on the drone can be checked without the need to get down on your hands and knees.

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Related: DJI Focus is a game changer for aerial drone video

The platform has been constructed from a lightweight aluminum composite and coated in a clever paint scheme reminiscent of helipad markings. At only three pounds, the Aero LaunchPad is light enough to carry around, but sturdy enough to be mounted to any 1/4″ or 3/8″ tripod mount.

The platform measures in at 18”x 16”, a size sufficient to ensure a secure platform for all but the most monstrous of drones. The 30-pound weight limit should also support almost any drone you throw its way.

The Aero LaunchPad comes with a lifetime warranty and retails for $230. It’s not cheap, but considering how much wear and tear it could save a far more expensive drone, it’s likely a worthwhile investment for serious operators.