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Does DJI Air 2s Have Waypoints? (Explained)

The DJI Air2S is a very capable machine, being a popular drone for both Recreational flyers and Professionals, alike.  The reason is the price to features ratio.  For the price of the drone, you get tons of features and hardware upgrades that, until recently, were only seen in the more expensive Mavic 2 Pro line of drones and other higher-end DJI drones.

One of the most asked-for features Air 2S owners have asked for would be Waypoints.  Waypoints were seen on various DJI drones, in previous versions of their flight apps, such as the DJI Go 4 app.

So, Does the DJI Air2S have waypoints?  Yes and no.

The DJI Air 2S does have waypoints in the DJI Fly app. However, this is just limited to the Hyperlapse feature.  If you’d like your DJI Air 2S to fly actual waypoint missions, you will have to purchase a 3rd party app such as Litchi.

» MORE: Litchi for DJI Drones (A Complete Guide)

What are drone waypoints?

To keep this simple and in layman’s terms, drone waypoints allow a drone to fly on a predetermined and planned path, which has been input into the drone’s flight app.  This path also includes height, speed, and directional information.

Oftentimes, waypoints are used for very complex drone mapping and surveying jobs, where a specific grid or area needs to be flown and recorded or photographed, regularly.  

In this case, waypoints (or GPS markers or pins) are dropped onto certain areas of a map, within the drone’s flight app and the drone will fly that preplanned route.

Currently, the DJI Fly app has no option for the Air 2S to fly such complicated routes and patterns using waypoints.  

Hyperlapse mode within the DJI Fly app

As was mentioned prior, the only current way to do waypoints within the DJI Fly App is using the Hyperlapse mode.  

Hyperlapse mode on the DJI Ari 2S is like a timelapse video. However, the drone itself is moving through the air taking pictures at regular intervals, after which these pictures are combined into a video.  

Note: To access the Waypoints option, you will have to have your drone turned on, connected to the DJI Fly app, and in the air.

To access Hyperlapse mode, while in camera view, press the “film” or “video” icon.  In this case, my Air 2S was in picture mode.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

After doing this, you will see the Hyperlapse mode.  Press Hyperlapse, then choose the Waypoint option to the left.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

Once you are in Waypoints, you can then set up your Hyperlapse options.  As this is an article on waypoints, we will not be going into all the steps to set up a Hyerlapse video.

Assuming your Hyperlapse is now all set, it is time to drop in your waypoints.  The waypoints in the Hyperlapse mode are different from the pinned waypoints you’d normally see in the DJI Go, Litchi, or Autel Explorer apps.  With those apps, you’d simply tap areas on the screen where you’d like the drone to fly.

In the DJI Fly App, you will need to navigate your Air 2S to the proper location, at the needed height, with the proper gimbal pitch, and then set the waypoint.  This is done by simply pressing the + (add) button on the Waypoint section.

Note: You can save up to 45 waypoints in Hyperlapse mode.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

Deleting a waypoint is possible by simply tapping the trashcan icon and adding your new waypoint.  It is best to delete your waypoint prior to flying to your new waypoint and setting that one, as the Air2S will fly out of your intended sequence to accommodate the newly added waypoint after deletion if it is not in logical order.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

If you need to verify your Hyperlapse settings, you can do so by tapping the small up arrow, as seen in the screenshot on adding waypoints, which will promptly show the settings (below).

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

After you have physically flown your route and added all your waypoints, you can either immediately run the Hyperlapse by pressing the record button to the right, or you can save your waypoint route, land, change batteries, and then run the waypoint route.

To save your route for later (or immediate) access, while in the waypoint view, tap the 3-dot menu.  This will bring you to the save screen in the task library.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

Although the waypoints in the DJI Fly App are limited to just Hyperlapse Mode, it is a nice addition.  Being able to set a custom course and let the drone take over gives one peace of mind knowing the Hyperlapse will be shot as envisioned.

Using Litchi for waypoints with your Air 2S

In January of 2022, DJI released the SDK (software development kit) for a few of its popular drones, including the Air 2S.  This developer’s kit enables 3rd party application developers to gain access to the capabilities and functions of said DJI hardware.

With this release of the SDK for the Air 2S, Litchi, one of the more popular 3rd party developers of autonomous drone flight software, updated their software with functionality for the Air 2S (among other new DJI drones).

To use Litchi, you will need to download and install it from either the Google Play Store or the iOs App Store.  The software is not free and will set you back $25 USD.

Note: For this article, I used litchi for Android, as my primary flight devices are Android Based.

Waypoints Mode

Within the Litchi app, go into Waypoints mode by pressing the FPV mode icon and choosing Waypoints.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

This will bring you to the Waypoint Mode screen.

Note: There are 7 flight modes to choose from in the list and your current mode might be sent to any of them, depending on your last used mode: 

  • FPV
  • Waypoint
  • Follow
  • Orbit
  • Focus
  • Pano
  • Track

Accessing pin mode (within waypoint mode)

Litchi is now ready for you to set up your Waypoint mission/flight.  Firstly, you’ll need to set the mode to allow you to drop in pins.  Press the yellow plus with the pin icon.  That will then turn blue showing you are now ready to drop in waypoints.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

You will notice on your screen (as seen above), that your home point is a green circle with the letter H.  You’ll want your home point recorded prior to setting up your waypoints.  Litchi, like the DJI Fly App, is fairly timely when it comes to recording the home point.

To set your waypoints, all you will need to do is tap on the screen where you’d like your waypoints placed for the drone will fly there.   Below is a quick mission I set up by simply tapping out a circular route.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

Looking at the picture closely, you will see that the height of the route is set at only 3 feet (the number above the pins.  This is because I failed to set the height and various options on the 1st pin.  When you set the actions correctly in the first drop pin, all the subsequent pins in the mission retain the original settings.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

When you drop in your first pin, you will be able to tap the numbered box, go in, and set the height, aircraft speed, gimbal pitch/angle, and camera actions.  

After the waypoints have been set, you will see your route highlighted in yellow, showing your route, including the curves in the route.  It is nice that the curve radius is built-in, as that will ensure the drone takes a smooth path, instead of the old-fashioned jerky waypoint paths of old.

Some of the other useful information located here would be the distance and duration of the flight as well as the ability to delete the mission, by tapping on the X on the upper right-hand side of the screen.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

After reviewing all the flight parameters (especially paying attention to the height of the drone, ensuring the highest objects in the route will be cleared), you can run the mission.  

Note: As a rule of thumb, I start the mission off with the drone already in the air, at the height it will be running through the mission.

Tap the Start/Play button on the left, then choose GO in the start mission screen.  This screen will also give you the total distance and time of the mission.  

If something appears to be off on the screen, or you’d like to change options, you can do so by simply hitting Cancel.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

Accessing draw mode

Draw mode is a useful and quick mode, as, instead of dropping waypoints around the map, you draw the path you’d like your Air 2S to take and the waypoints/pins are dropped automatically via a batch mode.

To access the Drawing Mode, click on the wrench next to the add waypoint/pin icon.  You’ll then be able to choose the drawing tool which looks like a pencil or crayon.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

After the drawing tool has been selected, simply draw the route you’d like your Air 2S to follow.

After this has been done, the waypoint batch settings screen pops up, allowing you to set such parameters as Altitude, Speed, etc.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

After you have chosen your options, you will see your route all mapped out with waypoints and appropriate curve radius’.

Image Credit: Dan Bayne

Like with the standard waypoint pin mode, you can delete the mission by simply tapping the X in the upper right-hand corner.

To start the mission, simply tap the Start/Play button on the left of the screen.

Note: Regardless of the mission type you plan out (Pin or Drawn), you can save missions for future usages, such as for regular mapping or construction progress jobs.  This can be done by tapping on the save button, which is an icon of a floppy disk to the left of the screen.

Pausing and canceling the mission in-flight

Once in flight, it is easy to regain control of your drone using the mission controls. These are:

  1. Stop the mission
  2. Mission settings
  3. Pause the mission
  4. Return home

Conclusion

As has been noted time and again, the Air 2S is quite a capable machine.  When you look at the solid build and pro-level features, the Air 2S is the first drone I personally grab for filming projects.

Add in the ability to run proper waypoint missions and you now have a drone capable of getting footage for a wider variety of jobs.

While the $25 price tag of Litchi might not be justifiable for some, seeing that the Air 2S does indeed have waypoints built-in to one of the intelligent flight modes (Hyperlapse) in the DJI Fly app is a great addition and a step in the right direction.

Additional Image Credits:
Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash (link)
Photo by Félix Besombes on Unsplash (link)