American IF800 Tomcat drone designed to beat the Chinese tech ban

IF800 Tomcat drone in flight over fields with blue sky
Inspired Flight Technologies IF800 Tomcat drone (Image credit: Inspired Flight)

Inspired Flight Technologies seem to have looked to a Chinese competitor to prompt their company name, founded as it was well after the DJI Inspire emerged. Unlike that drone, however, the new IF800 Tomcat is made in America. That makes it safe to buy for US government agencies –  because lawmakers in some states are starting to ban Chinese drones for unproven alleged spyware.

Anyway, bad news for Chinese vendors is good news for American ones, and the new IF800 is a medium-lift commercial drone aimed at customers who need NDAA compliance (National Defence Authorisation Act).

The drone has a flight time of up to 40 minutes and has a dual battery system with hot-swappable batteries. The payload is up to 3kg, and Inspired Flight already has a range of cameras available camera mounts available. These include gimbals for Sony RX100, Sony A7R, and Sony RX1R II, as well as a Lidar and infrared scanner.

The airframe itself folds for travel, and is able to tilt the gimbal 30˚ upwards (as well as down) for easier surveying of things like pylons and turbines.

Inspired Flight is based in California, and so far as we know is only planning to sell this drone to customers in the USA. They are looking for customers in business, government, and enthusiasts (though their prices suggest otherwise), and are clearly proud of the company's location.

Company CEO Rick Stollmeyer put it this way: "Most of the key technologies that enable the impressive performance and utility of modern, commercial drones were invented in the United States. The Inspires Flight team is honored to play our part in restoring these capabilities to our shores."

For now, that's all we can say as the drone is "set to ship before the end of" 2023. If your needs are more immediate, perhaps check our list of best camera drones. In the meantime, there are Chinese options that do meet this spec, and we have reviewed the American Skydio 2+.

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Adam Juniper
Managing Editor

With over 20 years of expertise as a tech journalist, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge across a vast number of product categories, including timelapse cameras, home security cameras, NVR cameras, photography books, webcams, 3D printers and 3D scanners, borescopes, radar detectors… and, above all, drones. 

Adam is our resident expert on all aspects of camera drones and drone photography, from buying guides on the best choices for aerial photographers of all ability levels to the latest rules and regulations on piloting drones. 

He is the author of a number of books including The Complete Guide to Drones, The Smart Smart Home Handbook, 101 Tips for DSLR Video and The Drone Pilot's Handbook