UDI U829A UFO Quadcopter

Posted August 9, 2014 By Jonathan Malory

I went to Leeds model shop the other day at Cross Gates to get some tools and ended up buying this UDI U829A UFO Quadcopter.

It cost about £85 and was a bit of a compromise as I was looking at a Blade helicopter for £160 but decided that was too much to spend seeing as I’d only gone to buy a set of hex drivers.

Anyway, I’m really happy that I bought this as it flies really nice, and in fact it’s a joy to fly. This one will not be going up on the wall with the other stuff I don’t fly anymore just yet.

It has a built in camera which is total pants that would have been out of date 5 years ago, but I don’t really care about that. I can easily put on a different, better camera like the full HD HK Wing Cam II or the 720p 808 Key chain Camera.

I just love the flight characteristics of this AR Drone-like quadcopter, it’s graceful and agile at the same time and it will bounce off walls and legs.

udi-u829a-quadcopterI’m thinking if using it as a trainer quadcopter for its ease of use and non-intimidating aspects. My friend Alex is interested in having a go at flying but never really tried it before. He’s tried the Nano quad and other small toys, but they’re actually really difficult to fly compared to this.

Also, because of its size, you can get some quite decent height out of it and still see your orientation so I think it will be an ideal trainer for moving onto more expensive quadcopters for aerial photography. You can fly this around doing circuits and nose-in flying without worrying too much about messing up and crashing it.

The battery is a 850mah 2 cell 7.4v and gives you nearly 10 minutes of flight time I think, though I did run the battery almost complete down. Still, with this size of battery and lightness of quadcopter you don’t really need to worry about the battery’s longevity too much. I already ordered a couple of spares for only 6 quid, which is not a lot at all compared to the £400 + battery sets x6 I had to buy for the pro hexacopter.

I mentioned the AR Drone before because they are a little similar with the nacelles on, protecting the props/you from the props, but I actually prefer this quadcopter I think. It’s a lot cheaper for a start, has a bit more umph and comes with a proper radio instead of flying with a stupid iPhone or whatever.

I’d never normally buy one of these, what I call no name brands, but I’m very glad I did, it’s a lot of fun.

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TBS Caipirinha Flying Wing Test Flight

Posted June 18, 2014 By Jonathan Malory

After waiting for a lot of cloudy, miserable days to pass, I finally got to fly my new TBS Caipirinha today. This is my first flying wing that I’ve managed to fly. I do have an RVJet but that is much more intimidating, it’s huge compared to this.

Launching the TBS Caipirinha was really easy. I just held it by the wing and gently flung is like a discus with about half throttle. With both hands on the TX I full throttled it and the wing flew straight up, vertically, into the air. This bird climbs really fast. I’m used to flying EasyStars, AXNs and Bixlers, which fly great but take a while to reach altitude, and sometimes struggle to get into the air when there’s no headwind.

There was hardly any wind today. In fact the wind was so gentle I didn’t even bother to land upwind as I thought it would make no difference. The Caipirinha didn’t seem to care about the lack of head wind for extra lift on take-off, it’s like it wants to soar high as quickly as possible.

There is no rudder, which takes a bit of getting used to if you normally have one, but it’s a total doddle to fly. It’s also very easy to land. If you cut the powers it sort of drops but stays flat, so if you judge it right you can land in a pretty small space. With my EasyStar I often find myself going around again because the bugger doesn’t want to land in the same field as me!

tbs-caipirinha

I’m also using the new FY41AP Lite, which is totally awesome. It’s an autopilot, with Return to Launch, Auto Balance Mode and Loiter Mode and has an On Screen Display all built into the same unit. Plus it is tonnes cheaper than the full FY41AP, which has waypoint capabilities, which I have never used thus far on a plane.

When I next test this plane I think I want to try fitting a point and shoot camera, with the lens pointing straight down through a hole in the front of the wing, to see if it will carry it and take some amazing photographs.

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