I wanted to get my son in radio controlled flying and after looking at a couple of other options I was eventually talked into buying a quadcopter (cheers Nick @ Soar Ahead Sailplanes) – begrudgingly, as I’m not really into helicopters, being a slope ‘purest’. After a quick look I found this on Ebay for about £40 inc. p&p.
The box was cheap, with cheap vacuum formed insert but who cares, the packaging was in the bin soon after opening! The instructions were OK, the only problem I could see was there was no instruction about which of the pairs of blades went on which motor. I figured it out eventually, partly trial & error!
What comes with it?
You get a USB charger (so you can use a laptop / usb phone charger etc.), 4 spare blades, 2 batteries (which is great as flight time is 7-8 mins and charging time is 45 mins), a camera (which although is 2mb is actually quite reasonable quality), micro sd card + usb adapter, the Syma X5C and a transmitter. I’m happy with that, could do with a couple of spare screws though…
To get it going you have to switch the transmitter & quadcopter on and wait until the flashing lights on the Syma slow down, then push the throttle stick up and down & the quadcopter beeps indicating it’s readiness. The quadcopter must be put on a level service during this ‘dance’ as it calibrates itself during this time.
I had not flown a quadcopter before & found it to be a surprisingly relaxing experience. These things have clever programming in them that stabilises them dramatically! You can even fling the quadcopter into the air but as soon as you touch the throttle it stops and levels itself out instantly!
We had a list of skills (shown in these pics!)we wanted to learn and ticked off each one as we managed them. These included: figure of eight, flying towards yourself, flick tricks (using the ‘go crazy’ button on the tx, fying through the bars (in the garden), land on the wall, touch and go, 360 spins and loads more. My son drew a diagram for each one, very cute.
It weighs nothing and so bounces off of most things wonderfully. I’ve hit walls, trees, children, myself and it’s still going. Obviously if you try to break it you’ll succeed but being fairly careful we’ve only replaced one blade since Xmas.
Flying up t’ Boss
My son flying the drone at our local park (The Boss). He’s using the “go crazy button” to do flicks (what might be called rolls & loops if it was a proper aircraft!) and generally fooling around. There was a bit of a wind, maybe 10 mph which the quadcopter handled OK but I wouldn’t fly it in a heavier wind.
Quadcopter fun in the park
My son loves flying in between things, which he’s very good at, I’m not good at it and have tested the bounceability on many an occasion.
Syma X5C Video Camera footage
Just a quick video to show you the quality of the 2mb camera on the Syma X5c quadcopter. Yes the piloting is really crap, it’s all about the camera this time OK?
Yes, absolutely! I’ve recommended it everyone (my son is 9 years old, I bet it’s normal for kids to pick up flying skills so quickly – this is a few days of practice – he is part of the XBox generation), a great toy for boys, big and little!