The good folks at Steadidrone the Knysna South Africa based multirotor manufacturer have very kindly sent one of their ready to fly units for us to review. Its a machine that uses the APM 2.5 autopilot from 3D Robotics as a brain which means unlike the DJI Phantom it is capable of waypoint missions whilst carrying a GoPro camera.
In their words it comes with.
• SteadiDrone QU4D advanced carbon fibre airframe kit with foldable compact arms, durable aluminium landing gear and engraved top dome cover
• Fixed GoPro bracket for high quality stills and video – no props in the shot even at 170′
• ArduCopter APM 2.5 Flight Control System – Full advanced GPS guidance, unlimited waypoint navigation, return to home, auto land fail-safes, GPS, ALT hold and more
• Long range wireless data telemetry system for live mission planning and telemetry to ground station / laptop
• 4 x 650Kv 3506 powerfull and efficient SteadiDrone brushless motors
• 1 x 4 in 1 Motor controller
• 4 x 10” Props
• 6Ch 2.4Ghz Advanced digital flight control radio system
• 4200mah 4S SteadiDrone power pack – up to 20min flight time!
• AC/DC Battery charger kit
• Lipo alarm checker
• SteadiDrone stickers
Required: Nothing, comes built, tested and fully ready to go, just plug in the battery and fly!
Well once the weather clears here I will discover if it really is plug in and fly. A few things have impressed me already though. The devil as they often say is in the detail and little things matter.
Direction arrows on the propellers with the corresponding sticker on the arm that shows you the correct propeller to mount on that motor.
A sticker underneath reminding me to put the TX on before plugging in the flight battery.
Its these things that show some thought has been put into the product.
The manual is clear although other than the arming instruction RTF buyers don’t need much if it
I’ve been waiting for this package for quite a while so I guess it’s ok if I nerd out and do an unboxing video.
First couple of flights went beautifully with no crashes and a lot of fun! Coming from a Phantom I can see why the qu4d is worth the price difference. This machine is super responsive and feels great to fly. I haven’t balanced the props or motors yet but even in “low rate” mode I feel like every subtle shift of the sticks is felt immediately with minimal latency. I toyed around with the regular mode as well and I can see that with a lot of practice I will look like a bad ass dogfighting ace pilot. I really really wish my damn GoPro hadn’t been a faulty one that needed replacing right before my qu4d arrived. Also just ordered a usb adapter for my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 so we will see how mission planner talks to that once I figure out where to plug in the telemetry transmitter.