Delighted to bring you a review of the Yuneec Typhoon H by Ian Kiely, founder of Drone Expo, see more here about him. Anyone looking to invest in a drone at this level whether professional or enthusiast should definitely consider the Yuneec Typhoon H.
Flying the new Yuneec Typhoon H at the Battle for the Bay in Dublin. Pure Magic pic.twitter.com/LCsTypDJyb
— Ian kiely (@Skydronesian) May 28, 2016
I have had it for almost a week now and I love it, we took it to the Battle for the Bay in Dublin last weekend where we put it through its paces with a couple of guys from FPV Leinster, I also allowed some novice fliers from our office have a go and see what their thoughts were. It’s very easy to learn as a 16GB micro SD-card with instructions is included and a 32GB memory stick.
Up to this point I have been mostly using DJI products and I would liken the Typhoon to the Phantom 4 but you get a lot more bang for your buck at €1450 with lots of extras included, it is a really nice looking machine, well thought out and precisely engineered with a modular system to replace parts and accessories.
The Machine Itself
It weighs about 1.8 Kilos with battery and camera so it must be registered with the IAA in Ireland. There are a lot of functional features such as retractable landing gear manually operated to improve camera performance and it looks cool.
The H offers six rotors compared to its predecessor and rivals with quick-loc propellers and a second set included, in the event that you lose one rotor its ability to fly remains quite stable. This is not the only advanced safety feature, it comes equipped with sonar sensors for collision avoidance, we tested this and it does what it says on the tin unlike the P4 which uses camera technology but unfortunately cannot recognise a flat wall painted white or black as I witnessed it crash twice recently. The machine also has foldable arms with button release for compact storage. (A number of people have referred to it as a spider when folded). I think a well-placed handle for carrying could be a good addition at a later stage.
As RPAS go it is not that noisy even facing into the wind which it does without any problems. In April we were using a test model at the RDS for Drone Expo Ireland it was fairly windy and was also lightly raining which did not seem to bother performance at all.
A stable flight is guaranteed with lots of modes including orbit me, curve cable cam, watch me/follow me and point of interest. You can easily adjust the settings to vary flight sensitivity.
When in flight my first thought was that it’s like picking up a fancy pen that you immediately want to put in your pocket compared to the standard Bic biro.
It was with dismay that I only received 1 4s lipo battery in the pack (Based on RRP in the UK they will retail here at around €140) however they do last the advertised 22 mins with a little wiggle room. They are easy to install/remove and take about 2 ½ hours to charge. The charging station is a little cumbersome and has no indicators but it will charge the battery and ground station at the same time and we liked this, it also comes with a car charger. The battery is well packed but as with any lipo do not leave it unattended when charging.
The 12 megapixel 4K camera is a dream, it is very stable with a 3-axis gimbal, 360o rotation and no landing gear in the way, slow motion capture with full HD and lots of modes to choose from. The picture quality is sharp with no noticeable curvature and in general very user friendly.
It is awkward to access the micro SD slot but an added advantage is that you can have a second SD in the ground station as a back-up, the telemetry will also inform you if you forget to put it in. The lens cap doubles as a gimbal clamp, it is very easy to remove and replace but be wary if it is not facing to the front it will not fit back into the box and you could damage it.
The physical camera is quick release and has no wires to be concerned over.
The Ground Station
Intel have put a lot of investment and Yuneec a lot of thought into the control mechanisms. For starters there is a built in 7” HD touchscreen with a HDMI port for an external monitor. This is a big saving on having to buy an independent screen and it allows you to review captured images and video while airborne. Detailed telemetry feeds to the same screen with multiple options for adjusting the camera and other facilities.
As it is Android it takes a few minutes to bind with the drone and is a little slower that other offerings on the market. It is a very attractive piece of hardware that comes with a neck strap and sunshade which are usually extra. The neck strap is very practical and connects in four places, this is important as the controller is quite large. The sunshade is great to have and packs away neatly, it is a little bit flimsy and does not connect very well with the device, with some practice it is now a little more secure.
There is a start stop switch, built in battery with a pretty good life, tilt and pan modes, obstacle avoidance and a selection of flight modes all within reach of your fingers while in flight, access to the camera controls is also practical.
I have not had much experience with this but it is a great piece of technology, similar to a TV remote control it comes with a water resistant pouch and strap for your arm, you can operate the drone with this by holding it at different angles, you can also point to a certain position and the UAS will fly there at the set altitude. This feature is excellent if you want to have a separate camera operator just switch to team mode or you can set a pre-determined course with a number of points and operate the camera yourself.
Everything you need to perform a job fits into a hardened polystyrene box that is moulded for all of your items, it is compact, robust and lightweight, fully packaged with all the bells and whistles it weighs 7.1Kg, it will fit into an optional back pack at around €140 again based on UK prices.
I had the pleasure of meeting some of the Yuneec team while getting some demo time, they are excellent pilots, know their product inside out and are always willing to engage on improvement ideas. There’s lots more I could say about the Typhoon H but you should just go out and buy one or at least convince a friend to let you have a go of theirs.
— Yuneec UK (@YuneecU) June 14, 2016