When it comes to the professional scene of drone racers, from IDRA competitors to the DRL pilots, there is always one main detail that separates them from the average drone pilot: a custom built system.
These tailored machines often create an artificial hurdle for newcomers to the scene who are interested in the sport. The average consumer who has no knowledge about drones will often see the expensive, high maintenance machines and assume that it is the standard. Nobody wants to spend well over $1,000 on a piece of hardware that they are just going to crash on the first flight.
Luckily, there exists the Hubsan X4 H107D FPV Drone! This prebuilt gadget has a lot to offer, even if it won’t compete with the professional pilots. The Hubsan X4 is a strong entry-level drone that is both quick and cheap, two of the most important qualities for an average consumer looking to get into drone racing.
One of the key features of the H107D is that it is ready to fly almost immediately out of the box. Some calibration is required, but that is to be expected of any drone that you use. The included controller has a viewing screen that connects to the integrated camera onboard, providing a makeshift FPV experience at a very low cost. Using a recent 6-axis gyroscopic flight control system you get a very stable flight, which is very important for someone just starting out. On top of this, the spare parts are cheap, readily available, and easy to install for the inevitable crashes that every beginner pilot will experience.
Specifications and Key Features:
- Up to date 6-axis gyroscopic stabilization to keep the craft straight
- Lightweight airframe and good durability
- Control Distance between 50 and 100 meters
- 30-minute charging time of a 3.7V 380mAh Lipo battery with auto cut-off safety PCB
- Approximately 7 minutes of flight time
- 0.3M pixels camera included (640×480 resolution)
- Bright LEDs to assist orientation and visibility
- Instant view video feed from the quad to a very solid transmitter
- Micro SD memory card slot
- Operates on a 2.4 GHz frequency and uses 5.8 GHz for video transmission
- Transmitter: 2.4GHz 4 channels vs. 4.3-inch LCD
- Four 820-size coreless motors
Included in the typical purchase of a Hubsan X4 are a propeller guard, a set of spare propeller blades, and a propeller removal tool. An extremely well-written manual is also included to help with the setup, but you will need your own AA batteries (4 of them) to power the transmitter, and your own Micro SD card to record the FPV video feed from the drone. There might be some hiccups if you are working with a previously used SD card; a new one is recommended for smoother sailing.
I also previously mentioned the craft’s durability. Being as light as it is, it’s very difficult to crash with enough force to break key components. Strong rigid plastic construction, as well as rubber shock absorbers that act as landing feet, reinforce the crash-proofing to a level ahead of most other ready-to-fly quadcopters on the market. Setting up and problem solving is a breeze, relatively, as the manual covers just about anything you could possibly need to know. On top of that, there are a huge number of X4 users out there willing to provide advice with maintenance and repairs.
A Hubsan X4 H107D will run you just about $110. It can easily fit in a customized build including your own pair of FPV goggles, but those can run you upwards of $300 on top of the cost of the drone, so it’s not recommended immediately for new pilots. The quad is quick, durable, and the transmitter is very responsive. The flight time is, unfortunately, a little short, but it remains a fantastic purchase for beginner and intermediate pilots who are aiming to break into drone racing.