I recently picked up a Yuneec Typhoon Q500+. I know I know it’s not the latest greatest, but honestly that’s the point. With almost everything technology wise when the new models come out the prices drop on the older models. I bought this quad through Amazon with 2 batteries, an Aluminum case, spare props and the steady grip, which allows you to turn the 1080p camera/gimbal into a hand held steady cam. This is March 2016 and I paid $700 for this package. It is a lot of bang for the buck.
I set up a video camera to show the unboxing. No offense to all the UAV/Drone guys doing unboxing videos, I really appreciate what you do but for me, you take too long. I’m sure it’s ok for everyone else. So my video is probably the shortest unboxing video ever.
The Aluminum case is lighter than I expected, and while I’m not a huge fan of the cheaper feeling hard white Styrofoam I got used to it pretty quick. One of my goals for this quad is to be able to strap it onto my motorcycle for hauling around on our riding adventures…. More on that in a future post.
I love that it comes with everything you need to fly and record video/pictures, down to the memory stick, right out of the box. It lives up to Yuneecs reputation for that. 2 sets of props, and a nice strap to secure the radio make for a very nice package.
After unboxing the first thing I did was to put a copter battery on charge. While it was charging I removed the cover and battery from the ST-10+ transmitter and install the small micro SD card that came in the Accessories box. This allows the transmitter to log all the flight data and even some low res versions of what the camera sees. Having a micro SD card in the TX is good for a few things, if something goes wrong with your copter in flight the data on the card maybe able to help you or Yuneec determine what went wrong. As it logs data from the copters GPS if you lose it this may provide a clue as to where to look for it on the rare chance it flys away. On the lighter side you can pull the data and play with it, plot your flight, add flight info to your video more on that in a future post.
I removed the gimbal protecting brace and installed a super-fast 32 gig micro SD card in the Camera
Next I installed my FAA UAV number in a couple spots and printed a couple of the certificates I’m supposed to have on me when I fly to keep in the box. The law is the law.
I downloaded Q500 GUI and updated the firmware for the TX, Copter, and camera.
Lastly I installed the A and B props making sure they were secure against their rubber O-rings
With my wife using our DSLR I set up near our RV for the first flight.
I pushed/held the start button and the motors spooled up. Then I eased the left stick up for takeoff. Having flown several quads and RC helis I will admit it took me by surprise when it leaped into the air. I was trying to do a smooth take off so my instinct was to slow it down which caused it to bounce some. Since them I have learned that it launches the first foot or so at it’s own pace to get it away from the ground. Landing is the same way only slow. If your GPS has an accurate signal all you have to do is just hold the left stick down and it will land itself. Note: My experience is to wait the extra few seconds to make sure the copter & TX both have GPS signal and that the speed and altitude read 0 Not only does this make for smoother landings, but it also will have more accurate telemetry data for the first few seconds of flight.
Here is a short video compilation of the first flights I did with my Yuneec Typhoon Q500+
It didn’t take long to get the hang of it. The Typhoon Q500 is easily the most stable quadrotors I have ever flown. Even more stable than my DJI F550 hexcopter. I found it to be so stable in fact that I could comfortably check the screen on the ST10 to check the telemetry data, see the altitude frame the shot, check battery voltages.
When the copter battery gets low the Transmitter (ST-10 Ground Station) will flash, beep and vibrate to let you know. It’s a great feature and very important when flying an aircraft powered by Lipoly batteries.
I up got up early the next day to shoot the Sun Rise.
I fell in love with this quad very quickly. I fly it as often as I can and it is a great camera platform. I will discuss the steady grip in a future post. I’m also planning on doing some posts on shooting and editing video, including the 30 second videos I do for my Instagram posts @Mike_Flys. You can find the software I use in my A-Store
I hope you enjoyed this post and the videos.
I have preordered a Yuneec Typhoon H and am very excited to get it, Of course I will do a post on it as well.
If you have any questions or anything you would like me to write about please let me know.