Furibee F90Leigh Miller | www.leighmiller.ca
Drones have been increasing in popularity over the past couple of years thanks to companies like DJI. They aren't exactly new concepts but DJI in particular basically took your average remote controlled aircraft that hobbyists like myself flew as a kid and added a camera and immense amounts of autonomy to make flying them easier. The rise in this popularity means that pretty much every kid out there wants one now.
Before I dive into all that though let's back up a bit...
Drones are here to stay as evidenced by the fact that you pretty much see them wherever you go. The government of many countries have started to regulate them (to death) because they have become so accessible and the high definition cameras combined with insane amounts of flight capabilities makes them a real issue for safety, privacy and a whole bunch of other reasons. Typically we would start out with something simple and work up to larger quads but an entire generation is skipping over that natural progression and going straight to $2-4K UAV's without the benefit of real operating experience. That leads to a whole host of problems...practically accidents waiting to happen. I've seen quads flown into windows, moving vehicles, people's faces etc that you can pretty much chalk up to inexperience and careless operation. My advice is to start out a bit slower and learn some skills.
I think something like this Furibee F90 is a good way to introduce yourself or someone else (younger) to the world of UAV flying at a relatively low cost.
You can buy it in a few different configurations but Gearbest sent me the basic kit...and since I had to borrow a Transmitter and FPV Goggles my flight time was very limited. Long enough though to form a pretty good idea of this RC Quad and figure out who it's for.
So here goes...
Furibee is in fact Gearbest's in-house brand and that's a good thing. It means all the parts are available separately right on their website. The main components are modular...plug them on and get back to flying after an accident. If you own a DJI product then you know how frustrating it is to wait weeks/months on end for repairs to be carried out. If you have basic mechanical skills you should have no problem there.
My kit came with the quad itself complete with front facing FPV camera, the motors and battery.
A cool thing to note is that should you lose it outdoors, there is a built-in buzzer that you can to aid in finding it. The brushless motors gets it up to speed fairly quickly and while it's not super fast like a real racing quad it does move...fast enough to break the prop hoops if you hit something hard enough. They have a fair amount of "give" when they impact and that can affect the props as they spin. I didn't manage to do that but on a few occasions I had to bend them back into shape...no harm.
I flew line of sight mostly but you may want to invest in the FPV goggles and I recommend the Furibee VR01.
It's an equally good performer indoor/outdoor though the high winds of Winter did blow it around a bit. You can tune the quad for performance though I just flew it stock as it came. If you have ever seen the high-end racing quads in flight the speed and agility are something you get to experience here to a lesser extent.
The flight time was typical of this battery type , a 2S which gave me about 5 minutes airtime.
This is a well designed and assembled product starting from the carbon fibre frame right up to the brushless motors. I would say that this quad is for someone who has a a bit of experience with the RC world but you don't necessarily have to start there. With some practice and focus you can get up to speed with this bird fairly quickly and it has plenty of performance to keep things interesting. It was a lot of fun to fly FPV through each room of my condo, out the door and down the hall and back. I had it outside for a bit and this is where some tuning would have made it super good for flips and punch-outs. It was a windy day and while it struggled a little it's totally usable on a nice Spring or Summer day. I should mention that if you tune it up, you may have to adjust the FPV camera to compensate for the more aggressive flight angle. The canopy has some room which I assume was a design decision to allow the camera to be bent slightly in each direction.
My only complaint was with the prop guards...I would like them a bit stiffer to withstand the inevitable high speed impact once the operator feels comfortable enough to let loose. The Bee/Wasp design grew on me and is definitely an attention grabber. I had a small crowd of people around me curious about this little yellow thing hovering around.
I loved the product and it's a great way to get into flying drones at a fraction of the cost as compared to a DJI product.
If you are interested in purchasing this product, please use the following code for 18% off: RC18OFF