long as they don’t have a case on them. Now, all that is left is the mounting of the propellers, which is easy to do. ;e props come in packs of two with one prop that spins clockwise and one that spins counter clockwise. Each prop has a symbol molded into it that indicates which way it needs to spin; I just matched them up with the same symbol on the end of the arm near the motor. A prop wrench, which is included with the Phantom, is used to tighten down the nut to lock on the prop to the motor. Once the battery pack is done charging, I was ready to fly. ;e pack fits in a compartment inside the fuselage and this keep the outside of the Phantom clean and streamlined. From the time I took the Phantom out of the box until it
was ready to fly was only about a half an hour. I
had to wait another twenty-five minutes for the
battery to finish charging, and then it was o; to
the flying field.
;e Phantom is an excellent introductory into
the world of multi-rotor copters. It is very
simple to put together and easy to follow
the instruction videos available online (dji-
innovation.com). It has intelligent orientation
control and it can fly itself home if you get in
trouble. ;ere really is no downside to this
quadcopter, and I would recommend it to
anyone who is interested in exploring the world
of multi-rotor aircraft. ●
;e compass that is used in conjunction with the GPS
system is located at the bottom of one of the landing
gear. ;is plug is threaded through the hole
on the top of the landing gear that bolts to the
fuselage. ;en, the five-pin plug is attached to
the compass magnet. ;e other landing gear is
bolted on the same way with a shorter receiver
antenna threaded through the same type of
hole on the gear. ;e antenna is then taped to
the inside of the landing gear.
;e camera mount is then bolted into the
front bottom of the fuselage. ;is mount is a
perfect fit for the older style GoPro cameras as
;e first thing I
is to go online to dji-innovations.com and
check out the five how-to videos on the
Phantom. ;ey include assembly, pre-flight
checklist, first flight, advance flight modes,
and IOC (intelligent orientation control).
;en, download the NAZA-M assistant
software. ;is will give you everything you
need to prepare yourself for your first flight.
My first flight was on a calm day with an experienced helicopter pilot
next to me. Both sticks on the transmitter have to be held in the lower
corners for a little bit and then the Phantom will start up. After all four
props start spinning, raise the throttle stick a couple of clicks to keep
the motors running. I throttled up and the Phantom broke ground and
started climbing. Once in the air, I found it really easy to keep the quad
where I wanted it. After a short five-minute flight, I was ready to land it.
I backed it into the landing spot to keep all the controls oriented to my
position. Right before touchdown, I throttled up slightly and then let
the Phantom lightly touch down. My helicopter pilot never had to touch
the control during the flight because this quad was that easy to fly.
In the Air
Here is the Phantom in
the plane in a hover just
in front of it. Be sure to
check out the video at
Aerobatics: Quadcopters are designed for a solid platform so you can
hover and fly in a flat and straight line. While there are some multi-rotor birds out there that can do limited maneuvers, this is not one of
Glide and stall performance: It is easy to bring the Phantom in with a
shadow glide, but you do need power to do so. Without power, it is like
a four-arm rock falling from the sky. Fortunately, there are two levels
of protection against a low battery. First, there is an LED warning, then
the Phantom will land itself.
GENERAL FLIGHT PERFORMANCE
Stability: ;e NAZA system along with GPS turned on keeps stability
solid and keeps the Phantom locked into one spot whenever you
release the controls.
Tracking: After a few flights, it was rather easy to keep the Phantom
tracking across the sky in repeatable patterns.
I would recommend flying in GPS mode so if you get into any type of
trouble, all you would need to do is let go of the sticks and the Phantom
will stay in position motion, giving you some time to plan your next
move. As you can see, I would easily recommend this bird to anyone
looking to get into multi-rotor aircraft. It is very solid and easy to fly.