Yuneec Hurricane H
“With a protracted checklist of options and a aggressive price ticket, the Hurricane H unseats DJI’s Phantom 4 because the heavyweight champion of drones.”
Secure, dependable flight
360 diploma digicam
Devoted contact display screen controller
Intuitive autonomous flight modes
Nice bang to your buck
Rotor assist hinges really feel flimsy
Lengthy battery recharge instances
Yuneec has been making improbable aerial pictures drones since earlier than the phrase “drone” was a part of the favored vernacular, and the corporate’s Hurricane line has persistently been probably the greatest within the enterprise. However identical to each different drone producer within the sport, Yuneec has additionally been residing within the shadow of DJI for the previous few years. Irrespective of how superior or succesful Yuneec’s Hurricane drones have gotten, the corporate simply can not seem to unseat DJI from its throne.
However with the Hurricane H, Yuneec goes straight for DJI’s jugular. This six-rotor beast prices $100 lower than the Phantom 4, however has all the identical bells and whistles — plus just a few additional. However can it actually stand as much as titans just like the P4 and the 3DR Solo? We took it for a spin to search out out.
The options and specs on this drone are nuts, so to make it simpler on you, we’ll begin with what units this drone other than the remainder of the pack.
The very first thing you may discover is that the Hurricane H is a hexacopter. It is received six rotors as a substitute of the standard 4 — and it solely wants 5 to fly. This redundancy signifies that in case you lose one rotor for some purpose, the drone will be capable to acknowledge the issue and safely fly again to the house place for repairs.
Second, in contrast to the P4’s digicam, which may solely pan up and down, the Hurricane H digicam is mounted on a 3-axis gimbal that may swivel in 360 levels. The touchdown gear can be designed to retract on the flip of a change in order that it does not get in the way in which of your photographs.
On high of that, the H can be armed with built-in impediment avoidance tech. Now in all equity, the Phantom 4 has this characteristic, too — however whereas the Phantom’s sense and keep away from tech is visible, the Hurricane H makes use of sonar, which signifies that it may possibly nonetheless keep away from obstacles in low gentle and full darkness. It is value noting, nonetheless, that the sense and keep away from system is mounted on the nostril of the drone, and may subsequently solely detect obstacles if it approaches them going through ahead. Nonetheless, it is undoubtedly higher than nothing.
One other standout characteristic is the Hurricane’s full suite of autonomous flight modes. Very similar to the 3DR Solo and Phantom 4, the Hurricane H boasts options like Cable Cam, Orbit, Comply with mode, and even just a few others — all of which permit the person to relinquish management of the drone’s flight and focus solely on controlling the digicam.
And final however undoubtedly not least, Yuneec’s Hurricane H comes with its personal devoted controller — The ST16 floor station. Which means you need not personal a pill or a smartphone with a view to use the drone to its fullest — one thing that may’t be mentioned of the Phantom 4 and 3DR Solo.
This controller is a beast. Along with knobs and buttons for almost the whole lot underneath the solar, the controller additionally has a built-in 7-inch touchscreen for displaying telemetry knowledge, streaming stay video from the drone’s onboard digicam, and accessing further options and flight modes.
And it will get higher. The ST16 is not the one controller that the Hurricane H can hook up with. You may really hyperlink the drone as much as two totally different controllers on the similar time, then use one to regulate the drone and one other to regulate the onboard 4K digicam. Filmmakers ought to take be aware — you may’t get this sort of twin pilot performance in another off-the-shelf drone proper now.
Construct High quality & Sturdiness
General, that is fairly sturdy drone, but it surely’s undoubtedly not the sturdiest we have ever seen. In all honesty, it feels a bit flimsy in comparison with the P4 and the 3DR Solo. We did not crash it very arduous throughout our testing, however after just a few twists and flexes, we’re not completely satisfied that the Hurricane H might take a tough tumble and stay to fly one other day.
The foundation of the difficulty appears to be the drone’s folding arms. Do not get us improper — the folding arms are undoubtedly extra of a plus than a minus, however they’re additionally a double-edged sword. On the one hand, Yuneec’s collapsible design makes the Hurricane H a lot simpler to pack up and transport — however then again, the hinges that permit the arms to fold down really feel a bit extra susceptible than we might like. The carbon-fiber legs and arms in all probability will not break within the occasion of a crash, however the hinges they sit on may. That mentioned, these hinges are actually the one weak level on an in any other case sturdy unmanned aerial automobile.
Battery Life, Cost Time, and Vary
On-the-box specs say this factor has a 4s 14.8v, 5400mAh, 79.9Wh LiPo battery, which allegedly provides the drone 25 minutes of flight time with optimum circumstances. To check the legitimacy of those specs, we popped in a full battery, fired it up, and saved the drone at a easy hover whereas we stood by with a stopwatch. Below the least-demanding circumstances, the Hurricane stayed within the air for precisely 23 minutes and 20 seconds. When you fly it a bit more durable, you may count on to get wherever from 17 to twenty minutes of airtime earlier than the drone freaks out and routinely flies again to its house place for an emergency touchdown.
As soon as we had fully drained the battery, we popped it on the charger and fired up the stopwatch once more. From begin to end, it took simply over two hours to juice the battery again up — which is a reasonably sizable chunk of time. So, as regular, in case you plan to make use of the Hurricane H for any form of critical filming, you would be clever to snag a pair additional batteries, and possibly even an additional charging dock.
Invoice Roberson/Digital Tendencies
Invoice Roberson/Digital Tendencies
As for vary, Yuneec claims the Hurricane H can do a full mile earlier than it loses connection and goes into auto-return mode. We put that spec to the take a look at on a flat, unobstructed stretch of the Oregon shoreline, and located that it is a bit boastful. We mapped out one mile (roughly) utilizing our automobile’s journey meter, then parked it to mark the boundary. On our first voyage, one thing screwy occurred and we misplaced the video hyperlink someplace across the ¼ mile mark — however all our subsequent flights took us a lot additional earlier than any points arose. Usually talking, the Hurricane’s video feed begins to get uneven on the half mile level, however will keep intact till you attain about 4,000 ft. Any additional than that, and we nearly at all times misplaced video — though the RC connection stayed intact for just a few hundred extra ft earlier than the connection lower out and the drone flew again towards house autonomously.
Piloting, Management, & Autonomy
Flying this drone is fairly easy when you get the dangle of it, however until you are already a seasoned UAV pilot, it’s going to probably take you just a few outings earlier than you may absolutely wrap your head round all of the controls on the ST16 floor station . The educational curve on this factor is steeper than what you may get with a Phantom 4 or 3DR Solo. The upside, nonetheless, is that after you grasp all of the knobs and buttons, you may discover that you’ve a higher diploma of management over what the Hurricane H does within the air.
The Hurricane H has the whole lot you would need in a digicam drone.
Piloting is cut up into two predominant modes, the primary and most acquainted of which is known as Angle Mode. That is principally Yuneec’s title for normal interest plane management, the place motion of the correct joystick will set off motion relative to the route of the drone’s nostril. This takes a little bit of observe to get good at, however the different — Good Mode — makes flying easy and intuitive for even the least-experienced of pilots. In its most simple state, Good Mode is a simplified management scheme wherein the drone will transfer in no matter route the correct joystick is pushed, whatever the drone’s orientation. Flying on this mode additionally provides you entry to the Hurricane’s quite a few autonomous piloting features, which let you carry out maneuvers that will in any other case take a number of observe and talent.
For probably the most half, Yuneec’s good piloting modes are precisely like those you may discover on a Phantom 4 or 3DR Solo — they’ve simply received barely totally different names. Curve Cable Cam, for instance, permits you to select quite a lot of totally different waypoints for the drone to fly between — however alongside the way in which, you may nonetheless have full handbook management over the digicam. There’s additionally two totally different Oribit modes (one which circles you, and one other that circles a focal point), in addition to a “selfie” mode known as Jour wherein the drone will focus the digicam on you, then fly up and again to create a dramatic reveal shot. On high of that, the Hurricane H additionally provides Comply with Me and Watch Me modes — each of which can monitor the pilot by locking onto both the ST16 controller, or Yuneec’s modern Wizard Distant.
The Wizard Distant is a superb addition to the Hurricane H package deal. It is primarily a smaller, extra compact controller that enables customers to pilot Yuneec drones with easy “point-to-fly” instructions that may be executed with only one hand. As a substitute of utilizing two thumbs to regulate roll, pitch, yaw, and acceleration, you merely level the controller within the route that you just’d just like the drone to fly. Altitude, acceleration, and flight mode changes can all be carried out with buttons underneath your thumb. As we talked about earlier than, the Wizard Distant may act as a homing beacon throughout Watch Me and Comply with Me mode, so you do not have to lug across the big ST16 floor station when you’re snowboarding/mountain biking/and so on. With this distant, the Hurricane H principally has all the identical options and performance as a devoted auto-follow drone (corresponding to Hexo+ or AirDog), however with out sacrificing extra superior controls.
Digital camera, Equipment, & Upgradeability
The Hurricane H’s digicam — dubbed the CG03+ — is principally a souped up model of the CGO3 you may discover on the corporate’s Hurricane Q500 4K. It could possibly shoot video in 4K at 30 frames per second, or 1080p at 60 frames per second — however this beast has an even bigger sensor, a sooner processor, and wider discipline of view (115 levels) than its predecessor. It additionally takes 12 megapixel nonetheless photographs, and incorporates a distortion-free lens that makes GoPro photographs pale as compared — however the digicam itself is not actually the star of the present right here. The true gem is the 360-degree gimbal it is carried by. It is a first for the Hurricane line, and it broadens the drone’s cinematic capabilities in an enormous means. The one different drone you may discover with a digicam that rotates 360 levels is DJI’s Encourage 1, which prices greater than double what the Hurricane H does.
Yuneec Hurricane H Drone 4K Pattern Footage: Mt Hood
At this cut-off date, there are no add-ons or attachments obtainable for the H — however Yuneec performed it good, and designed the drone to be expandable and upgradeable. The accent bay is designed in such a means that modules (such because the digicam/gimbal rig) may be swapped out in only a few seconds, and whereas we do not know if Yuneec has any new modules within the pipeline fairly but, it is Positively comforting to know that the Hurricane H is constructed with future upgrades and expansions in thoughts. Optimistically, this drone will not be completely out of date in only a couple years.
After logging almost a dozen hours of flight time with this drone, and flying it alongside its two greatest rivals (the Phantom 4 and 3DR Solo), we’re assured in saying that the Hurricane H is the very best drone we have flown up to now . It is undoubtedly not good, and Yuneec might stand to make just a few enhancements, however total, its bang-for-the-buck overwhelms the competitors.
For $1,300 ($100 lower than DJI’s Phantom 4), the H has nearly the whole lot you would need in a digicam drone: good autonomous flight modes, impediment avoidance, a devoted touchscreen controller, and even a 4K digicam with full 360-degree rotation. That is a hell of a package deal, and in case you’re available in the market for an aerial pictures/videography drone, the Hurricane H must be certainly one of your high contenders.