The Dromida Vista UAV is a radio controlled quadcopter that comes in around 251mm (9.8″) long, weighs 122g (4.3oz) and requires nothing additional to fly. So far so good.
It’s not my usual test subject but is of particular interest because my 8-year-old son started learning how to fly helicopter’s with an Axe 100CX a while ago. He’s well familiar with the Dromida series of car’s and was immediately drawn to this Dromida quadcopter and it’s LED’s.
With so many options out there, sifting through the selections can be daunting. I’m curious what Dromida has to offer that differs from the seemingly hundreds of these on the market. I’ve been impressed with Dromida’s surface products, and my initial impression from this unboxing is good.
It feels like the kind of quadcopter you can put in the hands of a young enthusiast without too much worry. The construction is simple, solid and appears durable. The motors are nicely incorporated into the airframe, and the electronics are neatly protected.
The transmitter comes with 4 “AA” batteries and will be familiar to gamers; It’s comfortable for youth and adult hands alike. It has a button to select which flight mode you want to fly, can calibrate the heli, has digital trims, and offers a flip button to have the Vista do a full flip forward or back.
The VISTA UAV includes a USB charger for the 3.7v 850mAh 25c LiPo battery.
By my count, there are 5 LED lights to help orient you while flying. In the case of my VISTA UAV, blue LED’s and propeller’s indicate the front. White LED’s and a red power light indicate the tail. These are definitely a highlight of this quadcopter and make flying at night kinda fun, if not still a bit challenging.
Everything you need is included, and you can be flying in a matter of minutes after opening the box.
With the battery charged, I turned on the transmitter, plugged in the receiver battery and waited for it to bind. A couple seconds later I set the VISTA UAV down on the grass and gave it some throttle. It was quickly obvious the blades were doing nothing for flight and everything for lawn maintenance, so I throttled down, picked up the VISTA and hand launched it.
I had a steady blue light on my transmitter indicating easy mode, with low sensitivity and stabilization on; the 3-axis gyro and 3 accelerometers ensured a smooth and stable hover while I stepped back a bit. The VISTA held hover with ease and established confidence immediately.
All trimmed, I danced it around the sky a bit, pressed the flip button and tried to make trouble for the electronic helpers. The VISTA handled it all with ease, so I settled it back down, landed, and found a plastic tote lid to lay on the grass from which it could take off again. All setup, I turned over the transmitter to my son.
He has pretty good orientation tail in with the AXE100CX, but is still practicing nose in flying. Not only did the VISTA inspire confidence with me, it did with him as well. He immediately felt comfortable flying around the yard, and it was only a couple sessions later until he was flying away from himself tail-in and back nose-in. It also didn’t take him long to start asking about that flip button.
With confidence comes a sense that crashing is no longer a possibility. As such, he got a little comfortable, stretched his capabilities a little too far and sent the VISTA fearlessly into the side of my neighbor’s fence. With shoulders raised high and both our faces wincing with panic, we hear a slap of plastic against wood. Walking over for an inspection, sure our flight time was done, we couldn’t believe our eyes; no damage to the fence and no damage to the VISTA. I truly was surprised. And thankful.
We had a little discussion about what happened and moved on to a more careful approach to flying, emptying the battery pack until the VISTA’s LED’s started flashing. It was a bad flying session, but it was a good flying session too. We both learned a little during that flight; he learned he wasn’t as good of a pilot as he thought, I learned the VISTA UAV was one tough bird. That said, I’m not sure fence slapping is part of Dromida’s testing of the VISTA so I wouldn’t recommend it for the longevity of your quadcopter. In this case, however, it survived unscathed.
Subsequent flights found the flip button getting much more use, and it flips the quadcopter quickly and predictably. Simply press the flip button and release, then push the right stick (elevator) forward or pull it back and release. You can also select to flip it to the right or left with the ailerons. The VISTA will flip in that direction and stabilize into a hover, which is obvious watching the video. Managing throttle input is a good idea as the flip will cause the quadcopter to lose altitude.
For no particular reason I could think of, the VISTA decided it no longer wanted to maintain the same calibration after the first charge. Back to the manual, I quickly reminded myself how to recalibrate and all was fine. It has only happened once in several weeks of flying; it’s strange, but not troublesome.
I did notice the plastic housing surrounding the motor, which also serves as the landing gear, has small tabs that would release on various hard landings. This allows the motor to disengage itself from the rotor gear ever so slightly and the quadcopter won’t fly properly. The motor housing tabs are designed to come loose should you need to replace a motor so I wasn’t overly concerned; after it happens the first time, it’s obvious when it happens again and easily resolved.
Watching the video put out by Dromida before flying it myself, I will admit to being skeptical to the aggressive combat flying and the longevity of this product represented in their flying. As indicated above, I can attest to the Vista UAV’s durability. I’ve flown it a few hundred feet up and killed the throttle to watch it tumble to the ground. I’ve had my son hand launch it every which way and the stability function helps get it flying every time. It’s crashed it into trees and into a fence (more than once), and again the Vista UAV was no worse for the wear.
Of course, I would never suggest you purposefully test the durability of a product yourself, but mine has been through a lot these past few weeks, and I haven’t so much as replaced a single blade. For about $80, easily worth the price tag.
Whenever anyone asks, my recommendation is always a hobby-grade r/c product versus one you can usually buy in a big box retailer. The quality of electronics and durability of the product, along with the available replacement parts make the few extra dollars money well spent.
Dromida fits right in line with a hobby-grade r/c quadcopter I would recommend to anyone. Happy flying.