The World’s Best Micro Quadcopters-The Walkera Ladybird V2 and the Hubsan X4 H107C
Ladybird V2 with Red Canopy
Before we start this review and make comparisons I will go so far as to say that these two micro Quadcopters are the best examples available on the market. If you wish to enter the Quadcopter or unmanned aerial vehicle marketplace then either of these two models is a perfect starting point. The Ladybird V2 was recommended to me by a guy who works at NASA and builds his own Quadcopters. He said that a number of guys who work with him bring Ladybirds into the office and have fun during their breaks flying them. My inspiration to start my Quadcopter journey came after I had watched this ted talk video and ignited by my Grandson Jackson’s love of remote control helicopters. Jackson’s father is a competent RC Helicopter flyer and he has been exposed to remote control vehicles from a very early age, he absolutely loves them!
Raffaello D’Andrea: The astounding athletic power of Quadcopters
After much researching and reading forum posts on the internet I decided that I would go for the Walkera Ladybird V2 Quadcopter as my introduction to the world of UAV’s or ‘Drones’. Everything I read said I should start with a micro Quadcopter and I chose this model. What I did like about this model from the start was the availability of spare parts. I come from a pre PlayStation, Xbox generation and not having any joystick experience I was sure that my learning would not be without calamities so this was a must. The Ladybird V2 arrived a very welcomed present for my 63rd Birthday, I charged up the Lipo battery with the USB charger and inserted the 4 AA batteries in the transmitter. I flicked the transmitter on, connected the Lipo to the receiver then moved the throttle stick forward to bind the Ladybird to the Devo transmitter all seemed OK and I thought I was ready to fly. Unfortunately what followed over the next few days bore no resemblance to flight whatsoever. I took off, crashed took off again crashed some more. Now if I was to start again I would ensure that I had a blade protector which unfortunately Walkera don’t seem to make for this model. The one Hubsan make for the H107C X4 is excellent Protection Cover Black H107C-a20 (SKU094362) and literally bounces of walls and widows.
Protection cover Video
Hubsan Blade Protector
I’ve since found that the HCW 553 RC Mini Shaft Aircrafts Helicopter Spare Parts Canopy 553-1 (SKU050175) from Banggood fits the Ladybird V2 perfectly and is a must if you are a newbie like me. I found that the extra weight made the LadybirdV2 fly sluggishly but that’s a plus when you are learning. I always use this addition indoors and outdoors when flying the Walkera QR Ladybird V2 with my grandson about, he absolutely loves these micro Quadcopters and the add on offers a level of protection from the propellers. I had a blade protector 3D printed for the Ladybird V2 but because this was quite rigid it broke when it crashed into a wall.
Due to my lack of flying experience the Ladybird now needed some replacement parts.
Ladybird V2 with HCW Canopy
The main frame Walkera QR Ladybird Spare Parts Main frame QR-Ladybird-Z-03 (SKU036338) was broken and I also needed to replace a motor. I’ve never been a hobbyist but with a small glasses screwdriver replacing the frame and motor was effortlessly done in less than 5 minutes. The Ladybird motor come with the arm and protective casing and can be slotted into place and plugged in Walkera QR Ladybird Spare Parts Clockwise Motor QR-Ladybird-Z-05 (2xSKU036347). The actual motors themselves can be bought separately but require a higher degree of skill as with replacing the Hubsan X4 motors (Hubsan X4 H107C H107D RC Quadcopter (2XSKU096524) soldering is required. I’ve done some soldering on the Ladybird receiver and this requires a really steady hand. I was soon back up and flying and I was getting used to the Ladybird V2 so as it was a fairly calm day I ventured outside. A few minutes flying in beginner mode and I thought I would try the more advanced mode. This was fantastic fun with the Ladybird, far more responsive to the controls and I was zooming backwards forwards and sideways. At this point I would like to give out a warning. Once you get accustomed to the controls and feel in command of the Quadcopter the experience is so much fun it become addictive. You want to push the Quadcopter to its limits and do not want to stop flying. To do this you will need a supply of batteries, I bought these from BangGood 5 x Upgraded 25C 3.7V 380MAH Battery For Hubsan H107 X4 Ladybird (5xSKU069755) but always remember that the motors need to cool down between flights otherwise they will burn out. The simplest remedy is if you can afford it is to buy another spare Ladybird V2. Banggood now offer the Ladybird V2 as a Bind and Fly version without the Devention transmitter which is the perfect solution for those who wish to extend their flying time The original Ladybird V1 6axis is also available from Banggood as a BNF version. I’ve not flown this version yet but from the reports I’ve read I believe there is not a great deal of difference between the two versions.
I was teaching at an after school class and had mentioned Quadcopters to the students and one of them a young lad of eleven named James said he had a Hubsan X4 H107C with a camera and that he would bring it along. I took my Ladybird V2 and he had his Hubsan X4 and we went out on the playing field and did some flying. James taught me a great deal about flying these micro Quadcopters.
Hubsan X4 H107C Quadcopter
I took over the controls of the Hubsan X4 H107C and he was flying the Ladybird V2. I was most impressed with the stability of the Hubsan X4 and although it wasn’t as dynamic in flight as the Ladybird V2 it was a pleasure to fly. By this time I had 3 Ladybird V2’s in my expanding collection of Quadcopters and spare parts so I welcomed a change and a different flying experience so I ordered the Hubsan X4 H107C 2MP version from Banggood and eagerly awaited its arrival from China. It was the best price available anywhere and as I had bought a number of products from Banggood previously I was prepared to wait a few more days for it to arrive. I wasn’t disappointed when the Hubsan micro Quadcopter arrived perfectly packed in 13 days, I unpacked the Drone, inserted 4 AAA batteries in the transmitter connected the 350 mAh Lipo, popped in the 8GB MicroSD TF Memory Card For RC Quadcopter Camera (SKU068081) (I kept the Micro SD card in place with a small piece of electrical tape as I had read stories of people losing the cards), calibrated the quad with the control sticks, pressed the video record button and I was up and flying in less than 10 minutes. After the first flight I made sure I turned off the video before disconnecting the receiver battery to ensure the recording was saved then tuned off the transmitter. I inserted the sd card into a USB reader and watched the footage. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the recording especially as this was my maiden flight. The next day the weather was favourable so I tried the Quadcopter in expert mode with the antiflip enabled. On the Ladybird V2 Devention transmitter you can effortlessly change the modes from beginner to intermediate by a button on the Devo. If you want to progress to acrobatic mode you must change the settings by using the control sticks on the Devo. This changes the light on the receiver from red to green so you know you are ready for acrobatics. With the Hubsan (mode 2 left hand throttle) you press the right stick in to go to expert mode then press in the throttle stick (one beep indicates you are in antiflip mode 2 beeps and you are in flip mode). After giving this little quad about 3 minutes of fast flying I thought I would attempt some flips. I had already tried acrobatics with the Ladybird V2, unsuccessfully I should add, breaking a number of main frames, so I was somewhat apprehensive about testing the Hubsan. I few it up to a decent height made sure it was level, gave it some throttle with the right stick, flicked the left stick fully forward then jerked it back and let it go. Wow this was serious fun the Hubsan did exactly what it was supposed to do flipped right over , I gave it some throttle as it came down and it stabilised. Now don’t get carried away with the acrobatic side of flying. My Hubsan X4 ended up submerged in a water barrel! I flipped it over lost control and there it lay in 12 inches of water. I wasn’t panicking as James’s mum had previously told me he had dropped his Hubsan into the cats’ water bowl and his Hubsan was still flying so with this in mind I quickly pulled it out disconnected the battery switched off the receiver, gave it a good shake and got the hairdryer on it. As soon as I thought it was dry I started the Hubsan X4 transmitter connected the Lipo to the receiver and had it up in the air! I have had a number of crashes with the Hubsan since but with a few minor adjustments I’ve had it flying again in no time. At this point I should emphasise how well the Hubsan is engineered. I’ve dropped the Hubsan from 12feet on to pebbles on the beach, retrieved it a number of times from bushes in the neighbour’s garden, crashed it into my garden fence and it still flies like it has come out of the box. The motor arms click back into shape, the rubber feet protect the motor (Hubsan X4 H107C RC Quadcopter Spare Parts Rubber Feet H107-a29 (SKU094366)) and I’ve yet to replace any propellers. Where the Ladybird V2 scores in accessibly (all the parts are easily replaced with no soldering) the Hubsan makes up for in robustness. The advantage the Hubsan X4 H107C has over the Ladybird V2 is the camera and the ability to shoot video (The Hubsan can be bought as the X4 H107 without the camera or as a Bind and Fly version with the .2MP camera) but for the small extra cost get the 2MP version. The led lights also help a great deal with orientation and are great in a darkened room.
I have recommended Banggood as my preferred supplier in this review as their prices always seem to be better than any other supplier and I can’t fault their service. What I also like about Banggood is that they have a complete range of spare parts for Walkera and Hubsan models and they offer a Free Worldwide Delivery Service.
They are both remarkable little flying machines that give hours of pleasure to the users and to be honest I have no preference for either model, I have had endless fun flying them both.
Paul Lakeman for droneflyers