Hitec RCD Q-Cop 450 Quadcopter Flight Testing
Before we take the Q-Cop 450 Quadcopter up in the air for some flight testing, there are several things to keep in mind. Most of this is self-explanatory but should be taken under consideration before flying.
- Fully charge Q-Cop 450 Battery
- Fully charge WiFi Repeater
- Have fully charged iPhone/Android device for viewing of video feed
- Install batteries into remote controller
- Fly outdoors in a large open area without wind (key for a first successful flight!)
So those are the basics that need to be met for you take your new quadcopter to the skies. Obviously, there are tons of other factors that need to be accounted but we’ll start with these.
I didn’t time how long it took to charge the Q-Cop 450 battery but I found it to charge in about 60mins or so. Not too bad at all consider how much flight time it actually provides you. If you are going to be doing any kind of flying, I would highly recommend picking up another battery. For this particular quadcopter they cost about $150 bucks, while not cheap – they do provide up to 25 minutes of flight time with a bit extra to bring it in for a landing.
For the maiden flight, I took the Q-Cop 450 to a large open field near my home. This field is very large without anything in the field and the closest tree’s are a thousand feet away. The very first step for flight is to install the four props on to the brushless motors. Like most 450 sized quadcopters, these are very easy to install as they simply screw on and self-tighten. The blades are not all the same and special attention must be used when installing the blades. The blades with the black colored caps should be installed counter clock-wise on the motors marked with the “P” and the blades with the grey colored caps should be installed on the non-P motors in a clock-wise fashion.
Next, you can go ahead and install the battery and make sure that you have locked it into place underneath with the locking mechanism. After the battery is in place, we’ll start working on the transmitter and ensuring its ready for flight. Ensure your antenna is pointing upwards, install your WiFi repeater if its not already, and ensure your S1 and S2 toggle switches are positioned in the “OK” position, and your S4 switch is in the GPS position. Turn on your transmitter. Turn on your WiFi repeater.
It’s a good idea now to also setup your phone, I’m using an iPhone 5s with the Hitec AEE app. This app utilizes a WiFi connection between your device and the WiFi repeater. If flying close to your home, you may need to “forget” your home network to prevent your device from connecting to your home WiFi versus your quadcopter. Once your have your device WiFi enabled, you should see the AEE WiFi network and be able to connect to it, once connected, you can launch the Hitec AEE app. In the app, click the connect button and you should begin to see the live video feed from your quadcopter. It may take a minute or two after turning on the quadcopter and the Wifi repeater for everything to become connected so some patience here goes a long way.
Now you should be ready to begin flight. You will need to make sure the GPS signal has been acquired before lifting off so that the quadcopter knows where to fly back to if it runs into trouble such as low battery or has issues communicating with the transmitter. The tail indicators will alternate between blinking fast and OK, when the GPS signal has been acquired, informing you that its ready for flight. To start up the motors from the off position, you move your left stick to the far bottom left corner and move the right stick to the far bottom right corner holding this for a couple of seconds and your motors will start to spin slowly and you can then immediately release the sticks.
With the motors started, you are ready to lift off! I gave the Q-Cop 450 just a little bit of throttle and the quad began slowly lifting off of the ground. As with any quadcopter, there is a bit of ground turbulence caused by the wind effect hitting the ground from the blades but the Q-Cop with its weight had no stability issues even just a couple inches off of the ground.
I flew the Q-Cop 450 multirotor around a bit to get a good feel for how well it handles and it handles very well, indeed! It was very stable and if I ever felt disoriented or simply wanted a break from the action I just let go of the sticks and the Q-Cop 450 stabilized and hover in place, thanks to the accelerometer and GPS on-board. Here’s a short video of me testing the flight operations and the in-place hovering capabilities.
Next up was testing of the on-board video and photography taking abilities. The onboard camera of the Q-Cop 450 is made by AEE Camera’s, a real camera company that develops very nice camera’s along with drones for the government and police departments so they are a company that knows what they are doing! The camera is a 16MP capable Full HD (1080P/60fps, 1080P/30fps, 720P/60fps) and has a 120 HD wide angle lens. It does not have a separate battery, so it will utilize the same onboard 5300 mAh battery used to power the quadcopter. It takes micro-SD cards up to 64GB in size. I tested with a 4GB micro-SD card and was able to record the duration of my flights in full 1080p HD. If you were snapping pictures during the flight in addition, you may need a slightly larger card. Also, if you have multiple batteries then you will definitely want a bigger card. Unfortunately, Hitec does not provide even a small sized micro-SD card with the Q-Cop 450, so while the quad is RTF (Ready to Fly) it’s not RTS (Ready to Shoot) out of the box without purchasing one.
Below is a series of video shots that I took while flying around with the Q-Cop 450 to give you an example of the video quality of the quad. All of this was shot in 1080p 30fps.
Now, for the 16MP picture capabilities. One was shot during the day and the other right as sunset. These are unedited, but I did resize them down to fit on the web site and compressed them slightly which resulted in very little change in quality.
One area that I think the Q-Cop 450 is lacking greatly, it’s not with the quadcopter itself but its with the software on iOS. The app has limited options and it does not have any live flight data. There is also no way to setup a flight plan, there’s no GPS map showing the drone overlaid on Google Maps for example, and as I said the lack of having flight data is also disappointing. If the application could be improved in some ways, it would definitely provide an “upgrade” to the overall usability of the quadcopter.