From Multirotor Pilot Issue: 10
The Vista UAV is a great machine for those learning to fly. I found it extremely simple to pilot in EASY mode, flying around trees and hovering mere inches off the ground. Once I felt a bit more comfortable, I popped the Flight Mode button and advanced to the next stage of maneuverability, even performing some flips and rolls. This quad makes it easy to grow your skills and it will be right there to challenge you at every stage.
Mini-quads are all the rage right now. They’re inexpensive, can be flown indoors or out and are extremely durable. So how do you make your decision when it’s time to buy? Personally, nothing bums me out more than to get a machine and within a few weeks have already outgrown it. I want something that will age with me, challenge me and if the need arises, be easy to find replacement parts for. Dromida has released one such mini-quad; the Vista UAV. This little gem comes with everything you need to be up and flying in no time right in the box. You say your skill level is beyond what most basic quads can deliver? Well you’ll be happy to hear that this mini-multirotor features four different flight modes that are sure to keep you challenged. If that’s still not enough to sell you, the Vista is also quite the aerobatic eggbeater, able to do flips and rolls in any of the flight modes. So you’re not just getting a pretty multirotor, you’re getting a drone with the sophistication to change its habits as your skills grow.
NEED TO KNOW
TYPE: RTF Mini-Quad
FOR: Beginner to advanced
WEIGHT: 122g (4.3oz)w
DIAMETER: 251mm (9.8in)
MOTORS: 4 micro brushed
ESCS/FLIGHT CONTROLLER: Both integrated on one board
PROPELLERS: 158.75mm (6.25 in.) molded plastic
FLIGHT TIME: Around 12 minutes
- The Vista comes fully assembled with everything you need to get up in the air fast, including “AA” batteries!
- Stabilization features a 3-axis gyro and three accelerometers for incredibly stable flying.
- Four flight modes are available; Easy, Normal, Advanced and Expert. The Vista can challenge almost any skill level.
- SLT compatible, meaning you can bind the Vista to any Tactic radio using SLT protocol.
- The frame is designed to take some abuse, perfect for beginners learning to fl y or advanced pilots learning new tricks.
- You can customize your Vista with optional blades and under-frame lenses of different colors.
- Love the fully-assembled, star-fighter look
- Crash-resistant. I tested this, but not on purpose
- It does tricks! Capable of flips and barrel rolls
- MR100 transmitter is great for larger hands
- Stabilization system works great
- LEDs make it easy to see what direction you are facing
- Extra blades included should you encounter an aerial mishap
- One motor’s gear mesh was a bit tight
- I need more than one battery!
IN THE AIR
The initial flight took place right outside of our offices. It’s a multi-level parking area divided by rocky slopes so not only did I need to take extra care not to crash into the pointy minerals, I had to contend with gusts of wind – sometimes quite strong. After turning on the radio, I plugged in the battery in the Vista and prepared for flight. Thankfully, the default flight mode is set on EASY because once I got the Vista up off the ground, the wind started blowing it away from me at a pretty fast clip. I immediately gave it full left stick and was shocked at how stable and controlled it was, even in the heavy wind. This refined stabilization system worked great and made it easy to retrieve once the wind died down a bit. I continued to fly around, doing some low-flying maneuvers over the rocks and around some trees, however, the wind would kick up and send the Vista floating away; my only option was to kill the power and let gravity do its thing. After the maiden flight (and quite a few not-so-perfect touchdowns) I took it back inside and waited until the next day when the wind would be a lot less violent.
The second flight test was much better; on a bright, sunny day with very little wind. I followed the same startup procedure as the previous day and sent the Vista high up into the sky. I was feeling pretty comfortable zinging around the trees and buzzing the rocks in EASY mode, so I figured it was about time to test some of the other flight modes. EASY mode (solid blue light on the face of the controller) has the stabilization on and a low control sensitivity. There are also three other modes available; Normal, Advanced and Expert. The controls are as follows: Normal – stabilization on, high control sensitivity; Advanced – stabilization off , low control sensitivity; Expert – stabilization off , high control sensitivity. To get to the Advanced mode, you simply click the Flight Mode butt on and the blue light on the face of the controller should start fl ashing. If you want to try the Normal (solid orange light) or Expert (flashing orange light) modes, you have to first press down on the right control stick and you will see the blue light change to orange on the face of the controller.
I stabilized the Vista about 25 feet off the ground and clicked the Flight Mode butt on. This put the Vista in Advanced mode and immediately I noticed how much more agile it became with the stability off . It took me a couple of seconds to gain control, but once I did it was pretty exciting as the angle of attack had changed drastically. In this mode, you can really see how much Dromida’s stabilization helps keep the Vista stable during flight. I had a few close calls where I almost stuff ed it into the ground (and trees and a parked car), so for the sake of this article I figured it was best to keep the stability control on. I pressed down on the right stick to put it in Normal mode (solid orange light) and flight life was good again . I’m a bit more comfortable in this setting.
To finalize the review, I needed to give the Vista’s flipping ability a work out. I set it again at about 25 feet, clicked the Flip button and pushed the right stick forward. The Vista popped up momentarily, did a front flip and balanced itself out. OK, that was pretty cool. I clicked the Flip butt on again, this time pushing the stick to the right. The Vista popped up a few inches again and then barrel rolled to the right. I played with this feature for a few minutes, doing flips in all four directions. It was pretty fun, but just make sure you have plenty of altitude, especially if it’s windy out.
THE FINAL WORD
Dromida packs everything you need right in one box with the new Vista. It’s so easy to fly that you’re going to want to switch flight modes in no time, however, I suggest either Easy or Normal for the first few packs. Practice flying around trees or poles; heck, even build yourself a little obstacle course with chairs or boxes. When your skill level has increased, the Vista will be right there to keep your thumbs sharp and smiles wide.