UpAir One Long Range FPV Drone


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One of the latest drones that have come to my attention is the UpAir One. This drone is said to be a long range FPV drone that comes with either a 2K or 4K camera that is comparable to a GoPro.

The UpAir one has a very similar body style to a DJI Phantom, and has been on the market since November 2015. The company that produces the UpAir One was bought out around the lunar new year earlier this year and went through a major reorganization to become what it is now.

The reason that’s important is because the old company sold the “UpAir Chase One” while under the new company (a hostile takeover from what I understand) it was renamed to “UpAir One”, and the latter is what we’re looking at in this review.

 UpAir One Review

There are three major points about the UpAir One that we’d like to showcase. The drone was created as a low cost DJI Phantom 3 alternative, giving you much of the Phantom’s features, but at a lower price. The drone comes fully assembled (minus the propellers) and ready to fly. The gimbal and camera are even mounted when the UpAir One comes out of the box.

On Board GPS System

Just like most other GPS Systems, The UpAir One has the ability to return to home using the GPS, landing within 10 feet of the original take off point. It also uses the GPS for hovering while taking still shots or video. The UpAir One has a dual compass system on board that doesn’t need calibration prior to flight. It actually recalibrates on its own when in flight.

Long Range Flight

About 1000 meter distances can be achieved from the UpAir One drone.

Long Range FPV

The FPV system is one of the best in the $300-$400 drone price range. The drone can easily transmit video over 500 meters, but will drop around 600m.

Altitude Hold

While the altitude hold works perfectly at low speeds, when you’re going full tilt in advanced control mode, the drone has a tendency to lift upwards considerably, even though the altitude hold is active. When you slow down, it seems that the quad comes back down to it’s original altitude.

2K or 4K Camera

You can choose either the 2K or 4K camera to come with the drone. There is about a $50-$60 difference in price between the two. The drone also has gyro stabilization that can be turned off and on for better image stabilization. When on, the display shows a camera icon with a ball to indicate gyro is on. The gimbal itself is only a two axis gimbal, not a three, but then again, it’s easily replaceable if you really have an issue with that.

The camera offers a varied field of view. You can select wide angle, standard and tight modes. The later two don’t have the fisheye effect. The camera is wi-fi enabled, and that’s how the video is transmitted back to your On Screen Display.

High Resolution Monitor Mounted On Controller

While there is no actual resolution published that we could find, the 7 inch monitor provides a very good feed of the video, comparable to my mac laptop screen, in fact. It has several items displayed in flight to give you information you need:

  • Includes camera recording status
  • GPS satellite status
  • compass bearing (direction the drone is headed)
  • range from controller
  • distance traveled
  • flight mode
  • cumulative flight time
  • takeoff elevation
  • remaining battery power
  • current speed
  • current attitude
  • Arrow pointing direction back to home (for bearings)

Failsafe Programming

If the UpAir One happens to fly out of range, your controller batteries die, or the connection between you and the drone is severed in any way, the drone is programmed to return to home. If your controller reconnects with the drone on its way back, you can override the return flight and continue flying the drone. When the battery power drops below the 10% threshold, the drone also returns to home for either a fresh battery or recharge. It does not seem that you can override the return if this is the case. Not sure why you’d want to fly the drone until the batteries were completely exhausted, so it makes sense.

5400mAh Smart Battery

The battery has 4 LEDs that give you an instant idea of how much charge the battery has. Each LED represents 25% charge, and if only two, for example, are lit up when you press the battery check button, you’ll know the battery has roughly 50%

Antenna Positioning

We really liked the fact that the antennas for all the electronics weren’t run right next to the electronics. The antennas are run down through the legs for better transmission and reception.

  • Right Leg – On the inner side of the front right leg, you have both the compass antenna and the FPV antenna that run down about half way on the leg.
  • Left Leg – 2.4gHz antenna is mounted on the inner side.

Our only beef with the antennas is that they’re fixed. you can’t remove them and put longer range antennas on instead.

UpAir One Runtimes

When the drone has the camera and gimball installed, you’ll get 11-15 minutes of runtime, but if you’re just flying the drone by itself with no extra hardware, you can see flight times of up to 25 minutes.

FAA Registration Requirements

The UpAir One requires FAA registration in the US as it’s way over the .55 lbs maximum.

What’s In The Box?

  • 1 x Upair Quadcopter
  • 1 x Quadcopter Battery
  • 1 x Tranmitter With Monitor
  • 1 x Transmitter Battery
  • 1 x Camera (2K/4K)
  • 1 x Quadcopter Charger
  • 1 x Transmitter Charger

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