Robert over at UAVProducts.com (formerly DJI USA) is big fan of our work, which has been to our benefit because we've been impressed with all of the DJI products that we've been able to play with so far. He came on board as a sponsor after we released our original “DJI NAZA Unboxing, Installation and Testing” video.
For your enjoyment and edification, he provided us with an S800 “Spreading Wings” hexacopter and a WooKong-M flight control system, with the understanding that we would put together a video about each of them. Here, then, is the evidence that our job is half done:
Since I'm posting this message on the Internet and I've just admitted receiving a sponsorship, I have no doubt you'll regard everything I'm about to write with a due measure skepticism – fair enough. That being said, I really like this bird.
First of all, it's easy to assemble. As you saw in the video, Techinstein was in his accustomed place behind the work bench, but I probably could have assembled it myself, if I really had to... Also, everything about it seems solid and the result of a meticulous design and engineering process.
Here is one example: this is a powerful aircraft. As you saw at the conclusion of the video, it lifted a 5.4 kilogram payload. DJI could have made the decision to go cheap and constructed the undercarriage out of plastic at the cost of a couple of hundred grams and the bird still would have flown great.
Instead, they used good quality carbon fiber and, as a result, the undercarriage is almost light enough to float on air all by itself – which means more payload or flying time for us.
My one disappointment is that because the Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs) are mounted directly beneath the motors and exposed to the environment, we won't be able to weatherproof this bird, as we have RQCX-1 “Little Bird” and RQCX-3 “Raven.”
Another thing I like, and this is just plain stupid on my part, is the fact that it comes in a cool metal briefcase. After I saw that, I was simply overwhelmed by the need to do the 1960s-style, secret agent spy guy opening that you had to suffer through at the start of the video. Sorry – it won't happen again.
Finally, I have to once more express my admiration for DJI, who, based on everything I've seen so far, appears to be a class act through and through.
First of all, I like the name: “Spreading Wings.” It's evocative in its own right, but it also captures the poetry of the design itself, with its six limbs lifting in graceful arcs towards the tip.
Another example: if you own an S800 or are planning on purchasing one, you should be advised that DJI has discovered that the ESCs are overheating on some units. They have issued a recall, offering replacements at no cost, and they have posted the notice in locations that their users are likely to see it – such as in the comments under DJI-related videos on YouTube. Very cool.
There has been a lot of talk about the S800 arms being to flexible. It would be great if you could mount a camera pointing outwards along one of the arms and fly a bit aggressive and/or in strong winds to show how the arms behave.
But wobbly arms and having the ESC directly under the motor where you get heat from the motor and little cooling from propeller is pretty much the only things I am skeptical about with the S800 at the moment.
And btw. Great and funny review video! :)