Just like any other tech trend in the past five or ten years, enthusiasts have always found ways to turn almost anything into a competitive affair. The drone flying scene is no exception to this, as the simple notion of flight has garnered the interest of speed demons, converting the once-peaceful casual hobby into a battle of supremacy.
And just like that, racing drones were born (or made). These UAVs are vastly different from the hobby-grade crafts we’re used to, from design, performance, and aesthetics. One of the most notable differences between racing drones and hobby-grade ones is the level of customization, where the former has a vast leeway for upgrades and tweaking.
The UVify Draco HD is one of the more renowned models in the racing scene, with its performance and specifications creating quite the buzz among enthusiasts and newbies alike. But what can this UAV really pull off? Read on our thorough UVify Draco HD review to find out.
|Weight:||Unloaded: 544 grams|
|Size||Length: 7.5 in |
Width: 8.3 in
Height: 2.4 in
|Speed||Max: 100 mph|
|Signal||Range: ~1 km|
Operational Frequency: 2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz
|Battery||Flight time: ~7 mins|
Capacity: 1800 mAh
|Recording||Camera: 720p HD|
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UVify Draco HD Features
Just like the majority of racing drones, this quadcopter features a modular design to ease modders into customizing the drone to their desired specifications or just provide a convenient way to do repairs for the average joe, as crashes are ever-present in this specific niche.
This makes the stock drone a great platform for upgrades, as you can even step it up into the Draco 4X4 X-Class/Pro-Class drone with a few swaps and snap-fits. The drone’s build is mostly wire-free, meaning that instead of the hassle that wire leads promote when connecting/disconnecting, and has contact pins in its place for a snap-on connection.
You can even go as far as replacing the drone’s video system, meaning you can go back and forth with the analog or digital platform, depending on your streaming needs.
Tuned Power System
The drone’s powertrain system is tuned by experts to make it fly like it’s supposed to out of the box. The specialized brushless motor’s design ensures that it has a low center of gravity thanks to the ultra-thin disc type structure, resulting in better overall control responsiveness, while the N54 curved super magnets guarantee a high torque output.
The overlapping magnetic field also induces faster acceleration, response, higher motor efficiency, as well as a very low cogging torque to ensure that the motor functions as smooth as possible. The motor also has a hollow Titanium alloy shaft that reduces its weight by up to 50%, resulting in better overall performance without sacrificing durability.
Specialized Cooling Design
As far as racing drones are concerned, the high-performance output from these quadcopters also means that power consumption is through the roof. And what else do we get apart from a blistering-fast performance? Heat. This by-product of power generation and processing is the result of inefficiencies in the materials used (there is no truly 100% efficient machine).
The drone combats this with its own cooling design on the battery packs and hull, making use of specialized vents and airways to properly conduct airflow into the chassis. It even has a wind tunnel in the body to promote positive airflow and thus result in better cooling performance. This equates to improved flight stats and a longer service lifespan.
The UVify Draco HD has an 1800 mAh 4S LiPo battery that can provide up to 7 minutes of flight time at aggressive to moderate flight speeds but can be extended to double if flown casually. This is the usual ballpark figure for most racing drones anyway, so if you’re keen on flying for longer, you can always secure additional battery packs from retailers.
The drone has an intelligent battery that has an onboard computer that measures voltage, current, battery life (with physical LED indicators), as well as charging and balancing circuits to keep the units healthy with the constant charge and discharge cycles it goes through. These batteries are snap-fit pieces as well, making swaps while at your event fast and seamless.
It even has an integrated charger and balancer unit for a comprehensive charging experience, topping up your battery packs back to full in a matter of an hour or so.
The UVify Draco HD sports a 720p HD camera that is capable of shooting 30 fps footage. As with racing drones, their camera units aren’t really designed for quality captures, as the main purpose of its optics is to supply the vital live FPV feed on your preferred streaming device, which in this case are FPV goggles.
That being said, video quality isn’t all that bad, as you can still differentiate the depth of field while flying at high speeds. This is made possible with its high dynamic range sensor to properly balance the brightness and make details pop out, and is capable of operating properly even in low-light conditions.
The camera has an adjustable angle as well, giving you up to 60° of adjustment range, but you have to do this manually as there is no motorized gimbal to do it for you. Just like most of the drone’s components, the camera unit is modular, giving you the option for future upgrades.
The UVify Draco HD can be purchased without a controller, but for this particular review model, it came with a generic-looking controller bundled with the ProSight receiver. While it isn’t anything fancy like those found in similarly-priced drones, it comes with the basic layout of dual joysticks, switches and buttons, and even an LCD screen for basic status readouts like battery life and flight modes.
As for ergonomics, the simplistic design works well enough even in a racing setting, being more comfortable than its flashier counterparts. Even the heft promotes a relaxed grip for minimal wrist strain if you plan to fly the drone in extended periods of time.
Design and Build Quality
The UVify Draco HD has that standard racing quadcopter aesthetic, and the accompanying ruggedness as well. Its main structure is mostly comprised of pure Twill-weave 4K carbon fiber, giving it an impressive durable build that can withstand most crashes without flinching. This also means that the drone is loads lighter in comparison to units that use aluminum or fiberglass parts.
More than the rugged externals, the drone also tidied up the internal electronics by completely going wire-free and solder-free, relying on PCB routing and snap-on contact points for a more consistent continuity, while contributing to the modular design’s easy connect/disconnect functionality.
Just as any racer drone should, the UVify Draco HD offers an outstanding degree of response control, immediately doing your bidding as soon as you input it on the remote controller. The drone is well-balanced as well, holding its own even against moderate wind speeds.
Do note that the drone doesn’t pull punches out of the box, so try to gauge usage as it is rather loose in terms of maneuverability, with the sensitivity dialed quite high for maximum performance at its rated speed.
Speaking of speed, this bird can hit 100 mph easily, making it a worthy contender amongst the fastest of racers around. Of course, this doesn’t come without risks and setbacks, as you will be more prone to crashes at such velocities, along with the aforementioned shorter flight times.
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Planning ahead your decision to purchase a racing drone is quite tricky, as the plethora of specifications and features might leave you overwhelmed. But it can be rewarding nonetheless, giving you foresight over the most optimal drones for your budget.
This UAV passes all the tickboxes as far as essential functionality goes, with high-performance parts doing what they’re supposed to, excellent design choices giving the drone an edge over the competition, and the user-friendliness offered by its simplistic interface.
But what struck us most is the level of upgradeability offered by the UAV’s modular design, giving you free rein over customizing the craft according to your own specifications. This is as close as you get to building your very own drone.
That being said, the UVify Draco HD is at a price premium when compared to its competitors, especially if you want a fully-immersive flight experience, with extra accessories and components comprising the greater part of the total cost.
If you value customizability and future-proofing, this bird is more than you’ll ever need for your racing itch. But if you just want a greeter into the world of drone racing, there are far more affordable units out there waiting to be grabbed.
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