If you are a subscriber to the magazine you may remember the featured review of the Parrot Swing, which we took out for some test flights, using the RTF VTOL (vertical take off and landing) drone form the minidrone series.
On a cold British morning, we took the Parrot Swing to one of our isolated flying spots, a spot that happens to be in the forest, so lots of trees to fly around not only to test it’s manoeuvrability, and durability but to see how the bluetooth connectivity holds up.
The swing literally comes out of the box RTF, no assembly or tools required. On first impressions this is an awesome looking drone with some impressive features added, a fine addition to the minidrone series.
What is the biggest difference between the swing and most quadcopters?
Well it has VTOL, which means it has vertical take off and landing, this enables you to pilot the drone as a fixed wing, but you have secure landing with the touch of a button. The biggest benefit of a VTOL feature is that you do not have to gradually decent to the ground like most fixed wings, but instead have the manoeuvrability of a quadcopter.
With the push of a button I launched the Parrot Swing, and it stayed put like a puppy waiting for me to throw the stick, hovering at one metre like GPS, except this particular drone uses high precision sensors to read it’s environment. A camera compares an images of the ground every 16 milliseconds to determine its speed, and keeps stability.
To go into plane mode is quite simply like gears, so easy to cycle through the flight rates, flying the swing is simple due to a powerful autopilot that holds the altitude during flight. In quadricopter mode, an ultrasound sensor analyzes the flight altitude up to 4 meters. Additionally, a pressure sensor controls the Minidrone at altitude.
Testing the durability, I flew the Swing into numerous trees at full speed, and was quite surprised that it held itself together, at most i had a bent prop...which was quite easy to bend back due to the props being so flexible, Flexibility is a theme throughout the Parrot Swing.
With the launch of the Swing, and Mambo drones Parrot have also given birth to the Flypad, a gaming style controller that enabled myself to pilot the swing without having to use my smart phone, a flying style which I most prefer, this said, you can still fly just using the Freeflight mini app, either just the phone or attaching it to the Parrot Flypad.
FREEFLIGHT MINI APP
The Free flight mini app works well with the Flypad, by enabling you to view and change settings on your smart phone which is held in place by the Flypad. I thought the introduction of the Flypad was a productive improvement as I could fly with sticks while still having Freeflight mini providing useful flight information.
The VTOL drone by Parrot is a great entry to drones and is designed to be very user friendly with its sensor technology, the drone itself is super light and flexible, making it quite durable. The lightness of the drone dampens it's impact force upon crashing, as I previously said the only damage I had was bent props, again flexible and easy to bend back into shape.
From our own hands on review of the Parrot Swing it is easy to clarify this drone is aimed at more of an entry level or family drone that you can just have fun with. The Parrot Swing does not fall into the same category as a racing quad so if you have the need for speed or want full fpv, it may not be quite be for you.
I feel the camera could of been a little better for it's price but this said it is a very light drone packing some great features such as altitude hold, stabilization sensor technology and one button touch land and take off control, great features for a user friendly experience for someone who has never flown a drone before.