Today we will be taking a closer look at the best drones made by a single manufacturer. Air Hogs is the name, and we are basically talking about a line of toy-grade RC vehicles. From airplanes, helicopters, jets to quadcopters and rockets – Air Hogs makes them all.
It all started back in 1996 when John Dixon and Peter Manning approached Spin Master with their latest innovation – compressed air powered toy airplane. Nowadays, Air Hogs is a massive RC vehicle brand that mostly deals in toy-grade models. With exclusive licenses for Star Wars, Star Trek, Batman and more, they sure have a decent arsenal for sparking up children’s imaginations.
With that being said, I would like to present you with a list of best drones made by Air Hogs. It’s not big, only 5 models… but they’re all great in terms of price/performance ratio. Not to mention there are absolute classics such as Millennium Falcon and U.S.S Enterprise. So, let’s not beat around the bushes any longer and get straight to business!
Top 5 Best Air Hogs Drones :
5. Air Hogs Millennium Falcon
I suppose Millennium Falcon is a good starting point as far as Air Hogs drones are concerned. As you could’ve guessed, this little bugger sports the classic Millennium Falcon design from the highly popular Star Wars franchise. It sports a bulky body with 4 fully enclosed propellers leading the show. Some of you must think that it’s really slow judging by its weight… but it’s quite the contrary actually. However, we will talk more about this down below. For now, let’s check out this fella’s main features!
Features and Camera
Even though this section is called Features and Camera, we won’t be talking about the camera that much. In fact, we won’t be talking about the camera at all since Air Hogs Millennium Falcon does not have one. It’s not a sore sight in Air Hogs’ lineup, there are several cameraless drones coming from their labs. But, the lack of a camera falls into the shade when you take the price into account. Furthermore, the handing and general flying experience are a big plus too. Let’s not forget about the authentic Millennium Falcon sounds as well as colorful LEDs for impressive immersion.
First of all, let’s get one thing clear – just because this drone has a bulky body, it does not mean it’s slow. In fact, Millennium Falcon is quite a speedy little fella, agile too. It can go quite far as well. We are talking somewhere around the 60-meter mark. Good for casual strolls through the backyard, don’t you think? Flight time is not slacking either with a duration of cca 5 to 7 minutes. So, considering everything I’ve stated here, please tell me your opinion on Air Hogs Millennium Falcon? I consider it to be a great drone for casual users and Star Wars fans. However, if you want something smaller and more responsive, then take a look at the next one!
4. Air Hogs Helix Ion
Helix Ion comes as the 4th pick as far as Air Hogs drones are concerned. However, it has been a pretty tough task sorting it out right next to DR1. They are roughly the same size and have somewhat of a similar design. Of course, DR1 took a better position due to its camera and FPV capability. Right now, let’s switch the focus back to Helix Ion and see what exactly can it do. I’m sure many of you will be really interested in this one after you find out what it’s all about. So, without much further adue let’s see Helix Ion in its full glory!
Features and Camera
Just like Millennium Falcon, Helix Ion does not have a camera. It doesn’t need it though as its stellar array of features and generally decent performance speak for themselves. Starting off with the design, Helix Ion’s body is made out of a thick and sturdy foam that simply bounces off of objects upon impact. It’s crazy!
It is also important to note that it sports ducted fan design. We are talking about 3-bladed propellers and quite aggressive ones. They provide great thrust and make Helix Ion a rather agile little flyer. I should also mention 1-key flips which will kick the fun up a notch. It works well both indoor and outdoor, making it yet another plus in my book.
The first thing worth mentioning here is the fact that Helix Ion is primarily meant for indoor use. Yes, I just said that it can go outdoor too, but only to a certain degree. You see, Air Hogs Helix Ion has only up to 30 meters to work with. For indoor, this is great as it covers your entire house and then some. Outdoors, however, it will be highly limited. Your backyard and slightly more in some cases. Battery duration makes things better for this little fella. It can provide juice for approximately 8 minutes which is not half bad.
3. Air Hogs DR1
As I’ve stated above, Air Hogs DR1 and Helix Ion were quite difficult to position on this list. But, due to DR1’s FPV capability, it took the win. So yes, we are talking about a micro racer here. A micro racer that can surely amaze you with its price/performance ratio. Plus, this is a complete packaging together with a transmitter (although a small one), VR headset and the drone itself. You also get a set of spare props in case you somehow manage to mess stock ones up. Want to know more about DR1? Let’s dig right into it then…
Features and Camera
5.8Ghz is considered as the standard for FPV racing. That’s because of extremely low latency. Compared to WiFi FPV, 5.8Ghz wins without any doubt. Air Hogs drone with camera DR1, unfortunately, sports WiFi FPV. However, don’t be alarmed all of a sudden. Air Hogs DR1’s WiFi FPV isn’t really that laggy as what’s the case with most of the competition. In fact, if you are using it indoors and you don’t have a lot of WiFi networks going on (if you’re not living in a highly populated building), I’d say you won’t even notice the latency. It’s that good! Almost to the point of me thinking it’s 5.8Ghz.
Same as Helix Ion, DR1 also sports ducted fan design with 3-bladed propellers. Furthermore, it also incorporates 2 flying rates – slow and fast. If you’re a first-time flyer I warmly recommend sticking to the slow rate. At least for the first couple of days until you get a hang of how it flies. Last but not least, I almost forgot to tell you how lightweight and agile this thing is. On top of that, it’s quite stable too… capable of providing top-notch flying experience to both beginners and experienced flyers.
The lack of camera and supporting FPV is not the only real difference between DR1 and Helix Ion. There’s a fair share of it when it comes to operating ranges of these 2 micro quads. Helix Ion can go up to 30 meters while DR1 can pass 50 and go all the way to 70 meters with ease. Battery duration gives a much tighter gap. You can expect roughly the same flight time, somewhere around 7 to 8 minutes. All in all, if you’re on the market for a cheap FPV racer, Air Hogs DR1 seems like a great choice!
2. Air Hogs Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise
Coming in at number #2 Best Air Hogs Drones we have a special little drone for all you Trekkies reading this. As the title implies, Air Hogs did their best to produce a great U.S.S Enterprise model, one of the most popular spaceships of its generation. However, there is no warp speed with this one – it is just a regular quadcopter with a fully enclosed propeller and a hefty load sticking out the back. How well does it perform? Well, let’s find out, shall we?!
Features and Camera
Let’s face the elephant in the room – the majority of people buying Air Hogs Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise will just fly it once or twice. After that, they’ll place it in their living room and silently admire it for years to come. That’s why the good folk over at Air Hogs provided a specialized transparent stand for this beauty. In addition to the stand, this little bugger can also produce a whopping 10 authentic U.S.S Enterprise sounds that will bring back the good old memories.
I will start off this section by saying that the numbers offer somewhat of a standard performance you’d come to expect from such a bulky model. The battery duration actually impressed me a bit since I was expecting much lesser numbers due to its weight. Still, Air Hogs U.S.S Enterprise went all the way to 8 and even close to 9 minutes during the first few flying sessions. The operating range is slightly shorter than I expected, pulling the balance to the standard numbers. You’re looking at up to 50 meters of interference-free control distance which is not half bad, don’t you agree?!
1. Air Hogs Helix Sentinel
At the moment, the best Air Hogs drone with a camera you can buy right now is definitely Helix Sentinel. I’ve had it for a while now and have to say I was nicely impressed by its features. They’re amazing. Even more so when you come to think they’re incorporated with such a cheap drone. But, features side, Helix Sentinel doesn’t fail to deliver in terms of specifications too. Let’s see what kind of performance can this little bugger provides!
Features and Camera
Starting off with the imaging solution, Helix Sentinel actually sports quite a good one. It has a miniature HD camera for capturing breathtaking aerial footage. That’s not all this camera can do. You see, it also sports WiFi FPV that works pretty well. There is a bit of latency going on (slightly more than what’s the case with DR1) but still enjoyable nevertheless.
As for the actual features, Helix Sentinel is really something. With a 4-directional obstacle avoidance system (4 sensors, 1 on each side) as well as 2 ultrasonic sensors, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this is a smart little fella. It can detect and avoid obstacles. Not with the same precision and reliability like high-end models such as DJI Mavic Pro… but it still works more often than not. Lastly, Air Hogs Helix Sentinel comes in a nice little suitcase style package which makes transportability a breeze.
One thing is for sure – Air Hogs Helix Sentinel specifications are making the overall package look great! But it’s only logical to expect solid specifications on top of all those sensors mentioned above. So, first off let’s say a thing or two about operating range. Indoor you can be sure there won’t be any cutbacks at all. Outdoor though, you will be limited to approximately 60-70 meters. In fact, I believe Air Hogs Helix Sentinel is just around the standard range at this price point. Battery duration is slightly above average – clocking in at up to 10 minutes without the foam protection. All in all, Air Hogs Helix Sentinel with an abundance of sensors, solid camera, and great specifications is bound to impress you.
Which of these drones has the best set of features?
Undoubtedly, the best feature-set out of this entire bunch belongs to Air Hogs Helix Sentinel. It comes as no surprise because of 2 simple factors. The first one is the protective foam guard I mentioned above. When installed, it gives an extra layer of protection but makes flying on a windy day next to impossible. The second factor is the miniature black module which is located on the bottom portion of this quad. It consists of 4 obstacle avoidance along with 2 ultrasonic sensors for altitude hold. So yeah, Helix Sentinel is a fully-fledged obstacle avoidance and altitude hold. We don’t see anything like that all the time…
Which of these drones has the longest flight time?
Even though Helix Sentinel can go all the way up to 10 minutes, that’s only without the protective foam guard. Once you install it, the drone will be much heavier resulting in lower airtime. More precisely, with foam guard on, Air Hogs Helix Sentinel can only endure up to 6 minutes. So yeah, you will have to choose your drone carefully. But, I have a solution…
If you are looking for a drone that can fly for long periods of time per charge, I warmly recommend going for either DR1 or U.S.S Enterprise. DR1 can fly around for cca 8 minutes while U.S.S Enterprise can come close to 9. Still, it’s also worth mentioning that DR1 is much faster and agiler than Enterprise… and you should not take those 2 characteristics for granted.
Which of these drones has the longest operating range?
If you are specifically looking for an exploration drone, there are several options you might want to consider. When it comes to exploration drones by Air Hogs, your best bets would be Helix Sentinel and DR1. The latter not so much, considering outdoor isn’t exactly its cup of tea.
Helix Sentinel, on the other hand, can reach as far as 70 meters which are a great feat at this price point. You should also not forget about its stellar array of features making it the smartest entry-level drone available.
Why should you go with best Air Hogs drones?
Well, the obvious reason to go for one of these drones with a camera is your love for one of their licensed franchises. As you could see above, they have drones with the classic Star Trek and Star Wars designs which are bound to impress grown-up kids. Thanks to the recent success of new Star Wars movies, younger audiences will be captivated too. It’s just a matter of time.
However, even if you are not a huge fan of these franchises, I still suggest opting for Air Hogs drones. First of all, they are really affordable. Second of all, we are talking about a Canada based company with a great reputation. Last but not least, Air Hogs makes great products for all age groups with the highest quality standards! And for that, I strongly recommend them!
What’s the most beginner-friendly Air Hogs drone?
Honestly speaking, all 5 best Air Hogs drones featured on this list are more or less beginner-friendly. They are all intuitive, work with decent ranges and are highly responsive to your control inputs. However, the one I think will be the best one for first-time flyers is Helix Ion. With a small size factor and protective foam body surrounding its propellers, this little bugger simply bounces off of objects/surfaces it hits. It is insanely enjoyable to fly. I’m sure rookies will be amazed by its performance. There’s no doubt about it!
Tips for flying Air Hogs
Well, these tips that you can see below aren’t just for Air Hogs but for drones in general. Make sure you carefully read through them, especially if you’re a first-time flyer. They are bound to help you out a lot. Let’s check them out:
1. Charge up!
Let’s start off with the most obvious one – charging! If you want a good flying session you must make sure your battery (perhaps you will be carrying more than a few batteries with you) is charged up. As a matter of fact, not just the battery but your controller and camera (if you’re using a separate battery on it) as well.
2. Take it slow!
One of the most frequent rookie mistakes new pilots make is speed. Without any prior experience or knowledge, they pump the throttle to maximum and hope for the best. Of course, this is not a good practice since you’ll most likely end up crashing your drone a lot. Instead, a much better method of learning to fly a drone is by taking things easy… and slow. There’s no point in rushing to top speeds. Once you get a hold of the controls, you’ll be flying fast in no time.
3. Practice indoors!
If you go for one of the smaller drones from this list, a good idea would be to practice indoors. As a matter of fact, drones such as Helix Ion are primarily meant for indoor use. By practicing indoor, you will have a safe environment for taking your first flying steps without having to worry about wind and potentially losing your drone. Keep in mind though – it’s always a good idea to have prop guards installed to minimize the chance of damaging your furniture.
4. Headless mode!
The headless mode allows beginners a much easier time to adjust to their drone’s movement. Instead of having to worry about where the drone’s head is pointing (hence the name headless mode), you simply turn in the direction you want. In other words, no matter the drone’s orientation, moving to the left is always left, right is always right, back is always back and front, you’ve guessed it, is always front.
5. No room for giving up!
Don’t get discouraged if you end up crashing your drone, or God forbid, breaking it. Stuff like that happens a lot and, trust me on this one, we’ve all been there. Just keep your head up and keep trying – eventually, you will be flying like a true champ! Even if you manage to break something on your drone, fixing such issues is quite easy in most cases. Spare parts are relatively cheap and by fixing the issue yourself, you’ll learn how drone’s electronics function.
That’s it guys – we’ve reached the end of this special Air Hogs drones article. It’s been a fun ride, that’s for sure! You’ve had the chance to see an exceptional array of drones, some of which are portrayed in classical cinematography designs. But, whether or not you’re a fan of Star Wars or Star Trek, you have to admit each and every one of the models featured above looks absolutely amazing. Their prices are affordable too which makes them great for virtually anyone looking to get into the hobby.
In the end, I’d like to thank you guys for reading and hope that I’ve helped you make your decision. Until next time…