Best SwellPro Splash Drone Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2022:
Splash Drone – distributed in France by Helsel Eu – is uniquely positioned in a market dominated by a Chinese armada by offering the world’s first waterproof and all-terrain drone. Derived from a rescue drone, the Splash Drone swaps its release hook for a GoPro and comes to take a tour in our lab before taking off over the beach!
By the admission of its distributor, the Splash Drone is a bit like the Land Rover of the 80s to the modern car full of electronics today. All-terrain, solid, easily repairable, and versatile, the Splash Drone is not easily tamed but promises a versatility of use out of the ordinary. You can ride it in the rain or drop it in the water without the slightest concern!
Equipped with powerful 4215/590 kV brushless motors treated against seawater and capable of pointing at 70 km / h, this amphibious drone carries a stabilized 2-axis nacelle to attach a GoPro, unfortunately not supplied. It offers intelligent functions such as automatic takeoff or landing and the Follow Me, Circle Flight, and Auto Way Point flight modes. Is its uniqueness enough to stand out in a growing market? Answer here!
Best SwellPro Splash Drone Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2022
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Old! This is what comes to mind when you open the aluminum case allowing you to store all the components of the Splash Drone. Compared to our previous drone tests ( Bebop 2 or Phantom 3 and 4), the Splash. Drone requires a few more advanced notions of what makes up a drone. Rest assured, nothing to be lost, but we are here far from the simplicity of the products of the giant DJI, for example. Delivered with a video transmitter, an AT9 radio control, and a 2-axis stabilizer. GoPro format, an FPV screen, and a datalink module, the Splash. Drone gives more the impression of artisanal construction than of mass production.
It is not badly finished but you have to get used to seeing the connection and the wires sticking out. If this contributes to the charm of the machine when you open the transparent cover, you wonder about the long-term solidity of the connections that connect the nacelle to the drone, for example.
Its characteristics are interesting since the power of the engines makes it possible to fight against winds up to 50 km / h and, above all, it can land on the water. To taste the pleasure of ditching, you must first open the hood by unscrewing the 6 screws and be careful not to lose the seal. The battery plugs into its connector to turn on the drone, but there is no On / Off switch. The self-tightening propellers are easily attached to the rotor by screwing them and the APK application allowing access to the automated flight mode is downloaded via the SwellPro website.
If there are relevant flight modes – such as Mission Planning which establishes Way Points or Follow Me -, the link between the smartphone and the drone is tedious since you have to activate a receiver that you keep in your pocket, connect the smartphone via Bluetooth to it and click on the Wi-Fi icon of the application. Therefore taking into account that powering up requires unscrewing the cover and that the camera must be mounted.
In addition, the graphics of the application clearly lack finesse and it is not the most ergonomic. Furthermore, why not have designed a base to hold the smartphone on the radio control? The frame of it only allows to fix the FPV 7 “return screen but not the smartphone or a tablet.
At this stage of the installation, our feeling is mixed. On the one hand, we are delighted to have a real control screen provided in addition to the screen of the remote control, but the application, which is nevertheless an integral part of the flight experience is hardly usable when we are alone and the video return on the FPV screen is of poor quality.
To start the engines, pull the throttle levers in opposite lateral directions. It then only remains to go through the application to take off or gently push the left throttle lever up. If you are a beginner, be careful to stay in the GPS flight mode. If this forces you to wait for the location of at least 8 satellites, stability has nothing to do with the manual ATTI mode. The latter will make the drone very difficult to fly and will give you the impression of being on an ice rink. On the other hand, with the localization activated, the flight experience approaches that of a Phantom 3. The 590 kV motors are powerful and are not afraid to fight against gusts of wind, but certain reactions are a little too lively and the acceleration lacks a bit of smoothness.
The raison d’être of the SwellPro Splash Drone is its ditching capacity, heading for the English Channel! It settles very easily on water, there is no particular handling to carry out. We can therefore fly without fear on the surface of the water and take original shots safely. If the drone were to be submerged by a wave, it would suffice to make it take off and shake it a little by carrying out a few manipulations of right-left / front-rear piloting to set off again as if nothing had happened.
A word on the AT9 remote control, complete and equipped with a screen allowing to control the altitude, the speed or even the level of the battery. It also allows you to play on the up-down angle of the nacelle and its tilt
The SwellPro Splash Drone was not being delivered with a camera, we mounted a GoPro Hero3 +. The image quality of the latter is known and not surprisingly. We, therefore, refer you to his test. In any case, in HDTV 1080 60p mode the action cam still offers an honorable image in HDTV. 1080 60p in terms of sharpness, color, and dynamics. However, in Wide mode, the distortion is very important. The real downside of the Splash Drone is that despite the fact that the signal from the GoPro is sent back to the FPV monitor and that the nacelle is adapted to its housing, there is no way to trigger the camera remotely. It is therefore necessary to launch the recording before takeoff and to stop it manually after landing.
A real lack that the brand seems to have taken into account since it will market the Zero Camera probably at the start of the school year and it will be possible to order it from the application. Note also that the 2-axis stabilization does its best to compensate for vibrations. But we are far from the softness of a stabilized 3-axis gimbal.
This is one of the most notable weaknesses of the SwellPro Splash Drone. If the autonomy announced is 22 minutes with a Li-po. 4S 5200 mA battery, we have barely exceeded 13 minutes of flight. Fortunately, we had several batteries available. In addition, when the radio control informs us by vibration that we are reaching a critical battery level. The GPS stabilization is cut and the return to the base is complicated for those who have no notions of piloting. We strongly recommend that you activate the Return To Home switch at this time to avoid any incident.
The SwellPro Splash Drone is an atypical and interesting four-engine aircraft for all lovers of aerial images who wish to follow the coastline or fly safely over the water. Its off-road capabilities will be a great asset in these circumstances or in extreme weather conditions. Apart from this fun, but specific uses, there are other solutions on the market, like those of DJI with its Phantom 3 or 4, much simpler and cheaper, since in addition to the purchase of the Splash Drone, you will need to equip yourself with a GoPro. The Splash Drone is therefore a product that stands out. But it is to be reserved for certain very specific applications.
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