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Old Sep 04, 2012, 05:51 PM
The flightless bird
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The Walkera QR Ladybird V2 Review


Introduction
I could still vividly remember the first time I flew the QR Ladybird… because I could not wrap my head around the concept of such a small, simple aircraft with such amazing performance. Many quads have entered and left my fleet since then, some I liked and some I didn’t…but the QR Ladybird has always occupied a special place in my house: right by the door where I could pick it up and go.

Although the market has recently been flooded with a wave of clones, I still maintain that the best flying quad of it’s size is the QR Ladybird, and if it was priced lower…I believe that everyone would have one instead of flying one of the clones.

That brings us to the star of this review, the QR Ladybird V2 from Walkera. It is a stripped down version of the V1 that comes exclusively as a RTF set. Priced at around 60USD ready to fly, it is a bit more expensive than the clones, but much more affordable than the original V1 (that come in at around 75USD BNF.)



From the box


Tmart sent the V2 to me a few days ago and it arrived well protected in bubble wrap and its original box today. I tore open the packaging in a hulk-like manner… you can sense my eagerness to fly this thing (and I do admit that I flew it before I repacked it and took the pictures of the box contents :P)
In the box came the following
1x 4 channel 2.4GHz transmitter (Devo 4)
1x QR Ladybird V2 (Thankfully)
4x Spare propellers
1x 240 mah Lipo battery
1x GA006 dual Lipo charger
1x Bind plug and RX tool
1x Instruction manual


The Walk-around
Leave the canopy on, and it’s very hard to tell what the differences are between the V1 and the V2. Indeed, all parts other than the receiver board are interchangeable. That begs the question then, what is absent on the V2’s board that makes it so much cheaper?

Looking at the board of the V2, it is obvious that many components found on the V1 are missing. Namely the upgrade ports and the accelerometer chip. That may mean that the V2 would be at a slight disadvantage in terms of stability. This issue will be discussed in the “flight performance” section of the review.
The bottom of the motors are protected with rubber padding like later V1 units, I believe it will do it’s part to protect the motors and prevent the motors from seizing like they do on the early model that I have.





The Transmitter
With the introduction of the QR Ladybird V2, Walkera also introduced the brand new Devention 4. It is (I believe) made from the same tooling as the Devo 6, so a big plus on the ergonomics…Despite the small size, it feels very comfortable to hold in my comically large hands. Functionality wise, it is quite simplistic… no fancy functions or a LCD screen, just 2 sticks, a dual rates button to the right and channel reversing on the rear of the TX. There is a metal eyelet in the front where you can hook a neck strap onto the TX… but that’s about it!

It does it’s communications to you by beeping…it’ll beep when it binds and beep during trims…there’s a red light under the Devention logo that will blink at different speeds depending on your D/R settings.

I found that the sticks (other than the throttle) are a bit tense and therefore it is a bit difficult to achieve very precise movements… that said, it is more than adequate I think, considering the price and the beginner market the V2 is aimed at. The comparatively stiff sticks do prevent beginners from over-controlling the quad. So, hopefully the stiff sticks were by design!


Flight performance

The V2 took off quite powerfully and hovered with very little trim or user input. I honestly cannot feel the difference between the V1 and the V2 in terms of flight stability and performance. It’s that good.
It has a “stability mode” and a “stunt mode” quite similar to the functions of the V1’s “6 axis mode” and “3 axis mode”.
Flying the V2 in stability mode, I tried both high and low rates. It is fast and it’ll fly at very steep angles, but it does not flip. This stability mode is very useful for beginners and seasoned flyers alike. It’s something that is not found on most of the other cloned quads as far as I know.

In stunt mode, the V2 flips with authority. If you are used to flying other quads of it’s size, I must remind you that the V2 features manual flips… you will have to push the quad fully over until it’s horizontal again.

Slow rolls are impossible if you are using the stock tx but achievable with a computer radio like my 8S. It’s quite graceful when done right.

Using my 8S, it is possible to navigate the quad through tiny spaces and even land on a bottle cap! I have yet to fly anything else with this amount of precision.

a tiny tiny video I made can be found here regarding the V2's precision in flight.

Modifications

I have added a Mini CP landing gear to all of my QR Ladybirds…and the main reason for doing this is to protect the arms of the quad during landings. For review purposes I have yet to fit the landing gear to the V2 but it would certainly help you protect the motors in the event of hard landings. The landing gear also accepts batteries up to 400mah. Not to mention the lower center of gravity would add to the stability (if it could possibly be any more stable!) of this quad.



Verdict
I believe the V2 is definitely a winner. The stability and the performance of it is unmatched by similar sized quads on the market. It is let down a bit by the stock transmitter but if you have a Devo computer radio (Devo 6 and up) then I do believe the V2 is a good alternative to the V1. I do hope that the V2 will be available in the future as a BNF version but for now it is only available as a RTF version.



If you have any questions or comments about this quad, feel free to ask or discuss them in this thread. I will try to answer them to the best of my abilities…if I can’t then others will. It’s a great community.

If you are new to the community, welcome! I definitely think that quads are a great way to learn to fly and this is one of the best options out there. If you would like to look at other quadcopter options, please refer to the RTF Micro Quadcopters thread found here.



UPDATED: VIDEO!
Here
Pros and Cons


Pros
+Cheap price
+GREAT performance
+GREAT stability
+Manual flips and rolls

Cons
-TX could be a little better equipped
-Motors still prone to binding
-No LEDs
-Not available in BNF form




Special thanks to Tmart for supplying this sample. The RTF version is available at http://www.tmart.com/Walkera-4CH-24G...n_p157701.html for 59.99USD shipped. Type in the code rcheli01 and you'll apparently get 5 USD off! $54.99
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Old Sep 04, 2012, 06:26 PM
RC Reviews & Tx Setup Guides
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Old Sep 04, 2012, 10:46 PM
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RTF now only $57 from Banggood....

http://www.banggood.com/Wholesale-Wa...letter-emarsys

Or you can get the V1 bnf from aliexpress for only $64.

http://www.aliexpress.com/product-gs...olesalers.html
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Old Sep 05, 2012, 02:20 AM
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I just got my Ladybird V2 Devo 4 yesterday. In my two flights, I managed to gather some preliminary impression. I will just sum up briefly my findings by stating the pros and cons of the LB since James is going to do a full review of it.

Pros
- Very strong self-stabilising ability.
- Strong motors with very quick throttle response.
- Transmitter feels solid and well-built with crisp controls, though it was hard to find a point to achieve level flight.
- Crash resistant. Even successful crashes onto the wall, my LB did not fall apart.
- Best flyer I have so far compared to the mini-pet and SH6043.

Cons
- Very quick response and may not be beginner friendly.
- No LED lights for night flight (LED is only on the PCB).
- Higher price compared to its clones.
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Old Sep 05, 2012, 05:34 AM
The flightless bird
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@TomZ, your guides have always been exceptionally helpful... I must express my gratitude because I refer to them quite often. My friend's v2 binds and flies with my v1 settings on the 8S without any trouble... Beginners may require lower rates but that's about all I could think of.
@Synmantics, thanks for the links
@TFMeouch, your findings are quite similar to my experiences from my few flight experiences with this quad. I hope the quick responses could be dialed down as this does seem like a problem for beginners, especially if they want to start flying quads.
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Old Sep 05, 2012, 07:21 AM
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Got mine. First battery and one of the motors wires parted at brush connection. The wires were drawn tight going into motor, and pulled out. Now have to wait for a new motor arm assembly. Tried to fix, but but not very fix friendly. Ordered a bunch of motor arms because the little rubber feet still does not asborb the shock to protect the motor assembly. Otherwise I agree with the pros and I would add this con. Perhaps I will make little tie wrap feet to further protect the bug like is done on the V929.
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Old Sep 05, 2012, 07:53 AM
The flightless bird
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@Bobfa, you could try my mod of adding a Mini CP landing gear to the bottom of the V2 frame. I've been flying my V1 like that and never had to replace a leg due to hard landings or the like.
You could also fit a 400-450mah 1S lipo to the landing gear for added flight time... it barely notices the extra weight!
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Old Sep 05, 2012, 12:53 PM
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I don't have the Ladybird, but I bought 4 of its booms/motors and prop set. I like the rubber feet and had many hard landings over the past couple of weeks (my first quad, trying flips, etc.) I think the rubber feet are probably the best of any option (I could land on cars at slight grades with no sliding). Never had motor damage from hard landings on the rubber part. Did have motor damage from landing hard on the prop side to where it popped the lower motor holder plastic lose and popped the plastic end out of the can. Luckily the prop stopped it from going all the way out and I was able to pop it back together, but that motor has since failed (probably damaged the brushes when it came apart).

What I found, if you are always planning on replacing the entire boom with motors, to reinforce the motors with superglue at the motor holder to carbon joint and also along the lower plastic motor holder to the upper (the spars that go down along the motors - holds upper part to lower motor holder section).

I've found the props to always stay on and still running same set with several bends that happened (they bend right back) and scratches. They are tough. In comparison I've broke a U816 prop on 2nd day right in half and it did have 1 motor fail from hard landings on the plastic bottom part (no rubber feet on U816) - on day 4. U816 became parts within 1 week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobfa View Post
Got mine. First battery and one of the motors wires parted at brush connection. The wires were drawn tight going into motor, and pulled out. Now have to wait for a new motor arm assembly. Tried to fix, but but not very fix friendly. Ordered a bunch of motor arms because the little rubber feet still does not asborb the shock to protect the motor assembly. Otherwise I agree with the pros and I would add this con. Perhaps I will make little tie wrap feet to further protect the bug like is done on the V929.
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Old Sep 05, 2012, 10:34 PM
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thanks guys will take that advice to glue, or try a small heli landing skid
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 08:27 AM
The flightless bird
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I've written a review, but it isn't complete yet... a very short video is coming in a few minutes and a better, more complete video will come later. Hope you enjoy the review guys, I spent my only free day this week writing this report! =]

p.s. a tiny tiny video I made can be found here regarding the V2's precision in flight.
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpconard View Post
I don't have the Ladybird, but I bought 4 of its booms/motors and prop set. I like the rubber feet and had many hard landings over the past couple of weeks (my first quad, trying flips, etc.) I think the rubber feet are probably the best of any option (I could land on cars at slight grades with no sliding). Never had motor damage from hard landings on the rubber part. Did have motor damage from landing hard on the prop side to where it popped the lower motor holder plastic lose and popped the plastic end out of the can. Luckily the prop stopped it from going all the way out and I was able to pop it back together, but that motor has since failed (probably damaged the brushes when it came apart).
...
One thing that I read that may help with hard prop side landings:
place a "washer" on the motor shaft between the prop and the motor housing.
Then when the prop hits the ground, etc., it will soon hit the washer which will push against the front of the motor housing (instead of the prop pushing against the shaft alone which then pushes and pops the back/plastic end of the motor can).

I have put such washers on my mQx/Ladybird hybrid, but have not hit the props hard against something yet. I also have a tall homemade canopy that will hit the ground before the props on a prop-side "landing", so this may also protect the motors.
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 03:17 PM
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now, if only walkera would release the V2 as a bnf. theres no point at all to buying the rtf if you have a devo 6/7/8/10/12 controller :<
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 05:12 PM
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James i would love to read your heads-up comparision of V939 vs Ladybird V2

Good Job, Thanks !
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 06:24 PM
The flightless bird
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Thanks Shafter, unfortunately I do not have the 939 so I do not know how they compare. The V2's performance is hard to beat though!
Xermalk, I think the reason why the V2 isn't released as a bnf is that people will stop buying the V1. I talked to their staff about this and they seem to be quite firm on that standpoint.
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Old Sep 11, 2012, 06:40 PM
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Well, most would rather just buy the clones, as most of them can be flown with a 9x. And now with the deviation fw, even those with devo controllers will be able to fly clones.Theres only 2 advantages i see with a ladybird over the clones.

1. manual flips.
2. beeing able to reuse genius/mini cp batterys and chargers.

If they were to release a ~40 usd bnf i bet most gcp/mpc owners would pick up one simply because theres no reason not to have one lying around when you already have all the batterys&chargers.

Anyway its walkeras product, the can market it anyway they want.
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