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Sky Hero “The Hero factory” Spyder and Spy Multi Rotors

The Hero factory thinks way outside of the box when they design their multi rotors. RCG tales a look at the Spyder quad/coax 8 and the Spy Y6.

Splash

Is it an alien drone? Is it an insect? No it’s a SKY HERO!

Sky Hero Spyder
Sky Hero Spyder
Quad or X8 It’s eye catching.
Sky Hero Spy
Sky Hero Spy
Y6 at it’s finest.
Frame:2 mm carbon fiber
Booms:30 mm carbon fiber booms ESC inside
Motor mounts:Durable injected plastic
Landing Gear:20 mm carbon fiber landing poles
Spyder Frame:700, 850 or 1000 mm size available
Spy Frame:600, 750 or 900 mm size available
Spyder Weight:± S: 820 g M: 920 g L:960 g
Spy Weight:± S: 720 g M: 750 g L:780 g
Price:$499 - $719 US
More info::www.sky-hero.com

Here’s the bottom line. The Sky Hero line of multi rotors look like they come from the future. These are the most alien looking “Drone-ish” multi rotors I have ever seen. From the unique lay out of the 30mm carbon fiber arms to the beautifully crafted and designed fiberglass canopies, these multi rotors are at the very least stylish. But after the quick first visual inspection, is there any substance behind the looks? The answer is a resounding yes! These rigs back up their looks with some very well thought out engineering and unbelievable quality.

I was approached by Sky-Hero to check out both the Spyder and the Spy airframes. The guys from Sky Hero are very proud of their frames and they really wanted both frames to get a shot of being reviewed. I called up a very good friend and accomplished pilot Nick Frederick and asked if he would be interested in building up the Spy Y6 while I tackled the Spyder. Nick said Yes, I told the guys from Sky Hero it was a go, and we were off and running.

Out of the Box

Both of the frames arrived in one large standard weight outer box.

The actual kits have a very “helicopter” feel, as the boxes have a full printed sleeve with colorful pictures of the finished model all over it. As silly as this sounds, as soon as you see the packaging you feel as though you are dealing with a quality package. Upon opening the box your thoughts are confirmed. Every part that needs it is protected with bubble wrap and individually bagged. The kit is very nice. Let’s take a look at the Spy as it’s unpacked:

Assembly

When you look at the individual parts, you can really tell that quite a lot of engineering went into the Sky Hero line of multi rotors. A lot of very high quality multi rotor frames can sometimes look like perhaps the pieces were designed for something else, and just happen to fit together to make a frame. Where as every part of a Sky Hero frame has a purpose and feels like it was designed specifically for it’s role in these models. one of the first things that caught my eye was the use of a “Sky Hero Block”. The block is basically the spacing block that holds the two main carbon frame plates apart and at the same times ties the two plates together. The same block is used several times on each model and yet is completely interchangeable between them.

Another great feature of the Sky Hero line is the “Keyed” motor holder pods. One of the best things you can do when building a multi rotor is to make sure your motors are perfectly level. This process allows the flight controller to accurately give the motor the correct amount of thrust to stabilize that size of the craft. If the motor is at 0 deg, this whole process is more effective and accurate. With the Sky Hero line, you don’t have to think about this, just pop the motor holding pod’s “keys” into the holes on the 30mm carbon boom, and you are assured perfect alignment!

Another nice feature of the SkyHero is the landing gear. A few quick turns of the clasp that contracts the landing gear holder device and you can remove the entire gear for transport.

Both the Spyder and the Spy have plenty of room for the electronics. I used a Naza V1 with GPS for my Spyder and Nick used a Naza V1 for the Spy. Both frames have the area marked and drilled out for installation of a multitude of flight controls. And with the ample room, I’m sure pretty much any current flight control would be able to be used. I used a simple power distribution board with bullet connectors so I could easily remove an ESC for maintenance or a problem. I also used a 5V BEC (even though the Hitec received does not need it)

The motor installation is very straight forward even if you are doing a coaxial version. As usual when I have a new project I sent an email to my buddy Jim at Monto RC and had him recommend a motor/ESC combo. He told me a fine choice would be Maytech 45amp ESC’s with the Avroto 2814’s. The Avrotos are a very reliable 770KV motor that just loves to spin some 12” props which is exactly what I wanted for my build. Nick chose a different set of ESC’s and the same motors.

When speaking to Jim at Monto RC, he said it was too bad that the newer style pancake motors did not fit, as this frame could make a really cool efficient FPV platform. Well I think Sky Hero must have had our conversation tapped because just a few days later Sky Hero released a new motor holder pod that accommodates larger motors!

The 30mm booms are designed to accommodate most ESC’s that you would use for the Sky Hero line. I say “most" as Nick chose to use an ESC that was a bit larger than the 28mm inside diameter. So if you plan on putting the ESC’s inside the booms, make sure the width dimension is around 27mm or under. My Maytech ESC’s are 65x25x15 an fit perfectly. Also, some people have expressed worry about the ESC’s being inside the boom as this could generate heat issues. I can say that after 30+ flights in weather from 70 deg F to 30 deg F I have had no over heating issues. I actually think the carbon booms act as a heat sink and help dissipate any heat build up.

Both of the Sky Hero multi frames are so well thought out and engineered you may find the entire rig assembled fairly quickly. So lets take a look at a few of the finishing touches and design features. I ended up moving the Naza LED to just sneak out of a space between the “blocks” and it shows the LED very nicely. Infacr the white block reflects the color of the LED very nicely and gives the pilot a accurate view of the FC’s condition.

Check out some of the included features!

The frames both folds up very nicely.

The frame also includes a vibration dampening plate that is secured to the main frame plate with five rubber bobbins. Since I have several other commercial AP rigs, I chose to simply hard mount a GoPro directly to the anti-vibe plate. It gets very nice jello free images. I also intend to add a video TX and make this into a very fun FPV rig in the near future!

Flying

Both the Spyder and the Spy draw attention where ever they go. Their unique look and beautiful design scream “look at me”. And that is all great, but how do these guys fly?! The answer is quite simple. Very nicely! I will admit at the beginning I had a few issues with tuning the Naza to this frame and both Nick and I had to move the CG of the rigs about two inches forward from the recommended location, but once we both did this, the rigs were rock solid and a lot of fun to fly. Personally I am not a DJI Naza user, so the way the controller responds to inputs does not suit my style of flying and I think I could get my Sky Hero Spyder to fly a lot smoother with a different flight controller. But even with the Naza it was still a blast to fly. When both the Spyder and the Spy are at full tilt in forward flight, they look lil ether are going a million miles an hour. (You can see this in the video below)

Let’s take a look at these rigs in the air! Nick and I had a ball at the park flying these rigs, and I can say that the unique shape makes orientation even without LED’s very easy!

Video overview and flying at the park!

RCGroups.com Reviews SKY HERO's SPY and SPYDER Multi Rotors! (9 min 12 sec)

Conclusion

I think the Hero Factory has a hit on their hands with the Sky Hero line of multi rotors. They are completely unique looking, well thought out frames that work very well. I personally think they are a good in-between platform. They are above “hobby grade” and not quite a serious AV Platform. (although I am sure some will disagree with that assessment) I think this is the perfect platform for a Go Pro. Either hard mounted or with a nice two axis gimbal. The ease of transport and excellent high speed flying qualities would fit the GoPro very well. I also believe that these frames could be made into awesome FPV rigs and I intend to follow this review up with a FPV conversion update!

Also Sky Hero has some combo packages hitting the market soon that will include the optimal motors and ESC’s for the frames. I look forward to seeing these! Also make sure to look for the spider6 coming soon as well!

If you are in the market for a very high quality unique multi rotor frame, this very well may be the answer! I certainly love mine!

For more information please check out: SKY HERO

Last edited by Sleepyc; Nov 26, 2013 at 02:21 PM..

Discussion

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Old Nov 26, 2013, 06:23 PM
Pants first, then shoes
Joined Jan 2011
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How do you find the temperature of the esc's after a flight?. Being in an enclosed space with no air flow to cool them do they heat up?
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Old Nov 26, 2013, 07:01 PM
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Honestly I just “felt” the booms. I have quite a bit of experience with multi’s and I can tell a “HOT” set up. The ESC’s at most were “warm’ after many 10 - 12 min flights with 6000mah packs (4S) the motors were never hot, and the booms were never hot. The booms got “warm” on hot days, but that was it. And by warm I mean a bit higher than ambient.
If this really bothers you, there is ample room to mount the ESCs inside the fuse, or even mount them to the base of the boom. But after 30+ flights, I have never had even a hiccup. If I can find my point and shoot “thermometer” I’ll try to hit the boom after the next flight.
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Old Nov 26, 2013, 07:40 PM
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231 Posts
Nice review! I have been eyeballing the spyder thinking about getting the 1000mm if they offered retracts it would have already been a done deal. The only concern I have now after watching your video is with the rear offset so much it looks as if it's tipsy on the back end when landing. Is that true ? Thanks for the great review
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Old Nov 26, 2013, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XxDoubledxx View Post
Is that true ? Thanks for the great review
Honestly that was when I had the CG a bit “behind” the optimal setting.
It now lands flat as a pancake.

I can’t tell you how quality the carbon is in this kit. Real deal nice stuff.
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Old Nov 26, 2013, 08:43 PM
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are longer booms a possibility?
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Old Nov 26, 2013, 09:13 PM
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I have the medium size rig, Hero factory offers a 1000mm option!
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Old Nov 26, 2013, 10:14 PM
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Cleveland, OH
Joined Aug 2008
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I built the spy and I completely agree with Sleepy. The engineering on this frame is just awesome. Not being able to fit my ESCs was my only challenge because the space inside the center plate was VERY tight for sticking six 40 amp escs plus a PD board. In the end it worked though and the final result is really clean. This thing is by far the coolest looking frame I have seen. I really enjoy looking at it in the air and on the ground unlike most multirotors that are just booms, wires and blades. This thing is sleek.
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Old Nov 26, 2013, 11:13 PM
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I like this frame, is 820g for small size before gimbal?
I would like to get one to hang on the wall in my living room.
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Old Nov 27, 2013, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by fpvboy View Post
I like this frame, is 820g for small size before gimbal?
I would like to get one to hang on the wall in my living room.
820 G for the small is for the Spyder with the canopy with only frame.
But I can get 12 minutes with a 6000 may batt with a GoPro attached.
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Old Nov 27, 2013, 05:22 AM
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Can I ask what size frames you guys tested? The 700 Spyder and the 750 Spy?
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Old Nov 27, 2013, 08:22 AM
Some Sharp Looking Cheddar
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Yes Duke I believe that is correct
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Old Nov 27, 2013, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by wildduke View Post
can i ask what size frames you guys tested? The 700 spyder and the 750 spy?
yes.
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Old Nov 27, 2013, 01:55 PM
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Denmark, Central Denmark Region, Hornslet
Joined Jan 2013
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Great review!

I have a Spyder 700 and I love it. The frame is very expensive, but I do not regret buying it.

I have heard that the weight listet on the Sky Hero website is wrong. It would be great for new byers, if we could get confirmation on the weight on each model.

Any chance that you could list the Naza gains?

Kind regards
Mikael
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Old Nov 27, 2013, 02:10 PM
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RTF weight of my 700mm Spyder (no battery) is 5lb 7oz. (2466 Grams)
that is with (4) Avroto 2814’s (4) maytech 45amp sec’s, PD board, Hitec 6CH rec, (4) 12/38 APC props, GoPro w/case and mount Naza V1 with GPS... SO I think the frame weights listed might be pretty close. The rig does not fly “heavy”.
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