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Sep 11, 2012, 07:38 AM
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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 video along with flight pictures will be available soon =]


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.

Special thanks to Tmart for supplying this sample. The RTF version is available there for 59.99USD shipped.

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.




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
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