TEST: LONGING LY-250 Red Bee, a complete RTF cheap brushless 250mm racer

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INTRODUCTION

Longing is new chinese quadcopter compagny offering a full and complete 250mm 5.8G FPV racer solution including a 7″ FPV monitor.
Here with LY-250 Red Bee no big revolutions are announced, the main goal is to deliver a cheap real brushless solution for advanced beginners. Let’s discover this YaR (Yet another Racer).

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x Longing LY-250 (with a 2x1S 2500Ah Li-Ion batteries)
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 2x1S 2500Ah included)
+ 1 x 7″ FPV monitor
+ 1 x 5.8G linear antenna
+ 1 x Bind plug
+ 1 x USB charging cable
+ 4 x 5040 triblade spare props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 4 x 6040 biblade spare props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 1 x Screwdriver
+ 1 x Hexscrewdriver
+ 1 x Camera mount
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)

OVERVIEW

Here no sign of 3K carbon/fiber glass, all elements are nylon based. The nylon material here is assumed to be re-inforced. Of course not being as solid as a real 3K solution but should be strong and flexible enough to be crash resistant.

-Front view

The chassis design is ultra classic with H shape. Here no sign of front LEDs …so for night flight you will need to install them

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With the three blades 5040 props isntalled

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-Side view

The LY-250 uses a classic helicopter landing skid and offers a ground clearance of 4cm

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-Rear view

The upper canopy part is clipsed by this central piece you have to rotate of 90 degrees to free it.

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You can guess the two 2.4G antenna associated with the FlySky receiver with diversity. A better strategy would have been to install them vertically in Y/quadrature to increase the radio control range.

-Upper view

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-Bottom view

Two originalities here. The first one are these two “big” Li-ion accu, much larger than AA model. The second is this display showing the current voltage.

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The battery compartement. A very important point: you must be very vigilant when you insert battery to not invert the sens of their insertation. Please notice Inside the compartement the “+” for each column.

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The main power connector must be slided to the left to turn on the LY-250. It’s a big switch creating a direct connexion with the accus.

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If you plan to install a real LiPo battery, you will need to remove the power switch connector as showed below

On the front side is installed a heatsink to cool the main 5.8G VTX but no sign of a DIP swtich the Vfreq selection πŸ™

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-Weight

Around 417g, an average weight for a 250g racer.

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Prop

Some tri-blade 5040 props with 5mm of hub diameter

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Motors

2206 type

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Li-Ion battery

Two 2500mAh Li-ion accumulator are installed. If the mAh capacity sounds great, first of all here we have out of the box a “2S” powering and second point, the discharge rate is rather low: 8C no very compatible with big verticul punches required from flips.

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Why not install 3xsmaller Li-ion batteries instead, for example 3×1600… probaby could fit the battery bay and could offer 3S power.

Battery charger

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On the battery charger, the two red LEDs stay turned on even if the battery are fully charged. The end of the battery charging can be visualized only on the power unit: red when charging and to turn to greed when the job is done. It takes 2 hours to charge.

FPV-Camera module

A simple 420TVL FPV have been installed … so clearly this camera won’t offer the best image fidelity we can expect from a PAL or NTSC video link. A good news at least, you can set the lens angle orientation between [-30 ; +15]deg.

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You need to slide the FPV-cam combo. Maybe, in a future, another model including HDrecording can be installed.

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No DIP switch to select the Vfreq ;(. The default Vfreq is set to A1=5865MHz

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The 5.8G linear antenna is directly soldered …. Here no uFL/IPX male connector πŸ™ …

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Internally, you can guess the 3 pads (CS1,CS2 & CS3) allowing eventually to select one of 8 video frequencies. One mod consists in a 3position DIP switch.

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Disassembling

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A large PDB including the 4-in-1 ESC system. In the central part, mount over anti-vibration square, a FlySky receiver (with A7105 RF chip) is here including a 2.4G diversity feature. Over the receiver, the Flight controller, probably a min-Atom CC3D board. The FC is flipped of 90 degrees.

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Notice, I was not able to fully access the the FC parameters with Open-pilot (or either CF/BF). Probably a prioritary firmware is here.

The last free servo plug represents the bind plug to match the FlySky receiver with another compatible radio.

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No information about ESC caracteristics, but from the previous video, there are supporting 4S voltage….

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A buzzer is here, not very loud alerting the LVC.

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Action-cam mount

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As you can see with the camera mount, unfortunatly some jellos are introduced …

Transmitter

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Even if the longing logo appeared on top, the radio is nothing else than a i6 flysky transmitter with 3×2-way switches and one unique 3-way (switchC) to select one of the three flight modes: stable(horizon)/stunt(air-mode)/manual(accro).

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Two voltages are displayed, the first one is the direct voltage given by the 2 Li-Ion cells (~8.4V), the second is the voltage after the +5V internal Vreg of the LY-250… Like the Flying3D X6/X8, it’s a strange idea to monitor the internal +5V voltage (after the Vreg). In practice, this internal voltage varies just a few from large variation of the LY-250 batterie’s voltage.

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Versus the original model, you have two extra switch buttons located in the rear side

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Notice on the top left shoulder location, the power connector for the FPV screen

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Failsafe test

FPV monitor

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Bad news…. blue screen is here when the signal is lost πŸ™ …. The angle of view is a little bit lmited IMHO around 40 degrees, but the luminosity is strong enough to handle strong daylights.

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No DIP switch to select the Vfreq…. and builtin DVR

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FIRST USAGE

Even with the 2S power, the LY-250 is quiet agile, nimble. Of course don’t expect amazing vertical punches as you can see. The “only” 8C discharge doesn’t help … but I am really very confident than with a 3S battery, it will be a complete different story. Associated with the 5040 triblade props, the LY-250 is super stable !!! default PIDs settings are tuned. Pitch & rolls rates are already sporty. The switchC in middle position offer super tight flips super super easy to perform. Probably an “Air-mode” behind the scene. The control range is super, the two way flysky protocol is really efficient within a radius of 300-400m (expect more range if you install antennas vertically). The FPV range despite to use linear polarization offers at least a good 200-250m. Here again, a mod would consist to install a uFL/IPX male connector, a RG178 coaxial cable and a real CL antenna. Flight times are lower than advertized ones… around 8min for me… I deeply regret the absence of any OSD informations of the FPV screen and some strong frontal LEDs for night flights …

CONCLUSIONS

Is a the LONGING a bad FPV racer ? Absolutly not …. a fantastic one ? neither …. In practice this machine is first of all more a super stable machine for FPV cruizing (with the default Li-ion batteries). I really like that everything you need to fly FPV is here. A good point. After, some dΓ©tails can be largely improved: the blue screen of the FPV monitor, a higher res FPV camera, and I think a direct 3S power system would have been a better choice. In practice the big open question is the robusness of the nylon material structure… With 417g at full speed (100km/h), it won’t survive to any frontal or latteral crash. Associated with this “big” question is the availability of the spare parts. Anyway, the more important are already here: a pleasant, fun, fast machine perfectly adapted to intermediate beginners who want a real brushless system.

UNBOXING

PROS

+ Full RTF solution including a 7″ FPV monitor
+ Beautiful packaging
+ Flight modes well tuned from beginners to full accro FPV racers
+ Super stable machine
+ Voltage displayed on the quad itself
+ Compatible with 3S-4S LiPo
+ FPV monitor powered by the radio directly
+ Safer Li-Ion batteries (versus LiPo models)

CONS

– No Vfreq DIP switches (for both VTX & VRX sides)
– Blue screen for the 7″ FPV monitor
– Default 2S batteries not enough strong => more a cruzer machine than a racer
– 8min of flight time duration (instead of advertised 15min)
– Unibody lower structure (arm replacement will require full maintenance)
– No LEDs for night flights
– 420TVL FPV cam with average light sensitivity
– 5.8G antenna directly soldered (no uFL/IPX connector)
– Action camera mount introduces jello
– No OSD/telemetry
– Not 100% compatible with Open Pilot
– We can find competitors 3K carbon based for the same price range
– Need battery compartement modding to install standard LiPo battery
– Spare parts availability ?

This quadcopter have been courtesy provided by Tmart in order to make a fair and not biased review. I would like to thank them for this attitude.
You can find it actually for 335USD at http://www.tmart.com/LY-250-5.8G-FPV-Real-time-Transmission-with-7-Inch-Monitor-Power-Distribution-RED-BEE-Thrilled-Racing-RC-Drone-Quadcopter-Longing-Innovation-RTF-Red_p340794.html

15 Comments

  • Onclefly says:

    Salut Seb, bonne review, je le trouve pas terrible comme toi. πŸ™‚

    • SeByDocKy says:

      It’s not bad model … I think they should install more 3xsmaller Li-ion battery to offer a real 3S Li-Ion setup. Anyway, I liked it… With some small basic mods, can be interesting

  • Indy says:

    Hi Seb,
    Nice review,
    Did you try if there is any failsafe?

  • Tomas says:

    Hi, great review btw. I have ordered this as i am a beginner and wanted a complete package that does not cost that much.

    A question to the camera mount. Does it need to be naked without the top cover or is it possible to attach the camera mount with the top cover in place.
    Thx for answer.

  • Tomas says:

    Hello. Thank you for your answer. But i guess a mobius camera can be attached using a velcro strip.
    Another question regarding batteries:
    Can i use for example: 3.7v 4000mAh Protected Rechargeable 18650 Li-ion Battery?? Will it work? Or which batteries different than the one included can I use? I would like to get a bunch of spare ones so that i can fly for a longer time. Thx!!!!

  • Tomas says:

    Hi again. As i am waiting for this one to arrive i have yet again another question – does the FPV monitor has a SD card slot so that i could record the flight from FPV camera? On one of your pictures there is a slot but i am not sure what it is for.

    Thx for your answer.

    • SeByDocKy says:

      Sorry but no builtin DVR to record FPV flights :(. Maybe this slot is here for an upgraded FPV monitor from FXT.

  • Tomas says:

    Hello there.

    i have a question regarding the FPV monitor together with the transmitter. I have ordered an Eachine 250 racer ARF meaning it has no transmitter, receiver and no FPV monitor.
    For the Eachine 250 racer i have ordered a FLYSKY I6 receiver so that i can bind it to the Longing transmitter – as it is a FLYSKY I6 as mentioned by you in your review.
    As i have this one already can i use the FPV monitor for it? I know there is no DIP switch for the frequency but luckily on the Eachine it is possible to set the frequency on the VTX manually. So i hope it will work.

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