TEST: WLtoys V383 “Gallop”, a real “3D” quadcopter

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INTRODUCTION

This is not really a mini review of the V383 but more an extended introduction. The WLtoys V383 is a direct chinese copy of the stingray 500, a 500mm 3D quadcopter using collective pitch technology as we can find for helicopter but here adapted for multirotor (and multiplied by four for each arm).The WLtoys V383 is clearly dedicaced for expert pilots practicing already 3D flights and absolutely not for beginners.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x WLtoys V383 “Gallop” (with a 4S 2200mAh LiPo, 50C ending with XT60 connector)
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 4xAA batteries not included)
+ 1 x Charger/balancer
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)

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OVERVIEW

The main shape is a stretched H like a dragster with a simple plastic canopy. It’s 500mm long and the total weight reaches 1.2Kg.
It means that this machine can be potentially very dangerous.

-Front view

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-Side view

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-Rear view

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-Upper view

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-Bottom view

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On each extremity, two plastic landing skid can be found

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IMHO too flexible to resist to any “hard” landing

LiPo

The LiPo is a 4S model with 50C of discharge rate so a very powerful LiPo… A must have with a 1.2kg quadcopter

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Disassembling

Just unclip the two rear Orings, unscratch the two latteral velcro and the remove the front Oring to remove the canopy body

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The main structure is a H frame with 3 different aluminium bar. On the central one, you can find the FC

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The FC board welcomes a daughter board with a nRF24Lxx RF chip. The protocol is the same than for the last WLtoys helicopter with the so-called “KN” protocol. Unfortunatly, the daughter board is directly soldered on the main PCB. To bind with a modded for example, just press the tiny button before to lunch the bind procedure in deviationTX. The FC welcomes 6 input servo plugs. The first four ones for the pitch’s servos, the fifth one is associated with the ESC (Is the sixth allow to connect a CPPM receiver ?). The 6-axis stabilization is done by a MPU 6050C and the MCU is a ARM 32bits

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If I am not wrong, there is a UART port and probably also a SWD… (Possibility to flash an alternative F/W ?)

The unique motor is installed on a plastic motor mount…

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It’s a 2218 type announced to be 3000KV

A main fiber belt actionates the central wheel and directly the main shaft boxed inside the long aliminium black tube

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From this wheel, the four motors take “life” with their individual fiber belt for each arm.

2 belts are located rear and two other front

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At each extremity of each arm, you can find a collective pitch system driven by a servo

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The main shaft is boxed into a plastic housing

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No specific protections/guards are installed so probably the first strong accident will be fatal…

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Via the servo, a positive or a negative pitch can be applied. For example to move forward, a negative pitch is applied for both front props. To turn left, negative pitch is applied left. Whatever, a strange behaviour is observed at 50% of throttle corresponding to 0 degrees pitch. For this limit case, a very slight action on the throttle stick introduces a larger pitch deviation and you can even have an occilation phenomena but in practice it’s almost impossible to enter in such case.

The 60A ESC is simply tied on the main boon

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After usage, this one gets pretty warm especially after sporty flight. Maybe a stronger ESC would have been a better choice

The Lipo is strapped on the front part

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Transmitter

The transmitter takes the large deluxe chassis from WLtoys.

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Two shoulder switches: the left one permits to turn on/off the 3D mode while the right one is throttle hold, cutting throttle for emergency cases. Four panel buttons can be found on the front side. One cycles between the 3D/6G modes. The 6G mode assumes that both gyros and accelerometers are working togather and rates are limited. The 3D mode probably assumes to turn off autolevelling and flight assistance with gyros. In practice, even in 3D mode, I found the V383 very stable and still have some autolevelling behaviours.

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No possibility to tune EXP/rate curves … More, no trainer port available. It would have been great to train 3D flight with a simulator. If you have a DeviationTX compatible radio, in this case you will be able to train with simulator.

FIRST USAGE

As a non 3D pilot, I want to apology if I couldn’t push to its limits this machine. Immediatly, I was really positively surprized by the stability of the 6G mode. It’s an ultra stable machine really easy to fly. The yaw are is not fantastic but it’s also a consequence of this design. In 3D mode, the quadcopter remains stable, of course rates are increased a lot but I the autostabilzation seems still here. With non-agressive flight, the flight duration is around 7-8min. It’s not an ultra fast machine but it’s not the main objective. If you already fly a CP Heli, it’s much more easy to fly this kind of machine. The basics pirouettes commands remains identical, so you can train with CP heli simulator to learn how to fly the V383 in 3D

CONCLUSIONS

Well the V383 machine is for sure a so different machine in the multirotor world. So if you have a strong level skill in 3D flight with CP helicopter, this machine is for you. It’s ultra stable and powerfull. The 6G mode allows you to fly easy this machine without being a 3D specialist. This machine is big and potentially dangerous. The first crash will probably break some parts (landing gears, shafts mounts are in plastic)…. and in fact I am sure there is a market for some shrinked versions of this model, why not to dream of a 130mm :). The price is IMHO too expensive comparatively to a non CP model (you have only one motor; one ESC) but it’s probably integrating the engeneering to rewrite the corresponding stabilization algorithm.

UNBOXING

PROS

+ 3D collective pitch quadcopter
+ Amazing stable 6G mode
+ Beautful machine
+ In 3D mode less hard to fly than a CP helicopter
+ DeviationTX compatible (KN protocol)

CONS

– Copy of the Stingray 500
– Durability to crash
– Plastic elements
– Spare part availability ?
– 2.4 receiver soldered on the main PCB
– No radio trainer port
– 50% throttle bahaviour bug ? (minor impact in flight)
– Expensive

EDIT: I found this YT video from a gppd 3D pilot

RCgroups thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2500667#post32692265

This quadcopter have been courtesy provided by Gearbest in order to make a fair and not biased review. I would like to thanks them for this attitude.

You can find it actually for 390USD (without shipping fees) at http://www.gearbest.com/rc-quadcopters/pp_198417.html

or

http://www.banggood.com/WLtoys-V383-500-Electric-3D-2_4G-6CH-RC-Quadcopter-p-954821.html

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