With a prop size of 3” the Green Hornet is made to carry a GoPro (or any other HD cam of your choice) for nice HD footage.
This model has been kindly sent to me by Banggood for the purpose of a review.
- FPV cam
- HD Camera
- Flight Characteristics
- BumbleBee vs. Green Hornet
The frame design is pretty interesting - two carbon base-plates connected with standoffs and wrapped in foam. The ducts are printed from PLA and the gap between ducts and prop is pretty tight - so in this case the ducts are not only prop protectors but indeed functional ducts aimed at directing the air stream down for more thrust.
By unscrewing 13 screws you can remove the top plate from the rest of the frame and you have easy access to all the electronics, ducts and foam.
The carbon is 2mm thick and seems to be of high quality - it even has chamfered edges on one side. I have to admit, I would like to see 3mm thick carbon at least on the bottom - I fly rather harsh environments, lots of metal and stone, and I can see the carbon breaking at some point.
I have had a pretty bad crash during one of my first flights, I was quite surprised that everything survived so well: just one of the ducts got a small crack which could easily be fixed with some CA glue.
You can find spare ducts I designed for the green hornet on thingiverse - they should also work for the BumbleBee.
If you do not have a 3D printer, you can buy a set of replacement ducts for a bit over 20$.
The frame also comes with a 3D printed front bumper and a mount for the VTX and RX antennas in the back. 3D printed landing skids are also included.
Further, you get two soft pads to be used for mounting the battery and a couple of spare screws.
The package also includes antenna tubes for the RX antennas, a stubby VTX antenna and two velcro straps with metal buckle for securing the battery.
Unfortunately I have not seen either the carbon plates nor the foam sold separately - should you need those, you have to buy the full frame kit.
The stack is a 20mm x 20mm SucceX-E-Mini stack. The ESC’s are connected to the FC via a pluggable cable, the rest of the wires is direct soldered. The solder joints are all very nice and clean - the wires will definitely not come off by themselves.
The FC is an F4 with a MPU6000 gyro. The flight controller also comes with 8MB flash for black-box logging, which is great vor anyone who wants to tune the green hornet to the max.
The solder pads are really nice and big, so it is really easy to solder to them, should you ever need to do so.
The Betaflight target is BFF4 and the default tune is pretty decent. Just plug in your preferred rates and you are ready to go.
On top of the stack you can find the iFlight SucceX-D video transmitter, it has an MMCX connector that is broken out to an SMA connector at the back of the copter.
The VTX is switchable 25, 100, 200 or 500 mW and can be controlled via IRC Tramp protocol.
500mW are unfortunately not configured per default in Betaflight, so this is something that you need to setup yourself.
The ESC’s come with BLHELI_S - actually they come with the Jazz Maverick firmware flashed so you can have RPM filtering - which is actually enabled and configured by default.
The ESC’s are rated for 35A (and 40A burst), which is plenty.
Since there is a blackbox, I was interested in the noise profile that the default settings provide, and I am pretty impressed, almost no noise is being picked up by the blackbox:
With the default settings, the motors are running quite warm - nothing I would be concerned about, but keep that in mind when you try a different set of props, you might need to re-tune the filters a bit.
For peace of mind I moved the filter sliders one step to the left to enable more filtering and have less warm motors.
The Green Hornet comes with multiple receiver options:
- FrSky R-XSR
- FrSKy XM+
- no receiver - in case you want to run your own
I went with the R-XSR version. The receiver is snugly mounted in the back of the quadcopter and there are antenna tubes included to protect your receiver antennas. I would highly recommend to glue them to the 3D printed piece, so you do not lose them (the fit is a bit lose, and I lost one of the tubes during one of my first packs).
The receiver is only powered when the battery is plugged in - so for the first time binding I would absolutely recommend to take off the props.
I was a bit disappointed that the R-XSR was only setup for SBUS and not FPort. Having it set via F.Port has the big benefit that you also get telemetry to the flight controller, so no need to send RSSI back via a dedicated channel from the transmitter.
It is unfortunate that there is no R9 option, since I think you can really benefit from a long range receiver on this exploration styled quadcopter.
When it comes to motors you can chose if you would like to run it on 4S with Xing 1408, 3600KV motors or on 6S with Xing 1408, 2800KV motors.
You can also get the 6S version and fly them on 4S if you prefer lower KV. This will probably also reduce the noise the quadcopter is making quite a bit.
The iFlight Xing motors have always been very reliable for me - so nothing to complain about here. Although I would love to see the bell to be removable with a screw instead of the C-Clip.
The shaft is made of titanium, has a M5 thread and is hollow on the inside. The magnets are rounded and the motor seems to be very well balanced.
Motor direction is reversed by default, so the props are spinning out.
The included props are 3” tri-blades with a pitch of 45 - iFlight MegaBee V2 3045. But there are a couple of other props that you might want to give a try:
The included camera is a Caddx EOS2, but the Green Hornet will fit any other nano sized cam too. The camera is directly soldered to the flight controller.
I’ve heard other people complaining about the camera being 16:9, but my Green Hornet either came with a 4:3 or my Skyzone goggles are chopping off the sides - at least I do not have a stretched image as some with 4:3 goggles have been mentioning.
The cam is actually pretty decent - and I am usually not a too big fan of Caddx cams, and was fully expecting to swap it out, but the image is clear and I’ve got no dirt inside.
Since the USB port on the stack is not easily accessible, iFlight provides a 90 degrees USB adapter, which makes connecting to Betaflight a breeze. Keep in mind that this adapter acts like a lever and handle it carefully - the last thing you want to do is rip your USB port off your flight-controller
# version # Betaflight / BETAFLIGHTF4 (BFF4) 4.1.2 Dec 22 2019 / 01:59:49 (89051e256) MSP API: 1.42
Betaflight comes setup with bi-directional filtering and RPM filters enabled (via Jazz Maverick firmware). The only thing I did was set up my rates and adjust the OSD to my liking.
HD camera mount
From the product images I thought, that a GoPro Hero mount will be included, but this was not the case.
Since I am still running a GoPro Hero 5 Session, I decided to modify the mount that I use on my 5” quads. You can find it on thingiverse (this mount will probably also fit a Runcam 5, I have not tried it, but I heard that they are compatible in regards to size.).
The out of the box tune is pretty decent, I just set up my rates and was ready to go. The green hornet does not like wind - I expected that because you simply have more area where the wind can get hold of you and push you around. I was a bit surprised how bad the wind would push me around though.
I recommend flying the green hornet in areas where there is no, or just very little wind. In my opinion the green hornet is great for larger indoor spaces and bandos.
Here is a flight of one of my first packs:
Flying a cine whoop is really something different - I found it very relaxing, going slow and finding nice cinematic lines. Holding the height is definitely something I need to practice a lot more.
I have tried 850mAh and 1300mAh batteries. On the 850mAh I get around 4-5 minutes of flight and with the 1300mAh around 5-6 minutes. I’ve also heard of people flying them on 1500mAh batteries, but since I do not have any of those, I can not really comment on that.
I definitely like the 1300mAh batteries better - it seems the Green Hornet is more stable in the wind with heavier batteries.
BumbleBee vs. Green Hornet
Since those two Cinewhoops look very similar - apart from the color schema - I thought it would be interesting to see how they differ.
First of all, the BumbleBee is also available in a version with the DJI Caddx Vista, so if you have the DJI HD FPV system, you probably want to go with the BumbleBee instead of the Green Hornet.
The ESC’s on the BumbleBee are BLHELI_32, 40A ESC’s - so you do not need any special firmware to run RPM filters.
The BumbleBee also comes with a Caddx Ratel FPV camera instead of the Caddx EOS2 that is installed in the Green Hornet - which is a slight upgrade.
The Motors on the Bumble Bee are a bit wider, they are 1507 instead of 1408 that the green hornet comes with.
The analog version of the bumble bee is around a $100 more expensive - I personally do not really think that the price difference is worth it - so if you are flying analog I would recommend going with the Green Hornet. If you are flying in HD with the DJI system, obviously go with the BumblBee.
If you are looking into an entry level Cinewhoop, then the Green Hornet might definitely be the right choice for you. For less than 200$ you get a quadcopter with which you can start making cinematographic shots.
You should be aware of its limitations though: Although you can do Acro with the green hornet, there are definitely other quadcopters I would go for if you are more interested in freestyling.
Do not expect to fly this thing at home - I mean of course it depends, in what kind of house you live, but for my apartment the green hornet is definitely overkill - and trust me, I tried. Maybe after I get a better hang of it on the outside I will revisit flying it at home.
You should also be aware of the noise. Ducted copters tend to be louder than their non ducted counterparts but the noise really surprised me. My 5” quads are stealth in comparison. People will at least throw skeptical looks in your direction when you start flying the Green Hornet in the park next to them.
This is really something different than flying freestyle and I quite enjoy it. I think I just opened up a rabbit hole inside the rabbit hole that is FPV.
Chris is a Vienna based software developer. In his spare time he enjoys reviewing tech gear, ripping quads of all sizes and making stuff.
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