Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Err...yes it is a plane.... but it’s the coolest, awesomest, most amazing plane we have ever seen! In fact its gadgets like this that makes us RED5’ers get up in the morning, put on our brightly coloured socks and merrily skip into work!
The Spy Hawk is a 3 channel mini glider that comes with a built in FPV (first person view) video system that sends a high quality, 5 megapixel live feed back to the 3.5” LCD screen on the transmitter. It features a state of the art stabilisation system that makes it super easy to fly, with a little practice. Simply fly the plane up to the required height, switch on the ‘autopilot’ and the built in gyro will kick-in keeping the plane level (even if a gust of wind tries to knock you off course, the various flaps with automatically adjust to compensate)! See, we told you it was awesome. With the plane actively giving you a helping hand you get to concentrate on the fun side of flying.
The Sky Hawk offers a range of up to 200 metres with an average flight time of about 15 minutes on a single 7.4v lithium-ion polymer battery. All you need to do is put a few pieces together, charge the battery and you’re ready to fly. Made from EPO crash resistant foam, it should be able to withstand a few minor bumps and thanks to it being such a reasonable size, it’s easy to carry around with you. It’s perfect for a trip to the park, field, seaside or anywhere else you’d like to get a great bird’s eye view.
Intelligent automatic control and video signal binding enables you to fly more than one Spy Hawk glider at the same time, so you can chase your friends around with full high quality video and sound. Press the enter button on your rubberised plastic remote and the camera will start to record your progress through the sky and save the video to the built in 4GB SD card. It even features a sunlight screen guard that can be attached to the remote, enabling you to watch the video feed when the weather is sunny. Cool!
Quite simply it’s the most fun you can have with an RC Plane and once you are done you can watch it all back again, time after time.
- First Person View (FPV) remote control glider with built in camera
- Easy to fly
- 5 megapixel camera gives live streamed video feed
- Auto-pilot mode using gyro stabilisation
- Video recording module
- Wing span measures approx. 84cm
- Overall length measures approx. 62cm
- Weighs approx. 180g
- C1404 brushless motor KV3000
- ESC: 6A
- Transmitter: 2.4GHz 4 channels vs 3.5” LCD monitor plus 5.8GHz video transmission
- Flying time approx. 15-20 minutes
- Charge time approx. 40 minutes
- 7.4V battery 450mAh
- Made from EPO crash proof material
- Live video distance: 300 - 400 metres
- Video resolution 1024 x 768 pixels
Customer Reviews Write a Review >
A good attempt at FPV flying but with limits - Review by Scuby
Hi all, I would like to give my two pennies worth. Okay a lot of pennies worth!
I've considered the cheap options to the very expensive ones for buying a RC Plane. The one positive I saw with the spy hawk was the ability to record FPV or first person video. I checked other reviews and they all raved about how easy it was to fly and how good the FPV is too.
So I visited the store in Meadowhall and the staff are great and they shared the enthusiasm I had for gadgets in store. Let me set the record straight, it’s a gadget store, what knowledge they may have should be taken as bonus, i.e. it’s not a specialist model shop. Anyhow the Skyhawk was on sale for approx. £150 down from £250. As it was my Birthday I treated myself and I was so impressed.
The model is 90% built, all you have to do is add the tail, rudder and wings, connect up some of the servo rods and make sure you charge the lipo battery. Check the centre of Gravity (COG) and find some nice out of the way field to fly this beauty. Then you bind with the included 2.4Ghz Transmitter which happens to have a 5.8Ghz receiver, which displays in full colour what the onboard camera can see.
The glider by its very nature is meant to glide, did it hell as like, it dived like a duck full of lead. And the nose, along with the video camera took the brunt. I’d not even kicked the engine in… Crack to the front and side. I doubt RED5 would take this back. Where is the glue???
Anyway, after many pondering hours, I worked out that the rudder and tail servos were off, and couple of adjustments brought out an amazing experiences of rc flight. I hit the enter button on the transmitter and it starts to record. Wow it’s so easy. But this may have been my down fall.
I later checked the footage and noted a couple of issues which even on a later second model are the same, but let me talk about first plane:
• There is a little phenomenon called jello. Where sometimes the video footage shows interference and looks all wobbly. On this model I really thought nothing much of it.
• The second issue was the date stamp of the video states its 1954. Come on Hubsan, for the money this should have been sorted before it got to market. I thought for a second I’d been robbed at Ingamells market…
• The Transmitter, or should I say receiver has been modded. The 5.8 GHz antenna is cut in the outside stick. Inside the transmitter the wire has been rerouted to a cross diamond shape. Why is this the case? Maybe UK restrictions.
The manual also advises you to point both antennas at the plane. I didn't think with 2.4 and 5.8 direct line of sight of the antenna was good practice? i.e they should be out to the left and right. But if one has its wire cut, why keep the outside, but for mere show.
• The left wing was slightly out, but fingers crossed the gyro would compensate (so I’d hoped).
Anyhow very long first part of my story short. The auto pilot works quite well, in fact on this first model it worked too well and I have lost it somewhere near Tinsley golf course My lack of experience showed that when it is calm on the ground its not up there in the heavens and if I catch a thermal or two up there, and you lose signal, you lose your ruddy plane too. With me shouting at the wife, I lost mi plane I lost mi plane doh!
Two hours later I gave up looking for it, but at least I’d still got the transmitter and footage, oh nope that’s on the memory card inside the ruddy plane, never mind!
Well, with a Hubsan transmitter to hand and no plane, all I need is a new plane. Nope! RED5 don’t supply plane only. Okay what’s my options? Mmm £70 online for plane only with another 3rd party seller, or just buy any 2.4 GHz plane! Nope can’t bind with other none Hubsan model. Okay I’ll buy the full kit again and sell the other remote and cut my losses.
So second plane built and tested COG, tested surfaces etc. and all appeared well. Tested throttle, sounded faster and with more grunt than the previous one, but I can’t prove it.
I tested no power gliding and wow it just glided, just like a glider should. Cool.
A bit of throttle, pulled back on the tail and glided her into the air. It took off and wow it looked great, hit the enter button to start recording and me being a very happy kid in a sweet shop. The battery lasted close to 15mins and on checking the footage later I found the same issue as before, the jello effect and the ruddy date stamp. So the first one wasn’t a one off. Not knowing much of this jello effect I persevered and this is where I started to find intermittent issues.
• Sometimes the Transmitter and plane just won’t bind. Switch it off then on again doh!
• The gyro sometimes would not engage. (Auto pilot).
• The expert mode (needed to fly the plane correctly) would go back to restricted and the screen on the Transmitter would roll.
But the plane would glide beautifully. Okay so I’ve already said this.
I flew this yesterday over the old Orgreave site and it was very responsive. It even glided back home gracefully and landed with ease. So the issues appeared to resolve themselves.
On all occasions I have had many peeps come to me and say is it a petrol engine plane, or how much did it cost? It is a real head turner and when I show that it takes video footage its really gives it a wow factor.
I attempted to fly later on yesterday and the prop would not budge. A little tick, but then nothing. So this is really becoming expensive birthday pressie. I am now currently look at buying a new brushless motor, which must be the same as the original or it won’t work. Any recommendations out there???
As the plane has nosedived a couple of times, I felt I could not take it back to RED5 and say hi guys this jello thing is peeing me off, the date stamp is a little weird to say we are in the 21st century. And the god damn auto pilot really needs to engage at the right time, i.e. when it’s switched on.
Oh and when they say epo is crash resistant, don’t be fooled, I have nosedived with no power at no more than 1 metre height from my hand to test the COG and gliding and the front end was bent and cracked, thus the tube of glue in the box becomes handy and buy yourself some cello tape, it comes in handy for both the knocks and also holding the canopy in place.
The kit is worth £150, not £250, but only if the parts are guaranteed to work as expected, but once you have cracked, glued, taped any part of this model, I assume RED5 would wash their hands. It would be nice if RED5 did have the backup support from Hubsan where parts were readily available and I’d be happy to pay out if I had caused the issues. The weather is really nice at moment and I’ve now missed two days of not flying.
After now spending £300 on two kits, with one missing plane (yes my own fault), and another one in pieces due to the failing motor I feel I should have just stuck to playing flight sims. So if anyone wants to buy a spare transmitter let me know lol!
A word of warning, do not look at your model, then the screen on the transmitter, then back up again. You will lose orientation quite easily. The BMFA do not recommend this and realistically you should have someone assisting you with location of plane and environment if you are to use the FPV via the transmitter. In fact I would also recommend getting basic insurance in the event of crashing into someone or something.
If you are considering buying this gadget, remember it’s not a toy, and it will cost extra to fix, so long as the parts are available. If you’re not enjoying it, then you’re doing it wrong.
Additional info... - Review by Martin
I would like to share some experience, now I have had the plane for more than a month.
It is still great fun; I will never grow tired of flying with it. It is very easy to control, when using the autopilot function (I never turn it off).
I have crashed several times, when trying to fly near trees or flying low, but I still haven't had use for spare parts (yet!) :o)
The video quality still surprises me. It is very good! Still you have to be two people flying the plane, if you are going to control it on the video-feed alone. It is almost impossible to see in the sky after a long view on the LCD-display.
Although I have no need for spare parts, I have bought extra batteries. I have managed to stick two batteries together to prolong the flight-time. I now have a flight time of 18 minutes with full throttle (instead of 7-8 minutes). I just removed most of the ballast weight, so the plane is still balanced correctly.
And last a little word of advice... Remember to write your address and phone number on the plane. I have once experienced, that the elevator servo got stuck in an upward angle and the plane was lost. I found it later on a field outside town 1 km away (lucky me!). :o)
Oh and a final note... Never hesitate to contact customer service - they really are helpful. I wrote about my malfunction and they have responded, that they will supply the new servo for me! What a service! :o)
So thumbs up for the plane and customer service!
Love it! - Review by Martin
I bougth this plane two weeks ago. It arrived on time, so I looked forward to getting home from work to assemble the plane... It only took about 20 minutes - very easy job!
But damn it! The wind had risen so I didn't dare take the plane for at test flight. But three days later the wind had fallen a bit, and I just couldn't wait any longer so up it went... And it just worked great! Flew it around for at couple of minutes and landed in the grass. I did that a couple of flights and then the wings fell off. No damage done but I will recommend glueing the wings in place from the beginning and not to wait as written in the manual.
I just have a small request for RED5. Could you please get spare parts for the SpyHawk? I could do with some new wings and one or two spare batteries. :o)
RED5 says: “Hi there Martin, we are not sure when the spare parts will be available to buy online but in the meantime if you would like to get in touch with our wonderful Customer Services team, I'm sure they will be able to help :). ”
Very disappointing! - Review by Scott
I bought this plane as a Christmas present but have been really disappointed with it.
The instructions are very poor and don't even go as far as to tell you how to turn the plane on and off, which you have to work out for yourself. Once assembled it was impossible to balance the plane on the designated points as the weight on the back of the plane was too heavy.
We attempted to fly the plane several times and the furtherest it travelled was 10 metres. On the first flight the wing fell off (the instructions do not tell you to glue the wings together), and on the other flights the plane would not ascend. We think the controls are in reverse for pointing the nose up and down, as the 'up' control makes the tail fin point down. In any case trying it both ways did not result in a flight.
The plane is also flimsy and became damaged after one very gentle crash land.
Overall, a really disappointing experience
RED5 says: “Hi Scott, really sorry to hear you're disappointed with this product, hope you got something sorted. If not, please contact our lovely Customer Services team who will be able to help you.”
great fun - Review by Kieran
great bit of kit, watch out for the canopy flying off so use a band to make sure it stays on.
easy to slot together but do read the little book as things have an order in which they go.
DO NOT turn off the radio while flying as the plane will not connect back once it's turned on.
for the money its a great bit of kit
Great toy, beginners may need help. - Review by Mike
I have one and I love it. Very impressed with the quality of the video when playing back the avi's. You can use the 'Enter' key to turn off stabilisation in flight, this allows more control for aerobatics. Recording can be turned on and off using the 'Exit' key. I hope RED5 are going to rewrite the manufacturers instructions for beginners. There are some basic mistakes like not telling you to glue the wings on and they do not tell you what the control throws should be. The left hand aerial does nothing and has been disconnected inside, a directional aerial has been fitted in the transmitter to takes its place.
All in all a great little model and well worth the money.
RED5 says: "Some great feedback there Mike :) We have indeed re-written the instruction manual as it didn't make a lot of sense to us either!"