Exclusive first look: Hobby People’s Spy Hawk

Jul 16, 2012 12 Comments by

With a name that sounds very much like a military UAV, the new FPV (First Person View) Spy Hawk RTF, distributed by Hobby People, is the first of its kind. The Spy Hawk is the first video-equipped RC airplane with a built-in airborne stabilization system. It is a complete
package including battery pack, charger, and a 2.4G transmitter with an integrated FPV video monitor. The 5 megapixel camera shoots live color video, and the airborne module sends the video feed to the transmitter’s video display. The Autopilot feature can be switched on and off and is very helpful during flight when the airplane is at very high altitudes.

Unique features
There are two versions of the 4-channel Spy Hawk available, the Deluxe version with Autopilot and video-recording capability and the Basic package with Autopilot but no video recording. Both are molded from rugged and easily repaired EPO foam. Though the plane is called a “Ready to Fly,” there is some minor assembly of the wings and tail involved. The wings simply plug into place and are reinforced with a carbon-fiber rod but the tail surfaces do need to be glued into place. A tube of fast-drying adhesive is included. The small 2.2g servos all come installed from the factory and the ailerons are fully setup with control linkages in place. The rudder and elevator pushrods need to be slipped through the short support tubes on the sides of the fuselage and then attached to the servo arms and the control horns. This only takes two minutes to do. All of the airborne electronics and video equipment come installed and are ready to go. The RC transmitter is a quality unit with precise, smooth gimbals, and digital trims. It is equipped with two short foldable antennas and has a 3.5-inch LCD monitor with excellent resolution and image quality. The spring-loaded sun shades pop up into place when you open the monitor cover. Below the screen is a row of buttons. The far left button (Exit) and the far right button (Enter) servo double duty. While flying the Spy Hawk, the Exit button turns the airborne stabilization system on and off, while the Enter button switches the video recorder on and off. There is a small micro SD card included with the model and it is used to transfer your video files to your computer. During flight, the  two center buttons (Up and Down) serve no functions. But when you are setting up your model’s functions you use the buttons to navigate the programming menus.

 

The Spy Hawk costs $329.99 including autopilot, and $399.99 including autopilot and video recording. It’s available at Hobby People.

Don’t miss the full exclusive review in the October issue of Model Airplane News!

 

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12 Responses to “Exclusive first look: Hobby People’s Spy Hawk”

  1. ChazM says:

    Music was lame, but she is rather cute. Other then that the “review” did nothing for me.

  2. kamakaziollie says:

    Great, but article or vidio doesn’t say anything about the cost!

  3. Mark says:

    Pro – Neat, easy to fly airplane with FPV and pretty darned good resolution at a great price.

    Cons – Where do I begin?

    For a little over $300 with “stabilization at altitude” (read when you can’t see your plane) invites flying it beyond line-of-site, allowing almost any moron with just a little talent to make the front page of your local paper for having his camera in the “wrong place at the right time” and posting it up to you-tube.

    The name “Spy Hawk” – do we really need to attract any more negative attention to the hobby/sport – ACLU is already focusing big attention on legitimate use of UAV’s which will likely compromise well-suited operations for police, search and rescue, and fire. Professional UAV’s could/would provide life-saving information in those realms and hopefully the negative public attention won’t curtail those operations too drastically.

    Buddy Box – Visual Line of Sight – See and Avoid. While in this specific operation, Hope is obviously flying in an open space in a conservative manner, it doesn’t appear to be AMA compliant – no “Master Tx with line-of-sight” control over the bird, and apparently no option indicated to even add such capability.

    Yes it’s “just a foamie”, but with the impending FAA rulemaking re/ NAS, I’m firmly convinced “unregulated” FPV flying will do more to generate onerous regulations on RC flying operations than any other single factor. I know there are many responsible FPV users out there, if only FPV operations could be considered under a third set of guidelines, separate and distinct from UAV/s for the pros, and recreational model aircraft operations as we know them historically.

  4. Les D. says:

    Shouldn’t you mention that the flight shown in this video violates the AMA’s current guidelines for FPV flight? Not that I agree with those rules. I hope they change them soon because they are too far restrictive and short-sighted. But for the time being the AMA has said you need the primary pilot to be line-of-sight and the FPV pilot to be on a buddy box. If you think that’s the wrong approach, as I think this video review implicitly suggests, we need to approach the AMA about changing the guidelines if we want this new and exciting form of flying to be welcomed at club fields (as it should be).

  5. Daniel Rivers says:

    I love flying and next to actually sitting in the cockpit at the controls of a full sized plane in flight, the new FPV “SPY HAWK” seems to be the next best thing. Notwithstanding the AMA guidelines that seem to be getting more and more restrictive, albeit for “our own good”. You just know some idiot will get caught using this plane in the wrong way and will make it almost impossible for anyone who owns one to be able to fly it anywhere near populated areas. No park flying allowed. Which would be really sad.

  6. David says:

    Not much meat in that review, and please do away with the lame
    “music”.

  7. Anonymous says:

    LOL…pilot needs to work on her flying skillz a little more, and its much cheaper to buy a HK Bixler with HK’s hd fpv camera and goggles…..

  8. CT Mak says:

    It’s great !!!
    I expect we can do some dog fight in the near future !!

  9. Manne says:

    I agree with the lame “music”

  10. Speed fresh says:

    My Futaba 18mz suppose to have that. Now that’s what is missing right there my 18mz suppose to have everything not no cheap radios 18mz only and 14mz. Or by the way ima put that on my jackal and chase the brand new 2012 Suzuki gsx-r 1000 with it on a country at the long straight road.

  11. Deryl Rolle says:

    Going 200mph and everything is always about speed for me nomore going slow is time to go fast now. And I still be going up in a clouds at 2,000 feet. I will be chasing a lot of cars and motorcycles on the free way going 200mph. If that motorcycle tries to race it my jackal and my funjet ultra will eat it up. SPEED FRESH Love SPEED

  12. Mark A says:

    Yes it currently violates the ama rules
    But for $ 300 You could buy a Gopro HD hero 2 and attach it to an existing plane.

    Sure You wouldn’t be able to fly it fpv. It Just seems to be a little too expensive for a foamy with a “decent” color camera.

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