A quick, easy-to-assemble quadcopter for any pilot
The author with the Dualsky Hornet 460 hovering in front for the camera.
Here is the Hornet 460 on the ground in the proper orientation, white blades in front, black blades in the rear.
Model: Hornet 460
Height: 4.34 in.
Rotor span: 18.11 in.
Weight: 25.75 oz.
Motor req'd: Included
Radio req'd: Any 5-channel radio
⊕ Quick build
⊕ Well-labeled and well-marked parts
⊕ Easy-to-follow instructions
Quadcopters keep hitting hobby store shelves and continue to be a growing segment of our hobby. There is a good reason for that — they are easy to fly, you can add a camera and have an eye in the sky, and you can fly just about anywhere. After assembling a number of quads, I have to say that the 2DogRC Dualsky Hornet 460 is one of the easiest to assemble and get up in the air quickly. Most of the unit is reinforced plastic parts with some carbon-fiber reinforcement pieces at key points (center section and arms).
The motor arms are assembled out of the box with the motors and speed controls already installed and hooked up. The instructions are very clear, precise, and easy to follow, and all the parts are packaged in boxes and bags that are well marked for each step. The motor arms are well marked in the box so you know which go in the front and which go in the back. This is important because of the rotation of the motors. The arms also have two different-colored LED lights around the edge to make orientation and night flying easier. Overall, this is a very easy aircraft to put together and just about as easy to fly. I would even say that a new pilot could easily build and fly the Dualsky Hornet 460.
If you take all the parts out to examine them, be sure to set them back in the same box. Using the labeling on the box will make assembling the quad a little easier. The first step is to install a landing gear to each arm. The screws and bolts on this kit are rather tight and will require a good-fitting Phillips screwdriver to avoid stripping out the heads. I ended up using the largest screwdriver that would still fit in the holes. Next, I started screwing in each of the arms, which required four small screws each. Each arm slides onto the base flange, so there is a good connection before locking it into place with the four screws. Be sure to slide the correct arm into the bottom case slot, just match up the number on the base slot with the number on the arm. The numbers on the arms are located on the bottom. However, don't look for numbers. Instead, depending on the arm you are looking at, there are dots marked on each arm ranging from one to four dots.
Now the cables can be connected from the mainboard to the flight controller and receiver. There are four plug ports on the main board for the cables and jumper. The largest plug (cable A) connects into port A on the mainboard with one of its plugs going into the C-port. Again, all of these cables, and plugs on the cables, are clearly marked and identified. The two jumpers are switches for the LEDs on each of the arms, each jumper making a connection between two arms. The four plugs on cable A are now plugged into the four speed control slots on the Dualsky Flight Controller. Then the other three cables that came with the Hornet 460 are plugged into the receiver and flight controller. Again, all the plugs are color coded, so there is no doubt about where they go. The only decision I had to make was which layout to use for the placement of the receiver and the controller. They can go on the bottom plate or the top plate, so I went with the top plate in order to have access to them if I need to adjust them later on.
The last step was to install the props: black in the rear and white in the front, making sure of the location for the normal and reversed props (there is one of each in both colors). Next, add the blue canopy and instal the battery pack on the bottom.
I decided to have both the controller and the receiver on the top tier of the unit to allow for easy access.
From start to finish, it took just about an hour to have the Hornet 460 ready for flight.
Smile, You're On Camera
One of the things that quadcopters do well is become a flying platform for photography and video. So, it only made sense to get the Dualsky Hornet GoPro mount. This kit includes the mount made from G10 material and the bolts and nuts to install the mount to the center section. There are also some rubber grommets that are used to help reduce vibration from the quad or “jelly” effect from the quad during videos.
The unit itself is very easy to install and the only tricky part is getting the rubber grommets in, but I found that using an old screwdriver (one that is not sharp) helped to get them in without tearing them up. You could also use some petroleum jelly to make it easier for them to slip in. I was very pleased at the results of this mount and how solid the video looks. There are two ways to mount the GoPro: either under or over the center section. Mounting it under will keep the props out of your images, but does put the GoPro close to the ground. I left my canopy off, but if you want to put it back on you will need to make your own measurements and cuts on it to make it fit. Overall, this mount is a great addition to your Hornet 460 for only $24.99.
In the Air
There are three flight rates on the Hornet 460. The default is for hovering and slow flight, the middle rate is for fast flight and sport flying, and the high rate is for extreme flight and flips! During my first flight at my local flying field, which has a nice asphalt runway, the Hornet 460 was set on low rates. However, afterwards I was able to take off this bird from dirt, grass, and the roof of my car. Takeoff was very uneventful, and even during the very first flight the Hornet pulled straight up and needed very little correction to keep it on track. Once we got it in a hover, it needed very little stick movement to keep it on track. After a little hovering, it was time for forward flight and the Hornet did not disappoint. It was easy to fly and maneuver around while flying forward. When it came time to land, I found it very easy to bring the Hornet around and pull it up for an stress-free landing. Because of the solid landing gears, I couldn't help but bounce it a little on the pavement. Landing on the grass and dirt made for a softer landing. I think I just need a little more time on the sticks to grease in the landings on pavement.
GENERAL FLIGHT PERFORMANCE
Stability: Stability is great! On low rates this bird is solid in the air and will stay in one spot with hands off the transmitter.
Tracking: It is very effortless to guide the Hornet in a straight line right down the runway. Once in forward flight, I had no problem guiding it all around the flying field.
Aerobatics: Absolutely, just flip the rates to high and you can flip this bird from side to side and front to back. Hard angle turns are easy to pull off on high rates.
Glide and stall performance: No such thing with quads; they all glide like bricks.
This is a great second quad for anyone. The price is right and it is solid and stable in the air. The only reason I would not recommend this as your first bird is because of all the plastic parts, which give this a great look, but I am not so sure how it would handle the inevitable beating a new pilot would give to his first quad. Once you get a handle on landing and flying, then head to 2DogRC's website, pick up a Dualsky Hornet 460, and go have some fun.
There really is very little building to be done to get this quad flying. It can easily be completed in one evening. If you can see colors and follow simple directions, you will not have any issues putting this bird together. Once at the flying field, you should not have any issue getting the Hornet 460 in the air and flying it around. It is a very stable bird, but pilots who are new to quad flying should seek the help of an experienced quad pilot for the first flight.