FLIGHT REVIEW FRIDAY: Air Hogs Star Wars Imperial Aratech 74-Z Speeder Bike Drone

FLIGHT REVIEW FRIDAY: Air Hogs Star Wars Imperial Aratech 74-Z Speeder Bike Drone

Words and pictures by Matt Maziarz

Man, this factor simply appears so cool!!

The Star Wars Imperial Aratech 74-Z Speeder Bike drone is a will need to have for any fan of the films, whether or not you fly drones or not. The scale particulars are completely superb and the flight efficiency is on par with drones from respected passion suppliers which are totally rebuild-able and rather more costly. Not solely that, however this drone options sensors for altitude maintain capabilities indoors or out and is fairly darn fast in skilled fingers.

Those who’re greater than acquainted with the franchise are additionally properly acquainted with the Aratech 74-Z Speeder Bike. While within the films, it didn’t make an look till Return of the Jedi, it was really featured in most of the earlier “episodes” earlier than the latest prequel releases. The staple reserve of the Imperial forces for recon and floor patrol, the 74-Z is quick, nimble and lethal in the appropriate fingers and now you will be blasting previous rows of bushes and vines by yourself Speeder Bike drone because of Spin Master and Air Hogs.


MANUFACTURER: Spin Master/Air Hogs
DISTRIBUTOR: Various retail and on-line sources
TYPE: Scale RTF drone
FOR: Anyone
PRICE: $39.99
BUY LINK: http://amzn.to/2sXeZNI

Staring down the barrel of an indignant Scout Trooper on a candy journey.


WEIGHT: 3 oz (85g)
FLIGHT CONTROLLER: Integrated board

ESCS: Integrated board

MOTORS: Brushed

PROPS: 4.75 in.

BATTERY: 450mAh 1S LiPo

FLIGHT TIME: 4-6 minutes


The Speeder Bike bundle incorporates the whole lot it’s good to get into the air and performing your personal chase scenes on the floor of Endor. The producer consists of the drone itself, the radio/charger, a small USB wire and handbook.


  • The element on the Speeder Bike drone from Air Hogs is unbelievable. From the armaments and communications arrays on the bike itself, to the froth molded Scout Trooper that appears like the actual factor, this drone appears superb whether or not within the air or perched on a show shelf.
  • Priced in most places at just below 40 bucks, the Speeder Bike Drone is a fairly respectable bang to your buck. You get a pretty big machine, fully able to fly and it’s totally licensed by Disney for the Star Wars title.
  • Height Lock … in such a cheap machine from an enormous field retailer? Yep, and it really does work. There is a small barometer sensor on the underside of the drone, permitting for fear free altitude holding functionality whether or not indoors or out. There’s even a “Jump” button on the highest proper of the controller that may be employed to clear a quick approaching impediment whereas cruising in Height Lock mode.
  • I used to be totally anticipating the Speeder Bike drone to carry out in a toy-like method … anemic energy and management response at greatest. I used to be improper. This little gem from Spin Master and Air Hogs really flies fairly properly and is enjoyable to pilot. It’s no 250 class 4S race rig, nevertheless it’ll get a fairly respectable lean on and choose up the tempo in a rush.
  • The flight battery for the Speeder Bike is hardwired into the drone itself, so there’s no probability for fast battery swaps (except you need to dissect such a lovely airframe and MacGyver one thing collectively so far as a battery plug). That additionally means you have got much less to hold with you if you head out for flights.
  • Keeping with the “much less is extra” theme, the radio for the Speeder Bike doubles because the charger for the flight pack within the drone. There is a bit of hatch within the decrease proper of the face, from with unfurls a small cost lead. The AA batteries take a beating when flying and charging for a number of cycles, however the drone features a micro USB wire that may be plugged into the radio whereas charging, negating the drain on the AA cells.
The included radio has all of the features for regular 4-channel management in addition to Height Lock and cost capabilities.


>> It’s a freakin’ Star Wars Speeder Bike drone!!

>> Awesome “scale” element

>> It flies surprisingly properly

>> Transmitter doubles because the charger for the drone


>> Not a single replaceable half accessible … one and performed

>> Outdoors solely in little to no wind

The “Jump” button permits for popping over obstacles whereas in Height Lock mode.


As a toddler of the late 70’s and early 80’s I, like most different fellas the identical age, am a die exhausting Star Wars fan. Of course, my first few instances watching the primary two films left me with extra questions than solutions, being such a younger lad, however when Return of the Jedi got here out in 1983, I used to be about as pumped as an 8 12 months outdated could possibly be to see how the rebels would defeat the evil Lord Vader and the Emperor. Of course, I used to be all smiles when the nice guys received and was all giggles about these silly, furry little creatures (don’t get me began), however the one factor I used to be most pumped about within the new film was the Speeder Bike chase scene with Leia, Luke and the Imperial Scout Troopers. That scene alone sticks with me to today and might be the explanation I really like woods cruising with my FPV rigs a lot. Now that I can fly a drone modeled ridiculously properly after such an iconic automobile, my solely different want is for a functioning mild saber.


Charging the flight battery is so simple as stuffing six AA batteries into the radio after which plugging the cost wire into the stomach of the drone. Oddly sufficient, there isn’t any polarity to the cost lead or corresponding plug on the drone. The mild on the radio will flash crimson whereas charging and switch stable inexperienced as soon as full. My preliminary (and subsequent) cost took 25-Half-hour … type of lengthy for a battery that may’t be swapped out, however oh properly. I opted to make use of the USB wire, plugged into the 5v out on my Graupner Polaron to avoid wasting life within the AA batteries.

Dual sensors that permit for altitude maintain in Height Lock mode.

Once able to rock, I grabbed the Speeder Bike and radio and headed outdoors. It’s definitely sufficiently small for flying indoors, however I needed a pleasant delicate garden to ditch onto if something went awry. After turning the radio on, I switched the drone on and positioned it flat on the grass. Once it was armed and able to fly, I bumped the throttle to about half and the bike lurched skyward, assuming a degree hover proper in entrance of me. Two first impressions … Holy smokes this factor is quiet and holy smokes this factor is steady. I popped the throttle once more to achieve some altitude and nothing occurred so I landed. WTF?!

Turns out, I had the radio change on Height Lock, the place the throttle is simply used for takeoff and touchdown. Like they all the time stated, haste makes waste and I rushed out the door with out checking the radio over per the directions. Either approach, I had the Speeder Bike again up and prepared for motion after disabling the Height Lock perform. A pair fast pirouettes and I started some ahead flight. The drone will lean quiet a bit will full ahead elevator, which appears superior with the rider assuming the pursuit stance. Carving figure-8’s was not solely easy when coordinating rudder and aileron, nevertheless it felt like a way more costly machine whereas doing it. I used to be additionally stunned with how fast the Speeder Bike can get if you actually push it.

The geared brushed motor drive system is environment friendly and surprisingly quiet.

In Height Lock, the Speeder Bike retains a constant altitude because of the twin sonar sensors on the stomach of the drone. Simply flip the change to “locked” and mash the throttle to takeoff. The bike will assume a degree hover 4 toes or so off the bottom, awaiting your subsequent command. You nonetheless have full management of the rudder, ailerons and elevator, however to fluctuate the altitude of the Speeder Bike, it’s important to use the 2 up/down arrows beside the Height Lock change. Also, whereas cruising in Height Lock mode, you possibly can press the massive orange Jump button above the appropriate stick with pop the bike over an impediment. Again, fairly rattling snazzy for a 40 greenback drone.

I used to be suspect of the marketed 200 meter vary of the radio system included with the Speeder Bike (who the frank may even see LOS that far?!), so I needed to push the envelope a bit of. Heading off to the native ball subject, I used to be in a position to fly from dwelling plate, approach out over the middle subject 400 foot marker and again, with no single glitch. On the way in which again, I opted for slalom strategy somewhat than a straight line, for which I paid the value. At such nice distance, I misplaced orientation with these outdated eyes and needed to plop it down. I used to be apprehensive that I may need performed a quantity on any one of many plastic element elements or Scout Trooper, however nothing was damaged and even bent. The plastics used are mighty versatile and even when your occur to decapitate or explode your rider alla Princess Leia, you possibly can all the time glue him again along with some foam protected CA glue.

Use the USB wire and plug within the radio to cost the flight pack … except you need to burn six AA batteries each few flights.

Subsequent flights within the again yard proved to be essentially the most enjoyable. I strapped a Spektrum AIO digital camera/vTX unit to the entrance of the Speeder Bike and was blasting previous bushes similar to a Jedi (I really want to get a couple of of the native membership guys to get one and do the identical so we will race FPV Endor fashion). Later within the afternoon, the wind picked up a bit and I shortly realized the constraints of the little Speeder Bike. With all of the plastic fairings on the bike and the froth Scout Trooper sticking up like a mast, the drone doesn’t like wind. It is extraordinarily light-weight and although the onboard accelerometers will preserve issues degree, something greater than a 4-5 mph breeze was sufficient to take management of the drone from me and put it into the fingers of Mother Nature. More than as soon as, I needed to ditch it within the neighbor’s yard as a result of I wasn’t in a position to penetrate the delicate wind.

In the stomach you possibly can see the cost plug and on/off change.


All I gotta say is, for 40 bucks the Star Wars Imperial Aratech 74-Z Speeder Bike is a will need to have drone for any Star Wars fan, any drone fan or any Star Wars fan who flies drones. The factor appears plain superior and the efficiency isn’t dangerous in any respect for one thing you should purchase at Walmart. A pair sub micro AIO FPV models up the enjoyable issue immensely and although you possibly can’t purchase alternative elements, the versatile and resilient airframe will take some hits and preserve doing what it’s imagined to. Spin Master additionally makes a battle set with infrared lasers that incorporates an X-Wing and Tie Fighter in addition to a pair totally different Millennium Falcons. Check em all out to get your Star Wars Drone repair.



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