Yuneec Typhoon H Plus – Experiences with the 4K hexacopter
The Yuneec Typhoon H Plus is currently one of the best drones available on the market. With this powerful hexacopter with integrated 4K camera, you can create shake-free aerial shots of the highest quality. Find out now what makes the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus so special and where the differences to its predecessor Typhoon H lie.
The most important at a glance
The Yuneec Typhoon H Plus is available in two versions – with and without Intel® RealSense™ technology. The version provided to us by Yuneec comes without the intelligent automatic avoidance system.
The showpiece of the hexacopter is certainly the 360°-pivoting 4K camera with a 1-inch CMOS sensor. It enables high-resolution photos and videos that are transmitted in real time to the 7-inch display of the ST16S remote control. The first-class 3-axis gimbal ensures high image stability and guarantees shake-free shots.
Its two different flight modes (Angel and Sport) make the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus either an ultra-precise 4K camera or an extremely agile FPV racer. Thanks to the powerful battery, speeds of up to 45 mph (72 km/h) are possible in Sport mode. In the so-called Angel mode, which is recommended for taking photos and videos, the Typhoon H Plus, on the other hand, is much more leisurely on the move.
The flight time of the camera drone is specified by the manufacturer with up to 28 minutes. We achieved values between 24 and 26 minutes – depending on how much the copter and camera were challenged during the flight.
The six fold-out arms ensure a high level of stability and, thanks to the carbon fiber construction, contribute to the drone’s relatively low overall weight of only about 1.8 kg.
The various flight and recording modes of the Typhoon H Plus can be conveniently selected by touch command and make you the director of the skies. You can view your recordings in real time on the 7-inch display of the ST16S remote control. You can also create 360° panoramas or photo sequences at the touch of a button.
All in all, the Yuneec Typhoon H+ is a hexacopter of the latest generation and, thanks to simple operation and many safety features, can be easily mastered even by beginners.
Equipment and scope of delivery of the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus
When unpacking the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus, you immediately notice the clearly arranged interior of the high-quality packaging. Every part really has its place here. Foam recesses cut to the millimeter ensure a secure hold and protect the copter and accessories during transport. Yuneec also offers a special backpack for the Typhoon H Plus as an option.
Copter, remote control and accessories make a first-class impression overall. A highlight in the scope of delivery is certainly the second battery that Yuneec has given the Typhoon H Plus. The LiPos only need to be recharged after 2 x 25 minutes of flight time. A charging process takes about 90 minutes at the home socket – much longer with a 12V charging cable. If you still have batteries from the predecessor Typhoon H, you can also use them in the H Plus without any problems.
Scope of delivery
- Yuneec Typhoon H Plus with gimbal & C23 camera (4K, 60 fps)
- Remote control ST16S + sunshield
- 2 x LiPo (4S, 5250mAh)
- Charger with microUSB cable
- 8 rotors
- 16GB microSD card + adapter
- Neck strap
- Instruction manual
- Small parts
The only drawback of the otherwise extensive equipment is the somewhat short user manual (Quick Start Guide). Although many important functions are described, a detailed user manual is not what you would expect. Fortunately, Yuneec now offers a detailed manual for download.
The smart mode (headless mode) familiar from many other drones was (deliberately) omitted from the Typhoon H Plus. It is now replaced by the Sport mode with horizontal speeds of up to 20 m/s (approx. 45 mph or 72 km/h). Together with the optionally available Skyview FPV goggles, this turns the Typhoon H Plus into a true FPV racing drone in no time at all.
However, the real strengths of the Typhoon H Plus clearly lie in the area of photo and video recording. A retractable landing gear, the 360°-pivoting 4K camera and also the possibility to operate the copter in TEAM mode with two remote controls make the Typhoon H Plus a unique camera drone.
In the version with Intel® RealSense technology, the Typhoon H Plus also has a special camera for gesture and obstacle detection. The R200 camera continuously scans the environment with 3D and depth-sensing technology, enabling the drone to autonomously avoid objects in its flight path. Obstacles once flown around are even stored for future reference.
Unlike quadcopters like the DJI Phantom 4, the Typhoon H Plus can continue to fly without any problems should one of the six brushless motors suddenly fail. The redundant 6-rotor system thus ensures more safety and prevents expensive accidents.
Launch preparation & test flight
Thanks to the retractable arms and the convenient quick-release system for the propellers, the Typhoon H Plus is not only extremely compact, but also ready for takeoff in no time.
However, before you mount the rotors and take off with the Typhoon H Plus, you must first connect (bind) the copter, camera and remote control together and calibrate the drone. To do this, first turn on the remote control and then the drone. The binding of the components is then done by a simple touch command in the settings of the remote control.
Next, you need to calibrate the drone. To do this, select the corresponding menu item and then rotate the hexacopter six times around its own axis, holding a new pair of booms with each rotation. The successful calibration is then confirmed acoustically.
Now the Typhoon H Plus is ready for takeoff and stays in the air for about 25 minutes. In addition to the choice between Sport and Angel mode, you can also fine-tune the speed or response of the copter via a rotary control on the back of the remote control. Depending on your needs, either extremely precise or very agile camera movements are possible.
As soon as the battery level falls below 25%, the remote control signals this to the pilot with an energetic vibration. At a charge level of 20%, the Typhoon H Plus automatically switches to the mode called Return-to-Land by Yuneec, returns to the pilot at the pre-set altitude and lands safely on the drone landing pad or at the launch position.
Particularly practical: To maintain the maximum flight altitude allowed at your location, this can be easily preset in the software of the remote control.
Thanks to the six powerful brushless motors and the increased wingspan compared to its predecessor, the Typhoon H Plus remains steady in the air even at higher wind speeds. According to Yuneec, flights at wind speeds of up to 30 mph (48 km/h) are no problem.
Despite the increase in performance, the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus is even quieter overall than its predecessor. Thanks to the larger propellers, we were able to measure just 63 dB (via smartphone app) at a distance of about 6.5 feet (2m).
Yuneec Typhoon H Plus Camera & Gimbal
With the C23 camera, Yuneec has given the Typhoon H Plus a very special highlight. In contrast to the 2/3″ sensor of the predecessor, this time it is a fast 1″ sensor with which 4K recordings at 60 fps are possible. A higher dynamic range, the improved data rate of 100 MB/s and the high frame rates ensure excellent video quality and even enable smooth slow-motion recordings.
Video recordings in 1080p are possible at up to 120 fps. The videos are stored in MP4 format. The FOV (field of view) of the camera is 91°, which is 3° less than the Typhoon H. Photos can now be taken in up to 20 MP (5472 x 3648 px) instead of 12 MP.
The C23 camera is supported and stabilized by the excellent 3-axis gimbal of the Typhoon H Plus. Yuneec calls the combination of gimbal and camera the CGO3+. The gimbal’s special joints allow endless rotations around its own axis, while the camera image always remains stable. Thanks to the retractable landing gear, the 3D camera always has a clear view.
Since the camera of the Typhoon H Plus can be tilted up even further than its predecessor, it is also possible to take pictures at high speed and when the drone is tilted sharply.
The improved residual light performance of the larger sensor (F/2.8) ensures better shooting quality in difficult lighting conditions, and the ability to save photos in raw format as DNG provides ample scope for post-processing.
Since the C23 is a modular camera, it can be easily replaced if necessary. For example, if an 8K version is released in the future, this new camera can simply be exchanged for the current one.
Photo & Video Settings
Like a modern DSLR camera, the C23 offers a wide range of settings. ISO, exposure time, white balance and more can be set manually if desired and adjusted to the respective lighting conditions. Grid lines can even be faded in to assist with image composition if required.
In Photo mode, you can choose between Single, Burst, Interval and Panorama (Horizon, Sphere) shooting modes. In the Horizon function, you press the shutter button once and the Typhoon H Plus then independently creates eight consecutive shots that you can later stitch together on your PC to create a 360° panorama. The Sphere function creates a full 17 shots that you can later stitch together into a spherical panorama (“little planet”) with the help of appropriate software.
You also have many setting options when recording videos. Exposure, ISO, etc. can be set to manual or automatic, just like in photo mode. Various formats between 720p and 4K are available for the video resolution.
Intelligent flight modes
The Yuneec Typhoon H Plus has six different flight modes: Follow Me / Watch Me, Oribit Me, Point of Interest, Journey and Curved Cable Cam.
- In Follow Me mode, the drone tracks the pilot or the signal from the remote control. If Watch-Me is additionally activated, the camera is also always focused on you.
- In Orbit Me mode, the Typhoon H Plus films you as it flies around you in a circular path.
- Point of Interest (POI) mode flies around any object and films it at the same time.
- In Journey mode, the copter flies slowly away from you in a straight line and then returns automatically – the perfect mode for aerial selfies!
- In Curved Cablecam mode, the copter saves a route you have flown. Then the Typhoon H Plus automatically repeats the route and you can operate the camera without worrying about the drone’s flight path.
ST16S remote control
The revised ST16S remote control of the Typhoon H Plus is equipped with a fast Intel® quad-core processor, has 16 channels and a high-contrast 7″ display with touchscreen. The operating system is Android-based. The built-in toggle switches, knobs and buttons feel high-quality and are mostly intuitive to reach.
In optimal conditions, the range of the 2.4 GHz control signal is about 1 mile (1.6 km). The 720p live image is transmitted via 5.8 GHz frequency band and should also be possible up to this distance, according to the manufacturer. During our test flights, the interference-free image transmission succeeded reliably up to a range of about 875 yards (800 meters). At greater distances, there was occasional stalling of the image transmission. Please remember when buying a drone that multicopters may only be flown on sight in many countries!
The ST16S controller’s replaceable 3.6V 8700mAh battery lasts much longer than through than the drone’s two battery charges. It is then connected to the battery charger via the included microUSB cable and recharged within about 300 minutes.
The built-in USB output can be used to connect additional devices if needed, and thanks to the HDMI output, you can even connect an additional monitor to the ST16S.
The remote control’s power-on process takes a relatively long time at about one minute, but we didn’t find it annoying. Once in operation, the ST16S displays a razor-sharp image that always remains clearly visible even in poor lighting conditions thanks to the included sunshade. By the way, the ST16S can be comfortably hung around the neck via a carrying strap for the necessary comfort when flying.
Haptics & key layout
You can choose between Mode 1 and Mode 2 for controlling the drone, depending on your preference. Unfortunately, the other switches and buttons cannot be assigned individually. However, this is not a big deal, since almost all important functions can be accessed easily and intuitively.
We would have only wished for a different place for the camera rotation that can be executed via the rotary potentiometer. While the camera’s tilt angle can be adjusted on the knob at the top left of the controller’s back, the opposite knob houses the fine-tuning of the speed. The panning of the camera would have been better here.
The user interface
The user interface and menu navigation of the modified Android software look very tidy and are clearly arranged. English or Chinese are available as languages. The user can choose between imperial and metric systems for displaying the telemetry data.
The many helpful information about the current flight altitude, speed and already completed flight time are easily recognizable and also the battery status of copter and remote control as well as the number of currently available GPS satellites are always in view.
A nice feature is also the small map for determining the position of the drone. It always shows in which compass direction the Typhoon H Plus is currently located. Extremely practical, should you lose sight of the drone for a short time.
The settings of the ST16S can be accessed via a small gear icon. Here you can determine, among other things, whether you want to set a fixed or dynamic return-to-land point and at what altitude the copter should complete the return flight. A dynamic RTL point can be useful, for example, if you are on a boat or other moving object.
The maximum climb altitude of the Typhoon H Plus can also be limited in the settings. Fortunately, the Typhoon H Plus cannot even be launched near airports and similar danger zones thanks to programmed “no-fly zones”.
By the way, all flight data can be plotted on the ST16S. This “flight data log” can be quite useful, for example, in the event of damage, in order to make warranty claims in the event of technical failure.
The Yuneec Typhoon H Plus is currently one of the highest-quality camera drones in the hobby sector. Even though the hexacopter is aimed more at experienced drone pilots, even beginners can get along very well with the drone thanks to its intuitive operation and many safety functions. Only the included user manual could have been a bit more detailed.
The outstanding image quality of the 360°-pivoting 4K camera is convincing across the board. Various flight and camera modes give free rein to creativity and enable professional aerial shots. Photos can be recorded in DNG format for easy editing afterwards.
The high-quality ST16S remote control is clearly designed and with the bright and high-contrast 7-inch LCD display, you always have everything important in view.
Unlike the DJI Phantom 4, the landing gear of the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus can be retracted during flight, allowing 360° camera pans. The hexacopter’s six rotors also make a positive impact in terms of flight stability, guaranteeing ultra-smooth camera movements.
Another big plus are the two batteries that come with the Typhoon H Plus right out of the box. The fact that the batteries from the Typhoon H can be used is also very pleasing. All in all, with the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus you get an ultra-modern hexacopter with an excellent camera and many useful features. We can therefore only warmly recommend the Typhoon H to you and wish you a lot of fun should you decide to buy this gem!