On their website, Altair Aerial has a slogan – All About Innovation. You can see groundbreaking features in many of their products. They have RC boats, RC vehicles, mini drones as well as medium-sized drones for all age groups. The Altair Falcon is one of their best drones. It has some unique features such as the full circle propeller guards, the autonomous positioning and hovering system and many more. In this review, we shall look at the features and technical details of the drone, as well as its flight functions.
Is this drone worth buying? We will find out in the upcoming sections of this review.
Altair Falcon Features & Technical Details
Good looks do not make any drone. You must consider both the good and the bad before you commit your money. For example, for this drone, the manufacturer says it takes one hour to charge its battery but in reality, it takes close to three hours. But it is not all doom and gloom. There are some good things with the drone.
Design and build quality
This is a well-built drone. The construction looks quite solid thanks to the ABS plastic used for the fuselage and the remote controller too. It weighs 147 g, so you will not need to register it with the FAA before you fly it.
Because the Altair Falcon is a beginner drone, it is designed to withstand abuse. For example, it has full circle propeller guards. If it crashes, you can be sure that the propeller blades will stay intact. In any case, it also comes with 4 extra blades to replace any that you break.
The drone has an SD card slot that supports class 10 SD cards. The card is not supplied so you will have to buy yours.
This is a camera drone. It is also FPV enabled, and once you download the FlyingSee app and connect your smartphone to the drone WiFi, you will be able to enjoy live video transmission.
For the price that it is sold at, perhaps they should have fitted it with a 1080P camera instead of the 720P one. Even the slightest wind distorts the videos, but the still photo quality is good. Compared to a drone such as the Holy Stone HS165 that has a 1080P camera yet costs less than the Altair Falcon, we feel they should have done much better. Therefore, if you are looking for an aerial camera to document your adventures, you might want to avoid the Falcon.
One good thing about the camera though, it has a wide angle of view at 120 degrees. The FPV video is also not bad when the drone flies in calm weather or indoors.
The remote controller makes it easy to fly the drone even for beginners. All the buttons are clearly labeled and when you get it out of the box, it has a card with all the functions indicated, attached with an elastic band.
This remote controller uses four AA batteries that you have to buy separately. The flight range for the remote control is 50 meters.
Battery and flight time
The Altair Falcon comes with two 3.7V 1,000mAh batteries. Each of the batteries can give you 8 to 10 minutes of flight time. You can fly the drone with one battery while you charge the other. It comes with a charging cable too. Just plug it into your computer and it starts charging immediately. However, the manufacturer does not give the right information about the charging time. They claim it takes an hour but in reality, it can even take more than 3 hours to charge one battery.
Flight features and functions
As a drone aimed at beginners, it has some automatic flight functions. Here are some of the most vital ones:
Autonomous Hover and Positioning System
This function is a winner and only Altair has it. The beauty of the system is that when you engage it, the drone hovers accurately at any position even if you take your hands off the controller. This feature can also help you capture the right moments on the camera. Even if the drone is in motion and you engage this mode, it stops in its tracks immediately and hovers right there. If you find scenery worth photographing on your FPV, just stop the drone in its tracks and start taking footage.
You get three speed modes – low, medium and high. When you are flying the drone indoors, you can do the low speed mode and then try the higher speeds outdoors. To set the speed, just press the right hand stick on the controller. If you get one beep, that is for low speed. Two beeps are for medium speed while three beeps are for high speed.
Return to Home
This is a safety function. If the drone runs out of charge or you just want to get it back home, just press the return home key and it will come back. However, please note that you will not get an alert for low battery so you will have to check your watch. Just bring it back home after flying for 7 to 8 minutes.
The drone will hold the set flight height. Therefore, you only have to worry about the forward flight. It will hold the height accurately. This has become a standard feature with all types of drones.
Short Summary of Feedback from Existing Owners
Since this is my first drone ever, I am so happy that it has three speed modes. I have been learning how to fly it indoors and I feel I am ready to fly it outdoors. Rick S.
I think this drone’s price is not justified since it lacks GPS functions like follow me or way point mode. The flight range is also short at 50 meters only. Licia B.
I love using the Altair-exclusive Autonomous Hover and Positioning system. It is effective and fun to use. Brian O.
I love this drone. However, I think I will upgrade sooner than I planned to since it only has the basic features and functions. Jonathan H.
The drone has two batteries, flies well and takes videos and photos. Is it worth it? Definitely. Harold C.
Altair Falcon Pros
- Simple to fly this drone
- Still shots are of high quality
- It comes fully assembled right out of the box – just insert battery and fly
- It has two batteries
- Well labeled functions on remote controller
- Flies well indoors
- Has First Person View
Altair Falcon Cons
- Long charging time for the batteries
- Even with two batteries, flight time could be better
Who Should Buy The Altair Falcon?
The manufacturer’s recommended age is 14 years. Because of the scanty flight functions, and the simple operation, this is a good drone for newbie pilots. If you just want to know how to use a drone and then upgrade to a bigger one with more flight functions like follow me mode, headless mode and others, buy this one. It is also solidly built for durability. The beauty of using this drone is the precise Autonomous Hover & Positioning system.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Altair makes good drones, RC trucks and boats. In addition, there is what the company calls the Altair Guarantee – they say they will always be there for their customers if anything goes wrong with the drone. Despite lacking many automated flight functions that we have been used to in other drones, the Altair Falcon is still a joy to fly. However, it has a learning curve. Therefore, read the user manual to know how to fly it. It comes full assembled. Just insert battery and fly it.