Dromida Verso Inversion Quadcopter
Written by Chris Savage
So much fun, you’ll flip!
Photos by Chris Savage
As seen in the summer 2016 issue of Park Pilot.
Type: RTF quadcopter
Skill level: Beginner to intermediate
Weight: 1.2 ounces
>> Three exponential modes
>> Performs 180° or 360° flips
>> Inverted flight with automatic orientation
>> Lightweight, comfortable transmitter
Flying a multirotor is exciting for a pilot, but it’s often not much of a spectator sport. In fact, many multirotors look more like utilitarian tools—an amalgamation of batteries, propellers, cameras, and the like—with little in the personality category. Their relatively intuitive flight characteristics are a lot of fun for pilots, particularly new ones who can begin to find success quickly, but those same docile manners can make them boring to watch.
Aerobatic multirotors are changing all of that. Although the Dromida Verso isn’t a full-fledged aerobatic aircraft, it’s the closest that I’ve come to aerobatics, and I have to say, flying it was a lot of fun!
When I unboxed the Verso, I instantly recognized it as the same intriguing multirotor that I had witnessed someone flying at The Toledo Show: R/C Model Expo, which I had recently attended. There, I had seen the red version of the aircraft, but this one was a bright (and surprisingly shiny) yellow and black scheme. Available in blue, red, and green with black as well, this small, 110mm fun machine packs more personality than others I’ve seen, and I was immediately considering how I could avoid scratching the smooth, glossy canopy.
Also in the box, I was surprised to find two small, black discs, which the manual later revealed to be thumb pads. Aside from its comfortable size, the Verso’s transmitter is slightly customizable for pinch or thumb pilots. Pinch pilots will likely be fine using the preattached controller sticks, but thumb fliers, like I am, can remove the control sticks and replace them with these round thumb pads for a more comfortable grip.
The lightweight, comfortable transmitter is a great addition to this RTF kit.
I attached the thumb pads to the tops of the control sticks for a taller stance that required less effort for control input. Because less effort is required, I found that this setup allowed me to make finer, more controlled inputs to the transmitter, but like so many things in RC, personal preference and experimentation will lead you to your favorite setup. After all, isn’t that part of the fun?
The Verso is truly ready to fly, with batteries included for the comfortably sized transmitter, a spare set of black and yellow propellers, and a propeller-removal tool. This tool is a great addition for anyone who has ever tried to remove tiny propellers with their fingers. A flight battery and a USB charger round out the kit.
After charging the flight battery, I plugged it in and was ready for takeoff. I was pleasantly surprised to find that unlike some past multirotors I’ve flown that included gyros, I was able to plug in the battery without having to keep the multirotor perfectly level. This might seem like a small convenience, but to anyone who has tried to manage small battery connections on the bottom of an aircraft without tipping it and altering the initialization of the gyro, the precision required is sometimes akin to a game of Operation.
After arming the aircraft, I eased up the throttle and was prepared to make the obligatory fast trim adjustments that I’ve usually needed for quadcopters of this size—you know, the kind where you’re feverishly pressing a combination of trim buttons, trying to get the initial drifting under control. Instead, the Verso hovered calmly in place.
Starting in the lowest of three exponential settings, I gave the right stick a nudge and was pleased to find that the aircraft wasn’t the slightest bit twitchy. After several flights, a couple of bumps into walls and ceilings, and even an aborted flight into the grass when I took it outside, I’ve yet to make a trim adjustment or see any damage.
I have lost a couple of propellers, but I’ve not yet needed to use any of the replacements. I did learn that you need to firmly press the propellers back on, or they’ll fly off during the next takeoff.
Now it was on to the fun stuff. I mentioned that this nimble machine has some aerobatic influence, and this is when I found it. To be honest, I wasn’t interested in the Verso’s advertised “auto-flip” feature. I’ve flown other multirotors that flip 360° at the press of a button and the Verso can do the same.
The Dromida Verso’s canopy is bright and glossy. It features smooth lines that give the multirotor good looks and personality.
Where the Verso differs is in its ability to fly inverted—and this was pretty exciting. I pressed the flip button and the transmitter began to beep—as I’ve seen before—to let me know that the Verso was ready to flip. I pressed the right stick to the right, and instead of 360°, the Verso went 180° and stopped inverted, but without the dramatic altitude drop that I’ve witnessed with other quadcopters.
Even cooler, the Verso retained its throttle setting. The multirotor knows when it’s inverted and automatically reverses its motors. This means that the full-down position on the throttle stick is always zero throttle, and the full-up position is always 100%. The Verso automatically adjusts its orientation, so after a left-right flip resulting in inverted flight, moving the right stick to the left still moves the aircraft to the left, and vice versa.
The same type of reorientation is also true of forward-aft flips. Although the manual said the model would reorient itself, my hands still somehow expected the controls to be reversed. After I got accustomed to it, I found that one of my favorite tricks was to flip the Verso, increase the throttle, and stick it to the ceiling!
The Dromida Verso Inversion Quadcopter is probably one of the most fun multirotors that I’ve had the enjoyment of flying. Between the three exponential settings that allowed me to get comfortable with the model, its great out-of-the-box flight characteristics, and the ability to fly inverted, I found myself wanting to show off a little and considered what a true 3-D quadcopter might be like.
The sport of aerobatic multirotor flying is developing, and I’m beginning to think that flying one of these aircraft just might be a spectator sport after all!