If you’re looking for a full-sized quad rotor and are shopping on a budget, then the JRC H-28 is a good choice. It’s a 350 sized quad rotor, meaning that it measures three hundred and fifty millimeters from motor to motor, or just over 13 and ¾ inches. It’s a pretty large aircraft with a lot of power and it comes with a camera mounted to a single-axis gimbal, but the camera isn’t why you should buy this aircraft.
JJRC is quickly becoming a major player in the low-cost aircraft market, and they’ve produced more aircraft in the past year than I care to count. If you want a $50 quad rotor with a camera and an FPV system, then JJRC can help you out.
The most unique thing about this aircraft is not the single-axis gimbal – it’s the aircraft itself. I’ve flown countless aircraft and I know a good one when I fly one… the JJRC H-28 is a great aircraft. It has the power, stability and speed to do exactly what you want. It’s very smooth in the air and it’s just a joy to fly. It also has a set of removable rotor arms that are really cool, and they make transporting the aircraft a lot easier.
Unfortunately, the video quality is not very good. You get shaky, low-resolution 640 x 480 video filmed with a flat lens. The camera housing and camera mount are very shaky and allow a lot of vibration to show up in the video. With a better camera and a better camera mount, the video would look amazing, but with the stock system the video is atrocious and unusable.
The transmitter’s range is great at well over a hundred yards, but if you get the WIFI version that transmits video to your phone, the video transmission range will be 50 feet or less before it starts to break up. WIFI video is just not a good idea for aircraft. This aircraft really deserves a better camera and camera mount, because it truly is a great-flying aircraft with a lot of power and the single-axis gimbal is a very good feature.
|Battery type, Input Voltage||LiPo 7.4 volt 1200 mAh 2 cell 30 C|
|Camera||640 x 480 single-axis gimbal stabilized|
|Motors||Brushed JJRC custom motors|
|Size-Motor to Motor Max Diameter||350 millimeters 13 ¾ inches|
|Size-rotor tip to tip Length||450.85 millimeters 17 ¾ inches|
|Size-rotor tip to tip Width||450.85 millimeters 17 ¾ inches|
|Size-Height||190.5 millimeters 7 ½ inches|
|Flight Time||8 to 10 minutes|
|Charge Time||Stock charger 2 hours/quick charge 25 min|
|Lights||LED headlights and arm lights|
Quality of build
Other than the camera mount, this is a well-built aircraft that looks good in the air and is made from strong and sturdy plastics. The removable rotor arms are also really cool and well designed. You can install them or take them off in less than 2 seconds, so if you ever need to replace one, it will be really easy to do. It’s also easy to take the aircraft apart and transport it inside a small backpack.
Overall, it’s a reasonably durable aircraft. One of my motors died after only a few flights, but I suspect it was from bad shipping or just bad luck, rather than bad design. I had a replacement aircraft shipped out and I replaced the broken rotor arm in 2 seconds. It was back in the air with no trouble and I haven’t had any issues since then.
Assembly and tuning
The aircraft is shipped in a small box with the rotor arms and the landing gear removed to save space. It comes with a nice little screwdriver for installing the landing gear, and each rotor arm locks in place with a set of spring-loaded clips. Each rotor arm has a set of colored stripes on it to let you know which part of the body it attaches to, so unless you’re red-green colorblind, you won’t have any trouble putting it together.
You also need to install the camera/gimbal assembly onto the bottom of the aircraft. It clips onto the battery compartment, and unfortunately, it doesn’t have any sort of vibration padding or shock absorbers to filter out vibration. It has 2 plugs that attach to the aircraft – one that controls the camera and one that controls the gimbal.
The gimbal is basically just a servo that is being controlled by the aircraft’s gyro. The camera housing just slides on to the servo gear, meaning that it can easily be replaced with a better camera system.
Generally, it should only take you a few minutes to put the aircraft together, and when you disassemble the aircraft, it’s so small that you can pack it into a 5 in. x 7 in. x 9 in. space.
I loved flying this aircraft, and truly enjoyed the experience. I found it to be beautifully designed and programmed and it exceeded all of my expectations. It was fast enough to race cars up and down the street and strong enough to fight 15 mph winds with 20 mph gusts. It has a good stable hover, a decent yaw rate, and it turns with power and authority. I always felt like I had complete control over where it was going and what it was doing.
I have to be honest, at first, I was expecting a clunky, slow and unstable flight experience, but I was pleasantly surprised by the fast, precise and powerful flight experience of the H-28 that I got instead!
It didn’t require any tuning out of the box and it handles itself better than the Cheerson Phantom. In heavy winds, you can keep on flying without having to worry, while on calm days, you can really have some fun. It has 3 speed modes available, and in high-speed mode, it can easily push itself up to 25 or 30 mph and maintain that speed smoothly. It also has a built-in push button flip that is very precise for such a large aircraft. It has a headless mode and a one-button return mode that works great if you calibrate the gyro. You can also turn the lights on and off with the transmitter if you want to save power or fake UFO sightings at night.
If you’re looking for a low-cost, full-sized quad rotor, then this is a great aircraft, but if you want a good camera system, then you will absolutely need to replace the stock camera.
Ground station and Controller
The provided transmitter gets great range and has a nice layout with everything clearly labeled. There is no real telemetry like voltage or flight time, but it does its job
The stock camera is the biggest letdown. It’s a very standard 640 x 480 camera with a flat lens, but the way it’s mounted to the single-axis gimbal causes it to vibrate so much that it makes the video almost useless. The rolling shutter or “Jello” effect in the video is horrible, and when you take apart the camera it’s easy to see why it looks so bad. None of the plastic components fit tightly together in a way that eliminates vibration. The good news is that with a little modification, you can put a camera mount on the bottom that absorbs vibration and replace the camera with a better one. There are many other camera options out there with better resolutions and better fields of view.
The single-axis gimbal is a good idea and with a better camera, it would help produce better video. It’s basically just a servo that is plugged into the bottom of the aircraft and attached to the camera, so if you want to make a new camera mount and attach it to the gimbal, you can (and should).
JJRC did a great job with this aircraft; they just skimped on the camera and its housing.
As a whole, everything is very easy to use. I didn’t have any trouble flying the aircraft; I just wasn’t happy with the video from the stock camera. Other than that, it’s a great system. The battery is easy to recharge with any standard multi-cell charger, the aircraft is easy to take apart and put in your backpack, and it has a lot of lifting capacity. I can see why they included a pair of sunglasses – it’s a pretty cool little aircraft!