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Written by Jay Smith
Pre-release preview
Photos provided by Parrot
As seen in the September 2016 issue of
Model Aviation digital.

Parrot has been involved with RC aircraft for nearly 10 years, bringing to market products like the AR Drone, Beebop, and some smaller quadcopters. The company's newest release has incorporated all of its innovations into a new fixed-wing aircraft—the Disco.

The Disco is a 45-inch wingspan flying wing constructed of EPP (expanded polypropylene) foam that is targeted at beginners and should all but ensure a successful experience.

Watch a video!

During my testing at Parrot's media event, I saw several attendees who had never before piloted a fixed-wing aircraft be largely successful at piloting the Disco. In fact, the strategically placed trees that littered the golf course seemed to provide the biggest obstacle to the novice pilots.

Fortunately, when the trees relinquished the occasional aircraft, they were found to have survived without any damage. The pilots, however, did have to endure a little good natured teasing from fellow attendees.

Jay Smith discusses the Parrot Disco FPV

Model Aviation Editor-In-Chief Jay Smith talks with AMA Air host Chris Savage about his experience with the Parrot Disco FPV at the manufacturer's special pre-release event.

Watch Jay's interview in the September edition of AMA Air!

The Disco comes out of the box with three parts: the center section and the two wing halves. Simply snap the wings on and the aircraft is ready for flight. There are no connections for servos and no screws to install, just a click and the wing halves are attached!

The Disco also does not have pushrods or clevises on the outside of the aircraft, making it very sleek. The arming button on the top of the Disco also works as the pitot tube to allow for airspeed readings.

The Parrot Skycontroller 2 allows the pilot to connect their smartphone (Android or iOS) with the FreeFlight Pro software installed and mount the phone on the transmitter, or inside the included Cockpitglasses, to get a First-Person View (FPV) as well as flight data such as airspeed, altitude, and location in relation to the pilot.

At the heart of the Disco is an advanced autopilot system called Parrot C.H.U.C.K (Control Hub & Universal Computer Kit). This device allows for auto takeoff and landing as well as a return-to-home feature that flies the model back to your location and simply flies a gentle circle at 150 feet of altitude until you are ready to take over flight.

Auto takeoff requires the launch of the aircraft at approximately a 45° angle similar to throwing a Frisbee. The aircraft will climb to 150 feet without further input and then fly a gentle circle waiting for commands from the pilot.

Landings allow the pilot to fly the aircraft into the landing pattern and depress the auto takeoff/land button and the aircraft will do the rest. Pilots can still control the aircraft during the auto landing.

A pilot looking to move beyond assisted flight will need to add his or her own transmitter and receiver, which can be connected directly to the Parrot C.H.U.C.K. This was demonstrated using a Futaba 10J transmitter and the aerobatic ability of the aircraft can be seen in the video.

I found the model easy and enjoyable to fly, both via line of sight and FPV. FPV was flown with the help of a spotter. I also really appreciate that the goggles can be worn over prescription glasses.

I made several flights using a single battery and Parrot reports that 45-minute flight times with the aircraft is normal. As you might expect, photos and video can be taken while in flight and the camera can be tilted for different angles. The included 32GB internal flash memory ensures that you have plenty of space to store your photos and videos.

The Disco includes the aircraft, Skycontroller 2, Cockpitglasses, 2,700 mAh 3S LiPo, battery, and charger for a retail price of $1,299.99.

Jay Smith


Looks like lots of fun.

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