The Parrot Swing is easy to pilot, and it can be flown as a quadcopter or as a plane. Plus, it’s cheaper than buying separate quadcopter and plane drones.
The Parrot Swing requires no skill to get it off the ground. Press the lift-off button on the Parrot Flypad, and it will hover, waiting for your command. The left joystick controls height; the right joystick controls the movement. Do nothing, and it will hover on the spot.
The plane mode takes a little more courage and a lot more open space. It cannot hover and requires you to be in constant control unless you want it to continue flying away. To fly in plane mode, press the R2 button to change the angle of the drone. The more taps, the more parallel the wings are to the ground, the faster it flies. It’s also an excellent way for a novice to control the speed of the plane. Similarly, you can tap the lift-off button to switch the plane back into hover mode instantly, which can save you from painful crashes. When you are ready to impress onlookers, try the other buttons on the Flypad, where you can execute barrel rolls left or right, half-loop or full loop. Parrot included a small camera, albeit 300K pixel resolution, to capture still images. Unfortunately, it doesn’t capture video.
Pairing the Parrot Swing with the smartphone app gives you additional flight and battery information and lets you control the drone. Of course, the Flypad offers better handling.
The Parrot Swing would have been perfect if not for the short battery lifespan of no more than 10 minutes per charge – a saving grace is it only requires 30 minutes to fully charge it. The other minor problem is that the propeller blades are not labelled so if they fall out during a crash, I would not know which blade goes to which corner. Inserting the wrong blade in the wrong position will cause an immediate crash the moment the propeller fires up.
The Parrot Swing is easy for first timers to handle and as such, is possibly the best drone to have if you want to pick up some piloting skills for both quadcopter and plane drones. It is relatively affordable, so you can hone your skills with it before taking on the more expensive models.