Altair Aerial AA108 Overview & Specs
- Altitude Hold Function
- 1 Touch Take Off and Landing
- 8-10 Minutes of Flight Time
- Headless Mode
- 3 Flight Skill Levels
- FlyingSee App by UDI RC (for iOS/Android)
- Virtual Reality Mode (Headset not included)
- Custom Flight Routes
- Real-time FPV video
- Out of Range & Low Battery Alarm
- Max Range 300 Feet (100 Meters)
- Max Video Transmission for FPV 120-150 Feet (40-50 Meters)
- Dimensions: 183mm X 198mm X 43mm
- Weight: 85 grams
Last update on 2018-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The АА108 by Altair Aerial is one of the new drones on the market, but it immediately strikes you with its good looks and build quality. It’s made with the beginners in mind so it’s relatively cheap, however – it packs a punch and delivers more than most of its competitors in this price range.
One of the most interesting things about this drone is that it’s made by Altair – a USA based Small Business in Nebraska, which relies heavily on good service and customer support – something that we’re not used to, as most cheaper quadcopters come from China, with hard to understand half-translated manuals that are just confusing to say the least.
With that being said, I’m quite interested to review the Altair Aerial АА108, as it promises to deliver something more than the competition. So let’s dig deeper into the specifications of this drone and see where it shines, where it falls short and how well it stacks up against the competition.
Upon unboxing the АА108, you’ll immediately notice its sleek matte black finish, which is quite different from the other similarly-priced drones on the market. It gives you the feeling of a premium product, and the blue accents are a nice touch as well.
On the front of the quad you can see the camera, which is a 120 Degree Wide-Angle 720P HD camera, capable of taking both photos and videos. On the back of the body you can see the slot for the battery, and nothing else. So overall the design is quite clean, simple and sleek.
The quadcopter is quite small, coming up at just 183mm X 198mm X 43mm, and weighing 85 grams. However, although its lightness, the drone feels sturdy and well-built. You can fit propeller guards which will protect the drone from all sides, so small to medium crashes should not be an issue for this aircraft.
Overall, the design definitely gets a nod of approval from me, as it has that nice clean and sleek feel to it, which is something that I definitely appreciate in a product.
Flying the AA108
Flying the АА108 is a breeze. The drone is configured in such a way that it can be used both by complete beginners and more advanced flyers. There are three flying modes which you can choose between, depending on your skill level:
1 – For Kids & Beginners
2 – Intermediate flyers
3 – Advanced users
The difference in the flying modes is represented in increased speed and manoeuvrability of the quadcopter. You will immediately see the change of character once you switch from beginner to advanced mode, so I highly encourage you to start off slowly and work your way up to the more advanced flying modes as you get more comfortable flying the drone.
In addition, You have the ability to use a one-button take off and landing, which in my opinion are the two operations which are the most difficult for the beginners to master. Simply pressing the takeoff button will get the АА108 in the air, and it will hover in place, waiting for your input, thanks to the Altitude-hold technology.
What I really like is that you get a sound notification when the AA108 gets a low battery or it’s near its maximum flight range – that way you can act accordingly and not crash because of that. If for some reason you run out of juice completely, the drone is programmed to land itself safely, contrary to other drone models that simply fall out of the sky when they reach 0 %.
Another feature which is great for the beginners is the Headless Hold mode – that allows you to fly the drone towards or away from you independently of the drone’s current direction. Here’s a good explanation of how headless hold mode works by Altair themselves:
Last, but definitely not least is the ability to use custom route mapping – this basically means you can use your smartphone and draw lines on the screen, that the drone will follow. It’s a simplified version of the “Waypoints” feature we’ve seen in the more expensive drones from DJI for example. But it’s definitely the first time I see such feature in a sub-$200 drone. That’s seriously impressive.
Like I mentioned in the overview of this drone, the АА108 has a 720p HD camera capable of taking photos and videos. The 120 degree wide lens provides pretty good results, having in mind that we are talking about a sub-$200 drone.
On top of that, the user also gets FPV realtime video, which can be followed on the screen of your smartphone.
The quality of the footage is good enough, having in mind that the drone doesn’t have a gimbal to stabilise the video. The colours are sharp enough and will give you plenty of details to work with while flying in First-Person-View. As all the other drones in this price category, you should not expect video that could be used for aerial cinematography, but having said that, the AA108 performs just as well if not better than its direct competitors with a similar price tag.
To get a better idea about the footage, here’s a sample video from the AA108:
The remote controller is definitely one of the parts I like the most about the АА108. It has the same matte black finish as the aircraft itself, combined with the blue accents.
On top of the remote you can see the two antennas, that are responsible for your flight range. Between them, there’s a latch that you can pull up and use as a smartphone holder for your FPV video feed.
Of course you have the left and right sticks, that allow the drone to go up/down/left/right and rotate in all directions.
In the very middle of the controller there’s the switch on/off button, as well as two buttons for activating/deactivating Headless hold mode and using the One key takeoff/landing feature.
But here’s the best part: You get a cardboard cutout with all the features of the remote that can be put exactly on top of the remote and be used simultaneously while flying – this is especially useful for the beginners that are not used to the controls yet and gives a piece of mind while you’re in the air.
Small details like this definitely add up and show that Altair really tries to put their users first and tries to help where possible. That’s a major pro in my book.
You get the standard battery life for an aircraft of this type and size – 8 to 10 minutes per charge.
However, Altair has thrown an extra battery in the package so you basically double your flight time immediately up to 20 minutes.
What you get in the box
Here’s everything you’ll find in the box of the Altair Aerial АА108 :
1 x Altair Aerial AA108 Drone Fully Assembled with 4 Propellers
2 x Batteries – 3.7v LiPo
1 x USB Charging Cable
1 x Memory Card Reader (Memory Card Not Included)
4 x Extra Propellers
1 x Prop Installation kit & screwdriver
1 x Direction book, written in natural / fluent English (major pro!)
Price and where to buy
Currently, the Altair AA108 is priced at $109.80 and could be purchased on Amazon.
As for all the International shoppers – visit Altair’s official website to purchase the drone from there.
Overall, the Altair Aerial АА108 shines in almost each of the categories it needs to – the camera is definitely good enough and it has FPV feed, the controls are simple and easy to use by virtually anyone due to the 3 flying modes, there is a one-touch takeoff/landing button, headless mode and altitude hold are also present, you can do custom route mapping, there’s low battery and out of range alarms – you name it, the drone has it.
There’s no way not to mention the extra battery, which doubles your flight time up to 18-20 minutes in total. I definitely dig that.
There aren’t many major issues worth mentioning in this section.
However, I have a few small pointers for Altair that could be used when upgrading the АА108 to a newer model. The drone doesn’t have integrated GPS, which from a safety standpoint could improve the overall flying experience, but will probably also add up to the final price.
Another small thing which I’d love to have in this drone is a dedicated photo/video button on the remote controller itself and maybe a customisable button where the user can select a favourite feature to turn on/off instantly. There are two buttons on each side of the remote controller which are non-functional so having them work for the user would be a great improvement.
Overall the АА108 is a great purchase for beginners, intermediates and even advanced flyers who are looking for a solid affordable quadcopter that can do it all.
The build quality, the extra battery, the ease of use and the great US customer service which Altair is known for definitely add up to overall great impressions I have from this quadcopter.
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Last update on 2018-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API