The RTF Y6 Multicopter is a beast of a drone. Created by the genius minds at 3D Robotics, the industry leader in UAV technology, it’s the top choice for aerial photography, surveying, and public safety applications. If you’re willing to dish out $1,350, it’s one of the best stock drones you can buy for the money.
So what’s so special about the 3D Robotics RTF Y6 Multicopter? We take a thorough look at the craft below. If you’re interested in buying the Y6, our in-depth review is a must read.
Y6 Multicopter Overview
The 3DR RTF Y6 Multicopter utilizes 6 powerful motors on 3 Y-shaped arms. This unique configuration provides unmatched performance. The design provides enough lift, acceleration, and stability to carry remarkably heavy loads.
In fact, the Y6 is designed, in part, for advanced aerial photography. The craft can carry a GoPro camera and camera gimbal without a hitch. You can even throw on extra-large battery packs to increase flight time. That’s not something your everyday drone is capable of doing.
Despite its robust design, the Y6 is a lightweight multicopter. It employs advanced technologies and materials to save weight without sacrificing performance. The drone even manages to pack in multiple top-notch features.
The top specs to keep in mind when considering the 3D Robotics Y6 include:
- Ready to fly right out of the box
- Option packages offered at additional cost
- Replacement parts kit
- Telemetry frequency
- GoPro Hero3 camera
- Weighs roughly 4.2 pounds (without battery)
- Pixhawk autopilot system
- GPS navigation
- ST Microelectronics processor and sensor
- Multiple autonomous flight modes (waypoint navigation, loiter, circle, return to launch)
- Long landing gear for extra clearance
- Expanded battery layout for additional batteries
- 850 Kv brushless motors
- 10×4.7 slow-fly APC propellers
- Included mission-planning software
Y6 Multicopter Features
Let’s take a look at a few of the Y6's top features in more detail to see what they’re all about:
A remote control is used to control the Y6. The controller’s design is simple and straightforward with two joysticks and a multitude of buttons.
The buttons allow you to toggle through a variety of flight modes (discussed in detail below). We found that loiter mode is best for learning to safely fly the craft.
It’s easy to mount your own GoPro camera to the Y6. You can even opt to pay additional money upfront and 3D Robotics will include such a camera. A gimbal can also be added for improved camera stability.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t attempt to FPV fly this multicopter with your GoPro camera.
The combination of the GoPro’s quality (plus wide angle lens) and smoothness provided by the gimbal can contribute to the illusion of more clearance than you actually have. FPV enthusiasts should stick to using the built-in camera.
As mentioned above, the Y6 comes with a built-in FPV camera. It syncs to your remote control LCD screen (or other device) to help you fly the multicopter.
Though the quality isn’t as good as an aftermarket camera, it more than does the job for FPV flying. It also makes lining up shots for your additional GoPro camera much easier.
The Y6 Multicopter includes 5 special flight modes plus a safety switch. The safety switch simply eliminates runaways and false takeoffs. The flight modes include:
No autopilot. Full manual control of altitude, position, and orientation. Best for acrobatic flying.
Autopilot controls altitude, position, and orientation. Release sticks to let hover in place. Perfect for beginners.
Altitude Hold Mode
Automatically hovers at current altitude.
Return to Launch
Automatically returns your craft to its launch point, hovering briefly before landing.
Preprogram a fully autonomous mission with the included mission-planning software.
The battery itself can power the drone for roughly 10 to 15 minutes of flight time. The spacious battery layout and powerful motors allows the craft to carry several extra batteries for increased flight time.
Y6 Multicopter Accessories
A huge benefit of the 3D Robotics RTF Y6 Multicopter is its customizability. There are a lot of special options and features you can select for this craft.
Chief among them are a replacement kit, different telemetry frequencies, and an included GoPro Hero3 camera. Additional batteries (or more robust single batteries) are other popular accessories.
There are also a lot of DIY options for the Y6. 3D Robotics even offers a DIY version of the drone for those that want to customize it to their exact preferences right from the get-go.
Using the Y6 Multicopter
The Y6 Multicopter’s menacing design makes it look difficult to use. And it certainly isn’t for the faint of heart.
The craft is incredibly nimble and powerful. When used in stabilize mode (non-GPS), you’re sure to experience a rush. It’s best to get comfortable with the craft in loiter mode first. Even expert drone pilots should get used to the craft in loiter mode and altitude mode before attempting to use stabilize mode for the first time.
The difficulty of stabilize mode lies in the craft’s responsiveness. It's incredibly responsive, so it takes a nimble touch on the joystick to fly the Y6 without jerky movements.
Is the Y6 Multicopter Right for You?
There’s a reason the Y6 Multicopter is the top choice for professional surveyors, public safety agencies, and aerial photographers. And that reason is that it’s the best of the best.
The pros of the Y6 Multicopter include:
- Folds down for increased portability
- Powerful enough to carry GoPro and extra batteries
- Incredibly nimble for the utmost in performance
- Stable design for clearer photos and video
- Numerous flight modes, including fully autonomous planned missions
The cons include:
- Very expensive ($1,350)
- Steep learning curve
The 3D Robotics RTF Y6 Multicopter is the perfect drone for those interested in professional quality aerial photography. The craft is among the best in its class right out of the box and can be customized to further suit your needs and preferences.