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Would you buy a H520 now?

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My simple question is, for those of you who use the H520 currently, if you had to replace it tomorrow, would you buy a new H520 now, and why or why not?

I've been reading a lot about the H520 here, thanks to everyone for sharing the info.

I'm waiting on my Part 107, test passed just waiting on the rest to go through and plotting on my next moves. I'm hoping to test the waters of providing drone services, I'm starting from scratch in that regard.

For more than a few years I've flown a Blade Chroma recreationally, Yuneec hardware as I'm sure some of you are familiar, CGO2 and a ST10+. So it's not without some bias I would look at Yuneec, my Chroma is flying to this day and has been reliable thus far, not without it's hickups but a solid aircraft that I've enjoyed owning. Given it's age and the amount of tech that has since come out, I'm not thinking it will be suitable for getting me started in a serious venture. I need something more suitable for commercial purposes.

What worries me most is support. The Chroma, and ST10 suffered a few mishaps and I was able to repair it easily myself buying parts, I was also able to upgrade the charger, find connection adapters, and such. That likely would not be the case now given it's age. I've heard from more than a few sources it's getting difficult to impossible to find supporting gear for the H520 already, and for the moment it seems to be the flagship model from Yuneec.

However, looking at a few sites (one of my go-to's is vertigo drones) it's looking pretty dim across the board trying to count on anything. DJI is having issues, other models that interest me are pending release, and there is just not a lot of mid-range serious drones that are not "toys" but are not $10k+ professional aircraft either.

Most info I find is from when the H520 was a fresh release. Complaints on things that may have since changed. Of course many claiming the DJI P4P is better in every way. Frankly I just haven't been able to get on the DJI bandwagon. The Mavic Pro looks practical, but I think the Autel Evo II catches my eye more.

There are a lot of things that tick the boxes for me about the H520. It's not top of the line but it's attainable financially for just getting started. It's capable of and if anything made for mapping, something I want to get started in and learn. I think it's capable of simple photo and video jobs I might want to take starting out. And IF a lot of the accessories I see now stay available, I might could build on it if my venture is successful and expand my range of services until such time I find it necessary to get into higher end aircraft.

Right now I think I would want it paired with the E90. With the FAA proposals and all, it looks like I should be hoping for it to be in service the next 3-5 years tops.

I would appreciate the input of those of you already invested in the model, actively buying parts and accessories and using it in it's current form. Thank you. :)
 
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Silence speaks volumes I guess in this case.

I'm going to take that as a big fat no and whoever did buy one is to ashamed to admit it.
 
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NorWiscPilot

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Silence speaks volumes I guess in this case.

I'm going to take that as a big fat no and whoever did buy one is to ashamed to admit it.
Sorry,

Not ashamed at all. Only issue I have is that I have not even touched its capabilities.

It is a pleasure to fly. Just not enough flights and "leg stretching" to weigh in, until now, figuring others with much more air time would jump in

Would I buy it again? If the project for which I originally made the purchase was still on the table, then yes, I would buy again. The H520 has the features I need for the project.

If I had not added the H520 to my equipment list, I would have likely jumped at the H Plus after reading the positive responses about it.

Hope this helps.

Jeff
 
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Thank you gentleman for the feedback. My previous comment was mostly tongue in cheek but I was beginning to think I had stumbled on a sore subject somehow.

In addition to mapping I'm thinking about approaching my local county emergency manager about potential drone needs locally. I know it may not necessarily be profitable, but it would be good experience and maybe I could do some good at the same time. I once bumped into him surveying tornado damage and we had a positive discussion on the subject. I was not Part 107 at the time and really wanted to be more help to him. That was a few years back, I hope he is still interested. The H520 appears to be targeted at that use case as well, which appeals to me.
 
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arruntus

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Silence speaks volumes I guess in this case.

I'm going to take that as a big fat no and whoever did buy one is to ashamed to admit it.
You really got it right. Another thing, is that although it is not by far what they sold us before going to market, it fits the needs of a few. It must also be said that we are more what we are not satisfied by far and many others who have already sold it bored of waiting. This is reality, pure and simple.
 
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Ty Pilot

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I don't have a 520 but I do have its younger twin brother, the H Plus and I am also a commercial operator doing primarily real estate photography. As I read your post several things popped into frame; and something you touched on but it bears repeating, getting a particular drone is one thing - getting the necessary gear and support for it is another. Simple things like charge leads that we used to have in abundance when the 480 was still around have since dried up for the 520 and Plus last time I looked; and spare parts are much the same.

I look at these aircraft as simple tools that carry a camera, just like the rest of the stuff we use - no different, and I think if we look at them in this manner we can make better decisions. If I have a specific need of a device to do a job then I can bore in on what 'specifically' I need that tool to do and I can eliminate all the things I 'don't' need it to do.

The 520 is good aircraft but I would make sure you can secure all the gear you will need to operate for the next year or so before purchasing it. I think it is a little over-priced given the current field of technology that exists. My Plus is still operating perfectly, the clients see it and the imagery it produces and are very satisfied and I suspect it will still be doing the job for some time. Batteries are becoming scarce and are still very expensive but we can get the job done in relatively quick fashion so a 12 or 14 minute flight time, is okay for us for now.
 
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Well I suppose it comes down to when you bought it, what you need from it, and the support you get in your territory.

We've owned an H520 & E90 for about a year and a quarter. I have to say my employers are very happy with it. We are in the UK and do a mix of video/stills and full topo surveys. The E90 isnt perfect but it still does a good job. I'd love to see an Leica L1 Pro camera with a leaf shutter for the H520, it'd allow me to cover more ground per survey flight, and achieve better stills in one swoop. If they ever bring out the RTK version then we might be interested.

In general the aircraft is fantastic, it handles really well no matter the weather. I really couldn't say the same of my former DJI bird even in the summer time. Software could be another story... surveying options are great. I managed a 7 battery mission last summer. Even through a few crashes on the controller, the aircraft and controller battery changes went well.

General POI software needs enhanced with flight planning ala Litchi using curved trajectories. Software also needs debugged better on the ST16s.

In the end we have engine redundancy, brilliant wind resistance, and a proper dedicated controller. I'm pretty happy. At this point I'm much more interested in what new cameras/payloads are available.

Would we buy again? Most likely.

I should note that we bought once the airframe was out for over a year. So we went in with our eyes wide open. Those who bought with the initial pre-release PR might feel a little let as Yuneec really oversold it initially.
 

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As the price is lower now, and there aren’t any undiscovered hidden software gems to cause new issues, the 520 is now a much better tool for the money spent.
 

NorWiscPilot

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As the price is lower now, and there aren’t any undiscovered hidden software gems to cause new issues, the 520 is now a much better tool for the money spent.
PatR,

May I ask where you have seen lower prices on the H529?

I just checked Yuneec USA and Vertigo... seem the same as I saw when released.

Thanks!

Jeff
 
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After mulling my goals and options, I just placed an order for a DJI Mavic 2 Pro. It's not exactly what I had in mind but I think it's the best option for me in the short term.

Thank you for the input, I haven't ruled out the H520 for the future but I think it would be in my best interest to hold off on it for now.

For one, the DJI is in stock, and accessories are in stock. I ordered from DJI to forego any risk of unverified vendors in the event of a warranty claim.

Out the door cost with accessories was about $2500. Roughly half of what I'd need to dump into a H520 to get a complete setup going. I also need a more robust computer for the kind of images and video I'll be able to collect, this way I can focus some of my initial investment toward that.

By all accounts it has a great camera, and my first jobs need to be relatively simple while I get adjusted and build experience. So I think it will perform accordingly for my just getting started phase. Keep it simple. The Mavic won't impress anyone with a commercial appearance, but it should do the job of a flying camera.

My understanding is it is capable of mapping, not ideal but capable, so I can still experiment with that. Heck I got a decent ortho map out of my Chroma and it has no GPS info in the EXIF data and I somehow got it to work with picnic plates as ground reference points. It was a hack but it proved I understand the basics.

I still would like an H520, but I think I'll wait a bit and see how things go for me and if it will suit my future needs. I'll add it to what I'm sure will become a selection of aircraft if I'm successful.
 

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I can tell you that the Mavic Pro 2 has a good camera and when properly set up rivals the C23 and E90. Moreover it gives the user far more capability to set things just the way you want it, which; is what many of us have been begging for - for almost 2 and a half years. It is a lot different that a Typhoon, as well as a lot smaller and the whole DJI experience is; as we all know, very different, but if you do everything by the book in the initial setup and updates - things will go smoothly. It does not have that professional 'presence' that we get from a Typhoon, but let the imagery speak for itself. ;)
 
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Definitely not ashamed to admit it here. If I were going to buy another drone right now to map with it would be an H520. it is proven to be much more versatile than the Phantom 4 Pro. Mavics and Matrices are not even considerations on opposite ends of the spectrum. The airframe size, motor redundancy, swappable cameras, wind tolerance, increased battery life and overall versatility outweighs anything that I have used and we have tried a lot under the $5k price range. I too am interested in the Autel Evo II, but that remains to be seen and even if it were available right now I would consider it a complementary drone to the H520 instead of a replacement. The one I currently use has over 600 maps on it and besides a few firmware glitches over the past couple of years it has been a workhorse. I have another sitting as a backup so we're set for a while.
 
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I too am interested in the Autel Evo II, but that remains to be seen and even if it were available right now I would consider it a complementary drone to the H520 instead of a replacement.
If it had been available I would have liked to check out the EVO II over the Mavic.

But like you say with the complimentary drone that is my idea with the Mavic. The H520 does not look highly portable and a friend helped remind me some odd jobs you might have to pack it somewhere.

My friend suggested I might could film a life event for a guy he knows, but the launch site is a 1 hour hike from parking! Yet to be seen if I do that but it did remind me having at least 1 drone I wouldn't mind lugging somewhere on foot isn't a bad idea.
 
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If it had been available I would have liked to check out the EVO II over the Mavic.

But like you say with the complimentary drone that is my idea with the Mavic. The H520 does not look highly portable and a friend helped remind me some odd jobs you might have to pack it somewhere.

My friend suggested I might could film a life event for a guy he knows, but the launch site is a 1 hour hike from parking! Yet to be seen if I do that but it did remind me having at least 1 drone I wouldn't mind lugging somewhere on foot isn't a bad idea.
That is the truth! My box is probably a little oversized with the amount of batteries and little gadgets I have in it, but it takes up half the back seat in my SUV. My Phantom box is similar though because I bought a custom "french fry" foam case to organize everything the way I like and not have to dismount any of my PPK setup so there's the other half. Someone needs to make a nice case with retractable AT tires!
 
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Almost forgot, I did see this one. Doesn't seem like you could carry a whole lot though, which may be appropriate.


Those look nice. Looks like they mitigate the hassle of carrying a big aircraft as much as possible.

With my Chroma I got lazy and didn't like to remove the legs and props, even camera. I added some bands to secure the gimbal inside its holder even more and would hang it by its landing legs upside down from a roof net in the back of my SUV. Then put a wide elastic band over the body that pressed it into the roof lightly so its weight was on its legs. Worked pretty well for vehicle transport without taking up space I used.

This is my controller and charging equipment in a harbor freight box.
 
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Those look nice. Looks like they mitigate the hassle of carrying a big aircraft as much as possible.

With my Chroma I got lazy and didn't like to remove the legs and props, even camera. I added some bands to secure the gimbal inside its holder even more and would hang it by its landing legs upside down from a roof net in the back of my SUV. Then put a wide elastic band over the body that pressed it into the roof lightly so its weight was on its legs. Worked pretty well for vehicle transport without taking up space I used.

This is my controller and charging equipment in a harbor freight box.
Nice. I don't have one yet, but this might be worth the $15 if you are hiking around. They do have parts as well.

 
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