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Yuneec dropped the ball........

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True if you live in the UK but I was addressing the US market. If Yuneec is on the way out then the supply of parts and service will certainly dry up there too.
I've said many times, " grab em' while you can" parts that is, hopefully things will change soon, but I don't hold my breath!
 
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Your English is fine, way better than my Dutch.

For the most part the EU has been better stocked than North America for parts. Prices for expendables in NA have gone up drastically in many cases. An example is the shrapnel for the arm latch system. They used to be $3 and now can only be found on eBay for $16 each. The worst part of that is the same part is used in the latest system the H3.

You should be a good source for the membership in the EU.
Please send me a mail and tell me what you need. Im happy to help you out where ever i can i have plenty of parts. my mail adres is [email protected]
I only do this to help and non commercial.
 
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I love all the attention this post has received. It proves to me that many others are seeing the same problems as I am.

I am not quite sure everyone understands my issues. So I want to explain it a little better.
When someone spends between 800-1800 (beginner level) on a drone they expect to get more than a year or even two years of service from it. Even if a drone is 3-5 years old, it shouldn't be left behind when it comes to support and parts. Some people save money for months or even years to make a purchase of something that costs way more than it's worth. I don't know about any of you but I have worked on many of the Q500 drones. The first one I ever opened up was an eye-opener for me. When I saw the tiny mainboard and the cheaply made ESC boards, I knew Yuneec was burning the market with a drone that had great features but used very cheap parts to build it.

Let's look at it this way. If you go out and buy a brand new car, you will pay on average 25-30 thousand dollars. Now, most people expect to keep this car for more than 5 years, some keep them for more than 10 years. What if this car manufacturer stopped supporting any and all updates to the car's computers and stopped making parts for this car after 2 years? I am sure most would be upset. Now I know, this is apples and oranges but it is the same concept.

Yuneec drops their support quickly, making it hard to find parts or updateable firmware with better features. Yuneec also worked really hard at keeping their customers from interchanging equipment so consumers wouldn't be able to buy the newer camera and use it with their older drone. The ST16 ground controller is a GREAT radio but you cannot use it with more than a couple of their drones and have all features working.

Had Yuneec focussed on parts and servicing of their drones, they could have made a LOT more money. In my younger days, I started out working as a line technician for Chrysler/Jeep. Car dealerships made tons of money from their 'after the sale' dedication by offering service plans and warranties. These service plans were made into small booklets and given to the customer as a maintenance program, as a way of keeping their customers loyal and happy. Later, dealerships were finding that 35-40 percent of their revenue was from their service departments.

Anyway, it is looking as if Yuneec is moving away from the US. So buying parts made get even tougher. I don't think this all lies on the shoulders of the drone manufacturers. The US government is worried that China is spying on us through everything China makes that contains a logic board. Go figure.........!

If any of you are looking at other drone companies, take a look at xFold drones.
 

PatR

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There are many things Yuneec could have done better, and until a couple years ago did much better than DJI. Until only recently Yuneec provided the best consumer drone gimbal on the market, and did so all the way back to the beginning of the Q-500/Chroma series of platforms.

OTOH, some people read far more into a consumer drone manufacturer’s responsibility than manufacturers have ever stated they would provide. The only “contract” you have with a drone manufacturer is with their End User License Agreement, or EULA. Most of them state they will repair or replace parts or systems under warranty if failures were due to defective parts or workmanship. None make any promises to continue parts and/or support for any period beyond warranty.

Automobiles and toy drones do not in any way share commonality, just as bicycles don’t share commonality with cars aside from being a personal means of transportation. Using such a comparison for an argument is like saying we should still be able to obtain factory new parts for a 25-30 year old Schwinn bicycle. Try buying parts and batteries for a Phantom 1 or 2, or even a Phantom 3. Search for Inspire 1 batteries and see how you do.

Drone makers design their business plan and marketing around planned obsolescence; they don’t want them to be used forever as doing so reduces the number of newer units that could have been sold. If anyone wants a stellar example of that they need only look at the number of models DJI has released over relatively short periods of time and the lack of compatibility with parts of different models.

Yuneec provided a “stable” platform with the H-480 over the course of 3 years. Longer than any other drone manufacturer aside from very expensive professional cinema rigs. The H-480 was released to retail sales in late May, 2016. It’s now April 2020 with parts becoming more difficult to find towards the latter third of 2019. Because we want something does not mean it should be available. Mature thinkers understand they can’t always get what they want.
 

Eagle's Eye Video

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Agreed...The simple facts are that the early period of the H 480 was in fact an anomaly... an unusual period of time that the owners of Yuneec attempted to diverge from the standard DJI business model. This was done with exemplary customer service, readily available parts and repair facilities, as well as a reasonable selection of 3rd party ancillary supplies... such as batteries, ND filters, strobes and holders, etc.


However as time went on and Yuneec saw the true cost of those attributes, they looked hard at what their competitor was doing. This decline really goes back as far as the introduction of the H Plus with those promises of interchangeability of payloads... as well as the shift to introducing what were once firmware fixes on the current platform, to "new" features on a future platform.

I am sure for a great many folks, the pullout of CS from the North American continent is the final nail in the coffin. Jeez, didn't your mother tell you the pullout method never works. 🙃

[The above post is my POV independently and does not represent any other entity, including but not limited to the YuneecPilots forum.]

<---------------------- Going to wash the legalese off my shoes now.
 

PatR

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Perhaps, but those I can almost empathize with are DJI owners. Where with the H-480 Yuneec provided a series of firmware upgrades that increased the capabilities of the original platform, DJI buyers from the P-1 all the way through the current Mavic systems have had to buy a new platform to obtain performance upgrades. Most of their firmware updates revolved around introducing flight restriction software and various modifications to that firmware to reduce a massive level of inaccuracies. There had also been significant attempts to re-code in a manner to prevent modification to the system parameters.

So Yuneec gave people things at no cost while DJI charged mightily for system upgrades while reducing use area flexibility. Understandably, once the H-480 was considered stable with no further expansion forthcoming they ceased making firmware changes. The platform had reached the stage where it was doing all it was intended to do, with few, if any, bugs remaining in the firmware.

As I said earlier, Yuneec could have done things better but it’s pretty clear a distributor bankruptcy had tremendous negative impact on their financing, which Yuneec tried to cover up with reorganization efforts. Once the effects of those cutbacks manifested in reductions in design, marketing, production, and C.S. staffing the only direction left open to them was down.
 
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OK, here is the bottom line.

If we want better drones, we will have to build them, code them, and update them ourselves. None of these Chinese drone manufacturers are going to do it. They just want our money, not our loyalty.
 
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Phaedrus

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OK, here is the bottom line.

If we want better drones, we will have to build them, code them, and update them ourselves. None of these Chinese drone manufacturers are going to do it. They just want our money, not our loyalty.

Then we need to source non-Chinese motors as well. That might a challenge. Neu motors, Leomotion, etc. might be (costly) alternatives.
 

PatR

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OK, here is the bottom line.

If we want better drones, we will have to build them, code them, and update them ourselves. None of these Chinese drone manufacturers are going to do it. They just want our money, not our loyalty.

You’re finally seeing the real picture. What makes the situation worse is those Chinese manufacturers are making and selling products at prices well under what they should be selling for. Companies over there are being underwritten by their government and funded to assure continued business while operating at a loss. Doing that helps assure trade deficits remain in China’s favor, with the inability of honest companies being able to compete a byproduct of the practice.

In all candor, me thinks when the current world situation is back on track the day of China drones will be over and we’ll accept we’ll be paying a lot more for domestically built products or simply not participate. It will take a little time for domestic drones to become available as nobody has had a reason to build and sell their stuff for a loss. Given a little time they will appear.
 
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It's my belief that the writing is on the wall. By the time, the powers that be, get done with their regulations, our ability to own and fly our aircraft, at an affordable price, will no longer exist. I think Yuneec and DJI see this also, hence, their getting out of the market. I look for them to produce aircraft that will meet all of the regulations, but they draned sure won't be affordable. At least not for me.
 

PatR

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Nothing lasts forever, with companies being no exception. We can look back at names like Sears, 3DR, and others that faded away after making bad business decisions.
 
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My wife says I have too many drones. She says I should join Drones Anonymous. I am going upstairs right now to straighten her out,as I now have a legit reason,besides an addiction.Keith C.
 
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PatR

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After the straightening out, hopefully you didn’t have another addiction you’ll have to quit cold turkey
 
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My wife says I have too many drones. She says I should join Drones Anonymous. I am going upstairs right now to straighten her out,as I now have a legit reason,besides an addiction.Keith C.
I assume you have a comfortable sofa downstairs, where you can cuddle up with your drones............
 

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