REMEMBER: This is the COMPLETE Guide to DJI F550 Hexacopter! Photos, Videos and User Feedback INCLUDED! These Tips Helped Over 12,700 Readers of DRONEBLY!
The F550 Hexacopter, a.k.a. The Flame Wheel, is unlike any other product offered by DJI. While the company is best-known for its ready-to-fly copters, the F550 is a complete DIY hobbyist solution. Instead of getting a pre-assembled copter, you’ll receive the basic parts you need to construct your own customized hexacopter.
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DJI offers three different versions of the Flame Wheel: The F330, F450 and the F550. Only the F550 can be classified as a hexacopter. The F330 and the F450 are both quadcopters. While all versions offer the same parts, the design of the F550 is unique and allows for a more stabilized flight. It’s an excellent choice for aerial photography and videography, or just flying for fun.
DJI F550 a.k.a. The Flame Wheel Hexacopter Features
The DJI F550 gives DIY enthusiasts just about everything they need to build their own hexacopter from one of the most innovative drone manufacturers in the industry today. Here’s what the kit includes:
Extra Strong Materials
The copter’s frame arms are built with PA66+30GF, a highly durable material that can better withstand crashes. The frame plates use a strong PCB material that further helps with damage mitigation. The arms and frame plates are nothing spectacular as far as aesthetics are concerned, but it gets the job done – and it does it well.
PCB Wiring Integrated
The included PCB frame board makes it simple, safe and easy to wire ESCs and the battery.
Large Assembly Space
The design of the frame is optimized to give you ample room to attach an autopilot system.
Colored Frame Arms
DJI offers a variety of colored frame arms, so you can customize your copter to your liking. Choose from red, white or black.
A Hobbyist Solution
The F550 allows you to build your copter the way you want. Combine with the Naza-M control system, the H3-2D gimbal and the DT7 RC for a complete solution for hobbyists.
- Diagonal wheelbase: 550mm
- Frame weight: 478g
- Recommended motor: 22 x 12mm
- Recommended battery: 3S or 4S LiPo
- Recommended propeller size: 10 x 3.8in or 8 x 4.5in
A Detailed Look
The DJI F550 is, essentially, a barebones DIY kit for hobbyists. It provides you with the basics to help you build your own drone to your own specifications. However, it’s still designed with DJI parts in mind.
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The Flame Wheel can be used with either the Naza M V2 or the DJI WKM auto pilot systems to incorporate cruising, hovering, rolling maneuvers and many other flight elements.
When combined with the right elements, you can use your copter for aerial photography, FPV or just for fun.
DJI makes it easy to build the frames of the Flame Wheel. Shouldered bolts are used to hold the frame together, and these bolts pass through the convenient holes in the frame plates and the arms. You’ll need to use six bolts for each arm.
The large center plates make it very easy to build your copter. Thanks to the built-in PCB wiring, you can probably build your copter in less than two hours.
How to Build the F550 Hexacopter
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If you purchase the DJI F550 ARF kit, you’ll receive one frame, six motors, 16 propellers and six ESCs. As for hardware, you’ll receive both M2x8 and M2.5×5 screws as well as a set of power leads and a battery strap.
The propellers that you choose will largely depend on whether or not you use a three-cell or four-cell battery. You’ll want to use the 10-inch propellers for 3S batteries and the 8-inch propellers for 4S batteries.
In order to assemble the copter, you’ll need a soldering iron, solder and a flux. Thankfully, the PCB board is marked well, and the included instructions will tell you where the connections should be made.
It’s important to test each joint before moving on with the assembly process. The solder connections you make need to create a solid joint, or you’ll run into issues later on.
You’ll need to follow the included instructions for attaching the NAZA controller and the ESCs. Using the included screws, you can attach the legs of the copter to the bottom of the board where you made your soldering connections.
From here, you can plug the motor into the ESCs and mount the controller to the center of the bottom board. Remember to place the controller in the proper direction with the inputs in the rear.
Once you have your controller installed, you can download the latest version of the DJI software and firmware from the company’s website. If everything is working correctly, you can mount the battery and the GPS. Before you do this, check to make sure that your propellers are moving in the appropriate direction.
Depending on the controller you install, mounting the GPS may be a complicated task. You’ll need to read the manual that comes with your controller before trying to mount your GPS.
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Once everything is in place, you can calibrate the compass and get ready for your first flight.
In addition to the GPS and controller, you can also implement DJI’s Bluetooth datalink and a gimbal. A camera can be mounted on the gimbal (most are compatible with GoPro cameras) to take photos and videos of your flight. While there’s no paper instruction manual included with the DJI F550, you can download the copter’s manual from the company’s website.
Fabulous User Video
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What Users Are Saying
Overall, users love this hexacopter. Considering it’s a barebones kit, there’s not much to complain about. The frame and legs are highly durable and can better withstand crashes. The wired PCB board makes assembly very easy, and the digital instruction manual makes it easy to build your copter.
The F550 is not for everyone. If you’re looking for a copter that’s ready to fly out of the box, this is not for you. However, if you’re looking for a complete DIY hobbyist solution, the DJI F550 is a great choice. When combined with the right parts, you can build a copter that rivals the Phantom 2 using this kit.