Key specs for the 75mm EMAX Tiny Hawk – 4 minutes flight time with a 1S battery. ‘Way more agility’ than other 1S whoops thanks to unique aero, custom propellors, ball-bearing brushless motors, F4 processor and ultrafast gyros. 35mph (claimed), half way between the 1S UR65 (20mph) and 2S Beta65X (52mph). Receiver compatible with Frsky. Bind-and-fly (BNF) version at launch with reports of a ready-to-fly package to follow. BNF Tiny Hawk priced at $99 from EMAX, Banggood and most regional distributors.
The Tiny Hawk was first showcased by EMAX at a drone race in San Diego, CA. Test flights of this early tune Tiny Hawk suggested a big step forwards over incumbent 1S whoops, with pilots reporting equivalent speed but ‘way more agility’. This is due in part to the inverted ‘push-prop’ design, which allows a lower centre of gravity. At 29g without battery, the Tiny Hawk is heavier than 65mm 1S whoops and more similar to 75mm 2S whoops (see below).
Test pilots stated the Tiny Hawk outperforms current 1S brushless whoops for racing, explaining that ‘even a 65s has too much power when you’re trying to rip it through a whoop track. The Tiny Hawk is more controllable, allowing you to get on the throttle harder without messing up‘ and it feels like a ‘locked-in stretched X to fly‘. Although the Tiny Hawk ‘feels heavy in the air‘ and ‘less suited to acro‘, it can ‘pull a reasonable looking power loop‘ and actually ‘pull out of stuff‘. In video flight reviews (below) Kabab FPV says the Tiny Hawk has ‘all the ingredients to become a widespread standard‘, Nick Burns finds a a great balance between accessibility for new pilots and serious race performance and Albert Kim reports a ‘near-indestructible‘ frame and declares the Tiny Hawk makes other 1S brushless whoops ‘obsolete’.
EMAX published a picture of a prototype Tiny Hawk in black (below) with a representative confirming that ‘we will have different colour frame options in the future‘ in addition to reports of a ready-to-fly package. For the time being you will have to make do with the white BNF Tiny Hawk.
Inverted propellors or push-props mean greater visibility and more thrust, since the struts no longer block fast moving air flowing off the propellors. However, this requires custom press-fit props which do away with screws. Beside the push-prop design, notable features include 15000kv ball bearing motors and a large 550mah battery. EMAX is hoping that with a $99 price point, the Tiny hawk can open up FPV racing to a wider audience. The Tiny Hawk will face competition from increasingly capable 1S and 2S brushless whoops.
Push-props open up new design possibilities – Robby Roels from Foam Drones has used inverted props to create the smallest race-drone yet, the 3D-printed ‘Minimus 45’ (pictured above) measuring just 45mm center-motor to center-motor diagonal (30% smaller than a Tiny Whoop). Robby has published the Minimus 45 design-file on Thingiverse and released a full presentation video (below) including flight footage (6:00 onwards) that shows the design handles well (the big metal hall slightly impairs the video quality).
Push props are not without complications. To run a push prop setup with your normal FC, you need to switch the motors (clockwise becomes counter-clockwise) and mount the propellors top first on the motors.
Can we expect an onslaught of push-proppers in the not so distant future? Back in January 17 Rotor X teased the futuristic ‘LOKII’ push-proper on Instagram (pictured above) with the message ‘A new drone is born, kicking and screaming into the world. A tiny drone like no other, one of the safest and most fun ever created!‘. A RotorX Facebook post also states the LOKII is ‘about 60 grams before battery and wheelbase in 85mm range‘ but we’re still waiting for launch. Surprisingly, the first production push-propper was launched way back in 2015, the Blade Nano QX 3D (pictured below). Leave a comment if you think any push-proppers have been missed!
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