When the Emax Babyhawk launched years ago, the micro landscape was different. You had a collection of brushed micros from Eachine that flew ok, but not very reliable. Or you could cobble your own together if you really had the tenacity to stay with a micro build back in a time where brushless micros were still a pipe dream.
But how does it hold up today? Now that prices have fallen, you can pick up a Babyhawk for a fraction of a modern micro drone.
(Babyhawk for only $67) So is it worth exploring?
Whats in the box?
The babyhawk itself, an extra set of props, strap and a few other things. Emax packaging is amazing as always, and they were some of the pioneers of making quadcopter packaging look like really nicely packaged consumer goods. It’s was listed in our micro fpv quad guide when released.
This is what of the weak points of the original Babyhawk according to many. I myself ran mine for many months without issue, I did manage to crack one of the prop guards after many many dozens of packs, but a little super glue fixed it good as new. There are a variety of upgrade frame options from carbon fiber to aluminum. NOTE: The Babyhawk is not a great transfer option to any other standard micro frame because it uses individual ESC’s and not a 4 in 1 like most modern micros. So note that when shopping for an upgrade frame.
The Babyhawk uses the femto nano FC. Its nice and very tiny, and if you use an XM+ it can actually mount right onto the pins that come installed on the FC of the Babyhawk making initial setup a breeze. One note is that this tiny Flight controller has no mounting solution, it floats attached to some double sided tape, which once it gives out can cause the FC to jitter around inside the frame, and cause lots of oscillations in your flight. The flight controller just doesn’t know how to react to being jostled around. I solved this easily with a tiny bit of foam on top of the FC to hold it in place snugly without adding any real additional weight.
VTX (Video Transmitter)
Standard affair with a read out behind the camera, it is a one piece with the camera and pinned together to communicate as a stand alone unit.
The included camera is not very good, and it wasn’t good even by the standards of the day. This is likely most peoples biggest complaint, but it is still serviceable and the Field of View is plenty good for flying indoor (if you are VERY careful, on a 2s pack), or ripping fast outdoors on 2 or 3s.
This can accommodate most modern receivers, I have used the Flysky FSA8S micro receiver, and the FRskyxm+. The xm+ is easier to mount directly onto the pins as mentioned above so this is the recommended option.
Emax branded but unlabeled 1104 motors are nice, powerful, and revolutionary for the time. They allow you to reach speeds of up to 43 miles per hour with the small inexpensive craft. An impressive feat. One note: the Prop mounting is a proprietary measurement so you are limited to using Babyhawk, Emax branded props.
The antenna is serviceable as a dipole and I found it plenty good for flying around a park or football stadium.
It could be considered a downside that the Babyhawk has to run Emax proprietary props. But the good part is they are GREAT! They are both durable and powerful and the small 2” bullnose design really helps make this quad a tiny powerhouse while remaining very strong so that replacement is rarely needed.
Recommended is 2s 300-800, or a 3s 300-550mah.
Initial setup is easy especially if you use an Xm+, just setup your modes in Betaflight and off you go.
Is impressive for this class and price point. It is not as unique as it was at the time but it can still hold its own, and the durability is likely as good or better than anything offered today. I once saw a speed run on another Youtubers channel that clocked the Babyhawk at 43-44 miles per hour. This is about the same speed as a current day Mobula7.
The Babyhawk is still a good buy at this new lower price point. Its about the cheapest quad you can get in the air with and still flys well. If you want something to put around with at a family reunion or park without worrying about crashing into people. If you want to buy someone a cheap quad to get started with, if you want a quad you can let a friend, a kid or someone fly without risking your $500 Smooth Operator build, this is the ticket.
Emax is often overlooked on their ability to innovate and create game and class changing products that form an entire market segment. The Babyhawk is and was one of those transformative products who echoes are lasting to today with their current powerhouse the Tinyhawk.
I had a great time going back to my FPV roots with one of these, and was shocked at just how ahead of its time it was, and how much lasting power this little quad that took the community by storm still has.