Part quadcopter, part plane, Parrot’s Swing minidrone is an aerial enigma

For drone maker Parrot, X marks the newest spot. That is to say, the newest minidrone to come out of the French company is the Parrot Swing, a sort of hybrid quadcopter that combines vertical take-off with horizontal flight. It’s the latest in ongoing attempts to bring together quadcopters and fixed-wing drones, but this one is notable for its particularly small size, and its X-wing configuration.

Unveiled at a recent press conference in Paris, the Parrot Swing was described by CEO Henri Seydoux as a backyard-friendly unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). So whether you’re a drone enthusiast or a child, you should be able to man this drone. While many minidrones tend to be a bit tougher to control, Seydoux said, “I can even pilot it myself. I can ride a bike, but I can’t even rollerblade just so you know my level.”

Controlled by a Bluetooth gamepad that comes with the drone, your phone serves as your screen, and you’ll remain connected to the Swing within a 300 foot radius. While you’ll only get around eight minutes of flight time on a full charge, it only takes 30 minutes to rejuice the battery. So if you’re willing to play a bit of stop and go, you can stay entertained for quite some time.

“In quadcopter mode, Parrot Swing piloting is so simple that even if you let go of the controls, it maintains surprising stability,” Parrot promises on its website. Boasting various “air acrobatics” that are pre-programmed into the Swing, Parrot notes that the maneuvers you’ll be able to make with this minidrone “are worthy of those performed by the best pilots in the world.”

“It’s much more enjoyable to fly this drone than a quadcopter,” Seydoux said at its unveiling. “It speaks to your imagination.”

And at around $155, it’s a pretty accessible piece of your imagination, too.

Parrot USA

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