Fast ship? You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon? It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. Sure, this quadcopter version is smaller, but it’s still got some spunk. For $120, this drone has some of the fun and excitement of the movies, but it is awkward to fly and lasts just 5 minutes on a charge. If you want the Millennium Falcon, get this. But if you want a drone that you can fly with less hassle, get a better drone, like one of the $99 Parrot Minidrones.
Credit: Richard BaguleyShe may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid. The lightweight foam hull and the four quadcopter rotors in the main body look enough like the original Millennium Falcon that Star Wars fans will be giddy with excitement. The overall design is pretty tough, and you’ll need that, because this drone is very prone to crashing.
Credit: Richard BaguleyAt the back is a blue LED panel that makes it seem like this toy is capable of hyperdrive (it’s not). There are also a few LEDs on the front. The batteries for the quadcopter are sealed inside the foam body; you can’t open it and replace them.
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Safety? Sure, it’s safe. The hull is foam, and the rotors are shielded, so they won’t take your fingers off.
Credit: Richard BaguleyThe Millennium Falcon drone is pretty lightweight, at just 2.33 ounces, which means you won’t have to register it with the FAA. At about 9.5 inches long, this vehicle is bigger than most toy drones, though, and is a tad heavier. The Parrot Minidrone Airborne Cargo, for instance, is just 7 inches long and weighs just 2.2 ounces.
Flight Time: 5 minutes
Smartphone Controlled: No
Rotors: 4 ducted, nonreplaceable, 1.2 inch diameter
Battery Size: 140 mAh Li-ion (quadcopter), 6 AA (remote)
Size: 9.5 x 7 X 1.5 inches
Weight: 2.33 ounces
Complete with the required Star Wars branding, the controller is a fairly standard model, with a few control buttons and two control sticks. Hit the green button in the middle to start it up, then push the left stick forward for throttle, and left and right to rotate. Push the right stick forward to go, well, forward, and left and right to go left and right.
Credit: Richard BaguleyThose shoulder buttons? The right one will trigger the hyperdrive effect, while the left one makes a load of noises: blasters, R2-D2 bleeping, that kind of thing. It’s a good job you can turn those noises off with the switch on the front, though, because they are kind of annoying. That’s especially true as the noises like the blaster sound come from the controller, not the quadcopter itself. This controller is good to about 40 feet away, which is acceptable for a toy drone like this.
The Air Hogs Millennium Falcon is pretty speedy, but it corners like a star destroyer. It isn’t well-balanced, and there is no way to trim the controls to adjust for it. The quadcopter easily tips over if you bump into something or turn too fast, making it very difficult to fly.
Credit: Richard Baguley
Treat it gently, and this ship will fly straight and true, hovering, banking and spinning nicely enough to navigate an asteroid field like a smuggler with a Hutt on his tail. But there are no stunts pre-programmed. Slight breezes are also a problem, especially if they tip the drone over.
Like Han Solo, you’ll be praying this bucket of bolts holds together. Because if you break something, it ain’t getting fixed. That’s because none of the parts are replaceable, including the batteries and rotor blades.
The battery on this ship is only good for 5 or 6 minutes; that’s the shortest we have seen on a drone. Other toy drones, like the Parrot Minidrone Airborne Cargo last up to 10 minutes.
Once the batteries are dead, you’ll need to plug the drone into the controller, and plug that into a USB port for a good 20 minutes until that red light on the controller stops blinking. There is no way to swap out the batteries, and the controller needs six AA batteries.
It’s true this Millennium Falcon toy is not particularly fancy and doesn’t have a camera. But it can be fun to fly if you have a gentle touch. And it can make enough noises to scare a womp rat out of hiding. At $120, it is more expensive than better drones like the Parrot Minidrone Airborne Cargo. So if you’re more interested in flying a drone than pretending to be Han Solo, this isn’t the droid you’re looking for. But for some Star Wars nostalgic fun, fans will get a kick out of it.