DJI Phantom FC40 Review

Manufacturer: DJI
Product: Phantom FC40

Okay, so this is an old product. But, it is a great way to start learning to fly a UAV. It is simple, you can pick them up second hand for a reasonable amount of hard earned cash, and you really will not have to worry about it.

I bought mine of Ebay at the beginning of the year. It came with a case, a few batteries, charger, remote control, quadcopter itself and a few spare rotors and tool kit and a hard case.

The first thing you notice about the Phantom FC40 is how light it is. Even with a GoPro mounted on it and a battery inserted it comes in at just under 1200 grams.

Although the FC40 comes with it’s own camera, I decided to mount a GoPro Heroe3 on it as this is of a higher and more versatile capabilty than that of the FC40’s.


Starting up for take off is quite a simple procedure. Turn on the remote control, insert the battery into the Phantom, connect it’s plugs and shut the battery cover.

Now just wait for the rear light to start flashing steady green. Prior to any flying and as this was the first time I flew this machine, quickly flick the GPS/ATTI switch (S1) up and down six or so times, then you should be able to calibrate the compass by turning the Phantom 360 degrees clockwise and then holding it vertically and turning it another 360 degrees clockwise. This basically sets the compass to your location.

There is a large clip you can attach to the remote control to hold your smartphone so you can control the GoPro.

With the compass set, it’s really time to fly. Ensuring the S1 switch is in GPS mode slowly pull the left and right sticks down to opposite bottom corners and the rotors kick into life. Release the sticks to their central location. Then push the left hand stick up and the rotors start to go mad and up it goes.

That’s it really. Once the FC40 is up it’s really easy to control with GPS mode. Up, down, left, right – all on the left hand stick. Forward, backward and sideways all controlled with the right stick. If you panic, just let the stick go and hey presto, it hovers where it is.

Fly around, take some video and pictures, it really is that easy. For an introduction to flying these are really good machines to play with. You can be reasonably confident that should you experience a heavy landing, or a tree confrontation, your Phantom is going to survive as long as it has a softish landing!

Product overall view

Great kit for learning and playing around with. For an introduction to the world of UAVs it is definitely worth considering. Product details and specs are still available from DJI.

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