Traxxas Aton Review for 2018
If you know Traxxas for their RCs, chances are you’re a big fan of their products. RC cars and trucks may be their specialty, but Traxxas can be as versatile as the quality machines they build. A few years ago they tried something new with the LaTrax Alias – a 235mm quad designed for beginners.
Now they’ve stepped things up quite a bit with the Aton Quadcopter!
Whether you’re new to drones or a seasoned flyer, the Quadcopter might be perfect for you! Own the sky with a drone made for durability and non-stop flight action.
Still not convinced? Don’t worry; we’re going to get into the core features.
Specs and Features
These days when you’re getting into new models, you’ll find there isn’t much need for prepping. The same goes for the Quadcopter. The propellers are bolted on from the jump, and you even get an extra set for the heck of it.
Go ahead and remove each propeller and check them! You’ll find their fresh out the factory with optimum balance. Traxxas even includes a T-handle Allen wrench for the propeller bolts. This wrench works well with all the other bolts and screws on the Aton as well.
A lot of these bad boys come with a guide and for a good reason. Reading through this guide is just as important as a physical prep. This helps you with understanding all the features and also mastering how the product operates.
Every manufacturer takes a different approach to how their products work — so it’s super important that you understand what every switch on the transmitter does.
The Aton Quadcopter comes with a color printed start guide that looks pretty neat. There’s also a more comprehensive manual if you’re interested.
The frame of the Aton Quadcopter is made of molded plastic. Even though the complete model comes only in stock red with the black and white — you can purchase other frame parts in various hues; from orange to blue and green.
Don’t stop there! Make your Quadcopter unique by mixing and matching parts!
The Aton’s frame holds all the electronics. You’re able to access most components by simply removing the main canopy. If you’re not the type to want the hassle, then it’s your lucky day. The canopy is fastened with two screws. Remove those bad boys, and you’re good to go.
The GPS module is cleverly located on the top of the spoiler to protect it from RF noise.
If you’re familiar with the radio that comes with the LaTrax Alias — then you’ve already met this one. They’re practically twins! Both are also smaller than a standard transmitter.
The LaTrax and Aton’s radios may be similar — but they’re not COMPLETELY the same. The Aton’s version features more buttons to accommodate the features of the latest model.
A good amount of Traxxas surface vehicles uses LiPo packs like the 3S-3000mAh and 3S-5000mAh. The Aton Quadcopter is far from a surface vehicle, but this is one thing they have in common. This means that batteries are bit more economical for those who want to take this bad boy for a flight.
Here’s where things get really interesting. The Aton comes with three programmable modes for you to choose from: Film, Sport, and Expert. Let’s break down each mode and how they complement the Aton Quadcopter.
Film mode offers a more laid back experience. If you’re a newbie pilot, this is probably the mode for you. It offers more control and gives you a chance to develop your skills. What’s cool about flight mode is that it has two purposes. Not only does it cater to new pilots, but it’s also suitable for capturing video footage!
Sport mode steps things up a bit. If you’re looking for more tilt limits and yaw response — you should probably switch to Sport mode. What you’ll have is a quad with more speed and sharp control. What’s more, the Aton still self-levels even after you release the controls.
You’re getting more intense flight-action, more versatility, and you don’t have to sacrifice safety to get it!
We shouldn’t forget the transmitter’s automatic flip button. This throws some flips and rolls into the Aton’s bag of tricks.
Here’s what sets the Aton Quadcopter apart from the competition. This can also be called a ‘rate mode’ setting. What does this mean?
Movements of the control stick are linked with the rotation of the quad around the particular axis. For instance, if you hold the control all the way forward, the quad will execute forward flips until you tell it otherwise.
This makes for a very different experience from film and Sport mode, where the stick movements are restricted to the bank angle programmed for each respective mode.
Flying Expert mode may be a bit intimidating for some pilots who are just starting out. But it does come with some gratification, in that it allows you to have more control over the quad and fully immerse yourself in the experience.
It goes without saying — most quad racers are flown in Expert mode.
Overcome the Fear
If you’re a newbie pilot and you’re afraid to fly in Expert mode — don’t feel too bad. The Air Brakes function was put in place for situations like these.
How does this work?
Let’s say you’re flying Expert mode, and something goes wrong, and you’re losing it. The Air Brakes allows the quad to hover stably while you gather yourself. Even better, the quad will ignore all other commands so long as the Air Brakes function is in effect.
While the Air Brakes isn’t specific to Expert mode — they just might make the perfect match.
Setting up the Aton for your first flight will be a cinch. Once you see those green LED lights on the rear, you know it’s time for action!
If you’ve seen videos of this bad boy being put to work, you’ll notice that Film mode is pretty docile. That being said, a beginner may not have the worst experience with this product — so long as they stick to Film mode at first.
Flying in Sport mode is a whole new experience. You’ll be surprised to see how crazy this little guy can get. Once you push the nose over, your quad will be bursting with speed!
The difference in Film and Sport mode is so vast; it may take some getting used to for newbies. If that’s the case for you, simply use the app to tone down Sport mode a bit. No shame in taking it a step at a time.
Once you get really comfortable, you can play with the yaw response and other features to get the drone to suit your flying style.
With Rate mode, the performance is through the roof. The only thing to limit you is your own confidence and how far you’re willing (or not) to go. The Aton Quadcopter has got power and agility down to a tee. The range in performance (from Film mode to expert) is so great; you won’t believe you’re flying the same quad.
Before we get into the pros and cons, let’s talk numbers. Here are some specifics regarding the Aton Quadcopter:
- Height – 3.70””
- Height with landing gear – 8.57””
- Width – 18.57””
- Blade Circle – 22.83””
- Rotor Diameter – 8.7””
- Rotor Center Distance (Diagonal) – 14.57””
- Rotor Hub Distance (Vertical) – 10.30””
- Flight Weight with Battery – 30.33 oz
Got all that? Great. Now for the good and bad stuff:
- Unlike some companies that release new models that have no compatibility with old models, Traxxas took a different approach with the Quadcopter. The plan is to give the product some longevity by expanding its capabilities. Which means – lots of upgrades and repairs.
- The Quadcopter has a decent range of flight modes, which means it’s got a little something for everyone. If you want to take it slow and build your skills, it’s got you covered. If you’re trying to go all out and crazy like the pro you are — jump straight into Expert mode.
- If you feel like going with Film mode for shooting purposes — attaching the gimbal is a smooth process. Simply screw on the stilt-like landing gear to provide sufficient clearance for the camera. Some users say the process takes them a little over two minutes!
Not going to lie, I had to scour the four corners of the internet, take a flight to Tibet, and meditate with the Dali Lama in order to come up with one flaw that this product has. The truth is, I still came up short, but here’s what you should know:
Getting decent footage might be a somewhat grueling process. This may depend on heavily upon the sort of camera you’re attaching to the drone. It may also depend a lot on how technical you’re willing to get. Some users don’t experience this issue. So while it’s something to make a note of, this con is more or less anecdotal.
Overall, choosing to go with the Quadcopter from Traxxas isn’t a bad idea. In fact, it’s such a good idea; the biggest issue will be making enough free time to fly this baby around.
Getting decent footage may take some getting used to for some users, but it’s hardly a reason to miss out on this great product. If you’re into flying, whether you’re a pro or a newbie, Traxxas has got something special for you.