Parrot has been involved with RC aircraft for nearly 10 years, bringing to market products such as the AR Drone, Beebop, and some smaller quadcopters.
The company’s newest release has incorporated all of its
innovations into a new fixed-wing aircraft—the Disco.
The Disco is a 45-inch wingspan flying wing constructed
from EPP (expanded polypropylene) foam that is targeted at
beginners and should all but ensure a successful experience.
During my testing at Parrot’s media event, I saw several
attendees who had never before piloted a fixed-wing aircraft
be largely successful at piloting the Disco. In fact, the
strategically placed trees that littered the golf course seemed to
provide the biggest obstacle to the novice pilots.
Fortunately, when the trees relinquished the occasional
aircraft, they were found to have survived without any
damage. The pilots, however, did have to endure a little good-
natured teasing from fellow attendees.
The Disco comes out of the box with three parts: the center
section and the two wing halves. Simply snap on the wings
and the aircraft is ready for flight. There are no connections for
servos and no screws to install, just a click and the wing halves
The Disco also does not have pushrods or clevises on the
outside of the aircraft, making it very sleek. The arming button
on the top of the Disco also works as the pitot tube to allow
for airspeed readings.
The Parrot Skycontroller 2 allows the pilot to connect his
or her smartphone (Android or iOS) with the FreeFlight Pro
software installed and mount the phone on the transmitter, or
inside the included Cockpitglasses, to get a First-Person View
(FPV) as well as flight data such as airspeed, altitude, and
location in relation to the pilot.
At the heart of the Disco is an advanced autopilot system
called Parrot C.H.U.C.K (Control Hub & Universal Computer
Kit). This device allows for auto takeoff and landing as well
as a return-to-home feature that flies the model back to your
location and simply flies a gentle circle at 150 feet of altitude
until you are ready to take over flight.
Auto takeoff requires the launch of the aircraft at
approximately a 45° angle similar to throwing a Frisbee. The
aircraft will climb to 150 feet without further input and then
fly a gentle circle, waiting for commands from the pilot.
Landings allow the pilot to fly the aircraft into the landing
pattern and depress the auto takeoff/land button and the
aircraft will do the rest. Pilots can still control the aircraft
during the auto landing.
A pilot looking to move beyond assisted flight will need
to add his or her own transmitter and receiver, which can
be connected directly to the Parrot C.H.U.C.K. This was
demonstrated using a Futaba 10J transmitter and the aerobatic
ability of the aircraft can be seen in the video.
I found the model easy and enjoyable to fly, both via line
of sight and FPV. FPV was flown with the help of a spotter.
I also really appreciate that the goggles can be worn over
I made several flights using a single battery and Parrot
reports that 45-minute flight times with the aircraft is normal.
As you might expect, photos and video can be taken while
in flight and the camera can be tilted for different angles. The
included 32GB internal flash memory ensures that you have
plenty of space to store your photos and videos.
The Disco includes the aircraft, Skycontroller 2,
Cockpitglasses, 2,700 mAh 3S LiPo, battery, and charger for a
retail price of $1,299.99.