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Ehang Ghost

Ehang Ghost

 App control makes this drone a standout
Designed to be controlled from any smartphone or tablet, the Ehang Ghost is far less intimidating for the first-time drone driver than your typical quadcopter. Push-button takeoffs, landings, and flight-path control are just some of the features the Ghost’s easy-to-download and easy-to-use app offers. With a video-game feel, the app and smartphone format makes the Ghost is easy to operate.

The Ghost is constructed of a form of molded plastic that Ehang refers to as “intensified compound.” This material appears to be resilient and should hold up over time. All of the bits and pieces fit together nicely, and it is apparent the Ehang put great consideration into the design of
the Ghost.

Given the video game feel of the app and the ease of use from a smartphone, I would recommend this drone for even the least experienced beginner. Ease of use combined with intuitive control and little to no assembly time is a recipe for success.

SPECIFICATIONS
Name: Ghost
Manufacturer: Ehang
Distributor: Hobbico (hobbico.com)
Type: Quadcopter camera drone
Size: 360mm
Weight: 23 oz.
Motors: Ehang brushless (installed)
Battery: 3-cell 5400mAh LiPo (included)
Speed controls: Installed
Flight controller: Installed
Props: Four 3-blade 8045 (installed)
Radio: Smartphone or tablet w/ included G-Box and App (required)
Price: $749.99

WE LIKE
+ Easy to build
+ Push-button takeoff and landing
+ Point-to-point flight control
+ Durable

HIGHLIGHTS
Constructed out of molded plastic, the Ghost is resilient and should hold up well over time. The Ghost comes ready to fly, even the propellers come installed. Just add the prop guards, the included gimbal, and the extended landing gear, and you’re ready to go. Everything is well designed and fits together nicely.

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Everything is easily accessible via the well-thought-out hatches in the bottom of the Ghost.

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The gimbal works perfectly with either a GoPro-type sport camera or the optional Ehang camera.

I did make some minor modifications to the gimbal to keep the wiring neat. I used a stepped drill bit to drill a hole in the access door so that I could pass the wires through. I added a rubber grommet to the hole to protect the wires from chafing on any sharp edges that were left. This makes a neat, maintenance-free setup. Also worth noting is the lack of mention of the circuit board that is in line with the gimbal connections. When I first assembled the Ghost, I left this dangling, but it made for a messy installation and it was difficult to get the battery in its compartment. After studying the Ghost on the bench, I noticed that the circuit board had two holes that were spaced the same distance as the standoffs for the gimbal. I attached the board to the standoffs and made my door modification. The result is a clean and professional-looking installation.

ios

The G-Box interfaces with your smartphone or tablet and relays control inputs to the Ghost.

ANDROID VS. IOS
You have the option of either iOS or Android compatibility. The only difference is the protocol that the G-Box uses to communicate to the controller device. The G-Box specific to iOS uses Wi-Fi to communicate with your Apple device, whether it is an iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod. The Wi-Fi password is in the instruction manual, and the connection is straightforward. When connecting to a G-Box for Android devices, you will be using a Bluetooth con­nection, which connects to the G-Box just like using a Bluetooth headset. Regardless of the type of device you use, it is recommended that you keep the G-Box as close as possible to
your device.

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AERIAL RECAP
The Ghost can be flown pretty much anywhere. I did my initial flights at a local park with no issues whatsoever. With the gimbal and camera installed, you will want to be on a semismooth surface, like low-cut grass, to allow for camera clearance.

The Ghost is very stable. Once you “unlock” the drone and press the takeoff button, it will climb to about 30 feet, where it will then wait for additional control inputs. All my pilot inputs were executed smoothly, and the Ghost always stayed under complete control. A nice feature is that when you take your fingers off the control screen, the Ghost will return to a hover and wait for new inputs.

The Ghost’s point-to-point flight feature is impressive. While flying, your position as well as the Ghost’s position are overlaid on top of a Google Maps image. Simply click two or more points on the map, and the Ghost will autonomously fly to those points and then back home.

The Ghost is a camera ship, and as such, it does a good job here. Flight controls are almost childproof, and they make flying very enjoyable. The gimbal does a good job making in-flight video look smooth and easy to view.

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The included optional prop guards can be used to keep the props from damaging anything with which the Ghost might come in contact during flight.

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The included motors and 3-blade props provide plenty of lifting power and are
color coded.

LAST WORD
The most time-consuming part of getting the Ghost from box to air is the charging of the battery. You can easily have all of the assembly work done before the battery is fully charged. Flying of the Ghost is about as easy as it gets.

By Jason Benson Photos by John Reid

 
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