The Dromida Ominus RTF Quadcopter Review
Dromida is a RC vehicle maker that actually makes RC cars for the most part, but have now entered the quadcopter market, which I guess is easier to do than getting into mechanically-complex RC helicopters.
It’s hard not to draw comparisons between the Ominus and the LaTrax Alias. Both are about the same size, both come from RC car makers who are pretty well-established, and both claim to be basically unbreakable.
The Ominus has the distinct advantage of being significantly cheaper, however. Clearly these two are going to trade blows. Be sure to also look at my review of the LaTrax Alias, but first let’s look at what the Ominus has to offer.
Dromida has gone for a real predatory design when it comes to the Ominus. I mean, it’s in the name as well. This is CIA-style black ops styling. You can’t deny that the Ominus looks pretty great.
I’m a bit split between this and the Alias. The Alias looks like someone modified an offroad RC canopy, but it works great. The Ominus looks purely like a Sci-Fi aircraft. Tough call. I like both, but maybe I like this one just a smidge more.
Like the Alias, the Ominus also has a split two-tone color scheme. There are a number of colors available, all offset against black. This makes it easy to see where the drone is facing.
There are also ample LED lights, including ones in the motor booms. For night flying the Ominus is at least equal to the Alias.
The box is pretty much as you’d expect in terms of contents. Apart from the Ominus itself there are batteries for everything (including the TX), the TX itself, a USB charger, and some spare rotor blades.
A Tough Guy Eh?
Ominus also claims, like LaTrax, that their quadcopter can take a real beating. Now quadcopters in general are pretty robust compared to, for example, RC helicopters. They are mechanically simple and really can crash quite badly while only perhaps needing a spare blade.
Older generations of quads have basically been some metal booms stuck into a central plastic frame, but advances in design and materials have now given us these strong, light, and flexible frames that can bend without breaking.
I haven’t been able to find a torture test video for the Ominus like the one that LaTrax published for the Alias, but people who have bought it agree that it can take a punch.
One very interesting engineering feature comes in the form of the way that the motors drive the rotors.
One common form of damage quadcopters encounter is when something (like the ground) obstructs the rotor. The rotors are usually directly driven by the motor shaft, and if you don’t cut the throttle quickly enough you can burn out the motor and electronic speed controller. This means that you have to buy and fit new ones.
In the gearing system for Ominus, if there is any resistance on the rotor, the motor can disengage from it. That’s pretty ingenious and I think this could actually catch on.
Now, the Alias also has a gearing system like this, but at a significant price premium, and it’s key to the toughness of both aircraft.
Far, Far Away?
The Q100 TX included in this RTF bundle is pretty basic. It has no screen, but has a solid ergonomic design. It has trim adjustment for all axes and shoulder buttons to do stunts and change flight modes. Like the Alias you can also customize your control rates, but without a screen this is much more finicky. Also, I really like that the Alias TX shows you how much juice you have left, as well as other things like trim position. That’s all missing here, obviously.
Bat Out Of Hell
More important than anything is how well this guy flies, and almost everyone who has flown it likes it quite a bit. The six-axis gyro is great and you have flight mode options that take you from beginner to more experienced settings.
It’s easy to see the Ominus as a budget choice against the Alias. I really do think the Alias is the better product, but the Ominus definitely is worth looking into in its own right.
The most important feature is that geared drive system, which Dromida is providing at a fraction of the cost LaTrax is. This system makes the Ominus tough, but it also makes it safe, since the blades will never hurt anything as they instantly disengage.
Like the Alias, the Ominus lets you increase the learning curve at your own pace, slowly ramping things up until you start hitting the limitations of the quad. Something that could take quite a long time.
The bottom line is that you can’t go wrong with the Ominus if you are simply looking for a serious flight experience without all the cheap toy camera nonsense.
It should be noted though, that if you want to have an FPV experience don’t count on modifying this quad. In that case it would be better to buy the Ominus FPV. Dromida has stated that there is no direct upgrade path between the two because of controller board differences.