When Parrot launched the Bebop 2, they had managed to make their flagship quadcopter drone a bit smaller, while also making flight performance a bit more solid. They also doubled the flight time and attempted to improve the overall quality of the onboard 1080p HD camera. The Bebop 2 FPV is essentially the same drone except for new accessories that improve the feeling of flying.
FPV, or “first-person view,” refers to the included VR headset to see what the drone is filming in on-board mode, but the accessory that has the most impact is the SkyController 2 remote.
We had the pleasure of testing the Bebop 2 FPV during a few piloting sessions to find out what this drone has in its belly. Now is the time to take stock!
As the Bebop 2 FPV is strictly the same drone as the Bebop 2, it wouldn’t be fair to call it an “FPV version” because the design and mechanics inside are the same. This is the reason why Parrot also sells the CockpitGlasses VR headset and the SkyController 2 remote control separately. If you already own a Bebop 2 drone, you can buy these two accessories and pair them with it.
That means you get the same 500 grams of drone weight, with the same 2,700mAh battery that slips into the shell on top. The propellers are much the same.
The same 14-megapixel camera with 1080p resolution is mounted on the front, although Parrot seems to have managed to improve the image quality through software optimization, which I will cover a bit later.
The 8 GB internal storage is not very large and can fill up very quickly when recording long video clips. The FreeFlight Pro app offers a choice to download videos and photos directly to the phone or tablet. Another alternative is to plug the drone directly into a PC or Mac and offload it that way.
The SkyController 2 and CockpitGlasses are actually the same ones that come with Parrot’s Disco fixed-wing drone. They are interchangeable and can be combined with either drone. These two accessories are the biggest design changes. The CockpitGlasses helmet is new, while the SkyController 2 is a major overhaul of its predecessor.
The first SkyController had a larger construction that included an optional neck strap for better stability, plus two handles to hold it in place with a large Wi-Fi antenna.
This new look controller is less than half the size and more like a video game controller.
The WiFi antenna is considerably smaller and the smartphone/tablet holder is detachable.
The battery is also internal, rather than external as before.
Having the rechargeable battery inside is not only convenient, but we also found it to last as long.
The headset looks like a standard VR headset, but it’s not as good as Google’s Daydream View or Samsung’s Gear VR.
It supports just about any iOS or Android phone between the screen sizes of 4.7 and 5.5 inches, making it widely versatile.
The application has evolved into a new version: the FreeFlight Pro. The Bebop 2 FPV benefits from a redesigned layout and some additional features. Parrot still allows pilots to fly the drone using the app as a controller on a phone or tablet, but the SkyController 2 is a game-changer.
The application allows some aspects of the controller to be customized, such as reassigning the A and B buttons. By default, A takes photos, B records videos.
The settings offer a lot of customization options, but the defaults are a good place to start, especially when it comes to altitude and distance limits.
A return home (RTH) button is made explicit by the home icon on the button, while the take off / landing button is prominent in the middle. Above it, the power button has an LED indicating the battery status.
Pairing the controller and VR headset with the app is pretty straightforward, although we did run into a few instances where we had to restart everything and start over.
Parrot recently added a “Follow me” feature allowing the drone to follow a subject using GPS and visual tracking. It’s an in-app purchase of € 20 with a 15-day trial period.
The two main shooting selections are self-framing which keeps the subject in the center of the view in flight, while auto-tracking uses GPS and visual recognition from a smartphone to stay on subject.
Take off and landing are exactly the same as the original Bebop 2. We do not see any difference. Even the flight was effectively the same, except for the better range offered by the SkyController 2.
Unlike other drone manufacturers, like DJI and Yuneec, Parrot uses WiFi to communicate with the Bebop 2, not a proprietary wireless signal that might stretch due to the lack of interference from other networks on the 2 bands. , 4 GHz or 5 GHz. The new controller seems to offer a more robust connection, but the range is limited, which we noted in flight. That said, it’s still better than what we had experienced before, and we were able to go up to a little over 1600 meters before losing the live video feed, which forced the drone to come back home.
Another $ 20 in-app purchase is Flight Plan, which allows you to set multiple waypoints that the drone follows until it returns to its take-off point. Scenario mode is a mix of altitude fluctuations, rollovers, orientations, photos and videos combined in one flight.
In-flight stability seemed a bit haphazard to us. At times, we were impressed with its ability to fight off gusts of wind and maintain smooth video recording, while at times we were disappointed with the stability when changing direction.
Wind conditions play an important role for any quadcopter, regardless of size and build quality, but strong winds made it difficult to get consistent images with the Bebop 2 FPV.
The image quality has however been improved. Parrot had apparently made little progress on the first Bebop camera when the Bebop 2 launched, but subsequent firmware updates have improved both clarity and stabilization. Again, strong gusts of wind can have an impact, but otherwise, the performance of the camera is very decent.
Previously, the camera overexposed bright scenes, causing complete desaturation. This has since been fixed, but we went into settings to try and gain some manual control to compensate for it further. The SkyController 2 is arguably the biggest change to driving the Bebop 2 because it looks like a video game.
Moving in any direction and reorienting the point of view is a pure treat of fluidity, even more so than the previous SkyController. It must be connected to a smartphone or tablet in order to synchronize the controller with the live view provided by the app.
FPV mode changes things even further, putting the drone’s camera in front of our eyes. It can be a pretty exhilarating feeling, especially when you are moving at high speed or when going around obstacles.
The on-screen HUD presents information such as altitude, distance, and altimeter to provide context. Once again, CockpitGlasses benefit from SkyController 2 in this safer and more consistent flight.
It took us a while to get used to flying well without the helmet, and more than a try to feel confident. However, the latency was noticeable, especially when the Bebop 2 was flying further. Parrot had quantified it at around 220ms, but we believe it’s a variable number that can increase, depending on distance and wireless network interference.
The battery life is rated at 25 minutes of flight time, which is double the range of the original Bebop. In our tests, the actual range was closer to 15-20 minutes especially when you multiply accelerations, do flips, and increase its altitude where the winds are stronger.
Parrot offers a one-year “support and assistance” guarantee and a 15-day return policy after purchase directly from the company. Sales made to retailers rely on their return policies, which may or may not mirror those of Parrot.
The Bebop 2 comes across as the same drone on the surface, except accessories and app updates have taken it to the next level.
Adding a tracking function was a major gap that was eventually filled, positioning the Bebop 2 as a more complete drone with better aerial photography options. You can order it online.
What are the alternatives?
Parrot has some competition in the drone arena. Having emerged as one of the mainstays of the category, DJI offers a small, lightweight build in the Mavic Pro that shoots in 4K. Even the considerably more expensive DJI Phantom 4 Pro might be a better option if you’re interested in aerial imagery.
Then there’s Yuneec’s Typhoon H which is a hexacopter with a folding landing gear that gives its 4K camera unobstructed views, a smart feature we appreciate. And GoPro’s first drone, the Karma, has struggled since its launch, but the company says everything is back on track now. If you want the same FPV experience, Parrot’s Disco fixed-wing drone uses the same camera, controller, and headset.
What is the lifespan of the Parrot Bebop 2 FPV?
Parrot designed the Bebop 2 to be easily repairable. Two sets of propellers are also provided in the box. Repair kits and spare parts are available from Parrot, covering just about every nook and cranny of the Bebop 2, making sure the drone is serviceable after a crash.
Do you buy it?
For the thrills that FPV provides, we would say yes. The Bebop 2 FPV is a good model for learning the art of flying with a drone and it comes at a lower price than competing drones.
About Parrot Bebop 2 FPV accessories and spare parts
Battery for Parrot Bebop 2 Drone
- Parrot Battery Bebop 2
- Brand compatibility: Parrot
- Component for: Quadcopter
- Battery technology: Lithium Polymer (LiPo)
- Battery capacity: 2700mAh
- Voltage: 11.1 V
Battery charger for Parrot Bebop 2 drone
To recharge the BEBOP 2 Skycontroller batteries (Black Edition)
1 Charger (12.6V / 3.5A output) + 1 series of mains adapter (USA, UK, EU, AUS, NZ, JPN)
Charging time: 55min. Red and green light to indicate charge
Car charger for Parrot Bebop 2
Parrot Bebop 2 Drone car cigarette lighter charger.
Input: 12V, Output: 12.6V 2A. Charging time: approx. 100 minutes.
Red light “ON” – Charging, green light “ON” – Fully charged.
Net weight: 120 g. The color black. Practical and practical outdoor charging solutions.
ANBEE transport bag for Parrot Bebop 2
Transport bag / Case for Parrot Bebop 2 FPV / Bebop 2 Power FPV / Bebop 2 Adventurer Drone
Note: Not suitable for Parrot Bebop 2 Drone with Skycontroller
PARROT backpack for Bebop 2 FPV or Bebop 2 Power
To transport BEBOP 2, Skycontroller 2 and FPV glasses
Pre-cut foams to protect your equipment optimally
Can also carry a tablet, a computer and additional batteries.
Dimensions: 44 x 34 x 23 cm
2 side pockets
Rigid transport case for Parrot Bebop 2 Drone
Parrot Bebop 2 transport case – Protect and transport your Bepop drone with this lightweight rigid case.
Parrot Skycontroller 2 + FPV glasses
Better flight control with two super-precise joysticks
Extended range up to 2 kms thanks to the integrated Wi-Fi amplifier
Incredible immersive flights with video transmission of what the onboard camera is filming
Glasses compatible with several brands of smartphones and prescription glasses
Pack easy to transport thanks to the compact design
Propellers (2 Red – 2 Black) for Parrot Bebop 2
They have been designed to minimize power consumption while providing maximum thrust.
2 types of propellers are provided: Clockwise propellers and counterclockwise propellers.
To facilitate the installation of the propellers, a patented system equipped with a keying device makes it possible to immediately identify their placement.
Colors: Red / Black
Kit of 4 Propellers for Bebop 2 Power Drone Black
Kit of 4 black tri-blade propellers 6 inches. These plastic propellers have been designed only for the Parrot Bebop 2 Power.
They have been designed to minimize power consumption while providing maximum thrust.
2 types of propellers are provided: Clockwise propellers and anti-clockwise propellers.
To facilitate the installation of the propellers, a patented system equipped with a keying device makes it possible to immediately identify their placement. Colours: Black
Set of 2 Motors for Parrot Bebop 2
The motors have been specially designed for the Parrot Bebop 2, to guarantee optimum performance and long service life.
The motors have been specially designed for the Parrot Bebop 2, to have optimal performance and a long lifespan
They are brushless and with housing and have been specially designed for the operation of the Bebop 2 propellers.
Replacement shock absorbers for Parrot Bebop 2
Shock absorbers for Bebop 2 Power
Exclusively compatible with the Bebop 2 Power model
Allows to cushion the landings of the drone
HD camera for Parrot Bebop 2 drone
Equipped with a 14-megapixel camera with a “fisheye” lens, the Parrot Bebop Drone produces 180 ° videos and photos of remarkable quality.
Kit for the Parrot Bebop Drone containing: 1 horizontal camera 14 MPix + 1 aluminum support (assembled) + 1 screw (camera / aluminum / GPS).