Force1 U49C Red Heron: The Popular U818A Gets a Facelift

Force1 U49C Red Heron

Starting at $129.99

Overall Quality


Ease of Flying/Stability













  • PROS:
  • ▪ HD Camera
  • ▪ Very Stable and Durable
  • ▪Extra Battery and Motors
  • CONS:
  • ▪ Not Fast, Lacks Thrust
  • ▪ Doesn't Fly Well in High Winds


  • Flight Time: 15 minutes
  • Range: 200 feet
  • Camera: 720p

The Force1 U49C Red Heron is an excellent drone for a beginner. It has an impressive 15 minute flight time and boasts a 720p HD camera. The Red Heron also has nice features like altitude hold, one key take-off and landing and headless mode. The Red Heron was built for Force1 by the reputable RC company UDI. Both U49 models are upgraded and updated versions of the popular UDI U818A. Force1 also offers the upgraded FPV Blue Heron.

Best FPV camera drone
Watch the Blue Heron become the Red Heron

Flight Test of U49C & U49W

We’ve taken both versions of the U49 out for a test flight. If you want to see them in action click below. We’ve also done a full review of the UDI Discovery2. Check that out.

U49C Red Heron Flight Time

The 15 minute flight time really is impressive. Most drones this size and in this price range can’t make it 10 minutes. On top of that Force1 includes a second battery, so you get a solid half hour of flying. They also included an SD card and some extra motors as well.

U49 Drone
You get a lot of good stuff with the Force1 U49C Red Heron

Red Heron Camera

The 720p HD camera on the Red Heron is better than most drones in this price range. No, it won’t compete with the DJI Phantom, but it does take nice pictures and videos. You’ll have to keep the drone stable and fly slowly to get the best videos.

Red Heron Drone
Take a look at the Force1 U49C Red Heron and its HD camera.

The U49C Red Heron does not have FPV, but the U49W Blue Heron does. It is a nearly identical drone, but you’ll get the advantage of being able to see exactly what your camera is recording in real time. So if you want FPV and a few more features then check out the Blue Heron.

RC quadcopter with camera
The Blue Heron adds live FPV video and some smartphone control features. The UDI Discovery2 and the U49W are two versions of the same drone.

Red Heron Features

The Red Heron utilizes altitude hold so you can easily maintain a consistent altitude. The headless mode will help beginner pilots with orientation if they choose. Automatic takeoff is a nice touch as well. The Red Heron has three speeds. We recommend flying in high mode as it makes the drone the most responsive. It certainly isn’t a speed demon in any mode.

Drone with HD camera
The Red Heron is one capable quadcopter.

Red Heron Design

The Red Heron was designed with the beginner pilot in mind. The fixed propeller guards are large and do a decent job of protecting the spinning blades from trees, walls, fingers, etc. They act as a large bumper. The disadvantage is they also catch the wind. The Red Heron isn’t well suited for windy days as the propeller guards seem to turn the drone into a kite.

The Red Heron was designed to be an entry level aerial photography drone. It isn’t a fast flyer and it doesn’t have FPV. There isn’t a dedicated flip button like there is on a lot of similar drones.

Force1 Drone
Take a look at the Red Heron from above.

Potential Improvements

We’d like the Red Heron to be a little faster and more powerful. That would most likely cut into its impressive 15 minute flight time, but we think that would be worth it. If they did they could easily add a flip mode. Maybe these are nitpicky for a drone that was built to fly stable and smooth. FPV video transmission would be nice, but if you want that you’ll have to get the Blue Heron.

UDI Discovery2 Drone
Take a look at the Red and Blue Heron.

Should I get a Red Heron?

If you are looking for a durable and stable drone then we would recommend the Force1 Red Heron. It is a well-built quadcopter and is an excellent choice for a beginner.

Buy a Red Heron


Buy a Blue Heron
RC Drone Quadcopter with HD Camera
Take a look at the Force1 U49C Red Heron.

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Learn More…

If you want to learn more about taking great pictures or flying FPV then check out our comprehensive guides on those topics. Also take a look at our articles on how to choose the right drone for great aerial photos or for getting started flying race drones. Learn more about drones and how to get the most out of them in our Drone Academy. In the Academy we also detail some of the advanced testing we do, including our recent addition, drone thrust testing.

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