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If this will be your first time ordering from Banggood, you should know a few things.

COMPLETE KIT, READY TO BUILD

I created the JB Xilo Beginner Build kit to make it as easy as possible for you to build your first FPV freestyle quadcopter. I picked all the parts you’ll need so you know everything will be good quality and will work together. And I made a complete video tutorial taking you through every step of the build, all the way through the first test flight. This kit is available with both analog and DJI video system, depending on your budget.

DJI DIGITAL HD BUILD

Purchase at GetFPV

ANALOG BUILD

BIND N FLY / RTF

Given how good bind-n-fly quads are these days, why not just buy one of these and skip building altogether? Because eventually you’ll crash and need to make repairs, and building is the best way to learn how to repair. But bind-n-fly quads still have a place. If you’ve never flown a properly built and tuned quad, they can set the bar for your own personal builds. And if you already know how to build, a bind-n-fly is the fastest way to get in the air. In some cases, the bind-n-fly is cheaper than buying the parts separately and building it yourself! How’s that even possible?

IFLIGHT NAZGUL  V2

Purchase at GetFPV – Analog / DJI FPV
Purchase at RaceDayQuads – Analog / DJI FPV
Purchase at Pyro-Drone – Analog
Purchase at Banggood
Purchase at Amazon – Analog / DJI FPV

DIATONE ROMA F5

Purchase at GetFPV – Analog / DJI FPV
Purchase at Pyro-Drone – Analog / DJI FPV
Purchase at NewBeeDrone – DJI FPV
Purchase at Banggood – Analog / DJI FPV
Purchase at Amazon

The iFlight Nazgul V2 and the Diatone Roma F5 are the “budget” option in this category. They are extremely closely matched, with high performance motors, good-quality camera, and a custom PID tune pre-installed for great handling. The Roma F5 is a bit more premium in feel, with beveled carbon fiber plates, metal front end, plastic arm guards, and sharp-looking motors. The Nazgul is heavier, which means it’s not quite as nimble, but it’s more durable. The analog version of the Nazgul has an 800 mW vTX vs. only 400 mW for the Roma, so the Nazgul will have more video range and penetration (this doesn’t apply if you are buying the DJI version). The Roma’s F7 flight controller will have more room for future expansion than the F4 flight controller on the Nazgul. Personally, I would decide based on whether you want better flight characteristics (the Roma) or better durability (the Nazgul). The 800 mW vTX on the Nazgul will also make the decision for some people.

The Skyeliner is the “premium” option in this category. It’s the exact quad flown by Le Drib, including his custom PID tune. The Skyeliner frame is super durable and can keep flying smoothly even after taking hits. The quad is hand-built by technicians in Orlando, Florida and backed by Rotor Riot’s support. Oh, and it only comes in a DJI version–no analog. Another caveat of the Skyeliner build is that it’s on the heavier side. It’s good for Drib’s style of smooth, flowing lines and big flings, but if you wanted a super-snappy “juicy style” or “sbang style” build, you probably would want something lighter.

FRAMES

QAV-S 5″
FREESTYLE FRAME
JOSHUA BARDWELL EDITION

Purchase at GetFPV

APEX HD Frame

I fell in love with the QAV-S because of the genius way its arms join to the frame, allowing for one-screw arm changes, without putting a weakening screw hole through the center of the arm. It hits the sweet spot of being roomy enough to build with ease, without being so big that it compromises flight characteristics. It’s also relatively lightweight, but still tough enough for typical freestyle bashing. (If you are the hardest-core of concrete bando bashers, you might want a heavier frame.)

As much as I loved the QAV-S, there were a few things I changed to make the JB Edition. I requested a solid top plate for increased rigidity and strength; this also allowed the removal of one standoff. I shortened the standoffs to a 22m height. I thickened the front-bottom plate from 2mm to 3mm. Finally, I added a few notches to the tapered rear of the top plate, to allow a 2nd battery strap to be used without it sliding backwards. All of these changes increased the frame’s strength and durability while keeping the overall weight below 115g, which I think is the sweet spot for great flight performance.

The QAV-S JB Edition also comes with a custom JB-branded sticker sheet if that helps make up your mind.

This frame will hold a Caddx Vista, but not a DJI Air Unit

QAV-S 5″
FREESTYLE FRAME
JOHNNYFPV EDITION

Purchase at GetFPV

APEX HD Frame

The QAV-S Johnny FPV Edition has all of the good things I said about the QAV-S JB Edition, but it’s been extended to fit the DJI Air Unit preferred by Johnny FPV. It also has a vibration-isolated HD camera plate for the those cinematic masterpieces. And the front end is metal instead of carbon, which improves durability but adds weight.

When evaluating a frame, it’s important to keep in mind the designer’s intended use. The Johnny FPV QAV-S can be freestyle, but it’s intended more for fast cruising and chasing such as Johnny does in his commercial work. This build will be heavier and less agile than a typical, lighter-weight freestyle build. The main reason to choose this frame would be if you wanted the QAV-S, but you need the slightly greater range of the Air Unit, compared to the Vista.

IMPULSERC APEX and APEX HD

Purchase at GetFPV – Analog / DJI FPV
Purchase at RaceDayQuads – Analog / DJI FPV
Purchase at NewBeeDrone – Analog / DJI FPV
Purchase at Pyro-Drone – Analog / DJI FPV
Purchase at ImpulseRC

The ImpulseRC Apex is considered by some to be the best freestyle frame you can buy today. It’s tough as nails, and its reputation for having superior vibration characteristics was recently objectively confirmed by the aerospace materials engineer Chris Rosser.

Why doesn’t everyone fly the Apex? It’s heavier than some of the alternatives (although this does increase its durability). And it’s one of the most expensive 5” frames you can get.

This frame comes in 2 versions. The standard version will hold a Caddx Vista, but not a DJI Air Unit. The HD version is extended to fit a DJI Air Unit. The HD version does not have 20mm mounting holes in the back

Kabab FPV (Bob Roogi) re-defined racing frames with the Floss, finding ways to shave weight without compromising durability (too much). The Glide is his entry into the freestyle arena.

Freestyle pilots often focus so much on durability that they forget how much weight affects the way a quadcopter flies. Lighter quads are more nimble, accelerate better, and fly for longer than heavier ones. The Glide comes in under 100 grams! Compared to some other freestyle frames, that’s like saving half the weight of a whole GoPro Session!

The Glide is less durable than heavier frames, but it’s designed so that the easily-replaced arm breaks before anything more important. If it’s critical that you be able to fly home after every crash, the Glide may not be the frame for you. If you’re trying for a light build with just enough durability to keep you from tearing your hair out, the Glide is probably the best choice you can make today.

This frame will hold a Caddx Vista, but not a DJI Air Unit. Unless you flip the frame around front to back, mount the camera on the “rear”; mount a 20mm FC and ESC in the “rear”; and mount an Air Unit in the “front”. In which case technically you can jam an Air Unit into it.

ROTOR RIOT HD1

Purchase at Rotor Riot

The Rotor Riot HD1 is basically the same as the CL1 described above, except that it has been extended to easily fit a DJI Air Unit in the rear. If you’re looking for an inexpensive, durable frame that can fit an Air Unit, this is it. Flight handling and durability of this frame can be improved by buying a set of 22mm standoffs and substituting for the factory 30mm standoffs.

GEPRC MARK 4

Purchase at Banggood – Analog / DJI FPV

GEPRC deserves a lot of credit for the Mark 4 frame. It’s beautiful and refined; lightweight(ish) and tough(ish) at the same time. It flies great and doesn’t cost too much. It’s got a longer body than some others, but that pushes the FPV camera forward so there aren’t any props in view.

I was seriously tempted to make the Mark 4 my personal favorite freestyle frame. The main thing that steered me away was the location of the arms on the inside of the body. (Technically, you can install the arms on the outside if you want, but that has its own down-sides). The location of the arms will complicate the installation of some 30mm FC/ESC stacks; if you’re using 20mm electronics, don’t worry.

This frame comes in 2 versions. The standard version will hold a Caddx Vista, but not a DJI Air Unit. The HD version is extended to fit a DJI Air Unit. The HD version does not have 20mm mounting holes in the back

TBS SOURCE ONE

Purchase at GetFPV – DJI FPV
Purchase at NewBeeDrone – DJI FPV
Purchase at Pyro-Drone – DJI FPV
Purchase at Team Blacksheep – DJI FPV

The Source One is one of the best values in FPV frames. It’s community-designed and all the CAD files are open source and available for anyone to manufacture. As a result, the Source One is one of the least expensive frames you can get, and available nearly everywhere. (You could even cut it yourself if you have a CNC machine!)

While the Source One will get the job done, it’s obviously been manufactured to a price. It’s a sparse and utilitarian frame, but if you’re on a tight budget, it’s a great choice (and no guilt over buying a “clone”).

MOTORS

One of the biggest debates in FPV right now is whether beginners should choose 4S or 6S batteries. In my opinion, 6S has a small performance advantage, but it’s a bit more expensive and more likely to blow ESC’s when pushed hard. For five-inch freestyle, if you go with 4S, choose a motor between about 2300 kv and 2700kv. If you go with 6S, choose a motor between about 1600 and 1800 kv. Lower kv motors will make less power, but have longer flight time and be easier on the battery.

People kept telling me that I had to try this motor. I’d heard it all before. But they were right. The FPVCycle Five Inch is a truly special and unique motor for freestyle. It’s powerful and punchy, sure. But where it really excels is low throttle response, such as when you dive down a building face and then need to quickly and smoothly stop your fall to hit a gap at the bottom of the building.

Kabab has kept the exact dimensions of the motor secret, but it’s rumored to be approximately 2506 in size. And somehow, the weight of the motor is only around 33 grams, the same as a typical 2306 motor.

This motor works great with almost any five inch prop, but Kabab recommends a lower-pitch prop for maximum control. If you prefer the thrust and punch of a high-pitch prop, the motor can absolutely handle it. Whatever prop you choose, be sure to keep AUW low (Kabab recommends below 670g for best performance). If your AUW is closer to 750g, consider using a slightly larger battery (such as 1250 mAh 6S instead of 1100 mAh) to handle the amp draw.

Emax is seriously messing up the whole FPV motor market with their Eco II line. As far as I can tell, they are making a $22 motor and selling it for $12 just because they want to be taken seriously as a motor manufacturer. I have no idea what the actual motivation is, but the Eco II is a seriously great value. It even has premium EZO bearings (an area where other budget motors often skimp).

At the time of this writing, the Eco II comes in only three sizes: 2306 and 2207 ideal for 5″ or maybe 6″ props), and 2807 (ideal for 7″ props). For 5″ props, choose 1700kv for longer flight time on 6S batteries, 1900 kv for more power on 6S batteries, or 2400 kv for 4S batteries. For the 2807, choose 1300 kv for long range cruising on 6S batteries, 1500 kv for a bit more power on 6S, and 1700 kv for 4S, or for 6S builds intended for aggressive freestyle.

If the Eco II is available in a size that you want, from a store that you want, it’s hard to argue that you should buy anything else. Nearly everything else in this price range is inferior. And motors that cost twice as much may be better, but are they twice as good? Especially if you’re just going to destroy them in a crash.

XING 2 2306

Purchase at RaceDayQuads – 2555 kv / 1755 kv
Purchase at Pyro-Drone – 2555 kv / 1755 kv
Purchase at Banggood – 2555 kv / 1755 kv

If the Emax Eco II line delivers $20 motor quality for $12, then the iFlight Xing line delivers $27 motor quality for $20. Everything about Xing motors is top of the line: single-piece curved bell in 7075 aluminum for maximum durability; center-slotted N52H curved magnets for maximum responsiveness; NSK bearings; titanium alloy shaft; and a proprietary o-ring between the bearing and the bell to help protect the bearing from impacts and smooth out vibrations.

The Xing2 is a great all round choice for freestyle. The Cyber Xing is a larger stator for even more power, but what really sets it apart is its 10mm bearing, which will run smoother and take harder hits than the 9mm bearing in basically all other motors this size. If you want the maximum durability, even if it means an additional few grams per motor, the Cyber may be the best choice available today.

The NewBeeDrone Flow is another entry in the budget freestyle motor category. Newbeedrone regularly sells it in a “crazy deal” of eight motors, with a price working out to around $15 per motor. These are solid motors for $15 and should be considered as an alternative option to the Emax Eco. One catch: they ship from the USA only, so if you’re not American, the shipping price probably will rule them out.

The T-Motor F40 Pro line used to be clearly the best freestyle motor you could buy. But it’s hard to justify the price of this motor, given how good some of the competition is. iFlight motors are equal or better in quality; FPVCycle motors have superior performance; Emax motors are a better value. The F40 Pro IV is a top-notch motor, and at about 30 grams, it’s lighter than almost any other motor in this class. But you really have to want that T-Motor pedigree to bring yourself to pay what T-Motor is asking for this motor.

FLIGHT CONTROLLER & ESC

The flight controller (FC) is the brains of the quadcopter. It receives your commands from the receiver and translates that into motor outputs that make the quadcopter fly. Modern flight controllers may also include accessories like voltage regulators, and on-screen-display (OSD), a power-distribution-board (PDB) and more.

Flight controllers on this page may be marked as “DJI Ready” and “DJI Only”. DJI Ready means that the FC has a plug to allow easy connection of a DJI Air Unit or Caddx Vista. DJI Ready FC’s can still be used with analog FPV systems. DJI Only means that the FC does not support analog video at all, and should only be used with the DJI System. Any FC not marked this way will support both analog and DJI, but if using DJI you’ll need to solder wires to the FC since it doesn’t have a plug.

All of the flight controllers and ESC’s on this page are 30mm size. If you’re trying to save weight, you might be tempted to choose a 20mm sized FC and ESC. Personally, I don’t recommend it. 20mm ESC’s specifically are less durable than 30mm ones, especially when trying to “turtle mode” out of an obstacle, or to flip back over after crashing. There are people I respect who fly 20mm FC and ESC exclusively. But I’ve blown too many 20mm ESC’s to fully trust them for this type of build.

MY VERY OWN…
JBF7 (DJI READY)

Purchase at RaceDayQuad
Purchase at ThrottleUpUSA

I’m more picky about flight controllers than almost any other part on a quad. That’s why I’m so thrilled that RaceDayQuads invited me to design the JBF7 from the ground up exactly how I wanted it. I started with big, easy to solder to pads. The pad layout focuses on flexibility and ease of use. Although it’s got plugs for an ESC and a DJI Air Unit, you can also direct-solder if you prefer. There’s an SD card slot for all the blackbox logging you could want. Dual gyros for smoother flight (or just having a spare gyro if one of them is damaged in a crash). And a detailed user manual with wiring diagrams and instructions for getting started.

Just because this is my own FC doesn’t mean it’s right for everybody. It has i2c pads for a compass, but there is no on board barometer and no iNav target. A few people have complained about the lack of a USB-C connector. It’s designed for use with a 4 in 1 ESC, not individual ESC’s. And if you’re on the strictest of budgets you can save a little money by buying one of the F4 flight controllers, like the Diatone stack on this page. Other than that, I think this is one of the best FC’s you can get today.

The Diatone Mamba F722S has all the standard features most people want in a Betaflight F7 flight controller, including lots of UARTS and dataflash chip for blackbox logging. Here’s what puts the Diatone F722S over the top. Built-in LED controller allows you to easily use programmable LEDs without having to mess with Betaflight’s clunky, complicated LED interface. Just press a button on the FC to change LED colors! And built-in Bluetooth radio means you can program the FC with your phone, without ever plugging in USB.

The Speedybee F7 V2 has all the features you would expect, including 9v regulator and plug for direct-connection of DJI air unit. What makes it stand out is its built in WiFi and Bluetooth radio. It can connect to the Speedybee smartphone app to allow configuration, tuning, and troubleshooting in the field. No wires required. Although there are other Bluetooth-enabled flight controllers, the Speedybee’s WiFi connection also allows it to flash firmware, configure and flash ESC’s, and download blackbox logs.

T-MOTOR F7 HD & F55A (DJI ONLY)

Purchase at RaceDayQuads – FC Only / FC & ESC
Purchase at Pyro-Drone – FC Only / FC & ESC

The T-Motor F7 is a high-quality flight controller with all the features you might expect. But what really stands out in this combo is the F55A ESC. This is one of the most durable, reliable ESC’s you can buy today. I won’t go so far as to say it’s indestructible, but it’s about as close as you can get in this hobby.

Diatone consistently makes some of the most inexpensive flight controllers and ESC’s you can buy. So you’d expect the quality to suffer, but it doesn’t! Diatone’s FC and ESC’s don’t quite rise to the near-bulletproof reputation fo the best in the hobby, but they’re well above average, and that makes them some of the best value you can buy.

The Mamba F405 HD has an F4 processor, so it’s a bit slower than the F7 processor that’s pretty much standard today. It can still fly your quad just fine, but it won’t run the fastest looptimes, and it will eventually be phased out by Betaflight. Until that day, this is the choice for someone on a tight budget.

VIDEO TRANSMITTER (ANALOG)

TBS UNIFY 5G8 PRO32 HV VTX

The Unify Pro32 is the latest edition of what many people consider to be the best FPV video transmitter made. It keeps all the standard features that the Unify is known for: clean power transmission, honest output power rating, bulletproof reliability, and support for pit mode and SmartAudio. The Pro32 HV is not quite as thin as the original Unify, but it’s still pretty trim and will easily fit into even tight builds.

The Pro32 ups the output power to 1000 mW “or more”. This is a refreshingly honest approach. Most vTX advertise a nominal output power then output somewhat less. The Pro32 also supports remote control by Crossfire interface. This is useful for fixed-wing pilots flying without a flight controller. You can connect the vTX directly to your Crossfire receiver and adjust channel and output power via the Crossfire system. This is great because the Unify’s button-press / LED-flash interface is awful to use in the field.

Another feature of the Pro32 is that it has built in USB interface which allows firmware update and configuration via the TBS Agent X software on PC.

If what you want is absolute maximum range, consider the Rush Tank Solo. Its top power is simply listed as “MAX”, but it’s reported to be well over 1 watt. RushFPV video transmitters are extremely high quality, at a lower price than a brand like TBS Unify. The main drawback of the Solo is its size. You’ll definitely want to make sure it’ll fit nicely into your frame before you buy it.

Most if not all frames today have 20mm-spaced mounting holes in the rear of the frame, perfect for mounting a video transmitter like the Rush Tank Mini. Most 20mm vTX max out around 400 mW, but the Rush Tank Mini goes up to 800 mW — more than enough for penetrating obstacles while flying freestyle. This is one of my favorite vTX for ease of mounting, high output power, good build quality and durability.

If you want the absolute maximum range and penetration, there’s no substitute for more mW of output power. But that power comes with a price: big, heavy video transmitters. What about lightweight racing rigs or micro-size quads like 3″ and below?

That’s where the Rush Tiny Tank comes in. It weighs only 1.4 grams and is 12.5mm x 17mm in size. It’ll fit in almost any build. And you don’t give up functionality either! It supports SmartAudio (obviously), pit mode, and has output power up to 350 mW. This vTX can’t compete with its big brothers when it comes to maximum range and penetration. But gram for gram, it delivers in ways that few other vTX can.

FPV CAMERAS (ANALOG)

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE
RUNCAM PHOENIX 2 JB EDITION

I believe that an FPV camera’s job is to communicate information to the pilot so that they can fly better. That means the best image for FPV is not always the one that looks the best to spectators. I worked with Runcam to customize the Phoenix 2 to deliver the things I look for in an FPV camera.

The contrast and brightness on the JB Phoenix 2 have been tweaked to maximize dynamic range, so you see details in shadow and highlight. Sharpening has been lowered to reduce haloing and shimmer. Finally, I asked Runcam to add digital camera control capability, so you can tweak the camera settings using your flight controller, instead of having to carry a camera joystick with you to the field.

The only way to truly know if this camera is best for you is to take a look at the image in my review.

FOXEER ARROW MICRO PRO FPV CAMERA

The Arrow Micro Pro is priced around $20, same as the Caddx F2. They’re both excellent cameras for the price. The Arrow uses a CCD sensor, so it’ll have a slightly more contrasty image, and slightly better exposure handling. However, to my eye, the Caddx looks better overall. You won’t go wrong with either, but if you know that you like a “CCD style” or “CMOS style” image better, pick the camera that suits.

The Foxeer T-Rex boasts the highest resolution sensor of any FPV camera I know, at 1500 tvl. When I first heard this, I wondered whether it was just marketing hype. After all, an SD video feed only has so much resolution, so can you really tell the difference if the camera has higher resolution? After trying the camera out, I think the answer is yes. The difference is small, but there. The T-Rex should be the choice of somebody who wants the absolute most detail you can get from an analog FPV feed.

If you pick up this camera, be aware the input voltage only goes up to 16v, so be careful you don’t feed it from excess voltage and fry it.

VIDEO ANTENNAS FOR VTX AND GOGGLES

There are three important things to know about video antennas. First, they come in left-handed (LHCP) and right-handed (RHCP) varieties, and you must put the same variety on your quadcopter and your goggles. Most pilots fly RHCP, and that’s what I recommend you start with too. There isn’t any performance difference, but having the same type as everyone else will let you watch them in your goggles.

Second, they come with different connectors: SMA and RP-SMA. Whatever kind of connector came on your video transmitter and your goggles, you have to buy the same kind on the antenna, or they won’t screw together. Don’t assume that the goggles and the vTX will have the same connector either.

Third, you should never power up your video transmitter without an antenna attached. This can damage or destroy the video transmitter.

FOXEER LOLLIPOP OMNIDIRECTONAL VIDEO ANTENNA

This antenna is durable, cheap, and it’s available in all major connectors: SMA, RP-SMA, MMCX, and UFL. It’s even available in different colors if you like to coordinate! Its RF performance isn’t up to the level of more expensive ones, but it’ll get the job done. At this price, you won’t feel shy about picking up some spares.

Rush has been known for making high-quality, mid-priced video transmitters. Now they’re taking that same philosophy to antennas. These aren’t the cheapest antennas you can buy, but the quality and consistency is way better than the “cheapest antennas you can buy”. There are a ton of varieties so make sure you get the right polarity (LH or RH — most FPV pilots use RH, but DJI uses LH by default) and connector (MMCX, UFL, SMA, or RPSMA). Not all varieties are available at all stores so if you can’t find what you want, shop around!

At first glance, the Xilo Axii looks identical to the Lumenier Axii. But the Xilo Axii is half the price. So what’s the difference? Umm…. good question. If you want to know the truth, these are the ones I usually put on my own builds and they seem to do well for me. The main disadvantage of the Xilo Axii is that it’s only available at GetFPV, so international buyers would probably prefer the Rush or the Lollipop.

LUMENIER AXII 2 OMNIDIRECTONAL VIDEO ANTENNA

The Axii has everything you could ask for from an FPV antenna. It’s got an even coverage pattern so there are no surprise dead zones when you fly behind yourself or overhead. Its axial ratio is nearly perfect, which means it’s good at rejecting multipath and interference from reverse-polarized antennas. It’s not too big. It’s nearly indestructible. And it’s available in a variety of sizes and connectors, for any application.

When you buy the Axii, make sure you’re getting the right one. It comes in a standard length, with SMA or RP-SMA connector. It also comes with thin coaxial cable and U.FL or MMCX connector, for direct-connection to your vTX. Finally, it comes in “stubby” and “long distance” varieties. My personal favorite is the “stubby”. Placing the antenna very close to the quadcopter’s frame reduces range, but significantly increases durability. If you plan to use the UFL or MMCX version, make sure you’ve got a 3D printed mount to hold it, as the coax itself is too floppy to use for mounting (these are also sold at GetFPV). Finally, remember that you must have matching LH (left-hand) or RH (right-hand) antennas on your quad and goggles. Lumenier colors LH antennas white and RH antennas black to help you remember.

I’ve been using this as my goggle omni antenna for the last few months, and it’s amazing. The most impressive spec is its near-perfect axial ratio, which means it’ll reject multipath distortion better. But the honest reason I like this antenna is knowing that it’s built by the techs over at Video Aerial Systems. When they say that they test every antenna before it ships, I believe them. So I feel confident that I haven’t accidentally gotten a bad antenna without knowing it.

Although this is an amazing goggle antenna, I don’t prefer to use it on my quads. The Ion design is a little too fragile for the kind of beating my quads take. But as a goggle antenna, I think it’s possibly the best omni you can get.

BATTERIES

Batteries for 5” freestyle will almost always be 6S or 4S voltage. 6S offers slightly better performance especially towards the end of the pack, where it seems to feel like it has less voltage sag. (Be careful, as it’s easy to over-discharge 6S packs by not realizing they’re about to die.) 4S is slightly less expensive and less likely to fry ESC’s. Most pilots today are flying 6S, so if you’re on the fence, that’s probably the way to go.

GNB (GAONENG)

Purchase at Banggood – 1500 mAh 4S
Purchase at Banggood – 1050 mAh 6S
Purchase at Banggood – All Other Sizes

CNHL G+ SERIES

Purchase at RaceDayQuads – 1300 mAh 4S
Purcahse at RaceDayQuads – 1500 mAh 4S
Purchase at Banggood – 1300 mAH 4S
Purchase at Pyro-Drone – 1300 mAh 4S / 1500 mAh 4S

CNHL 4S 1300 MAH 100C BATTERY

RDQ SERIES (RACEDAYQUADS)

Purchase at RaceDayQuads – 1300 mAh 4S
Purcahse at RaceDayQuads – 1500 mAh 4S
Purchase at RaceDayQuads – 1000 mAh 6S

RDQ SERIES 100C BATTERY

All of the packs listed above give good performance at a reasonable price. Choose the smaller packs if you want a lighter, more agile quad, with slightly shorter flight time; choose the larger packs if you prioritize flight time over handling.

TATTU R-LINE 4.0

Purchase at GetFPV – 1300 mAh 4S / 1050 mAh 6S
Purchase at RaceDayQuads – 1050 mAh 6S
Purchase at Pyro-Drone – 1050 mAh 6S
Purchase at Banggood – 1050 mAh 6S

Tattu R-Line are some of the best batteries you can get. And the price reflects it. Given the chances of destroying a battery in a crash, you really have to ask yourself whether the additional performance of a premium battery is worth the price. Personally, I run budget packs and I’m happy with them, but if you want the absolute best performance, or if you’re very weight-sensitive, you won’t go wrong with the R-Line 4.0.

Oh by the way: it seems like almost nobody wants to carry the 4S version of this pack. I guess stores think all the high-end buyers are using 6S.

MR. STEELE THUNDERPOWER 1100
LUNAR LANDER

Purchase at GetFPV

The specifications of this pack seem to defy physics. It’s an 1100 mAh 6S pack that weighs under 180 grams. I don’t know how Thunderpower has pulled this off, but whatever they did must have been difficult, because this is also an incredibly expensive pack. If you’re trying to shave every possible gram off of your build, this is the pack you’ll buy.

PROPS

SMOOTHEST FREESTYLE PROP
AZURE POWER JOHNNY FREESTYLE 4838

Purchase at GetFPV
Purchase at Amazon

AZURE POWER JOHNNY FREESTYLE 4838

If you’re looking for the ultimate in freestyle smoothness, this is the prop for you. It’s extremely light, at just under 4 grams, which means it can change speed rapidly in response to propwash oscillation, even if you haven’t got an ultra torquey motor. It’s still reasonably durable, although not as durable as heavier props can be.

This is definitely NOT a general-purpose prop! It’s 4.8″ in diameter and only 3.8 pitch, which means it’s going to make much less thrust than a typical 5″ prop would. It’s best paired with a higher kv motor, such as Johnny’s own 2207/2700kv from Lumenier. And don’t bother trying to pair this prop with motors bigger than about 2306 or 2207. The additional torque of the larger, heavier motor isn’t needed.

FOR LIGHTWEIGHT FREESTYLE BUILDS
ETHIX SERIES

Purchase at GetFPV – S3 / S4 / S5
Purchase at RaceDayQuads – S3 / S4 / S5
Purchase at Amazon – S3 / S4 / S5

I always thought these props were overrated until I tried them on Mr. Steele’s actual quad. Then I got it. These props are terrible on heavier freestyle builds. That’s not what they’re made for. But on lightweight freestyle builds (5″ quads under 650 grams All Up Weight) they come alive.

Have you ever dove over an obstacle and then needed to catch yourself precisely at the bottom to fly through a gap? That’s where these props excel. You can find the exact throttle position you need quickly and precisely, without over-shooting or pulsing the throttle. They’re also easy on the battery for extended flight time. The tradeoff is that they lack the razor-sharp cornering and neck-snapping acceleration you get with higher-pitch props.

These props are best when used with a wider motor like a 2306. When used with a 2207 or 2208 motor, the taller stator’s non-linear throttle curve doesn’t fit as well with the Ethix props’ low-throttle linearity and precision.

Steele recommends the S3 for quads between 500-650g, up to about 3000′ above sea level. The S4 gives a little more thrust, especially suited for altitudes up to 10,000′. The S5 has the highest pitch and is for heavier quads up to 750g (such as carrying a GoPro). The S5 is also 18% gray to make it less visible if it’s in the camera’s view.

The Gemfan 51477 is the perfect prop to pair with larger motors like 2407 and 2208, or even bigger!

Many freestyle pilots today are moving to larger motors, which allows the use of heavier props without compromising handling. This gives the best of both worlds: punch, speed, and smoothness. But only if the motor is paired with the right prop. A light prop doesn’t demand the torque that the bigger motors put out, and it doesn’t make enough thrust to counteract their weight. Too heavy a prop drives amp-draw through the roof, shortening flight times and killing batteries.

The Gemfan Hurricane 51477 hits the sweet spot between those extremes. It’s got enough pitch to make the most of the motors’ torque, without going overboard like the 51499 might. And its unique blade profile gives reasonably good control even at low throttle (something high-pitch props are often bad at.)

Of course I also love to run these props on smaller motors like 2207 and 2306. It makes great power, but the reduced torque of the motor means the prop isn’t as smooth and responsive as it is on larger motors.

FAST, PRECISE, AND DURABLE
GEMFAN HURRICANE

Purchase at RaceDayQuads 51466 / 51499
Purchase at Banggood 51466 / 51499
Purchase at GetFPV 51466 / 51499
Purchase at Amazon 51499

GEMFAN HURRICANE

I first came to love the Hurricane 51499 prop when I was searching for the best prop for my JB2407 motor. Because my quad was heavier, it was loose and imprecise in corners. The 51499 has razor sharp handling in corners and plenty of speed in the straights.

Although the Hurricane line was designed for racing, I like them for freestyle. They are not as smooth and controllable in the low end as some pilots would prefer. This is a great prop for somebody who wants to punch the throttle and get slammed back in their seat.

The Hurricanes are also designed to be durable. The hub is reinforced so that, after a crash, you can just bend them back and keep flying. This is advertised as making them suitable for racers, but I know freestyle pilots will appreciate it just as much.

If you have big, torquey motors and you want the most thrust and sharpest handling, choose the 51499 size. But you’ll need really healthy batteries or a really lightweight quad in order to keep you flight time up. The 51466 version is slightly easier on the battery, and may be a better choice for smaller motors, or higher-kv motors.