This page is for all the people who love to rip, but have to stay under 250 grams. Whether you live in the USA and don’t want to register your quad, or you live in a country with a near-total ban on any drone over 250g, this page is for you.
One of the biggest problems with sub-250g freestyle is that, as the quad gets lighter, it doesn’t “fling” like a freestyle quad should. As soon as you get off the throttle, it stops moving, because it hasn’t got the mass to overcome air resistance. So the goal of this page will be to get as close to 250g as possible without going over. Builds like Tiny Whoops and Toothpicks, which are significantly less than 250g will be covered on another page. Builds like 95mm Cinewhoops, which fly really poorly for freestyle, will also not be covered on this page.
The next question is: what’s the best prop size for this category? There’s no one right answer. Flight characteristics will improve as the props get larger, but durability will go down. So part of the decision is how hard you intend to crash and how willing you are to put money and time into repairs.
Ahren Ciotti says 3” is king for sub-250 freestyle. The weight-vs.-prop-area (also known as disc loading) is similar to a mid-weight five inch, which produces similar flight characteristics. Ciotti likes to build 3” freestyle quads around 200-210g with a “hybrid” style camera (a single camera that records HD video on board while also acting as an FPV camera).
JB’s favorite is 3.5” props. A 3.5” quad can be built out to about 240 grams. The disc loading is just a bit lower than Ciotti’s 3” build, but flight time and power are improved due to the larger props. To get a 3.5” build under 250g, smaller motors are typically used, which means less torque on a larger prop, so getting a perfect PID tune may be more difficult.
The final entry in this category is the Ummagawd 2Fiddy, designed by Tommy Tibajia. I always felt that 5” sub-250g was pointless. To get the weight down, you had to give up too much in terms of durability; and the disc loading was so low that the quad was super floaty and not fun to fly. The 2Fiddy changed all that. Obviously, Tommy can’t defy the laws of physics, but it doesn’t feel super-floaty like other sub-250g 5” I’ve flown. The durability is not as high as a 3” or 3.5”, but it’s not made of glass either. And oh my gosh how good it flies. The responsiveness, acceleration, and sharp cornering are ridiculous. If you plan to crash a lot, the 2Fiddy may not be for your, but if your focus is purely on flight performance, it’s the best experience I’ve ever had under 250g.
By the way: forget about carrying a GoPro in this category. Even a “naked GoPro” puts most of these builds over the 250g limit, and wouldn’t be durable enough for freestyle bashing. An Insta360 Go might work on the 3” builds.