What iFlight FPV drone should I buy?

20. März 2024
What iFlight FPV drone should I buy? - iFlight-RC Europe
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This is a really short guide to help you decide, focusing on the most simple questions without all the confusing stuff. It all comes down to size! Smaller drones offer benefits, bigger drones offer benefits. Use the right tool that does the job best.

iFlight FPV drones offer a wide range of options to perfectly match your needs. Take in consideration that we never only buy one pair of shoes. Progressing with your FPV hobby, career or addiction, you'll always find the need to try something else as well.

I have separated several sections.

  • What do I get?
  • FPV drone size options
  • Video Transmission (Analog or HD)
  • Radio Transmission (TBS Crossfire, ELRS or DJI)
  • Do you need GPS?
  • LiPo or Li-Ion battery?


What do I get?

BNF (Bind and Fly)
Fully assembled FPV drone with everything to literally just bind it to a radio controller and fly. The BNF usually doesn't come with batteries or a charger, it also doesn't contain a radio controller. (The iFlight Defender BNFs come with a battery and charger)

RTF (Ready to Fly)
Fully assembled FPV drone with included radio controller and already linked together. No need to bind but fully ready to take off. The RTF doesn't come with batteries or a charger. (The iFlight Defender BNFs come with a battery and charger)

Combo
Fully assembled FPV drone with included radio controller and much more. Usually contains a charger, batteries, tools and spare propellers. The radio controller was already linked with your drone. No need to bind but fully ready to take off, just charge your batteries.

1.6-2.5 inch drones

You want to fly indoors
You want to fly outdoors
Low risk of getting injured
Low risk of damaging something in case of a crash
Easy to fly and handle
Cheaper than bigger drones
Very small and light to carry in a bag
Smaller and lighter batteries than bigger drones
Smaller and lighter chargers than bigger drones

3-4 inch drones

You want to fly outdoors
Lightweight but lots of power
Very powerful with 6S batteries
More agile than bigger drones
Can also be used for Acro and Freestyle
More wind resistant than smaller drones
Smaller and lighter batteries than bigger drones
Easier to travel with than bigger drones
Less noisy than bigger drones

5 inch drones

You definitely want to fly outdoors
Very powerful with 6S batteries
Commonly used for Acro and Freestyle
Can also be used for cruising
Most choices of motors and propeller combinations
Short to Medium Range (~ 5 km)
Wind resistant
Can carry LiPo batteries for max. power
Can carry Li-Ion batteries for max. flight time
Easily fits in any bag still

6 inch drones

Very powerful with 6S batteries
Good power to weight ratio
More efficient than 5 inch
More flight time than 5 inch
More stable in the air than 5 inch
Short to Medium Range (~7 km)
Wind resistant
Can carry LiPo batteries for max. power
Can carry Li-Ion batteries for max. flight time

7-8 inch drones

Bigger than 6 inch drones
More efficient than 6 inch
More flight time than 6 inch
More range than 6 inch
Can carry bigger and heavier batteries
Can carry LiPo batteries for max. power
Can carry Li-Ion batteries for max. flight time
Good for high speed flights to cover more distance
Good for long and relaxed cruising flights
Better in windy conditions than smaller drones
Good for mountains and high altitide

10 inch drones

Big drones with double the footprint of a 5 inch
Much more efficient than smaller drones
Much more flight time than smaller drones
Much more range than smaller drones
Can carry bigger and heavier batteries
Can carry LiPo batteries for max. power
Can carry Li-Ion batteries for max. flight time
Good for high speed flights to cover more distance
Good for long and relaxed cruising flights
Better in windy conditions than smaller drones
Good for mountains and high altitide

Analog or Digital (HD) Video Transmission?

The trend is HD video. It offers much more clarity and more stable video transmission than Analog. You can clearly see where you're flying and hardly miss a tree branch. Integrated video recording through the FPV camera.

Analog is still the cheaper option. Modern Analog video transmitters offer great range with good antennas and good googles. Racers still prefer Analog due to it's low latency for faster reaction times. Still dominating the long range category with signal reception.

DJI Controller, ExpressLRS (ELRS) or TBS Crossfire?

The golden Standard is still TBS Crossfire for many pilots. TBS Crossfire is very easy to setup, bind and update. 900MHz system for maximum range.
ELRS is a newer open-source protocol with active development and improvements. ELRS has many manufacturers making receivers and transmitters. ELRS offers 900MHz for maximum range and 2.4GHz for more range than you need but higher packet rates (less latency).
The DJI Controller can be used with the DJI Air Unit O3 and doesn't need and additional receiver, but has lower range than ELRS or TBS Crossfire.

Do you need GPS installed?

The installed open-source flight firmware called Betaflight can be setup to use GPS Rescue, which is not equivalent to RTH (Return to home). Smaller drones usually don't need GPS nor GPS Rescue due to it's limited range.

If GPS Rescue is activated and you're experiencing a radio signal loss, your drone will follow a procedure, automatically gain altitude, turn around and fly back towards the lift-off position. As soon as you restore radio control it's recommended to take over manual control again. You can setup a switch on your radio controller to manually activate GPS Rescue, for example in case of a video signal loss.

LiPo or Li-Ion Batteries?

LiPo batteries offer more output power
Li-Ion batteries offer more capacity for more range or flight time
LiPo batteries are suitable for acrobatics and cruising flights
Li-Ion batteries are suitable for cruising flights
LiPo batteries are made of stacked square-plate cells
Li-Ion batteries are made of arranged round cells (similar to household batteries)
LiPo and Li-Ion batteries can be charged up to 4.2V
LiPo batteries can be discharged to 3.5V (while flying)
Li-Ion batteries can be discharged to ~2.9V (while flying)

This should hopefully answer some of your questions. If there are still any left, feel free to use our shop chat button or send us an email to service@iflight-rc.eu 

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