Hitec Vektor 280
$270 | Beginner-Intermediate
The Vektor 280 utilizes a circuit-board system, and it has all the required power pads
and speed controls built into it. Rather than the typical stack of components, you get
a slim, compact setup with the aforementioned items and other built-ins, such as
programmable LED lighting and DSM and SBus support. If you like doing the PWM thing
(one wire per channel), you can because there are wire harnesses for either option.
The flight controller is the CC3D Atom and was configured through LibrePilot. Formerly
known as OpenPilot, LibrePilot is a free open-source firmware available online. With the
2204 motors preinstalled on top of the arms with wire-loom-wrapped leads fed into the
main frame, the Vektor 280 is truly “almost ready to fly.” It is also “almost ready to FPV”
with a camera preinstalled and prewired to an included 600m W video transmitter. Just
add your receiver and display and you’re ready to rip.
$219 | Beginner
Kyosho’s racing drones are specifically designed to lower
the difficulty barrier for first-time racers, and one novel
way Kyosho does that is by utilizing a pistol-grip radio,
easing the transition for RC car racers. This is made
possible by the preprogramming of the flight controller
with two preset altitudes—35cm and 60cm—so that
racers can focus on the other two inputs: steering and
throttle. That makes Kyosho’s racer the perfect trainer
to hone your skills and teach you to fly consistent lines,
and the various available speeds are a great way to get
you comfortable with flying fast. The available settings
and configurations also help you customize the racer to
your liking. And with the price of admission at just $219,
the fun you’ll have makes it a real steal.
Hitec QuadRacer 280
$400 | Beginner
This little drone is designed for the new pilot who wants to get into
FPV racing but doesn’t want to spend a lot of time on construction.
Within minutes, we were in the air with the QuadRacer 280. This is a
stable-flying bird out of the box that is easy for any pilot to control.
One of the cool safety devices on this bird is a side button on the
body that needs to be pushed before startup can happen.
The transmitter is simple to handle; you can easily see the LCD
screen, and there are individual switches for stabilization and respon-
siveness. “High” stabilization mode is perfect for the new pilot, and it
does a good job of leveling out the quad when the sticks are released.
On “Low,” the stabilization is still noticeable but does not interfere as
much, and allows a pilot to fly fairly aggressively.
On the other side is the second mode
switch, which controls the responsiveness
of the quad. In Mild mode, the quad flies
smoothly, and there is just enough control
to make some fast turns;
this is where the new
can pull the switch back
to “Fast,” which allows
them to make the turns required for any type of FPV
racing; this is the mode that all pilots will eventually move to
when they want the best performance from this bird.
HobbyKing Black Widow
FPV Racer RTF
$193 | Intermediate
Looking for an out-of-the-box multirotor solution with
all the features of a professional system? The team
at HobbyKing has come up with the perfect
solution. The Black Widow has a beautiful
Multistar storage case; the popular TGY-i6
2.4GHz transmitter; a prebuilt, pretuned, and
preconfigured quadcopter with CC3D flight
controller; 2204-2300Kv motors; a 3S 1300mAh
LiPo battery pack; a 6-inch prop set; and a LiPo