70+ ed­i­tors’ picks

Electric Flight - - CONTENTS - By the Elec­tric Flight crew

Whether you’re look­ing to add a scale war­bird, a 3D aer­o­bat, or a rac­ing drone to your hangar, our an­nual Buyer’s Guide has you cov­ered. We’ve cho­sen more than 70 of our fa­vorite planes, he­li­copters, and drones that we and our sis­ter pub­li­ca­tions Model Air­plane News and Ro­tor­drone re­viewed last year and com­piled them in this spe­cial sec­tion. All of these air­craft get high scores for their ease of as­sem­bly and ter­rific flight per­for­mance, and we’d feel com­fort­able rec­om­mend­ing any of these to our friends. Whether you’re a fly­ing ace or look­ing to get started in RC flight, you’ll find the air­craft that’s per­fect for you. See you on the flight­line.

E-flite Icon BNF Ba­sic

This 52-inch wing­span Bind-n-fly model comes with a brush­less-mo­tor power sys­tem and a Spek­trum AS3X flight­sta­bi­liz­ing re­ceiver in­stalled. Molded out of sturdy Z-foam, all the con­trol sur­faces are hinged and ready to go. The air rud­der is pow­er­ful enough to steer it in the light wind and keep con­trol while taxi­ing on the wa­ter. Whether you are fly­ing from dry land or from off­shore, this is a fun model to have. $199.99; e-fliterc.com

E-flite Ra­zor­back PNP

This is a 1200mm Plug-n-play ver­sion of the ven­er­a­ble P-47 Ra­zor­back that is con­structed of high-den­sity Z-foam with molded-in sur­face de­tails. Ev­ery­thing needed—with the ex­cep­tion of a DSM2/DSMX trans­mit­ter, a 6-chan­nel re­ceiver, and a Lipo bat­tery—is in­cluded. With or with­out AS3X, the P-47 is a sta­ble model, and with the AS3X on, you can keep the fun go­ing even in mod­er­ate wind. The P-47 re­quires some quick and easy fi­nal as­sem­bly to pro­duce a good-look­ing scale air­craft that is fun to fly. $239.99; e-fliterc.com

E-flite UMX A-10 BNF Ba­sic

This awe­some foam mi­cro-scale ver­sion comes out of the box com­pletely as­sem­bled and ready to fly. The twin ducted-fan power sys­tems pro­duce an abundance of power, and the light wing load­ing gives it a pi­lot-friendly flight per­for­mance. The light wing load­ing also pre­vents stalling or hav­ing the model drop out of a ma­neu­ver or in a turn; it is just a solid flier. The sound of these twin high-revving mo­tors is hard to beat. $149.99; e-fliterc.com

E-flite UMX Cessna 182

This ul­tra-mi­cro foam Cessna 182 BNF Ba­sic has an au­then­tic out­line and plenty of de­tail­ing. There is no as­sem­bly re­quired; just fun to be had. Even though the plane only weighs a quar­ter of a pound, it feels big­ger in flight, thanks to its AS3X sys­tem. Slow-speed han­dling is re­mark­able, and tight rud­der turns are a sight to see. The AS3X and SAFE se­lect modes make it easy for newer pi­lots to have happy, suc­cess­ful flights while work­ing with full 4-chan­nel con­trols. $129.99; e-fliterc.com

E-flite UMX F4F Wild­cat

This BNF Ba­sic model has a molded foam struc­ture, is one piece, and comes pre­dec­o­rated with all the paint and mark­ings. You’ll only need to add a 2S 280mah Lipo bat­tery to start fly­ing. Fly from a hard sur­face with the land­ing gear or re­move them for faster flights and grass landings. With noth­ing to build, it is easy to get in the air, and once there, well…you better have some ex­tra bat­ter­ies. $129.99; e-fliterc.com

E-flite UMX P-51D

This BNF Ba­sic Mus­tang is an at­trac­tive molded-foam fighter with ex­cel­lent per­for­mance that comes ready to fly; just sup­ply a Dsm2/dsmx-com­pat­i­ble trans­mit­ter. It can fly from any smooth sur­face and is sta­ble with ex­cel­lent re­sponse. It tracks through the air well in calm weather and has a lively con­trol re­sponse. On smooth sur­faces, touch-and-gos are a blast as are spot landings, but the real fun is do­ing loops and rolls with the bril­liant climb per­for­mance that this plane pro­vides. $129.99; e-fliterc.com

E-flite UMX Waco BL

A light­weight foam BNF Ba­sic bi­plane that comes fully as­sem­bled and ready to fly with all the mi­cro ser­vos, hinges, link­ages, and mo­tor in­stalled. It can be flown in­doors or out in mild weather. Not much throt­tle is needed to keep the plane sta­ble, and it is re­spon­sive at low rates and ma­neu­ver­able with solid flight at all speeds. It can eas­ily per­form loops and rolls, with plenty of power to en­able any com­bi­na­tion of these ma­neu­vers. $129.00; e-fliterc.com

FMS 70mm A-10 Thun­der­bolt II PNP

This 59.1-inch wing­span A-10 is a plug-and-play model that in­cludes nearly ev­ery­thing you need to get air­borne; just add a trans­mit­ter, re­ceiver, and bat­tery. The plane is con­structed of high-den­sity foam painted and re­in­forced with plas­tic where needed for strength. The A-10 is a scale EDF jet and per­forms best when flown as such (hint: it’s fast!). $469.99; forcerc.com

FMS P-47 Ra­zor­back PNP

In­ter­me­di­ate-ad­vanced This model spans an im­pres­sive 59 inches and is molded out of a lighter type of EPO foam with scale de­tails. Just add a trans­mit­ter, re­ceiver, and Lipo flight bat­tery and you’re set to go. This is a well-be­haved and easy-to-fly war­bird that is a blast to fly. Add in all the scale fea­tures and you have a war­bird that you’ll want to take to the field with you ev­ery time. $359.99; forcerc.com

FMS Pi­la­tus PC-21 PNP

This at­trac­tive 1100mm scale model has a high de­gree of pre­fab­ri­ca­tion and is molded out of EPO foam. This plug-and-play air­frame comes com­plete with ev­ery­thing you need, mi­nus your own trans­mit­ter, re­ceiver, and Lipo flight bat­tery. The PC-21 does a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing, from sport fly­ing to mild aer­o­bat­ics; it is just a joy to fly. $209.99; forcerc.com

Great Planes Zero ARF

De­signed for elec­tric or glow power, this plane’s air­frame is com­prised of light ply/balsa cov­ered in heat-shrink film. The 56-inch-span wing is small enough to make trans­porta­tion easy, and as ex­pected, this plane han­dles like a sport plane should and will ap­peal to a wide range of pi­lots. $149.99; great­planes.com

Hob­byk­ing B-17

This 1875mm B-17 is made out of EPO foam and in­cludes ev­ery­thing ex­cept a re­ceiver and flight bat­tery. Af­ter a to­tal as­sem­bly of two to three hours, more time is ac­tu­ally spent on ap­ply­ing the de­cals. This plane is rock-solid in the air, and there is enough di­he­dral to pro­vide sta­bil­ity with­out ap­pear­ing to be non­scale. The B-17 is an im­pres­sive model that re­ally has no sur­prises or bad fly­ing habits. $324.99; hob­byk­ing.com

Mo­tion RC F-15C Ea­gle

This 90mm EDF jet comes plug-and-play and is con­structed out of EPO foam. This model has scores of fea­tures and re­quires a min­i­mal amount of build­ing. Flight per­for­mance is solid with its 12-blade EDF unit and 1550Kv out­run­ner mo­tor. Dur­ing land­ing, there are no sur­prises, and it’s for­giv­ing in the land­ing pat­tern. This F-15 is a win­ner. $449.00; mo­tionrc.com

Mo­tion RC Spit­fire

This WW II clas­sic is molded out of sturdy EPO foam, and it has a scale out­line. The wings are re­in­forced with an in­ter­lock­ing ply­wood and car­bon-fiber frame for strength. This 63-inchspan Spit­fire comes equipped with a 5055-390Kv brush­less out­run­ner mo­tor, 80A speed con­trol, and scale 4-blade pro­pel­ler, and it re­quires a trans­mit­ter, re­ceiver, and 6S 4000–5000mah Lipo bat­tery. It’s a solid flier. $349.00; mo­tionrc.com

Tower Hob­bies P-51B Ber­lin Ex­press

This re­ceiver-ready 40-inch-span model is molded out of Ae­ro­cell foam, and as­sem­bly goes quickly with no ad­he­sive re­quired. It flies like a fun sport plane with a well-matched power setup and speedy per­for­mance. In­cluded are pre­assem­bled wing, fuse­lage, and tail sec­tions; fixed land­ing gear; wheels; mo­tor; speed con­trol; pro­pel­ler; spin­ner; ser­vos; and in­struc­tion man­ual. Re­tracts are not in­cluded but can be pur­chased separately. $119.99 ($144.77 w/flaps & re­tracts); tow­er­hob­bies.com

Tower Hob­bies P-51D Mus­tang Mk II

Molded out of tough Ae­ro­cell foam, this P-51D Mus­tang is light, sturdy, and easy to main­tain. Re­ceiver-ready, with a 1000Kv brush­less mo­tor, 30A speed con­trol, and four ser­vos all pre­in­stalled, this WW II fighter is loaded with de­tails like molded ex­haust stacks, panel lines, ma­chine guns, an in­stru­ment panel, and a painted and in­stalled pi­lot bust. As­sem­bly is easy and doesn’t re­quire glue. It flies great, and when it is time to land, there are no sur­prises. $104.99; tow­er­hob­bies.com

Blade The­ory

This is a plane that will get you into the FPV ac­tion right out of the box. The fuse­lage comes with the ra­dio and mo­tor in­stalled, and the plug-in wing halves make the plane easy to trans­port and as­sem­ble. Get­ting it into the air is easy as can be: Charge the bat­tery, and once it’s done, go fly. The built-in sta­bi­liza­tion makes it easy to fly; add in a set of FPV gog­gles and a whole new world opens up. $299.99; blade­he­lis.com

Dro­mida Voy­ager

Molded out of light­weight, rugged foam, this plane comes out of the box com­pletely ready to fly. There is no as­sem­bly re­quired; even the pro­pel­ler and spin­ner are al­ready at­tached to the mo­tor. We were able to fly it in a medium-size gym­na­sium with enough power to eas­ily climb to the roof. In­tended for first-time pi­lots, this is an at­trac­tive scale-look­ing mi­cro RC plane that’s easy to fly. $49.99; dro­mida.com

E-flite Car­bon-z Cessna

We now have an 83.7-inch-span Cessna 150 that makes it easy for any­one to get into gi­ant-scale air­planes. This su­per-smooth foam air­frame has car­bon-fiber re­in­force­ment where nec­es­sary. Just add a re­ceiver and you are ready to fly. In­cor­po­rat­ing Hori­zon’s SAFE (Sen­sor As­sisted Flight En­ve­lope) tech­nol­ogy, the Cessna is about as sta­ble an air­plane as you could hope for. Gi­ant scale is not just for the rich/re­tired trailer-tot­ing folks any­more. $399.99; e-fliterc.com

E-flite Com­man­der mpd BNF Ba­sic

This all-foam 1.4m plane looks like a full-size sport air­craft, and it has the ad­van­tage of SAFE tech­nol­ogy. This may just be the ticket for many pi­lots. The dense foam con­struc­tion holds up well to the rig­ors of flight and re­quires lit­tle prep work to get it ready for the sky. The plane is solid in the air and easy for newer pi­lots to con­trol. Landings are smooth and seem al­most au­to­matic. $229.99; e-fliterc.com

E-flite Con­ver­gence BNF Ba­sic

This new VTOL (ver­ti­cal take­off and land­ing) is an easy-tofly wing that can take off and land ver­ti­cally. This durable Z-foam plane is well con­structed and will take the abuse of many flights. It is a fun plane to fly, and its hov­er­ing per­for­mance is a real shocker—it is re­ally out­stand­ing. If you’re look­ing for a unique air­craft that crosses over from plane to mul­ti­ro­tor, this is the one to get. $249.99; e-flite.com

E-flite Opterra BNF Ba­sic

This 2m aerial video/fpv plat­form has some­thing for ev­ery­one, and it will keep you en­ter­tained. It is con­structed com­pletely out of car­bon-re­in­forced Z-foam that has been hol­low-molded to keep weight at a min­i­mum. It’s large and easy to see, sta­ble and easy to con­trol at all speeds, and just plain fun to fly. You can eas­ily get the plane air­borne in 15 min­utes, and fly­ing it is just as quick and easy. $229.99; e-fliterc.com

E-flite Tim­ber PNP

Molded out of highly durable Z-foam, this 1.5m plane comes with pretty much ev­ery­thing needed ex­cept a trans­mit­ter, re­ceiver, and Lipo bat­tery pack. It will glide for days and has al­most no no­tice­able stall. Real­is­ti­cally, you can fly the plane al­most any­where, as its take­off roll is about as long as the fuse­lage. It is just a blast to fly. From shoot­ing touch-and-gos to rip­ping up the sky per­form­ing loops and rolls, this plane keeps it ex­cit­ing. $219.99; e-flite.com

E-flite Valiant 1.3 BNF Ba­sic

Con­structed out of re­in­forced Z-foam, this plane is de­signed to go to­gether quickly. It can han­dle just about any type of fly­ing you might be in the mood for. The plane does an ex­cel­lent job of stay­ing on the course you set; you re­ally have to force a stall. Quick build­ing and easy setup min­i­mizes box-to-smile (fly­ing) time. It is one of those planes that will keep you com­ing back for more. $199.99; e-fliterc.com

Fly­zone Rapide EP RX-R

This air­craft com­bines the dura­bil­ity of a foamie, the launch­ing sim­plic­ity of an EP sailplane, and, thanks to its con­struc­tion, per­for­mance that’s close to that of a hot­liner. The 60-inchspan plane is a re­ceiver-ready de­sign, made out of durable car­bon­re­in­forced Ae­ro­cell foam, and comes with ev­ery­thing ex­cept a re­ceiver and bat­tery. Its size and dura­bil­ity al­low you to fly in ar­eas where you might be hes­i­tant to take a more frag­ile and ex­pen­sive sailplane. $219.99; fly­zon­erc.com

FMS Su­per EZ V2 PNP

This 48-inch-span plane is a great trainer and Sun­day flier that boasts won­der­ful fly­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics and a straight­for­ward de­sign. Ev­ery­thing you need to com­plete this plane is in­cluded in the box, with the ex­cep­tion of the trans­mit­ter, re­ceiver, and bat­tery. Con­structed out of high-den­sity foam, this sta­ble and easy-to-fly air­craft is stress-free when land­ing and dur­ing take­off from both land and wa­ter (with op­tional floats). $179.99; forcerc.com

Freew­ing Avanti S EDF Jet PNP

This jet has turned out to be just the plane we were hop­ing for. It can be as­sem­bled quickly, and its sta­ble flight han­dles the wind well. Con­structed out of molded EPO foam, this 49-inch-span jet is just about the per­fect size for any fly­ing field. With its ex­cel­lent sta­bil­ity, easy land­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics, and flight per­for­mance, it is a great value for any­one want­ing to get into elec­tric-pow­ered sport jets. $329.00; mo­tionrc.com

Hob­byk­ing Night Wal­rus

This plane is made out of durable molded EPO foam, with LED lights and graphic de­cals in­stalled. Only mi­nor as­sem­bly is re­quired to get this bird in the air. On take­off, it only needs a light toss at an up an­gle with max power and it is safely away. Glide per­for­mance is ex­cel­lent, and it has a clean, pre­dictable stall. The model is easy to con­trol and is fun to fly when the sun goes down. $125.50; hob­byk­ing.com

Ori­gin Funter

Molded out of EPO foam, this pusher de­sign comes with just about ev­ery­thing in­cluded in the box; you just need to add a flight bat­tery, re­ceiver, and trans­mit­ter. Fea­tures in­clude a pre­in­stalled 1200Kv mo­tor, a 30A speed con­trol, four ser­vos, a 8x6 fold­ing prop, and a 2-inch spin­ner. A car­bon-fiber wing tube gives the two-piece wing strength, and a mag­net­i­cally at­tached hatch makes bat­tery ac­cess a breeze. $129.99; orig­in­hobby.com

Phoenix Out­ra­geous ARF

With a 61-inch span, this py­lon racer is con­structed out of tra­di­tional balsa-and-ply ma­te­rial and cov­ered in Ora­cover. Ide­ally pow­ered by a Rim­fire 55 mo­tor, it comes with a pre­built wing, fuse­lage, and tail as­sem­blies; en­gine/mo­tor mount; spin­ner; fuel tank; wheels; canopy; and in­struc­tion man­ual. Its large fuse­lage hatch makes get­ting to your ra­dio gear a piece of cake. Flight per­for­mance is smooth and fast. $154.99; phoenix­model.com

Ready­maderc.com STRIX Goblin FPV PNP

This plane sports a tough blow-molded ABS fuse­lage that’s aero­dy­nam­i­cally clean. The wing halves to­tal a 39-inch span and are molded out of high-den­sity EPO foam with car­bon-fiber spars for rigid­ity. The ba­sic as­sem­bly takes less than an hour, and de­pend­ing on the FPV sys­tem you use, it can be done in one even­ing. Once in the air, the plane is light on the con­trols and is smooth at all speeds. It can fly blis­ter­ingly fast straight and level, and its high ef­fi­ciency is ideal for cruis­ing. It’s a great plat­form for fixed-wing FPV pi­lots. $249.99; ready­maderc.com

Tower Hob­bies Sport ARF

This all-wood built-up 60-inch air­plane is a straight­for­ward low-wing de­sign that comes with a fac­tory-ap­plied heat-shrink film fin­ish. De­signed for ei­ther a Rim­fire 46 or 55 mo­tor or equiv­a­lent, its fan­tas­tic fly­ing at­tributes, from low fly­bys to touch-and-gos, make this model just too much fun. Add in the sim­plic­ity and clean­li­ness of e-power, and it makes this an en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence to have this plane at the field. $94.99; tow­er­hob­bies.com

Tower Hob­bies Uproar V2

This 47.6-inch-span model has a built-up balsa and light-ply struc­ture and comes fully cov­ered. All the hard­ware and parts re­quired for com­ple­tion are in­cluded. You sup­ply your choice of ra­dio, Rim­fire 46 mo­tor or equiv­a­lent, and bat­tery. Plug-in wing pan­els make trans­port­ing the plane to the fly­ing field a piece of cake. It comes with wing, fuse­lage, and tail sec­tions; land­ing gear; wheels; spin­ner; mo­tor mount; en­gine mount; fuel tank; de­cals; and in­struc­tion man­ual. Per­for­mance is out­stand­ing with this fun-fly de­sign. $99.99; tow­er­hob­bies.com

Aer­obeez Edge 540

This slick-look­ing pro­file plat­form is con­structed out of high-den­sity foam and has plenty of car­bon-fiber rods for ad­di­tional sup­port and stiff­en­ing. With a wing­span of 32 inches, the plane is sta­ble but can also eas­ily fly wild aer­o­bat­ics. If you want to learn to hover, per­form torque rolls, and all the other grav­ity-de­fy­ing sky tricks, you need this plane. $36.99; aer­obeez.com

E-flite SU-29MM Sukhoi BNF Ba­sic

This 1.1m light­weight aer­o­bat is con­structed out of durable Z-foam, and com­bined with a pow­er­ful brush­less mo­tor, it is an awe­some aer­o­batic per­former. Lit­tle as­sem­bly is needed to get it flight ready, and once in the air, you have a nice-fly­ing aer­o­batic bird. At the flip of a switch, you can have pat­tern-type per­for­mance turn into an all-out 3D gi­ant and one that doesn’t break the bank. With SAFE tech­nol­ogy, it is the clos­est thing to hav­ing a crash­proof model. $229.99; e-fliterc.com

E-flite UMX Yak 54 3D

This BNF Ba­sic is a flat foam 3D model that is per­fect for those early-morn­ing or late-even­ing flights in the yard or nearby park. It comes out of the box com­pletely as­sem­bled; you just need to charge the bat­tery. This mi­cro is a hoot to fly! The Al­ter­nate Flight modes re­ally do help the model hover, knife-edge, or torque roll eas­ier. Even though it’s light, it can eas­ily han­dle slight breezes. $99.99; e-fliterc.com

Hacker Model Edge 540 V3 Toxic

This EPP flat car­bon-fiber-re­in­forced foam model re­ally de­liv­ers in both qual­ity and per­for­mance. This kit does re­quire some build­ing, but it is not out of the reach for any in­ter­me­di­ate builder. Fun to fly in­doors, it can also fly out­side in mild weather. This plane was able to han­dle all the 3D ma­neu­vers we could throw at it, and it did so with ease. This is the per­fect plane to keep in the car for some lunchtime aer­o­batic fly­ing fun. $59.99; tow­er­hob­bies.com

Hitec/mul­ti­plex Ex­tra 330SC GB

This stout 45-inch-wing­span re­ceiver-ready plane is molded out of Ela­por foam with ply­wood re­in­force­ment and is easy to re­pair. It comes mostly as­sem­bled, with all hinges in­stalled ex­cept for the rud­der. It comes with fac­tory-ap­plied de­cals. When flown in a nor­mal pat­tern, the plane feels solid and flies like a 3D ship should. You’ll be fly­ing this one all day long, prac­tic­ing your hard-core “huck” moves down low with­out any worry. $400.00; mul­ti­plex-rc.de

Pre­ci­sion Aer­o­bat­ics XR-61

This 61-inch-span plane flies with ex­treme sta­bil­ity and feels like a gi­ant-scale plane. Fac­tory-as­sem­bled con­struc­tion con­sists of se­lect balsa and ply­wood, en­gi­neered with car­bon-fiber ad­di­tions in all the right ar­eas for ex­tra strength. Avail­able in blue, green, and red paint schemes, this plane is de­signed for the PA Thrust 50 out­run­ner mo­tor sys­tem (not in­cluded). Ball-link cle­vises and a Kevlar pull-pull cord are in­cluded for ex­tremely pre­cise con­trol re­sponse. The plug-in wing pan­els are joined to­gether with a car­bon-fiber wing tube, and all flight sur­faces are fully air­foiled. $299.95; pre­ci­sion­aer­o­bat­ics.com

Tower Hob­bies Gary Wright Craze Wing EP

This ex­cit­ing 35-inch span sport-aer­o­batic fly­ing-wing de­sign can be flown in small park ar­eas and can per­form smooth loops and rolls with ease. Built with all-wood con­struc­tion, this ARF comes with a high level of as­sem­bly al­ready done. In the air, it is a solid-per­form­ing sport plane. Hand launches and landings are pre­dictable and easy for one per­son to per­form. $49.99; tow­er­hob­bies.com

Blade 250 CFX BNF Ba­sic

This heli comes with SAFE tech­nol­ogy and is ready to fly right out of the box. This high-per­for­mance pre­ci­sion he­li­copter is de­signed for both the novice and the in­ter­me­di­ate pi­lot to tran­si­tion safely from hov­er­ing into sport and 3D aer­o­bat­ics. If you get into prob­lems while fly­ing in any flight mode, ac­ti­vate Panic Re­cov­ery and the he­li­copter will im­me­di­ately re­turn to an up­right level at­ti­tude. This he­li­copter is a com­bi­na­tion of qual­ity, dura­bil­ity, pre­ci­sion, and high per­for­mance with­out a high price tag. $309.99; hori­zon­hobby.com

Blade MSRS

This new lit­tle heli is per­fect for the new­comer who wants to get into ro­tary flight. Fea­tur­ing SAFE tech­nol­ogy, the built-in AS3X flight-sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem gives this he­li­copter rock-solid flight han­dling. It’s a com­plete pack­age that is ready for flight straight from the box, af­ter charg­ing the bat­tery. The model is re­spon­sive, and by keep­ing stick move­ments small and smooth, you can eas­ily fly with­out over­cor­rect­ing. This is a per­fect rugged light­weight he­li­copter for in­door fly­ing. $120.00; blade­he­lis.com

Blade Night 230

This he­li­copter not only comes with a prewired light­ing pack­age but also has Sta­bil­ity and Panic Re­cover flight modes, mak­ing get­ting use to night fly­ing eas­ier. Ev­ery­thing is de­signed for dura­bil­ity and easy re­pair. It is de­signed to al­low even low-time he­li­copter pi­lots to en­joy the fun of night fly­ing. Tough con­struc­tion and a Panic Re­cov­ery fea­ture make it likely to sur­vive most hard landings. $269.99; blade­he­lis.com

Blade Trio 360

Three-blade ro­tor heads are an ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ment for aer­o­batic he­li­copters; the in­creased blade mass makes for both greater sta­bil­ity and in­creased re­sponse. This heli comes fully as­sem­bled as a Bind-n-fly, and its qual­ity and per­for­mance are out­stand­ing. The air­craft is a re­spon­sive ma­chine with ex­cep­tional looks. If you’ve been want­ing to try out the 3-blade for­mat in an af­ford­able pack­age, this may be the bird for you. $599.99; blade­he­lis.com

Gaui R5 Kit

This is a true kit build, with only items like the ro­tor head and swash­plate par­tially pre­assem­bled. This 580-class he­li­copter is con­structed out of alu­minum and car­bon-fiber parts. At nor­mal head­speed (gov­erned to 2000rpm), this he­li­copter is ac­tu­ally quite docile. The de­sign and qual­ity are truly out­stand­ing, mak­ing this heli look fan­tas­tic in the air, and it has ab­so­lutely daz­zling per­for­mance. It is the most ex­hil­a­rat­ing he­li­copter we have flown. $1,079.00; gaui.com.tw

Aim­droix Xray Racer

There is no doubt that this racer is de­signed for the ex­pe­ri­enced pi­lot (not that it is hard to fly—it is just a very re­spon­sive quad). That, along with its speed and tilt ro­tor ac­tion, make it a thor­ough­bred racer. It comes as­sem­bled and al­ready tested at the fac­tory. We lit­er­ally just plugged in the bat­tery and started fly­ing: zero build­ing time, with 100 per­cent fly­ing fun. $499.99 ; aim­droix.com

Ami­mon Fal­core Racer

This is an in­no­va­tive and fun drone for first-time and ex­pe­ri­enced rac­ers. It comes fully as­sem­bled with car­bon­fiber arms and body to pro­tect all the in­ter­nal com­po­nents. In Shield mode, the drone flies with only the right stick on the trans­mit­ter and keeps the air­craft 3 feet above the ground. This 190mm drone is de­signed for the novice who has lim­ited prac­tice time on rac­ing drones, but ex­pe­ri­enced pi­lots will also en­joy this bird. $799.00; ami­mon.com/fpv-mar­ket

Blade Con­spir­acy Racer

This drone comes out of the box re­quir­ing lit­tle as­sem­bly to ready it for flight. It is a solid racer with a thick car­bon-fiber base and arms that should hold up to the rig­ors of rac­ing. It has plenty of power to make this a com­pet­i­tive racer, and the rec­om­mended set­tings are easy to fly with—a good start­ing point be­fore mak­ing ad­just­ments for your fly­ing skills. This bird re­ally punches out with some power and will move through the course at a com­pet­i­tive speed. $349.99; blade­he­lis.com

Get FPV Lu­me­nier QAV-XS Racer

This is a light­weight stretch X de­signed for high-speed rac­ing ac­tion. When you pur­chase it, you only get the bare air­frame, which is nicely fin­ished car­bon plates. You will need to add all the on­board com­po­nents, but when you are fin­ished, it is a fast and com­pet­i­tive quad de­signed for the rac­ing scene. Re­spon­sive­ness is some­thing this drone re­ally ex­cels at; it is quick and nim­ble while han­dling well at all speeds. $84.99; getfpv.com

Hitec Vek­tor 280 FPV Rac­ing Drone

This lit­tle re­ceiver-ready drone is de­signed for new pi­lots who want to get into FPV drone rac­ing but don’t want to spend a lot of time on con­struc­tion. Its 3mm car­bon-fiber arms are pre­mounted to the main frame and of­fer a solid crash-re­sis­tance body. The drone climbs smoothly and is easy to fly around in a con­fined lo­ca­tion. With a cam­era pre­in­stalled and wired, this is an al­most-ready-to-fpv quad. $229.99; hite­crcd.com

Kyosho Ze­phyr

This drone racer is all about mak­ing it easy for a be­gin­ner pi­lot to get air­borne for the first time and have fun. The low-height fly­ing con­trol sys­tem will keep the drone racer at a fixed 13- or 19-inch al­ti­tude no mat­ter what ter­rain you fly over. One thing we no­ticed right off the bat is how smoothly this lit­tle drone re­sponds to com­mands. It’s very easy to fly. $219.00; kyoshoamer­ica.com

RISE Vu­sion 250 Racer FPV-R Rac­ing Drone

This RISE Vu­sion se­ries of quads opens up the world of FPV to the novice flier who wants to try drone rac­ing. The power sys­tem on this drone is stout and has no prob­lem get­ting it up to speed. In ad­di­tion, a 600TVL FPV pop-up cam­era is built into the top of the body. This is an easy and fun bird to fly and should give you many hours of fun rac­ing. $219.99; ex­plore-rise.com

RISE Vu­sion Ex­treme Race Pack

A com­plete pack­age, this 250mm rac­ing drone has high­grade in­jec­tion-molded plas­tic con­struc­tion. Its power sys­tem and FPV cam­era come in­stalled and ready to go. A nice fea­ture is the lost air­craft lo­ca­tor, which beeps in the event of a crash or out-of­sight land­ing. With plenty of speed, this FPV racer is no slouch for a 3S ma­chine. In full Acro mode, the drone can re­ally rip around and cut some good sharp cor­ners. $349.99; ex­plore-rise.com

RISE Vu­sion House Racer 125 RTF

Ideal for any­one, this quad race pack comes with a 125mm FPV racer fully as­sem­bled and with a bat­tery and con­troller. In­cluded are a 600TVL FPV video cam­era; 25mw VTX 40-chan­nel, five­band video trans­mit­ter; a Tac­tic FPV-RM2 40-chan­nel 5.8GHZ FPV mon­i­tor; Tac­tic FPV-G1 gog­gles; and a RISE 2.4GHZ 6-chan­nel ra­dio sys­tem. With three fly­ing modes, this quad is easy to fly and ma­neu­ver in the house and out­doors around ob­sta­cles. In the be­gin­ner flight modes, this is a very sta­ble quad. $179.99; ex­plore-rise.com

Thrust UAV Riot 250R Pro

Fea­tur­ing a white gel­coat car­bon-fiber frame, 52 cus­tom­iz­a­ble LEDS, and a F4 flight con­troller, all the parts of this drone are in­te­grated and pro­tected in­side the poly­car­bon­ate skirt that sur­rounds the body. In­tended for the rac­ing pi­lot, this drone re­quires some fly­ing skills to take full ad­van­tage of all this bird has to of­fer. It is a sta­ble flier while still sport­ing that pow­er­ful “charge out of the gates and fast” top end. This is a solid racer that pi­lots of any skill level will en­joy. $499.00; thrust-uav.com

DJI In­spire 2 Pre­mium Combo

Im­prov­ing on a well-built and well-tested de­sign, this drone is a lit­tle big­ger and faster than its pre­de­ces­sor. The ob­sta­cleav­oid­ance sys­tem can de­tect ob­sta­cles up to 30 me­ters ahead for pro­tec­tion of up to 35mph. There was never a minute that we did not feel com­fort­able fly­ing this quad, even when close to the ground. The con­trol is so solid that it makes you a better pi­lot. The in­cluded Zen­muse X5S cam­era is out­stand­ing and makes this the must-have drone for all com­mer­cial cin­e­matog­ra­phers. $6,189.00; dji.com

DJI Mavic Pro

This drone’s clever de­sign keeps it small, with all four arms fold­ing up un­der­neath and to the sides, mak­ing it easy to trans­port. De­spite its small size, it is able to hit just un­der 40mph. This, in part, can be at­trib­uted to the qual­ity con­struc­tion and solid feel this bird has, even though it can eas­ily fit in a jacket pocket. Its in­tel­li­gent flight modes, pow­er­ful mo­tors, 4K video, and 12 megapixel images make this the drone to own. $999.00; dji.com

Dro­mida Hover­shot

This drone is a blast to fly, and it comes with ev­ery­thing you need to get it in the air. In­cluded is a built-in 720p FPV cam­era for in-flight still pic­tures and video footage. Whether it is set at high or low rates, the drone is ex­tremely sta­ble and easy to hover, even out­side in slightly breezy con­di­tions. If you want an easy-to-fly cam­era-equipped quad­copter, you will love this model. $99.99; dro­mida.com

Dro­mida XL 370 FPV

This is a ca­pa­ble cam­era drone that will help you de­velop your aerial pho­tog­ra­phy skills. It is a true ready-to-fly drone, with a FPV 1080p cam­era al­ready at­tached to its rugged, sleek air­frame. A built-in three-axis gyro with three ac­celerom­e­ters help the drone main­tain smooth, sta­ble flight, mak­ing this an over­all great-fly­ing bird. It is sta­ble enough for the be­gin­ner pi­lot while hav­ing plenty of per­for­mance on tap to sat­isfy the ex­pe­ri­enced pi­lot. $249.99; dro­mida.com

Drone World Fal­con Edi­tion

One of the best pack­ages you can get is from Drone World, whose mod­i­fied drone is much more than a stock setup. It comes with ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing three bat­ter­ies, ex­tra props, and more. It is hard to say any­thing bad about the fly­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics of this bird; DJI had a num­ber of years to get it right, and they took full ad­van­tage of that time. This is an easy, solid-fly­ing quad with a nice cam­era and gim­bal. $3,099.00; drone-world.com

Flypro Xea­gle

With its 4K sport cam­era, this 290mm quad­copter is de­signed for those who wish to film them­selves from the air but have lit­tle or no ex­pe­ri­ence with drones. The drone is con­trolled via a watch that al­lows the would-be aerial cin­e­matog­ra­pher to con­trol ba­sic ma­neu­vers. The wrist­watch con­troller is sleek and also easy to use and op­er­ate, mak­ing the drone easy to fly. The drone of­fers two ba­sic flight modes—fol­low and Cir­cle—and each has a ded­i­cated but­ton on the watch. $649.00; flypro.com

Go­pro Karma

As­sem­bled and ready to fly out of the box, this drone is a fold­able video plat­form per­fect for any­one who is into ac­tion sports. Go­pro did a great job of cre­at­ing a re­mov­able light­weight gim­bal, which does an amaz­ing job of sta­bi­liz­ing the shot. The flight con­trols are smooth but very re­spon­sive. New­bies will re­ally like the Easy Flight mode, which is a per­fect way to build up your fly­ing skills with­out risk­ing that new drone. $799.99; go­pro.com

Xiro Ex­plorer Mini

This drone is pack­aged with a small fold­able air­frame that sports sev­eral fea­tures. A smart­phone is used with a ded­i­cated app to con­trol the drone. Once un­folded, the drone is 225mm in size; it has a nice solid feel and is easy to con­trol in all flight modes. Fea­tures in­clude GPS/GLONASS as­sisted hover, Auto Re­turn Home with Auto Land­ing, Lost Con­nec­tion pro­tec­tion, and low-power warn­ing. The drone au­to­mat­i­cally records its take­off points. Its pow­er­ful flight-con­trol sys­tem au­to­mat­i­cally han­dles all kinds of un­ex­pected sit­u­a­tions. $349.00; xiro­drone.com

Yuneec Breeze 4K

De­signed for peo­ple who want to doc­u­ment their life in movies and pho­tos, this drone comes fully as­sem­bled and only re­quires down­load­ing the Breeze­cam app on your smart­phone to get it in the air. It is easy to fly and con­trol, and there are a num­ber of au­to­matic flight modes that you can use to doc­u­ment your ad­ven­tures. Down­load­ing the images can be done right on the app, so shar­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence is easy and fast. The drone comes with case, pro­pel­lers guards, and two flight bat­ter­ies. $399.99; yuneec.com

Yuneec Tor­nado 920 Plus

De­signed for the ad­vanced pi­lot, this hex­a­copter is sur­pris­ingly easy to fly and con­trol. This model has au­to­mated, ad­vanced flight modes that help you cre­ate pro­fes­sion­al­look­ing videos. Ev­ery­thing is in­cluded and as­sem­bled (the cam­era and gim­bal are a sep­a­rate $1,500.00 pur­chase). This large 920mm-size drone is for the com­mer­cial drone pi­lot and has a 360-de­gree gim­bal that of­fers full open view from above. The im­age qual­ity from the cam­era and the smooth fly­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics make this an out­stand­ing cam­era drone. $2,499.99; us.yuneec.com

Blade In­duc­trix

Blade is lead­ing the charge and mak­ing get­ting into FPV eas­ier than ever with drone. The pack­age in­cludes the drone, a ra­dio, and a 4.3-inch mon­i­tor—ba­si­cally, ev­ery­thing you need for FPV fly­ing. Fly­ing the drone for the first time re­ally is as easy as turn­ing it on and tak­ing off. It is the per­fect way to get into this first-per­son-view world and a great step­ping-stone to get you ready for the big­ger and faster drones. $199.00; blade­he­lis.com

Pro­pel Star Wars Bat­tle Drones

Choose from the Tie Ad­vanced X1, the T-65 X-wing Starfighter, and the 74-Z Speeder Bike and re-cre­ate your fa­vorite Star Wars scenes! Fully as­sem­bled, each comes in a col­lec­tor’s edi­tion box that’s also per­fect for dis­play. In T-mode, flight is gov­erned by an in­vis­i­ble ceil­ing and floor that pro­tects the drone from hit­ting any­thing above or be­low it. Each drone has its own unique fly­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics, plus they’re all bat­tle ready, so they can at­tack each other with in­vis­i­ble beams. $199.99 each; pro­pelsw.com

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