While I’ve logged dozens of hours on the Drone Racing League’s free FPV racing simulator over the last year, I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to put on real FPV goggles. I feel great on the sticks, and I’ve looked through my fair share of mobile and tablet screens while flying, but never in a true first-person-view experience.
That was, until two companies reached out to see if we could sample their FPV racing drones.
The first is a relatively new company, Force1RC, who sent us their FPV Drone Racing Kit to review.
That’ll be published in a separate post
The reason I’m mentioning Force1RC in this post is because I was actually using their goggles to fly, as the promo kit that the VIFLY team sent to us didn’t include goggles. Just wanted to give credit where credit is due.
Meet the VIFLY Racing Drone
So in this post, I’m going to review the VIFLY Racing Drone.
While most professional (or at least serious?) FPV racers are building and tweaking their own systems, there’s a growing number of folks looking for easier, ready-to-fly models. FPV flying, even when done casually, is an unbelievable experience, particularly with the goggles on.
The VIFLY Racing Drone comes more or less ready-to-fly. After charging the battery, I took my maiden flight without much set up. No PID tuning or anything like that. The initial goal was to see how it handled, which was quite well. It packs a powerful little punch when you throttle up. Yowzah, that’s some thrust.
The instructions, at least the version of the instructions I was sent in this promo kit, were VERY basic. I was told that a variety of the questions I had around the different output power and video channel settings would be better explained in future instruction books. I also found this helpful support video gallery, which took care of most of my initial questions. Like other companies I’ve worked with, I trust that their instructions will improve over time. DJI’s certainly did from their Phantom 1 line back in 2014
And while the VIFLY kit didn’t have goggles, I used the goggles from Force1RC’s kit just fine. No instructions on VIFLY’s side about how to bind goggles, but with some button pressing and finagling I was able to figure it out. Again, this is something where I was told by the VIFLY team that their FAQs would improve over time, but I do like to be as transparent as I can in these reviews.
My maiden flight went really well, but on my second flight I took a pretty hard landing. The VIFLY frame is DURABLE. I had half a mind to run it full speed into a tree just for, you know, testing purposes, but my conscience got the best of me.
Overall, I enjoyed flying the VIFLY FPV racing drone. There’s a GoPro connector to make bundling with your existing GoPro quite easy, and a DVR port allows for on-board recording.
Also, and this is something you don’t see too much with drone manufacturers, each new VIFLY owner gets free VIFLY Care Service, where they’ll provide a free repair and extra parts for your first serious crash.