BetaFPV Aquila16 Review: The Best FPV Drone Kit for Beginner?

All of our content is written by humans, not robots.
RCHobby Lab’s Author: Daniel Henderson
Written by
Reviewed by Kristen Ward
Updated on
Reviewed by Kristen Ward

RChobby Lab experts have years of firsthand experience testing the products we recommend. Learn how we test and reviewWe may earn money when you buy through our links.

First-person view (FPV) drone flying has exploded in popularity over the last few years. The thrill of seeing a drone’s point-of-view as you fly is exhilarating! However, getting into FPV drones can also be intimidating for beginners with all the equipment and skills required. That’s why all-in-one FPV starter kits are so appealing – they come with everything you need to start flying FPV in one ready-to-go package.

One such kit is the new Aquila16 from BetaFPV. This kit claims to include absolutely everything a beginner needs to start flying FPV. With a full unboxing and review, let’s take a close look at what you get with the Aquila16 and see if it delivers on being a top choice for FPV newcomers.

Unboxing the Aquila16 Kit

Right away as I open the box, the Aquila16 makes an excellent first impression presenting everything neatly packed into a carrying case. This not only keeps all the components organized but means you have a ready-made way to transport it all to your flying field.

The Aquila16 kit includes this nice carrying case to hold everything.

Opening up the case, the first thing sitting right on top is the Aquila16 drone itself. It’s securely nestled into a molded cavity. Immediately I notice the unique battery design, which we’ll take a closer look at shortly.

Continuing through the rest of the case contents:

  • FPV goggles – BetaFPV VR03 model with built-in DVR
  • Radio controller – BetaFPV LiteRadio 2 SE with built-in ELRS
  • Batteries & charger – 2 x 1S 1100mAh batteries, 1S USB charger
  • Spare accessories – propellers, screw driver, USB charging cable
  • Manuals – for drone, radio, goggles

It’s clear BetaFPV packed everything you need to fly FPV with the Aquila16 in one self-contained kit. Having it neatly organized in the included case is just an added bonus.

Now let’s look closer at some of the key components.

Aquila16 Drone Overview

The Aquila16 drone has a unique design both functionally and visually. The molded plastic frame and ducted fan propeller shrouds give it almost a sci-fi or alien-like look. Although odd in appearance, the protective shrouds should add durability – perfect for a beginner model.


  • Motors: 1102 8000KV brushless
  • Frame: Plastic composite
  • Size: 160mm motor-motor
  • Weight: 73g (with battery)
  • Camera: Caddx Ant FPV cam
  • Video Transmitter: 25/200mW VTX
  • Receiver: ELRS 2.4GHz

The main thing that stands out is the custom battery from BetaFPV. It uses a slide-in design to lock into place on top of the drone. The battery itself contains the power button so simply sliding it in powers up the drone. It’s a neat innovation and eliminates the need for a separate small battery connector.

The custom slide-on battery packs 1100mAh for 8 minutes of flight time.

Additionally, the battery uses a BT2.0 connector on the rear. This means you can use typical 1S 450mAh batteries with a short adapter cable. It’s great BetaFPV built in flexibility to use other batteries.

The Aquila16 comes equipped with low battery voltage protection for the custom packs. When power runs low, LEDs on the side will start slowly flashing yellow. This gives you notice its time to bring the drone back for a battery swap.

On the base of the quad is an optical flow positioning sensor. It provides stability control to make hovering easier for beginner pilots. It works best when closer to the ground under 30 feet.

The camera tilts but has limited vertical adjustment, likely to prevent new flyers from accidentally getting disoriented. But it should offer enough tilt to provide a nice FPV perspective.

Overall the Aquila16 has a very unique design but checks the right boxes for stability and durability – two top priorities for a beginner FPV drone.

LiteRadio 2 SE Overview

The LiteRadio 2 SE packs great features in a beginner-friendly controller.

The Aquila16 radio is also packed with functionality. The LiteRadio 2 Special Edition (SE) model has controls specially configured for operating the drone. It runs the ELRS protocol for long control range up to a mile with the right setup.

The radio takes 4 AA batteries for power. It also can recharge via USB-C when plugged into a phone charger or computer.

Having a built-in rechargeable LiPo battery would have been nice. But AA’s allow using easily obtained disposable or rechargeable cells.


  • ELRS 2.4GHz control protocol
  • Compatible with drone simulators
  • OLED display
  • 6 channels
  • 4 switches
  • USB-C charging
  • Take AA batteries

The switches are pre-programmed for controlling the Aquila16’s stability modes and speeds. This simplifies configuring it versus a radio with custom programming.

Additionally, because this transmitter has ELRS capability, it means you could control other quads with it. So you may be able to save money on buying another radio later if moving to a more advanced FPV drone.

Another neat feature is the ability to use drone simulators with the LiteRadio 2 SE by connecting it via USB to a PC. This lets you get sticks experience before ever taking off.

VR03 FPV Goggles Overview

The VR03 FPV goggles feature a built-in DVR for recording flights.

To complete the FPV experience, the Aquila16 kit includes BetaFPV’s VR03 first-person-view goggles. These provide a crisp display and 40 degree field-of-view for immersing you in the pilot perspective.

The 3-part headband is adjustable for getting the right fit over your eyes. It even works fitting over glasses, although Serious FPV pilots typically wear contacts for best comfort.

Specs and Features:

  • Display: 640×480 LCD
  • FoV: 40 degrees diagonal
  • Antennas: Detachable 5.8Ghz whip
  • Interpupillary Distance (IPD): 60-68mm
  • Built-in DVR records to micro SD card
  • Rechargeable 2000mAh battery
  • Power input: USB-C

I’m happy to see BetaFPV included a DVR allowing you to record footage directly from the goggles. Simply insert a micro SD card and press record before flying. Power is provided from a built-in 2S 2000mAh pack. A full charge lasts for 3 hours of operation.

The display does show some motion blur when turning quickly. An OLED screen would provide lower latency. But for beginners, this LCD video screen gets the job done just fine.

Searching channels is easy by holding the button on top. Otherwise set-and-forget channel syncing with the video transmitter makes getting in the air fast and painless.

Flying the Aquila16 FPV Drone

All the pieces provide a great equipment set for a beginning FPV pilot. At a light 73g liftoff weight, the Aquila16 feels nimble and responsive on the sticks. Combined with ducted fan guards, it could take some beginner crashes and bounce back for more.

Getting airborne is as simple as sliding on a charged battery. I found flight times reach about 7 minutes on the included 1S 1100mAh packs. Although 1 or 2 minutes shy of the “up to 8 minutes” claimed, it’s still respectable duration from such a small battery. With a few spares, you’ll maintain plenty of stick time.

As a beginner model, BetaFPV equips this FPV drone with capability to scale skills gradually through multiple speed and stability modes.

Flight Modes:

  • Normal: Self-levels and limits rates for beginners (easy)
  • Sport: Faster with more agile motions (intermediate)
  • Manual: Full acro mode rates for free style tricks (hard)

I felt progression through the modes was nicely stepped. From slow and stable Normal to full acro Manual mode allowing flips and rolls, you develop ability with time. Most of my test flights were actually enjoying Sport mode benefitting from extra speed while retaining helpful stability.

The stability control is also impressive in Normal mode. With the optical positioning sensor engaged close to ground, it practically hovers itself hands-off! I could let go of sticks and the Aquila16 held position admirably thanks to auto-leveling. Although higher up, turns did show some wobble at times.

Speed Settings

  • Slow
  • Medium
  • Fast

I tended to keep speed on Fast for most flying. Slow might help an absolute beginner but even Medium provides plenty for just starting out. Activating high rates in Manual mode already makes the Aquila16 responsive. Slow likely overly tames this FPV rig unless intentionally looking for a lazy flyer.

So in summary, as a dedicated beginner FPV platform this drone delivers great progressive performance. It simply won’t let a new pilot get overwhelmed. Combined with nice stability sensors, it remains easy and fun to fly across multiple modes suitable from beginner to intermediate skills.

Is the Aquila16 Right for You?

The Aquila16 delivers substantial capability in an all-in-one kit for new FPV pilots. Everything you require for first person view flight is packed in. Just charge batteries and you’ll be immersing into piloting fun.

If wanting to dip a toe into drone racing without the complexity or investment, the Aquila16 makes an outstanding first drone. With guards protecting the props and powerful stability control, it survives crashes allowing stretching skills. The remote and goggles integrate seamlessly letting you concentrate on flying.

I particularly think the Aquila16 works well for a gift. It presents an exciting way for kids or adults to discover FPV as a hobby. And it provides room to progress when ready to graduate to higher performance race quads.

On the other hand, experienced FPV pilots desiring max speed or racing performance would find the Aquila16 too restricted. Although you can activate full acro mode, the stability sensors fight to keep it mostly level. So hardcore enthusiasts will ultimately want a more agile freestyle or custom built racing drone.

Final Thoughts

After thoroughly testing, I believe the BetaFPV Aquila16 achieves its goal of enabling beginners to safely learn FPV flight. Everything included in the kit works together providing a positive first drone experience.

The Aquila16 might have an unconventional alien spaceship look. But the protective ducted fans help it withstand crashes. The self-leveling and easy modes make picking up piloting intuitive. And the radio, goggles and batteries deliver immersive FPV video with minutes of flight time.

Considering everything the Aquila16 FPV kit contains, I feel BetaFPV priced it very attractively at $250. Given drones alone can cost more, packing this capability all-in-one makes drone racing more accessible.

For those hoping to become FPV pilot without complexity or intimidation, the user friendly Aquila16 is a perfect all-in-one package for learning first person view flying. It earns a strong recommendation as one the best ready-to-fly FPV drone kits for beginners in 2023!

Did you like this article? Rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Photo of author

Written By Daniel Henderson

My name is Daniel Henderson and I'm an avid FPV pilot and videographer. I've been flying quadcopters for over 5 years and have tried just about every drone and FPV product on the market. When not flying quads, you can find me mountain biking, snowboarding, or planning my next travel adventure.

Leave a Comment

RChobby Lab