Sub250 Whoopfly16 RTF Combo Review: This Kit is Impressive for the Price!

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RCHobby Lab’s Author: Daniel Henderson
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Reviewed by Kristen Ward
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Reviewed by Kristen Ward

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FPV (First Person View) drone flying is an exciting hobby that’s exploding in popularity right now. It gives you the experience of actually being onboard a super fast racing drone, zipping through the air as if you had wings!

However, up until now, getting started with FPV drones has been an expensive proposition. You need to buy FPV goggles, a radio controller, batteries, chargers, tools, spare parts – the list goes on. It can easily cost $1,000 or more by the time you get a decent setup.

That’s what makes the Whoopfly16 RTF FPV drone kit so special. For around $250, you get everything you need to start flying FPV drones in one box. No complex build required, just charge and fly!

In this in-depth review, we’ll unbox the Whoopfly16 RTF kit, explain what makes it so great for beginners, and put it through some indoor and outdoor test flights. Let’s take a closer look at what could be the best ready-to-fly FPV drone package for new pilots in 2024!

Unboxing the Whoopfly16 RTF FPV Drone Kit

The whole kit comes neatly packed in a handy carrying case. Let’s open it up and see what’s inside:

Here’s an overview of what you get in the box:

  • Whoopfly16 FPV Drone
  • RadioMaster TX16S Radio Controller
  • Eachine EV800DM FPV Goggles
  • 2x 1S 450mAh Batteries
  • Battery Charger & Parallel Charging Board
  • Spare Props
  • Manuals & Accessories

That’s everything you need to start flying FPV, apart from a few 18650 batteries for the radio controller (more on that later). Let’s take a closer look at each component.

The Whoopfly16 FPV Drone

The star of the show is the Whoopfly16 FPV drone. It’s based on the popular 65mm “toothpick” style frame, making it durable enough to handle crashes but still nimble for racing around.

Some of the features that make the Whoopfly16 perfect for beginners include:

  • Brushless motors – smoother and more powerful than brushed motors. 21,000Kv rating gives insane thrust on 1S batteries.
  • ELRS 2.4GHz radio – provides solid RF connection with up to 500mW output power. No more flyaways!
  • F4 flight controller – tuneable in Betaflight configurator for better performance.
  • Caddx Ant FPV camera – high quality 700TVL analog camera with impressive image quality.
  • VTX up to 200mW – solid video transmission range.
  • 65mm 3-blade props – larger props combined with the brushless motors make this thing fly like a mini-rocket!
  • 1S battery – keeps the weight down vs 2S/3S builds for maximum agility.

Considering a standalone Whoopfly16 drone costs around $130, getting the fully working RTF kit for just $250 is great value. This is a proven design that can keep up with (or out-fly) many more expensive FPV drones.

RadioMaster TX16S Radio Controller

Having a quality radio controller makes all the difference when flying FPV drones. The RadioMaster TX16S included in this kit is an excellent mid-range option.

Some of the key features of the TX16S controller:

  • Multi-protocol module – supports pretty much any receiver including FrSky, FlySky, Futaba, Spektrum, ELRS and more.
  • ELRS module – state of the art 2.4GHz protocol with incredible range and response. Works flawlessly with the Whoopfly16.
  • Hall sensor gimbals – precise stick control even in fast FPV flying.
  • Huge range on ELRS – adjustable up to 500mW for 1km+ video range.
  • Full telemetry support – monitor battery voltage, RSSI, flight modes and other metrics.
  • USB-C port – easy to connect to simulators and configure settings.

The TX16S feels great in the hands and is fully featured for an intermediate pilot. The only negative is that it doesn’t include 18650 batteries so you’ll need to pick some up. But it can charge cells internally via USB-C.

Eachine EV800DM FPV Goggles

To get the full FPV experience, you need a pair of goggles to put you in the pilot’s seat. The eachine EV800DM goggles included in this kit offer some nice features considering their reasonable price:

  • Dual omni antennas – maintains steady video reception.
  • Head tracking – move your head to control the camera angle.
  • DVR – record footage and review it later. Just add your own Micro SD card.
  • Crisp display – large 5″ screen fills your vision.
  • Modular bay – room to add a module like rapidFIRE for better performance.

The EV800DM goggles are comfortable to wear and provide an immersive FPV viewing experience right out of the box. The adjustable IPD means they can accommodate different levels of vision impairment. The only potential downside is fitting them over large glasses.

Other Kit Components

To get flying, the kit also includes some essential accessories:

  • 2 x 1S 450mAh Batteries – these high-quality LiPO cells provide 3-5 minute fight times.
  • Battery Charger – conveniently charges and monitors two batteries simultaneously so you always have one ready to go.
  • Parallel Charge Board – for charging up to 6 batteries at once (batteries sold separately).
  • Spare Propellers – it’s all but guaranteed you’ll damage a few props when starting out. Extras are indispensable.
  • Manuals – detailed instructions and guides to help beginners get in the air quickly and safely.

Getting Started With the Kit

One of the great things about the Whoopfly16 RTF kit is how quick and easy it is to get in the air, even for total beginners. Here’s a quick run through of the steps:

1. Charge the Batteries

The included 450mAh 1S batteries provide 3-5 minutes of flying time. Plug them into the charger and monitor the charge progress on the LCD display.

While you’re waiting, slot the 18650 batteries into the radio controller. Refer to the manuals for how to do this safely.

2. Bind the Drone

The drone and radio need to be paired together so they communicate. The ELRS protocol makes this binding process fast and simple.

Turn on the radio and drone. Put the drone binding mode by holding down the button on the receiver and cycling power. The status LED will flash rapidly when in binding mode.

On the radio, select the correct model for the drone and hold down the binding button on the back while turning it on. The controller will beep when bound.

3. Install the Props

Snap the self-tightening propellers onto the motors – make sure they are on the correct way! 2 blades spinning clockwise and 2 counter-clockwise. Follow the diagram in the manual.

4. Goggles On

Insert an SD card if you want to record DVR footage. Power on the goggles and pull them snugly down over your eyes, adjusting the headstrap for comfort.

5. Arm the Motors

On the radio, raise all the trim switches up. Move throttle stick down. Flip ARM switch and listen for motors to spin up. Gently raise throttle to lift off!

That covers the basics – now it’s time for some test flights!

Indoor Flying

To start off, I found a clear area indoors and did some cautious flying around. The Whoopfly16 comes configured in angle mode by default which helps smooth things out.

Even confined to a living room, this tiny rocket still zips around at an alarming pace! It takes concentration to avoid objects but the precise ELRS control link keeps everything manageable.

Let’s run through some of the key things I noticed from the shakedown indoor flight:

  • buttery smooth ELRS control link, no cutouts even flown behind furniture
  • motive power is sensational thanks to brushless motors
  • prop guards bounce off walls without leaving marks
  • camera delivers clear analog video to goggles
  • angle mode stops it instantly flipping out of control
  • easy to flip into turtle mode and recover from crashes

Overall even with very limited flight experience I was able to fly a full battery pack without any major mishaps thanks to the modest power level and angle mode enabled by default. This is definitely a drone I could recommend to someone completely new to FPV looking for a starter model to practice on indoors.

Now it was time to really open it up outside!

Outdoor Flying

For the outdoor test flights, I wanted to push the Whoopfly16 harder and experience the full speed and agility of which this mini machine is capable!

I charged up a fresh 450mAh battery and headed out to a large open field. After doing a quick range test, I switched the flight controller from angle to acro mode. This removes the flight stabilization and allows for much faster maneuvers.

Straight away, the power was astounding! On the stock battery it would rocket up to the sky in the blink of an eye. Even with a gentle stick input it was almost too fast to control. The 65mm propellers and 21,000Kv motors make a potent combination.

After getting comfortable with the speed, I started to push the limits. Flips, rolls, dives and high speed low passes all just worked. The silky smooth ELRS control and dynamic power meant I could execute just about any maneuver I wanted.

It felt so responsive and locked in that it was easy to forget this was an entry level FPV drone kit! I’m sure even expert pilots would be able to impress with the capabilities of the Whoopfly16.

After draining most of a battery just having fun with acro mode, I decided to switch back to angle and bring it in for a landing. Coming down at pace towards grass is a lot more daunting through FPV goggles than a line-of-sight landing! But the flight controller handled it smoothly with no drama.

Long Range Testing

One of the final tests I wanted to try was stretching the legs on the ELRS control link. Walking across the field, I just kept going until the video started to break up. I estimate it must have reached nearly 1km distance before the link became unreliable. Very impressive performance!

Being able to fly FPV at those extreme distances safely takes the hobby to another level. Of course local regulations should always be followed, but technically the Whoopfly16 could be pushed to its limits in all directions.

Additional Notes

Here are some other quick observations from testing the full kit that are useful to know:

  • The EV800DM goggles are reasonably comfortable even for longer periods of time. Focus and IPD adjustments help dial in the display.
  • Stick timers on the TX16S radio help warn when battery is low before it falls from the sky.
  • The kit doesn’t include any special FPV tools like a smoke stopper or multimeter that are really useful to have.
  • Take it slow at first! It’s easy to lose orientation with FPV goggles on compared to line of sight flying.
  • Refer to the manuals and online resources when setting up. Lots of good tutorials out there to help new pilots.
  • Extra batteries let you spend more time flying and less time charging!

Final Verdict

After unboxing the kit, reading the manuals, doing practice flights indoors and really pushing the limits outdoors, I can comfortably say this is the best ready-to-fly FPV drone package currently available for new pilots in 2023.

For the price, the quality is astonishing. It outperforms many DIY builds costing two or three times as much. All the most important components like the drones, goggles, radio and batteries are great choices for beginners wanting premium gear without a premium price tag.

Some people may prefer to build their own drone from scratch for maximum customization. But if you value convenience over all else, this kit lets you start experiencing the thrill of FPV flight literally as soon as you open the box.

The only real negatives are relatively minor omissions from the kit like batteries for the radio controller and useful accessories that would improve the overall experience. But the Whoopfly16 RTF still includes everything absolutely mandatory to get your FPV career off the ground.

So if you’re searching for the perfect all-in-one kit to take your first steps into the fast paced world of FPV drones, look no further than the Whoopfly16. This ready-to-fly package sets a new benchmark for value, quality and performance that both beginners and intermediates will appreciate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What batteries do you need for the radio controller?

The TX16S radio uses 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable cells. You’ll need to purchase two of these and insert them correctly into the battery bay. Pay attention to polarity.

Does the drone come pre-bound to the radio?

No, you need to manually bind them together yourself. The simple binding process is described in the instruction manual.

Do FPV goggles work with glasses?

It’s tricky but possible if your glasses have thin stems. Larger frames likely won’t fit in the goggles comfortably. Go for contact lenses or prescription lens inserts if possible.

What tools do I need with this FPV kit?

A basic toolkit with hex drivers, tweezers, wire cutters etc will be required for maintenance and repairs. Useful extras include a multimeter and 1S USB charger.

Can I fly the drone indoors?

Yes, it’s small and light enough for indoor use. Just take it slow and beware of obstacles! Enable angle mode for smoother indoor flying.

How long does the battery last?

The included 450mAh batteries provide 3-5 minutes depending on how aggressively you fly. Land gently before the battery is drained to avoid crashes.

Is the EV800DM DVR removable?

No, the DVR module is integrated into the goggles. But you can add a module like RapidFire in the spare bay for better video reception.

What equipment is essential for FPV beside the kit contents?

Extra batteries are a must. A soldering iron may be required for repairs. And you’ll want basic tools like hex drivers and an adjustable wrench.

Is the TX16S multiprotocol?

Yes, the radio can bind to pretty much any receiver thanks to its multi-protocol module bay that supports many different protocols.

Can I fly far away with video transmission?

The ELRS control link can go 1km+ in ideal conditions! But beware of losing orientation and watch battery voltage when flying long distance.

Can I charge LiPo batteries with a USB charger?

You should use a dedicated LiPo charger ideally, but 1S batteries can be safely charged via USB in a pinch. Just monitor temperature and stop charging at 4.2V.

Final Thoughts

That wraps up my full unboxing and review of the Whoopfly16 ready-to-fly FPV drone kit. I hope the detailed rundown gives you all the info needed to decide if it’s the right package to get started with this fun hobby.

It’s amazing just how capable even affordable FPV models have become. Newcomers have no excuses – pick up this kit and you can be zooming through the air experiencing the thrill of drone racing just like the pros in no time!

Whether you’re looking for a trainer model to learn on, want to dive straight into acro and freestyle flying, or need an all-in-one solution to get airborne with no fuss, the Whoopfly16 RTF kit delivers exceptional value.

Let me know if you have any other questions. Clear skies and happy flying!

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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.

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