VIFLY R220 M2 BNF (FrSky) Review
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Review by Adrian Apodaca, RealRCReviews Owner
- Stock R220 M2 (BNF)
- Taranis Q X7
- 4s 1550mah LiPO
- 3s 1300mah LiPo
For Full specs, click here.
- Solid build
- Rugged as heck!
- Electronics well protected
- FAST FAST FAST!!!
- Camera easily adjusted
- Very robust OSD options
- Compatible with BetaFlight
- Made with quality components
- Battery protected well
- Different and Innovative design
- Battery protector can limit batt size
- Was not well tuned out of the box
As a reviewer, I am always on the look-out for new products. I generally look for products that I think are innovative, different, or look like a good value for you folks. As I like to remind you all, I am not a pro pilot (you can tell by my flying videos), but I'm not horrible either. I've also gotten my hands on a lot of products at this point, and have a feel for what I think is good and what I think novice to intermediate pilots may enjoy. If you've done some research or gone into forums and asked around, I am sure you have all heard the same thing over and over again, "Build your own quad, it'll be better and cheaper and you'll learn everything you need to know about them!"
Well, I say, screw that. I know tons of you are either in school, work a lot, are married and/or have kids. If you have any combination of those relates to you, there is a reason you haven't built your own quad...It is the same reason I have yet to build my own quad. I am married, have 2 kids, a full-time job, activities, THIS website, and I have to actually test the stuff I write about. I do plan on building in the future, but for now it's RTF or BNF for me. Which finally brings me to VIFLY. I first noticed VIFLY when a friend of mine shared something about VIFLY's kickstarter campaign. I thought the quad they had designed looked great, but I hesitated and didn't end up ordering one. When they were finally released to the market, I again thought about ordering one to review. By the time I cleared some funds up for it, several reviews had already been done. I watched a few of them, but honestly, the thing that really ended up convincing me to move forward with VIFLY was watching one of their durability videos where they slammed it full speed into a tree. I spoke to John Qin, VIFLY's director of sales and marketing and he let me know that they had a version 2 or (M2) releasing soon. I waited for the new version to release and got my order in. I have my own transmitters (Spektrum, Futaba and FrSky), so I went the BNF version. I have dedicated my Q X7 as my quad transmitter, so I went with the FrSky option. VIFLY offers their BNF in Spektrum, FrSky and FlySky.
Unboxing and Set-Up:
My box came from VIFLY and I tore into it as soon as I could get it inside. Everything was well packaged and the box itself can pretty much be used as a travel case. There is really nice foam inside the box holding the quad in place and protecting it extremely well. As far as the R220 goes, it actually looks and feels even more impressive in person. I also totally love the LEDs on this quad. The easy to adjust camera is a great detail also. Several of my other FPV quads take quite a bit of effort to simply adjust the angle of the FPV camera. Comparing this to the HolyBro Shuriken which has a semi-similar design, the VIFLY blows the Shuriken out of the water...or should I say air, especially in internal design and durability. One thing I did notice was that it felt a little heavy. I compared it to my Riot 250R Pro and they both came in close to 450g. Relatively heavy in the grand scheme of things, but I figured if it is anything like the Riot, the little excess weight wouldn't matter.
Set-up wise, I programmed the Q X7 the way I normally do, and hopped into BetaFlight. I figured the quad was already tuned so I didn't adjust anything other than flight modes (air always on, 1-stability, 2-horizon, and 3-acro. I also goofed around with the OSD settings as they are actually adjustable through BetaFlight. I think I clicked on a few too many options because I ended up with some matrix-style stuff at the bottom of my screen as seen in my FPV flight (third video below).
Once I got everything ready to go, I popped outside to do my usual maiden routine. Fly it over the grass and do some flips and rolls, then go to the parking lot to cruise around a bit, line of sight. Well, as you can see in the first video below, the out of the box tune on my BNF was really aggressive. It actually scared me a little, thank God for stability mode. You might see at one point, I almost hit myself lol. The positive lesson learned was don't fly your maiden flight a few feet in front of your face lol. Anyway, after that flight, I took the R220 back inside, lowered my minimum throttle setting and lowered the roll rate a bit.
Wasting no time, I went back outside to test my new settings. Ahhhhh, now this is how I like it (second video below)! We all have our own preferences, but I set my quad close to the way my other quads are set. A nice roll rate, but manageable and smooth. In that confined space, I was even able to get into acro mode and try some 4 point rolls that just ended up being 3 point rolls. Yep, I need practice. Anyway, the point is, the quad felt great on all three flight modes. Another observation I made is, DAMN this thing is FAST!!! This R220 has a ton of power and a ton of punch, especially if you throw some tri-blades on there. So back to the "heavier weight"...well, like my Riot 250R, you never get the feeling that you are flying something heavy. On the contrary, my two heaviest quads, R220 and Riot are the two that fly the lightest and fastest in my fleet. So don't listen to anyone that doesn't own one of these that tries to tell you it is too heavy. The motors/esc's have tons of power in store and I doubt you will ever feel the R220 lacking in this department.
Once I got familiar with the way the R220 flies, I waited for a decent day where I could get out in the open to do some FPV flying (third video below). Once again, the R220 does not disappoint. With the plethora of OSD settings (which I went bonkers with), the easily adjustable camera and all that dang power, the R220 is an absolute pleasure to fly. There was one particular instance where I went between two trees that I dropped a bit too much altitude a little to fast. One solid blip of throttle rocketed me out of a situation where other quads would have probably impacted the ground. That is one of the great things about this quad, you can fly it nice and tame, or you can let out it's inner lion and let it tear holes in the sky, the choice is yours. I can't wait to get it to our local course and fly some FPV through the race gates. With how solid this VIFLY quad is built, I won't be worried about hitting the gates. Durability-wise, there haven't been any issues for me. One crash I had involved the side of my house when I bailed out of some rolls on the original settings (just bent a prop). The other crashes have just been into the grass when I was flying too low. One cartwheeled sideways, no damage, and another time I landed upside down trying to achieve more inverted hang-time over a small tree. That one also caused zero damage. I am using a Pagoda II antenna now, so the stem is flexible so crashed don't carry the impact far into it. I am certain other guys could break some parts doing crazy stuff, but for my flying, I can't imagine how I would every break anything serious on this quad.
VIFLY has created a tremendous quad. It is even more tremendous because it looks, feels and flies like a premium quad without the premium price tag. I'd say it would take way more abuse than any of the $500 quads on the market. I am not certain how VIFLY keeps it's price so wallet friendly, but they do. Even if you get the RTF package, you are only spending $300, and that includes the transmitter and a battery! That is pretty unheard of these days. The best part, is that VIFLY now sells on Amazon! How easy is that?!! PRIME no less, so you can have yours in a couple days! If you are a total newb to FPV race quads, please have someone help you get it going, even if you get the RTF package. No sense in injuring your quad or yourself when you are just supposed to be having fun. I can't recommend this quad any stronger. The R220 will definitely be a permanent fixture in my fleet of quads. To add to the excitement of VIFLY, I heard a rumor that they have a smaller one (130 size?) coming out in the future. You better believe I'll be jumping on that one too and passing a review on to you all! Remember to click the subscribe button when you watch any of our videos!