Indestructibility! That’s what every drone racing enthusiast wants, right? Well, that’s certainly a priority. However, there are several other important factors to consider when looking for the best racing quadcopter frame.
Hello! My name is Lavelle and I am a professional drone pilot and a long-time enthusiast of all things drone related. Over the past ten years, I’ve spent my time using, researching, and reviewing drones of all types. One of the most fascinating categories of drones is the racing drone.
In this article, I will go over some of the factors to consider when choosing a good racing quadcopter frame. I will also share with you my list of the best racing quadcopter frames that I’ve come across in my research.
- Key Takeaways
- What Makes The Best Racing Quadcopter Frame
- Best Racing Quadcopter Frames Reviewed
- Final Thoughts
- Look for frames that are lightweight and durable. The frames listed here are typically made of carbon fiber material and are designed to withstand impact.
- Frames that have multiple mounting holes will allow for better design buildout.
- We’ve found that bigger frames are more susceptible to air resistance, therefore you should consider smaller, more compact racing frames that are made of lightweight but durable materials.
What are the benefits of the different types of frames?
Yes, each frame type has a particular benefit. In short, the X Frame is best used to distribute weight evenly. The H Frame gives you more space to mount on your frame. The Stretch Frame is almost the same as the X Frame but differs in that it reduces turbulence in flight.
What Makes The Best Racing Quadcopter Frame
Ideally, racing drone frames would be completely indestructible and they would be super lightweight so they could glide through the air faster than any other drone.
However, since we don’t live under ideal conditions, we have to consider important factors that help us find the best racing quadcopter frame possible.
As we consider these factors, here are my suggestions for things to look for in a racing quadcopter frame:
- Frame size: Frame sizes align with the frame number. For instance, the Martian 220 is a frame with a base size of 220mm. Likewise, the Qav220 is also labeled or named appropriately for its 220 mm frame size. Frame sizes are fairly simply categorized.
- Layout: The layout or design of the frame is imperative. The aerodynamic design of the frame is more important than the cosmetics of the frame. Primarily, racing frames come in three formats: The H Frame, the X Frame, and the Stretch Frame. These are the most common frame types, however, there are some other lesser-known frame types as well.
- Style type (freestyle or racing): The freestyle type is a mode of flying which gives you the latitude to navigate freely and do various tricks while flying. The racing style is designed for competitive use against other racing drones, where pilots compete directly against other pilots using the first person view (FPV) in a race for the fastest time.
- Frame weight: Look for frames that are durable and lightweight. Getting a competitive edge is increased by having racing frames that are light enough to avoid wind drag while durable enough to withstand impact.
Best Racing Quadcopter Frames Reviewed
Here is my list of the best racing quadcopter frames based on thorough research.
1. S500 Quadcopter Body Frame Kit (Best Overall)
- Total weight: 454 grams
- Design: PCB version carbon fiber material
- Wheelbase: 500 mm
- Arm thickness: 4mm
The S500 Quadcopter Frame Kit has an impressive design that is made of carbon fiber material and has a 500mm wheelbase. It is the X frame style and can hold up to a 2216-size brushless motor.
Made of PCB carbon fiber material, it is the heaviest frame on my list and is the most durable one. The wheelbase gives you the ability to build a frame that can hold a camera and battery easily. The stretch design of the frame allows you to build a fairly large racing quadcopter.
While the large body is durable, it may also be my biggest concern with this frame. When it comes to racing frames, you want durability and speed. The heavier frame on this drone slows it down a bit.
My Verdict: This is the best choice from the list I’ve compiled. It’s durable and allows you to easily add components to the frame. The landing gear is very stable on this frame and when built out effectively, users have had good success in racing with this frame.
2. 225mm FPV Racing Drone Frame (Best 3D)
- Total weight: 155.7 grams
- Design: RED 3D Printed Parts; Full 3K Carbon Fiber
- Wheelbase: 225mm
- Arm thickness: 4mm
Next on my list is the 225mm FPV Racing Drone frame. At just under 156 grams, it is one of the lighter frames and is built with a solid carbon fiber material. It is aesthetically pleasing with its red 3D-printed parts. The wheelbase is 225mm with a 4mm arm thickness that can mount a few GoPro model cameras.
This frame is well designed and with a 225mm wheelbase, which gives you enough room to mount a camera comfortably as well as a battery. The frame is conducive to a design for racing or for freestyle. Because of the carbon fiber makeup, the frame is extremely durable, which is its best quality.
My only concern with this frame is the smaller wheelbase size. Its competitors have a 500mm wheelbase, allowing for a little more room to add additional features to the frame when building the drone.
My Verdict: This is a nice, solid design with some good customer feedback. It’s well-built, durable, and also relatively easy to assemble. Thus it is best used for racing.
- Item weight: 453 grams
- Design: PCB version carbon fiber material
- Wheelbase: 500mm
- Arm thickness: 4mm
The ShareGoo S500 Quadcopter Fuselage kit is next on my list. It is a heavier frame that is extremely durable. The landing gear on this drone is well constructed and its camera mount is compatible with the GoPro Hero. The 3-axis gimbal is a nice addition to this frame. It also has a quick-mount battery design.
Perhaps the most impressive feature about this frame is that it houses a 6-hole motor mount which is compatible with most of the motors sold on the market for racing drones. This feature makes it very easy for you to assemble a motor when building the drone. Additionally, the anti-angle arm design helps to increase the overall stability of the frame.
The only concern that I have with this frame is that the landing gear design does not appear to be as sturdy as some of the other frames.
My Verdict: This is another solid design, comparable to the others, as it is similar in design and makeup. The wheelbase and arm thickness is good. It is somewhat heavier than some of the other frames, however, the additional weight adds durability to the design.
4. 220mm FPV Racing Drone Frame 5 Inch (Best 3rd Party Compatibility)
- Total weight: 109 grams
- Design: Full 3K carbon fiber material; Ultra-durable 5mm carbon fiber main unibody plate
- Wheelbase: 220mm
- Arm thickness: 3mm
The 220mm FPV Racing Drone frame is the lightest of the group and comes with a 5-inch carbon fiber frame. It weighs 109 grams and is very durable, especially given its size. It is constructed as an X frame and can hold a 22mm camera.
The best feature about this frame is that it is designed to support the DJI Mavic Air series units. This compatibility makes the frame stand out from the others on the list. The carbon fiber design, despite its lightweight, still makes it a very stable frame to use for racing.
My only concern with this frame is that the arm thickness is slightly less than its competitors. The smaller arm thickness and lighter weight allow it to fly faster but it may also be more susceptible to heavy winds pulling it off its path during a race.
My Verdict: This is a good, durable frame that is designed for speed. It is easy to assemble and is suitable for novice racing frame builders.
Whether you are looking to freestyle or race, finding the best quadcopter frame is important. As you consider the options, look for designs that are lightweight, durable, and allow for speed. Also, remember that cost can be an indicator of quality but is not the only factor to consider.
The frames I’ve listed here are all comparable to each other, however, each one has its best feature. The S500 Quadcopter Frame is the best overall choice given its size, material makeup, and stretch design. There are also a few other frame options that deserve honorable mention including the Readytosky 220 frame and the FPVKing 163mm frame.
Would you like to share your experience in building a racing drone with us? Do you have questions about frames? Leave a comment below and I will respond to you as soon as I can.
Until next time, be safe and have fun!