TEST: VIFLY R130, the best chinese 130mm racer ?

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INTRODUCTION

The VIFLY R220 M2 is probably one of the best 220mm brushless racer in the market. Here is the shrinked 130mm version with the R130: http://www.viflydrone.com/r130.html. This new VIFLY model keeps the same advanced electronics, i.e. an F4 omnibus flight controller with a builtin betaflight OSD, a 4-in-1 15A ESC board BLheli_S/Dshot 600 ready, 1306/4100 Kv motors and for the FPV part a 700TVL CMOS camera coupled with a 40CH VTX with ajustable output power. For the BNF version, three choices of receiver are proposed: FrSky D16, FlySky AFHDS-2A and Spectrum DSM2. A RTF version is also proposed with the FlySky AFHDS-2A solution (FlySky i6 for the radio part). Cherry on the cake, you have included the “VIFLY Care” program, i.e. free spare parts offered for the first crash. Let’s check this FPV racer.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x VIFLY R130
+ 4 x Props (2 CW, 2 CCW)
+ 1 x Nut Wrench
+ 1 x Allen key
+ 1 x Velcro bands
+ 4 x Landing pads
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)

The wrench to install/remove each caps

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Still no spare props in the bundle

OVERVIEW

Let’s have a look to the full specifications….

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The 6 axis stabilization chip in the Omnibus F4 board is connected via SPI to be clocked at 8Khz .

It’s confirmed to be a 130mm class machine.

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3mm 3K carbon arm…..

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while the main central lower plate holding arms is itself 2mm… The upper plate is also 2mm. Between, a strong nylon plastic secure, protect and hide from water most of the electonic conpounds except the 4-in-1 ESC board installed externally but protected by the battery tray.

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Like the R220 M2, the R130 looks strong and durable. I don’t fear here a potential weak element in the structure and should resist to accident without problem.

-FRONT VIEW
The machine comes with some triblade 3045BN props. We can reconize the same CMOS camera of the R220 M2. Some foam pads are pre-installed as landing gear. You have also four spare in ones in the accessories’s bag. Two small white LED lights are also installed but super bright in practice especially in daylight conditions, they won’t really help you to keep your orientation for LOS flights.

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The camera can be uptilted agressively

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Up to +90 degrees … Good news, the three digit display is also here very usefull in practice to check the battery voltage and the current Vfreq.

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-SIDE VIEW
The right side welcomes important port and buttons. From left to right we can find the bind button, the microUSB port and the “CH” Vfreq and output power selection button.

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For the Vfeq, no pre-Vband selection first. You will need to short press to cycle among the 40CH. At least the Vfreq table is now given in the instruction and should be the same as for the R220 M2

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To select the output power, you have to long press the “CH” button then P01 (25mW) should be displayed and blinks. short press to cycle between P01(25mW), P02 (200mW) and P03(500mW). To validate, long press 5s the same button.

On the left side, just below the XT30 main battery connector, a small 4-pad microJST connector with 1mm of pitch. Probably can used to connect an external DVR.

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A buzzer is also here :). One negative remark. The 4-in-1 ESC board can be directly exposed to water…. so beware when you fly this machine after the rain. I advise to secure this board with some liquid electrical tape. In another hand, with this external exposure, the 4-in-1 ESC board is cooled in a much better way thank to the airflow. Cherry on the cake, the board can be easily replaced, no soldering job, the board is connected via a plug.

-REAR VIEW

Two small lights. The left blue is the status one.

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Like the R220, the two antenneas are installed rear horizontally. Not a perfect location, the RF signal is partially blocked by the carbon structure. It would have been better to install them more front vertically

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The SMA connector is a little bit less protected as for the R220. So associated with a massive frontal crash the battery can slide and stress the middle part of the stem…. and indirectly the SMA connector. Definitively, the battery installation should be completly secure with the velcro band provided.

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-UPPER VIEW
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Both the Vbat and the current Vband/Vfreq are displayed during 2s each on the three digit display.

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-BOTTOM VIEW

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We can guess the reference of the 4-in-1 ESC board designed by VIFLY

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-WEIGHT
Almost 170g without battery

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With a 500mAh 4S LiPo

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Motors and props

Strong 1306 brushless motors announced to spin @ 4100Kv …

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3045BN are installed…. Since in practice there are some little jello and oscillation…. probably they need to be balanced.

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Camera module

The same 700TVL camera with a FOV of 120 degees. In practice, for a CMOS camera the light sensitivity is pretty good, better than we can find for basic AIO camera modules. It helps a lot in FPV applications. The camera is jailed into a rubber casing (catching all the dust of the field in practice 🙂 )

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A raw video sample (sound volume down)

UNBOXING, ANALYSIS, BINDING, CONFIGURATION AND DEMO FLIGHT

I have to admit when a machine is correctly polished …. you don’t need to speed billion of hours of tuning, fixing etc… and it’s the case for the R130. Just bind with your radio… and you can fly. By default the machine comes with the last official release of betaflight BF 3.1.7). No problem here to insert the microUSB cable even with the props installed In practice, for BF, just the PID have been a little bit optimized and the flight mode selection for a 3-away switch. In the other hand, the clock can be pushed up to 8Khz for the main loop and DSHOT600 selected (instead of Dshot300). The OSD layout is the default betaflight one so can be optimized for racing applications. Like the R220 M2, I regret that the FrSky D16 XM receiver don’t offer RSSI exportation via telemetry or for the OSD… Probably the firmware installed don’t offer this feature. From the original settings, I changed the rates, especially the yaw rate too fast IMHO out of the box.

I directly ran this machine in 4S. I installed a 500mAh/65C LiPo. Flight time with such model is about 4min10-4min20. Main certainly with a 600mAH, 5min can be obtained. The machine starts to hover at 30%… impressive… so no problem to carry on top a small möbius mini (< 30g). Punch out are great but not among the best I already observed in racers.Anywayt no problem to climb a tree in a fraction of seconds. The FPV signal is clear and colors vivid... I really appreciate. The OSD information are a big plus especially the Vbat. But some little jello can be observe. Props are probably guilty here. Need to better balanced or replaced. For hiigh throttle input, a lot of oscillations are here. Definitively PID and filter settings must be better ajusted. The control range and the FPV range are great too (I selected 200mW as output power). In 4S, the machine is a real acro FPV machine.... you can perfom anytype of figure.... the power is here for. Notice, you will a super good battery... and a minimum of 70C is recommanded. It's not impossible to loose more than 1V for heavy input loads. In this case, the buzzer will ring a bit. At 8Khz, the machine is so responsive and nimble , you can fly in tiny spaces as for more compact machines...

CONCLUSIONS

For sure the best chinese 130mm racer in the market with solid and powerfull electronic and structure ingredients. Far Superior to the Eachine Racer 130 for example…. It’s also a more heavy machine too but super durable. Some little PIDs and filter ajustements must be done to remove completly the oscillations/jello introduced with the throttle activity especially for 4S flights.

PROS

+ Strong frame
+ F4 omnibus w/OSD
+ Strong 15A ESC BLheli_S/Dshot600
+ 4S compatible
+ Protected cloverleaf stem
+ Buzzer
+ VTX output power ajustable
+ Good FPV camera
+ Vbat/Vfreq front display
+ VIFLY Care program (free spare parts for the first crash)

CONS

– No telemetry for FrSky D16 receiver
– 2.4G antenneas partially blocked by the carbon frame and can be damaged by rear props
– 4-in-1 ESC board not protected from water
– Some jello in the FPV signal
– PID not perfectly optimized
– Weak front lights
– No spare props

This quadcopter have been courtesy provided by VIFLY in order to make a fair and not biased review. I would like to thank them for this attitude.
You can find it actually for 170USD at http://www.viflydrone.com/r130.html

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