Assessment: iFlight Nazgul ECO FPV Drone – Cheaper than Constructing Your Personal?

Assessment: iFlight Nazgul ECO FPV Drone – Cheaper than Constructing Your Personal?


The iFlight Nazgul ECO is probably going one of the crucial inexpensive BNF (bind-and-fly) 5-inch FPV drones accessible in 2024. At solely $199.99, it competes with DarwinFPV’s price range mannequin, however the Nazgul ECO affords higher {hardware}, making it a compelling selection for a lot of. We’re reaching a degree the place shopping for a prebuilt drone makes extra sense than constructing one from scratch, not solely as a result of it’s simpler but in addition as a result of it may be cheaper. Let’s discover out if the Nazgul ECO is the appropriate selection for you on this evaluation.

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Be taught extra about FPV Drones on this newbie’s information: https://oscarliang.com/fpv-drone-guide/

The place to Purchase?

You will get the iFlight Nazgul ECO right here:

It comes with the next equipment.

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Unbox Accessories

Be aware that batteries aren’t included. You will want some 6S LiPo batteries; I like to recommend 1100mAh, 1200mAh, and 1300mAh sizes: https://oscarliang.com/lipo-battery-guide/#5percentE2percent80percentB3-Freestyle-and-Racing-Drones

For spare propellers, get them right here:

Specs

  • Flight Controller: BLITZ ATF435
  • ESC: BLITZ E55S 4-IN-1 ESC
  • VTX: BLITZ 1.6W
  • VTX Antenna: Albatross V2
  • Motors: XING E Professional 2207 1800KV
  • Propellers: Nazgul F5
  • Receiver: iFlight ExpressLRS 2.4GHz RX

Nazgul ECO = Cheaper Nazgul V3?

At first look, the iFlight Nazgul ECO appears virtually similar to the favored Nazgul V3. It has the identical design, motors, body, and 3D-printed elements. Even the LED emblem on the underside is identical. Nonetheless, the ECO is sort of $40 cheaper than the V3. How is that doable?

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Front

The ECO makes use of a brand new FC/ESC stack with the extra inexpensive AT32 chip as an alternative of the STM32 F7. I imagine that is the principle cause why iFlight is ready to provide this drone at such a low worth. As mentioned earlier than on this weblog, the AT32 chip helps to make FPV extra inexpensive, and I believe we’re lastly seeing that pattern take maintain.

Curiously, the default craft title within the Betaflight OSD is “Nazgul V3”, which additional confirms my suspicion that the ECO is simply the V3 with a extra budget-friendly FC/ESC stack. They most likely simply copied all of the config over and forgot to vary the craft title.

Nearer Take a look at iFlight Nazgul ECO

The iFlight Nazgul ECO has a protracted physique, designed primarily for freestyle and cinematic flying.

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Top

It comes with a GoPro mount for simple set up on high.

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Gopro Camera Mount

And the highest plate affords loads of room for a big LiPo battery.

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch 6s Lipo Battery Mount

The construct high quality is spectacular for a drone that solely prices $200, with ample area between elements for cooling. The design is straightforward and minimalist, specializing in efficiency with out pointless facet plates that add weight.

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Side Fc Esc Stack

The Nazgul ECO features a buzzer, properly mounted within the entrance behind the digital camera utilizing a 3D-printed holder, which is uncommon in RTF (ready-to-fly) quads, particularly on this low worth vary.

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Buzzer Beeper

The motors are Xing E Professional 2207 1800KV, the identical as these within the Nazgul V3. These are among the greatest price range motors accessible. The motor wires are protected with plastic tubes, which look tidy {and professional}. Whereas opinions range on the effectiveness of those tubes in defending motor wires from prop strikes, they do add a clear look and solely weigh 2 to three grams.

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Xing E Motor 2207 1800kv

The ECO options iFlight’s emblem with LED gentle on the underside, just like the V3.

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Bottom

It comes with a robust 1.6W VTX, making it a doable candidate for long-range flying. This VTX can certainly ship the marketed 1.6W output energy, as examined right here: https://oscarliang.com/iflight-blitz-1600mw-vtx/

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Blitz 1.6w Vtx

One distinction between the ECO and the V3 is the antenna. The ECO makes use of the most recent Albatross V2, which appears cool and has a suitable SWR, as examined right here: https://oscarliang.com/fpv-antenna-swr/#iFlight-Albatross-V2.

Primarily based on my antenna and VTX testing, channel 1 is perhaps optimum for the most effective vary.

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Antenna

The FPV digital camera is pretty uncovered to wreck in crashes. It could profit from extra safety from the entrance bumpers.

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Analog Camera

The flight controller stack makes use of AT32 chips that are supported in Betaflight 4.5. This flight controller affords 6 UARTs, with solely two getting used (for the receiver and VTX), leaving 4 spares.

Taking the Nazgul ECO aside is simple; simply take away the 8 screws on the highest plate.

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Dissemble Tear Down

I’m pleasantly stunned that it contains an Anti Spark Filter, eliminating the spark once you join the LiPo battery. Initially it was a bizarre feeling when plugging within the battery as a result of I might usually anticipate a spark, nevertheless it’s now fully silent which makes me surprise if the drone has a problem, till I hear the ESC initialization beeps. It’s such a pleasant contact!

Solder high quality seems top-notch.

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Xt60 Soldering Receiver

Enhancements I Need to Make

The ExpressLRS receiver is linked to the flight controller by way of a connector. The very first thing I’d do is take away the connector and solder the receiver on to the flight controller. I’ve had a few cases up to now the place comparable connector failed on me, inflicting random failsafe mid-flight. We don’t usually unplug the receiver, so it’s fairly pointless to have the connector, it’s simply asking for bother.

I’ll add my very own GPS to make use of Rescue Mode in Betaflight (just like return to house). Though iFlight affords GPS as an choice once you buy the drone, it prices $39 extra! I’m not certain what kind of premium GPS they’re utilizing, nevertheless it feels barely overpriced to me. In case you are not afraid of soldering and establishing GPS, you might save fairly a bit of cash by doing it your self. I’ve a information explaining how one can setup GPS and Rescue Mode: https://oscarliang.com/setup-gps-rescue-mode-betaflight/

The analog digital camera “RACECAM” is mediocre. It’s flyable, however the subject of view is sort of small and the publicity adjustments are fairly gradual when lighting situation adjustments. I’d most likely improve it to one thing higher just like the Ratel V2: https://oscarliang.com/fpv-camera/#Analog

If you happen to want to enhance vary, it is best to take into account mounting the receiver antenna vertically as defined on this information: https://oscarliang.com/antenna-positioning/

The present sensor is means off, and wishes calibration.

Easy methods to Setup

The included manuals don’t present a lot element, so I’ve included the method I went by means of to set it up earlier than my maiden flight.

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Manual Instructions

To begin with, connect the VTX antenna, battery pad, and battery strap, and get the propellers and nuts prepared for set up.

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch Get Started

Binding Receiver

The guide doesn’t specify the receiver gadget goal, so I needed to discover out in WiFi mode. The receiver is the iFlight 2.4GHz RX, and it comes with ExpressLRS 3.3.0 firmware. I flashed the receiver with the most recent firmware, together with my bind phrase.

Be taught extra about binding ExpressLRS receiver right here: https://oscarliang.com/bind-expresslrs-receivers/

Betaflight Configuration

The iFlight Nazgul ECO runs Betaflight 4.5.0 out of the field, and the FC firmware goal is IFLIGHT_BLITZ_F435. You will discover the default CLI Diff right here. Listed here are the configuration adjustments I made:

  1. Preset: Apply the ExpressLRS Preset based on your packet charge.
  2. PID Tuning, Charge Profile Settings: Apply your individual charges.
  3. Modes: Assign switches to Arm, Angle, Beeper, and Flip Over After Crash.

Remaining Ideas

Iflight Nazgul Eco Fpv Drone Bnf Prebuilt 5inch

I completely love the iFlight Nazgul and Evoque collection. They’ve been my go-to pre-built 5″ FPV drones, and now with the Nazgul ECO, it’s much more inexpensive. It’s even cheaper than the “most cost-effective 5″ FPV drone elements record” I put collectively, very spectacular.

Some elements of this drone may present indicators of a price range construct, such because the FPV digital camera and lack of GPS, however a lot of the elements are strong with nice construct high quality, it’s arduous to beat the general worth of the Nazgul ECO.

If you happen to don’t wish to construct a drone from scratch and simply wish to fly, you’ll be able to’t go mistaken with this FPV drone. To not point out it’s well-tuned out of the field. Simply slap a GoPro on this factor and you’re going to get some fairly superior footage.

You will get the iFlight Nazgul ECO right here:

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