The drone racing scene has gathered quite the following for some time now, gaining serious traction with current drone enthusiasts and those who love the adrenaline-packed sport. And if you’re reading this, chances are, you’ve been bitten by the racing bug as well.
Searching for a viable drone is a tricky thing to do, though, as you need to reference from the limited amount of consumer-ready data available, which are often filled with technological jargon that most people don’t give a damn about. Worry not, though, as we’re here to simplify your life.
The Walkera Furious 215 is one of these buzz-makers that have gained some degree of popularity with drone racers, presumably from its choice of specifications and features included in it. But is it really worth the bill? Take a gander on our comprehensive Walkera Furious 215 review and find out.
|Weight||Unloaded: 475 grams|
|Size||Length: 168 mm|
Width: 209 mm
Height: 71.5 mm
|Speed||Max: 90 mph|
|Signal||Range: ~1.5 km|
Operational Frequency: 2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz
|Battery||Flight time: ~9 minutes|
Capacity: 1300 mAh
|Recording||Camera: 600 TVL HD, 130° FoV|
Walkera Furious 215 Features
F3 Flight Controller
Racing drones need a highly-capable flight controller to have an edge over the competition, as well as tell its head from its hindquarters. This UAV is equipped with an F3 Flight Controller which takes care of its essential flight data and processing, including sensors, motors, and signal transmission.
This gives the drone better flight capabilities, as the flight controller dictates its performance just as much as the person behind the cockpit (or joysticks). Most of all, it gives advanced users the ability to tweak their drone’s configuration at code-level, setting custom parameters based on your preferences. This can be done by plugging it to your PC and accessing the controller via the CleanFlight program.
High-Performance Brushless Motors
The drone is equipped with high-performance brushless motors which propel it to its rated speeds effortlessly. These 2500KV motors are much more efficient than their brushed counterparts as friction is minimized, resulting in better power delivery, lesser heat generated, and a longer service lifespan. You don’t even need to do any kind of maintenance with these motors.
Instead of going the usual route of using physical wires to bridge electrical connections, the drone has an integrated Power Distribution Board that takes care of connectivity to keep things streamlined and clutter-free. The PDB is integrated with the airframe for that sleek design and fit needed to cut the weight and improve aerodynamics on the drone.
More than that, the electronic speed controllers (ESCs) output leads extend to the motor arms for a shorter electrical connection, keeping signal and power delivery efficient at all times. It also has an onboard active beeper for diagnostics and alert purposes, as well as an integrated OSD (on-screen display) unit with a connector to allow tuning to your desired settings.
The Walkera Furious 215 has a 1300 mAh 4S LiPo battery that provides it with around 9 minutes of flight time, give and take, as it still depends on how aggressive or casual the level you are flying the drone at. This is a standard figure on racing drones though, as the high-performance motors and configuration have a lot to do with the mammoth-sized power consumption.
The 4S battery also provides a higher voltage output than the standard 3S offerings, making it possible for the drone to reach such speeds with ease. But as said earlier, this is taxing on the batteries and deplete their resources much faster than usual. That being said, you always have the choice to purchase additional battery units depending on your needs.
You can even purchase batteries with larger capacities as the drone’s hatch is designed to accept up to 13 cm batteries without any performance or compatibility drawbacks. This can be another way to extend your flight time without relying on frequent battery swaps.
The Walkera Furious 215 has a 600 TVL HD camera attached to it. This translates to approximately 768 x 494 pixels in digital, which is a little bit above 480p resolution. While you may think that this is highly underpowered for a drone of this price, most racing drones don’t really need high-resolution cameras as FPV is the only main point of having them on board.
The SONY 1/3″ Super HAD II CCD 600TVL camera isn’t a slouch by any means, though. It provides high-definition analog footage to your FPV goggles that is enough to give you that immersive experience especially at high speeds, and even has lowlight and backlight surrounding capabilities for low-visibility situations. It also features an integrated microphone, but we don’t really see the point unless you want to listen to the motors buzzing at full throttle.
The camera has an adjustable angle of motion as well, amounting to over 50° of adjustment to provide you with the perspective level of your choice. The optics unit also sits behind the sides of the carbon frame to maximize protection in the event of crashes.
Ease of Use
The Walkera Furious 215 comes with a DEVO 7 remote as a standard, which looks like a cross between a professional drone remote controller and a gimmicky one. Aesthetics aside, it covers the basic need of any drone pilot, with the dual joystick levers, specialized buttons and switches, and even a monochrome LCD screen for basic status readouts like battery and signal levels on the go.
You aren’t limited to this configuration, though, as you can also use the bigger brother of this controller, which is the DEVO 10, offering premium features and a colored display to boot. The drone’s SBUS communication protocol also accepts 3rd-party receivers as well, allowing custom modders and advanced tweak geeks to apply their own magic on the drone as deemed fit.
Design and Build Quality
The Walkera Furious 215 sports the standard quadcopter design adopted by a wide majority of racing drones, and for a good reason. This optimizes the structure for the easy implementation of a carbon fiber build while granting compatibility with customized parts and components.
This results in a highly rigid build that can withstand crashes resulting from high-speed mishaps. Do note that the drone isn’t as modular as its competing models in that crashes will mostly affect more than the part that receives a direct impact. Stay safe and fly your drone at a pace you are comfortable at, as its rugged build isn’t enough assurance that it won’t sustain any damage doing so.
You can even replace the stock ESCs and motors if you wish so, as they can easily be installed and uninstalled thanks to the PDB implementation of the drone’s circuitry.
Just as expected, the Walkera Furious 215 performs outstandingly in terms of control response, immediately doing your bidding at the flick of a lever. There are some tuning issues out of the box, though, with some noticeable shudder as the drone banks left and right, altitude descent, and sudden acceleration. If you have knowledge in tinkering with the code, this can be plained out easily.
Balance is impressive as well, as the symmetric design means a stable center of gravity that holds consistently even at high speeds. This means that the drone doesn’t pull punches even with moderate winds picking up while in flight.
Speed isn’t really this bird’s strong suit, however. While it is advertised as a 90 mph flier, it doesn’t feel as such, with a rather moderate velocity versus other drones of the same price range. This is likely to be a tuning + component matter, however, and a tweaking session and upgrade might solve these “issues”.
In the quest for your racing drone purchase, you might’ve picked up a few takeaways on what to look for in a UAV. Obviously, what good is a racing drone without the blistering-fast speeds, right?
But more than that, you should probably invest in a drone that can withstand a dozen beatings or so, as it’s no secret that crashes and accidents frequent this side of the hobby. Also, add in the possibility of maintenance-friendliness and futureproofing.
All in all, the Walkera Furious 215 is a good example of what a racing drone should be, albeit some kinks that need to be worked out. We won’t hold it against the drone, though, as this is still the entry-level territory as far as legitimate racing UAVs are concerned.
So should you buy it? If budget is your concern, this bird is as affordable and reliable as things can get. But if you are willing to dish out more, there are models that perform admirably and net you better gains in the long run.
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