One question that comes up a lot for people wanting to get started with a Whoop is what all they need to get started. The short version of what you will need to get in the air and flying FPV with a Whoop is:
- A Tiny Whoop or one of the many clones (this article)
- FPV Goggles or monitor
- A remote
This page is dedicated to Tiny Whoop-like products (just referred to as Whoops), but many of these products will include remotes and potentially FPV gear. Some terminology before I go on:
- BNF – Bind and Fly. Means you get a drone with a camera.
- RTF – Ready to Fly. Means you get a drone with a remote. No comment here on quality of the remote.
- RTF+ – How I will note if the RTF setup also includes FPV monitor or goggles.
- Kit – You get a box of parts and DIY it.
Also, unless otherwise noted, expect that cameras require a Ham radio license to legally operate in the United States.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Tiny Whoop TW1
The founding product of the Whoops! This is a non-FPV Blade Inductrix and a whole lot of extras. The BNF model gives you:
- Pre-installed upgraded motors + a spare set
- Good quality FPV camera directly soldered to the board with a 10° camera mount
- A reinforced frame
- An upgraded battery
- USB Charger
- Probably candy
The RTF kit includes a 4-channel radio that will work for learning on, but serious pilots will quickly out grow. The RTF+ kit also includes a solid set of FPV goggles to get you in the air. In all honesty, this is the kit I most reccommend for new pilots who are after a one stop shop.
Blade Inductrix FPV
The way I’ve heard the story, after Horizon Hobby / Blade Heli got wind of the Tiny Whoop, they decided they could do it cheaper and in mass production. And to be fair – they did, and they did it well. I’m going to quote Jesse on this one:
“For those with a tighter budget I think this aircraft is an excellent option. It is a few grams heavier than the Tiny Whoop and the motors are a bit weaker. For those looking to learn the controls of FPV aircraft and enjoy leisurely exploration indoors this aircraft is a lot of fun!”
The RTF+ kit gives you the same cheap radio as the Tiny Whoop RTF kits give you, but also includes an entry level FPV monitor and mount to attach the monitor to the remote. The other big advantage about the Inductrix FPV is that you can quite likely walk into a local hobby shop that sells RC equipment and buy it off the shelf today! However, I do really recommend buying Tiny Whoop for the BNF or RTF because they add in an extra battery with higher capacity and a 10° camera mount which can be used instead of the yellow canopy, making the entire drone much lighter. And if you don’t care about the camera mount, there’s still the battery and candy.
$63.99 for BNF (DSM2?)
For now this one is vaporware in my opinion. It was announced, and either demand was too high or they just haven’t made it to market. That said it looks like it could be a good, cheap copy of the Inductrix FPV.
$42.99 for RTF+ (No Ham Required)
Much like its cousin, the CX-95S, I’ve yet to see this one on the market. However this one I’m also the most excited for because it gives you a way to legally do whoop-like flying without a Ham. With a wifi camera, there is an issue of lag, but it could be something fun to have and use. Technically, this doesn’t include a monitor but it DOES use an app back to your smart phone.
One thing the Tiny Whoop community will advise people to do if they want to try FPV cheap, and if you already have goggles, is to buy a $25 camera from Banggood and a $15-20 Eachine E010 and attach the camera. Someone at banggood decided to just go ahead and cut out the manual labor. The controller is cheap and small, the flight controller is toy-grade with the motors soldered on directly (meaning you’ll need a soldering iron to replace broken frames) but it does work. I have experience with the E010 and it’s not too bad of a fly. There are issues with the remote sometimes binding with more than one E010 at the same time on accident, so be warned there.
$59 for FlySky or FrSky, $62 for DSM2, all three are BNF
As much as some people (sometimes rightfully so) will complain about Chineese knockoffs, this is one is actually pretty impressive. The difference between it and the E010C is an honest to goodness flight controller, meaning it can run Betaflight or Cleanflight is much more configurable to work with your remote. If I was wanting to buy myself a new Whoop and not build one from parts, I personally would look hard at this one. In fact, depending on what board they’re using in there (it doesn’t look like the Beecore) I would be tempted to buy it and just upgrade whatever needs upgrading at this price point.
Makerfire Micro PFV
$82.99 BNF (DSM2 Version) (FrSky Version), $65.99 RTF
Just to keep this one short and sweet, the Makerfire is effectively imported & resold Eachines – although I will give them credit for that canopy.
Race Day Quads BeeCore Whoop Kit
Before I talk about this one, I want to give some backstory: RaceDayQuads is run by a guy named Tyler Brennan who is VERY active in the Tiny Whoop Facebook group. Tyler spends a lot of his time in the group working with the community there, and giving solid advice. Often times, that advice is “here is a product I sell” and as much as I like to sometimes give him grief for that – he’s also not wrong.
RaceDayQuads, in my opinion, is probably one of the two most customer driven sources for Tiny Whoop stuff out there. And this isn’t a plug because he’s given me free stuff (yet – come on Tyler). The other of course being Tiny Whoop themselves. But Tyler genuinely keeps his prices low and competitive, and his advice honest. This kit is one of those examples of him listening to that community – people who want to just build their own Whoop from parts. And what we have here are the parts of a good beat around the house and terrorize the dog whoop kit.
The price is skewed compared to some of the other BNF sets, I will admit. But you get a solid flight controller, some good motors, and a good camera. On top of that, RDQ has fast shipping and I often have my stuff within 3 days of ordering and an email from them when it’s delivered.