FPV Racing - Is Lighter Always Better?
In the wonderful world of FPV, there seems to be a constant search for the lightest quad. Everyone wants the lightest stack, the lightest motors, the lightest frame. Yet alongside the search for the fewest grams, there are some of us that would prefer a heavier setup.
The trade off for me, first and foremost, is about durability. Especially in the world of carbon fiber frames, the lightest frame is not always the sturdiest. I have broken so few arms with my four Leviathan setups compared to lighter frames of similar quality. Even frames with thicker arms haven’t stood the test of time with the robustness I want. The added weight of a sturdier frame also adds an element of consistency to my flying. In races where I was combining heavy and lightweight setups, a particularly windy day would blow me off course with my lightweight rigs, whereas my heavier setup always stood fast to the lines I was so desperately trying to hold.
The main problem I’ve had with heavier setups is not being able to finish heats before my battery died. This is very frustrating for pilots everywhere, and completely justifies a search for a lighter quad. However, with setups running 6S batteries and compatible components, I’ve had no issues whatsoever with battery failure while flying my heavy frames. This gives me hope that higher voltage may be the great equalizer between heavy and light quads.
In the near future, it’s looking more and more like battery failure will be a thing of the past with current race formats, causing the durability of a heavier setup to shine above the lower power needed to push a lighter one. With my Leviathan in particular, the ability to utilize a full size FPV camera has been a game changer for me. I was always frustrated with lighter setups that required the use of a micro camera. I am much more impressed with the quality and features of a full size camera on all of my builds now that I’ve transitioned to heavier racers.
In conclusion, my Leviathan weighs 118g with everything that comes in the box. There’s no way around it. But despite the elephant in the room, I’ve been very happy with the durability and utility of it, and I plan to use them as my dedicated racer of choice for the remainder of the 2018 racing season.
- M C Laffin