Pros: Ready to fly out of the box; included FPV receiver screen and removable flight battery so you can carry spares for more flight time while you recharge
Cons: Lack of compatibility preventing use of other transmitters or FPV equipment; battery was very hard to snap in and out; lack luster flight experience and FPV performance, but good enough for fun
Looking to get into first-person view (FPV), Multi-rotor drone flying without dropping a ton of cash? Here you go. This all-in-one package includes a palm-size drone with FPV camera, video transmitter, video receiver/ screen, Micro SD card, controller, batteries and charger.
For $139 (or $189 for the recommended extended flight package with more batteries and replacement props) the Aerix Black Talon FPV micro drone will have you flying around your living room, office or outside on a calm day after a few minutes of charging the batteries as if you are in the drone. It's a solid enough drone, with the quality to get a taste of the full drone flying experience and have a blast.
Still, those with more experience (and three to five times as much money to spend) and looking to race might be better off looking into separate components which you can grow with including the Fat Shark goggles ($200-$500,) a hobby grade transmitter ($150-$250), and then whatever size drone (or drones) you want ($150-$500 each).
The Black Talon has very nice looks and solid construction—that's easy to see right out of the box. This is a 4 Rotor, ready to fly FPV Drone with an FPV screen and built-in receiver. At just 2.4 ounces, you won't need to register yourself as a pilot with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), another perk for first-time flyers.
The battery is a plus: finally an appropriately-sized battery for the size and weight of the drone. I did find it hard to figure out the feature buttons like how to turn on and off altitude hold, modes and also stunts. I also noted I couldn't tilt the FPV camera, and the included DVR to record flights is 720P on Micro SD. The Black Talon's video transmitter for the camera didn't pair with Fat Shark frequencies or Boscam frequencies, and therefore could not be used with most FPV goggles. For the same reason, the screen can't be used to view video feeds from other drones, which was a letdown as I had hoped on both of those as a plus.
Once I got the drone in the air, I found it was easy to fly straight away. The Black Talon flew well for four minutes on the included 530mah 1s battery.
Keep in mind it's always best not to fly a drone until the Low Voltage Control kicks in, which happened once at about 5 and a 1/2 minutes in the flight. Why? Because if you fly a drone until it loses power, than the battery will become "shot" after just a few charges. If you only fly a drone for about 70 percent to 80 percent of its maximum flight time, you are more likely to get 100 to 300 charges out of it. Flying a drone until it's dead will make the battery hot—which is not good. This applies to your phone battery too, where going near, or to, 0 percent is bad for the battery,
Bottom line? Make sure to time yourself around 4 minutes to prolong the lifespan of the battery.
The drone holds it's height, and has self-leveling on by default. I, however, didn't really like the "altitude hold" and couldn't figure out how to turn it off. But the Black Talon has nice LEDs, and a protective bumper for the props (propellers or blades)—which means that you're less likely to have them tear up your house. The props never got damaged, but they did fly off almost every time I crashed so expect to spend some time crawling on the floor finding them. A set of four spares are included if you manage to lose any.
The FPV video has a limited span—cutting out just one room away in my house, around 30 feet through one wall. But the flight transmitter had adequate range, much further than the video.
I found the drone lacked the agility—nor was it easy enough—to do fast laps in my house without crashing and cutting my curtains. Nor did I think you'd find the drone strong enough to fly outside, especially if there was any wind. But for beginners, looking to get a taste of first-time flying, the Black Talon is certainly fun.
As a gift for a new flyer, this is a fine choice for a FPV experience—especially at the $139 pre-sale price. (The sticker price jumps to $185 after the pre-sale period.) I would urge serious hobbyists, though, to save their money and get something closer to hobby grade since you will get whooped by a "TinyWhoop" or Nano QX2 if you bring this micro racing.
I don't think the FPV would work far enough on any of the indoor tracks I've flown and even if it did you wouldn't do very well with out goggles. But then again you can't expect to race competitively for $139 against setups costing nearly $1000, but you can get a taste. I did try and hack that problem by using Velcro to the brim of a baseball hat and putting a towel on my head to accomplish the same which helped it be more immersive. And you could mount the screen to some ski goggles for a goggle-like setup too.
All in all? The Black Talon was a blast despite not competing with my pro grade gear as expected.
-Jeremy Wyckoff is GearBrain's drone review and an expert FPV and freestyle drone flyer, builder and racer, who last reviewed the Sky Viper V950HD drone for GearBrain. Wyckoff's spends 4 to 6 hours a week flying drones, including five that he built on his own. Riding motorcycles for the past 16 years, Wyckoff started stunting in 2004 after a crash left him with 70 staples in his leg. He still pushes the limits, but in "..closed areas like parking lots, where there are no cars, obstacles or other distractions." Although bikes of all kinds are his passion, you'll also likely find him on a skateboard, snowboard, unicycle or rollerblades. Check out his YouTube page here.