5inch FPV drones offer versatility, balance, and suitability for various flying styles, making them the most popular choice. Affordable and easy to assemble, these drones can carry action cameras and have widely available components. I have selected a list of components cover everything needed for a complete build.
I have a tutorial to show you how to build a 5″ FPV drone from scratch: https://oscarliang.com/how-to-build-fpv-drone/
Cheapest yet decent build list: https://oscarliang.com/cheapest-fpv-drone-build/
Table of Contents
Prebuilt 5-inch FPV Drone (BNF)
The iFlight Evoque and GEPRC Mark 5 are both extremely closely matched in terms of performance, features and quality. Frankly, you won’t go wrong with either of them. They’ve all got very capable ESC, flight controller, and motors. They’re all available in either a DJI FPV version or an analog version. So let’s focus on the things that set them apart.
iFlight Evoque F5
The iFlight Nazgul Evoque F5 comes with strong 6mm arms that sandwiched by two 2.5mm carbon plates, making it ultra sturdy and stiff, and it has protective side plates that provide protection to the electronics inside the frame. It uses the XING-E Pro 2207 6S 1800KV motors and has impressive LED light pipes on the side plates and bottom of the arms that can be customized in Betaflight. However the smaller 20x20mm FC and ESC stack might be less durable than the larger 30x30mm one in the GEPRC, although we haven’t heard many reports of durability issues. Both quads are well tuned out of the box, but I was slightly more impressed with the iFlight’s flight characteristics. To learn more: https://oscarliang.com/iflight-nazgul-evoque-f5/
RDQ (DJI camera): https://oscarliang.com/product-ai4p
RDQ (Polar camera): https://oscarliang.com/product-bhu6
GEPRC Mark 5
On the other hand, the GEPRC Mark 5 has a more thoughtfully designed frame and is easier to work with. The front of the frame is made of aluminum with a split top deck that allows maintenance without removing the HD camera mount. The GEPRC is more expensive, but it’s worth a little extra if you value innovative frame design and ease of maintenance. To learn more: https://oscarliang.com/geprc-mark5/
Purchase from these vendors:
If you plan to build your own drone, choose a frame.
Source One V5
The TBS Source One V5 frame is an affordable and open-source FPV drone frame, suitable for beginners and advanced pilots alike. Its popularity stems from its constant updates, compatibility with the latest hardware, and a vast collection of spare parts, mods, and 3D printed accessory designs. The V5 has addressed several issues from its predecessor, the V4, including thicker 6mm arms, a split bottom plate design, and an arm locking wedge for increased durability and rigidity.
While the V5 frame is slightly heavier than the V4 with a narrower body, it still offers adequate space for mounting components. It’s the perfect budget frame for beginners and experienced pilots alike. To make the most of the Source One V5 frame, I recommend getting some 3D printed TPU parts available on Thingiverse.
Find the TBS Source One V5 frame from these vendors:
AOS 5 V2
The AOS5 V2 is a popular FPV drone frame for freestyle with a focus on performance. The new version offers improved arm geometry, a three-point motor mounting system, which improves stiffness and resonance performance. It also has versatile electronics mounting options, supporting 30x30mm, 25.5×25.5mm, and 20x20mm boards. It has enough space to accommodate the HDZero Freestyle VTX and the DJI full-sized FPV air units.
The frame demonstrates exceptional noise performance and prop wash handling, allowing for less software filtering and improved flight performance. However, it may be slightly more complex than other frames when it comes to building and repairing. And the arms are more prone to damage in crashes, more specifically at the joints.
Get the AOS 5 V2 frame here:
GEPRC Mark 5
The GEPRC Mark5 is designed for sturdiness and durability. It features an optional squashed X and deadcat configurations with a 225mm wheelbase and a weight of 130 grams. It showcases exceptional build quality, boasting a robust aluminum frame, 2.5mm carbon top and bottom plates, and 5mm thick arms. Constructed with aircraft-grade 7075 alloy aluminum, the GEPRC Mark 5’s camera cage is stronger, harder, and more durable than carbon fiber alternatives. As the area where most impacts occur, this metal design offers superior durability. Additionally, the “truck bed” design accommodates larger batteries, enabling longer flight times.
The Mark5 features a split top-deck design that allows easy access to electronics without removing the entire GoPro mount. The top plate connects to the metal brace and bottom plate, providing rigidity and flexibility. This two-plate design, similar to the ImpulseRC Apex, offers several advantages, including a centralized center of gravity, improved rotation, and enhanced durability. With only two screws per arm, the lightweight arms attach to the frame for a rigid structure. These 5mm thick carbon arms are 10mm wide at their narrowest point, ensuring a well-designed and durable frame.
HGLRC Sector D5/X5
The HGLRC Sector come well-equipped with all necessary parts for assembly, including carbon fiber arms and plates, mounting hardware, and a variety of 3D printed TPU parts. These frames support micro-sized FPV cameras, have multiple mounting holes for stacks and video transmitters, and feature a locking wedge that locks arms in position, improves stiffness and reducing vibrations.
The primary difference between the X5 and D5 versions is the frame layout: the D5 features a wide X pattern, while the X5 has a True X pattern. Both frames weigh approximately the same at around 120g. The D5 is designed for cinematic style flying which keeps the propellers out of the camera’s view, while the X5 has the symmetric layout that is preferred for freestyle flying. Overall the HGLRC Sector frames are solid for 5-inch builds, with quality components and design features.
FC and ESC
Speedybee F405 V3 – Cheapest Worth Having Stack
The Speedybee F405 V3 is a cost-effective stack offering decent performance. Boasting modern features, it supports both analogue and DJI FPV systems, including a built-in Betaflight OSD chip for analogue FPV. The stack also features a built-in RGB LED control system, customizable with a single press of the boot button.
Though the F405 V3’s F4 processor is slower than F7 and H7 processors as explained in my FC Processor guide, it’s sufficient for running a 4K looptime, which arguably performs similarly to 8K. The F405 V3’s additional memory also enhances longevity compared to the faster F722 processor with half the memory.
Get the whole Stack, Speedybee F405 V3 FC + 50A BLHeli_S 4in1 ESC
Get just the FC, Speedybee F405 V3 FC
Rush Blade F722 FC – Top of the line
The Rush Blade F722 offers a feature-rich and robust FC Stack with numerous JST connectors for a potentially solder-less setup. This design allows for quick and easy FC swap-outs, ideal for racers and emergencies. Additionally, the solder pad layout is clean and user-friendly for direct soldering of devices to the FC. For more information, refer to the comprehensive review of the Rush Blade F722: https://oscarliang.com/rush-blade-fc-stack/
T-Motor Velox Veloce V2207.5 V2 (Budget Motor with High Quality)
A more budget offering from T-Motor with modern design and features: N52 magnets, titanium shaft and manufactured by the reputable T-Motor. I’d take 1750KV for a typical 5×4.3×3 on 6S. Available in 1750KV (6S), 1950KV (6S) and 2550KV (4S).
Get the T-Motor Velox from:
RCinPower Wasp Major (Best Performing)
One of the very best all-rounder 5″ Motors available today, with outstanding performance in both raw power and efficiency. It’s an ideal choice for both freestyle and racing builds.
Find the RCinPower Wasp Major 22.6-6.5 1860KV here:
EMAX ECO II 2207 (Cheapest Worth Having)
These motors have strong N52 magnets and solid build quality at an attractive price point. While you can find motors for less money they are rarely worth buying.
According to rumour, Emax is selling the ECO II motors at a lost, just trying to match the cheapest motors on the market. I found it to be believable because this motor is only $16! We have no way to prove it, but the Emax ECO II has been proven to be some of the best budget FPV motors over the years.
Perhaps not the best motor for raw performance, but you can’t really ask more as they are probably the cheapest worth having motors currently available. These are great if you are just starting out or want to build a basher. It’s also an extremely efficient motor if flight time is important to you.
They offer 1700KV and 1900KV for 6S, 2400KV for 4S. They also do 2306 motor size too, but personally I prefer the bigger stator size 2207, it’s more powerful and responsive for the same price.
Purchase the EMAX ECO II 2207 from:
iFlight Xing2 2207 (Tried and True)
State-of-the-art in FPV motors right now. Unibell design, titanium shaft, slotted arc magnets for faster response, strong N52 magnets and a protective o-ring to keep the bearings smoother for longer.
The Xing series from iFlight has to be one of the best FPV drone motors made in 2019, and now they have a new series in 2022 – the Xing2 which are even better. Apart from the distinctive and unique curved unibody motor bell that makes it super durable, the Xing2 2306 and 2207 motors also come with lots of great features. For example, a single piece titanium alloy motor shaft, robust 9x4x4 bearings, single-strand winding, and the damping ring between bell and bearing that improves durability.
The Xing2 is a powerful motor with high torque, which translates into responsiveness and snappiness in flight. For $21 per motor, you are getting a top tier performance motor that are normally sold around the $30 price range, making it extremely good value. I have been flying the Xing2 on my new Source One V5 build, and it’s one of the smoothest in my fleet.
The iFlight Xing2 motor line-up offers many different KV depending on what LiPo voltages you plan to use (4S or 6S), propellers and flying styles. For 2207, there are 1855KV (6S) and 2755KV (4S), for 2306, there are 1755KV (6S) and 2555KV (4S).
Get the iFlight Xing2 2207 here:
The “smoothness” of the propellers plays a significant role in drone flight performance and how much you can push PID and filters in tuning. Propellers with less vibration will inherently have an advantage in this area. The weight distribution of the blade and the overall weight of the prop also matter, as it affects how easily the prop can spin up and slow down, translating into faster RPM changes, improved drone response, and better “propwash” handling.
I’ve tried all major propeller brands and found HQ props to be one of the smoothest and easiest to tune. They seem to be more balanced and cause less vibration than others. I’ve also had better luck with triblades than twinblades when it comes to achieving smoothness.
HQ 5×4.3×3 V2S (Best All-Rounder)
I love the HQ 5×4.3×3 for its linear throttle response, which gives me very precise control through the whole throttle range. The responsiveness and grip are just awesome, the quad feels snappy and connected to the sticks.
Get the HQ 5×4.3×3 from:
Gemfan Hurricane 51466 (Best for Racing)
For a good racing prop, responsiveness and thrust output play a big part. To be responsive, the prop should be relatively light weight, and the weight distribution of the blade has to be optimized in order for RPM to change quickly.
Get the Gemfan Hurricane 51466-3 from:
HQ 5.1×2.5×3 (Best for Cinematic)
If you prioritise smoothness and efficiency over raw power, these props are for you. The HQ 5.1×2.5×3 is an extremely efficient props based on my static thrust tests, and the prop wash handling is second to none.
Get the HQ 5.1×2.5×3 from:
DAL Cyclone 5045C (Most Durable)
Not necessarily the best propellers in terms of performance, but they are cheap, durable and offers decent performance, it’s good enough for daily practice and bashing around.
Get the Cyclone 5040 from:
GNB – Budget Option #1
For beginners, investing in top-tier batteries may not be necessary since you won’t need all that power, and crashes are more likely to damage them. Choosing a cost-effective option is a smarter choice during the learning phase.
GNB has been a reliable budget option in the FPV drone world for a long time. Many batteries available in the market are actually rebranded from GNB, demonstrating the industry’s confidence in their products.
CNHL – Budget Option #2
Alongside GNB, CNHL (China Hobby Line) is another great budget battery that’s available internationally. However the trade off for having excellent performing cells is that they are ever so slightly larger and heavier than other brands in its class, it’s worth it if you need that extra punch.
4S 1500mAh: https://oscarliang.com/product-42re
6S 1100mAh: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DmYD5Sv
Other voltage/capacity: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_De2PbUv
RDQ Series – Great Performer for US Pilots
One of the best performing batteries for the price. Sold exclusively by RDQ, so this is a great option for North American pilots.
4S 1300mAh: https://oscarliang.com/product-h2dh
4S 1500mAh: https://oscarliang.com/product-dk0h
6S 1000mAh: https://oscarliang.com/product-trm1
Other voltage/capacity: https://oscarliang.com/product-gjgw
Tattu R-Line – Top of the Line
The Tattu R-Line is favored by many top FPV racers, which speaks to the battery’s quality and performance. The R-Line may be the most expensive option on the list, some users report faster performance degradation compared to other batteries. However, if you’re seeking top-notch performance and are willing to pay a premium, the Tattu R-Line is worth considering.
Adding a GPS module to your drone allows for GPS rescue mode, which help bring your drone back in the event of signal lost. Check this post to learn about how to setup GPS rescue mode in Betaflight: https://oscarliang.com/setup-gps-rescue-mode-betaflight/
HGLRC M100 Mini GPS
The HGLRC M100 Mini GPS is a top-performing, lightweight module with a tiny form factor. Outperforming the BN220, it requires no configuration and uses the advanced UBlox M10 chip, supporting GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BDS satellite signals for global functionality. With a similar price to the BN220, it’s the go-to choice for 5″ freestyle quad builds. Compatible with Betaflight 4.3 or later, it obtains a 3D fix within a minute and connects to up to 28 satellites in 5 minutes. It’s smaller than the BN220 and BN180.
Get the HGLRC M100 GPS from:
Flywoo Goku GM10 Nano V3
The GOKU Nano V3 from Flywoo is one of the smallest GPS module with impressive performance, outperforming the Nameless nano GPS and BN220. With no configuration needed, it offers a smaller and lighter design at a similar price, making it a great choice for micro builds. Consistently connecting to 26 satellites, its performance is remarkable for its size. Ensure you use Betaflight version 4.3 or newer to support the 10th generation Ublox GPS chip.
You can find the GOKU Nano GPS here:
Vifly Finder Mini
The ViFly Finder beeper is a self-powered buzzer designed for FPV drones, ideal for locating a crashed drone even if the battery is ejected or drained. It features a tiny built-in LiPo battery, enabling the buzzer to beep loudly (up to 105dB) for up to 7 to 30 hours. The Finder also functions as a regular beeper, controllable by a switch on the user’s controller.
There are two versions of the ViFly Finder, The V2 is 5g and has a larger battery that can run up to 30 hours, while the Mini weighs only 3g with only 7 hours of battery life. The V2 also features a light sensor that turns off the beeper at night to conserve battery (assuming we don’t search for the quad at night).
Vifly Finder Mini (3g, 7 hours battery):
Vifly Finder V2 (5g, 30 hours battery):
FPV Camera, VTX, Antennas
An FPV video system consists of an FPV camera, a video transmitter (VTX), and an antenna. There are currently four video systems available: DJI, HDZero, Walksnail, and analog. To help you decide which system is best for your needs, check out this review: https://oscarliang.com/fpv-system/
Hardware recommendations depend on which FPV system you prefer. Here are my product recommendations for each component:
- FPV Cameras: https://oscarliang.com/fpv-camera/
- Video transmitters: https://oscarliang.com/video-transmitter/
- Antennas: https://oscarliang.com/best-fpv-antenna/
Tools and Wires
When connecting the battery lead on 5-inch quads, 14AWG wires are the standard, while 16AWG can also work for lighter, less powerful builds. For extending motor wires, 20AWG is a suitable choice. To connect the flight controller to radio receivers, FPV cameras, VTX, GPS, etc., all you need are some 28AWG or 30AWG wires. For connecting capacitors to power, as long as you keep the wires short, both 20AWG and 18AWG work well.