The End of BLHeli_32 and The Future of ESC Firmware in FPV Drones

by Oscar
End Of Blheli 32 Announcement Discontinue Shutdown Blheli As

BLHeli has been a staple in the FPV drones community for years, unfortunately it’s been abruptly shut down, and there won’t be any more new BLHeli_32 ESCs or software updates. So, what does this mean for FPV pilots, and what steps should you consider next? Let’s delve into the details.

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. I receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these affiliate links. This helps support the free content for the community on this website. Please read our Affiliate Link Policy for more information.

Learn more about the background of ESC firmware:

Why BLHeli_32 is Shutting Down

According to the letter from the company, the decision to shut down was driven by the increasingly complex geopolitical landscape and the associated risks of BLHeli32 being used in warfare drones. Norway’s strict export control regulations based on the European Union’s legal framework made it untenable for BLHeli to continue operations. Essentially, they felt they couldn’t continue to operate under these restrictions.

Impacts on FPV Pilots

In the short term, there is no immediate need to worry for FPV pilots.

First and foremost, if you have BLHeli32 ESCs in your quadcopter right now, they will continue to work just as they always have. You can still configure your ESCs using the BLHeliSuite32 software, change settings, and perform all the usual configurations. However, the one thing you can’t do anymore is flash new firmware updates.

The Issue with Firmware Updates

If you try to flash your BLHeli32 ESCs to another version of the firmware, you’ll encounter a message saying, “Server down for maintenance, please try again later.” Unfortunately, this server will be down for maintenance forever. This means no more firmware updates for BLHeli32 ESCs, which could be a problem if you encounter bugs or issues in the future.

BLHeli32 ESC Availability

Will there be a shortage of ESCs? Personally, I don’t think so. There is a good amount of existing BLHeli_32 ESC stock, so you should still be able to purchase them in the next few months at least. Although there might not be new BLHeli_32 updates in the future, your ESC will continue to work as they did.

Note that this incident only impacts the closed-source BLHeli_32, not BLHeli_S which is open source. How to tell if you have BLHeli32 or BLHeli_S ESC:

Manufacturers will eventually have to switch from BLHeli_32 to alternative ESC firmware. This transition might cause some disruption in the availability of ESCs, but I think the impact will be minimal. Time will tell.

BLHeli_S ESCs Remain Unaffected

The good news is that BLHeli_S ESCs are not affected by this shutdown. BLHeli_S was released as open-source firmware and is still being maintained by the community. You can continue to use, update, and configure your BLHeli_S ESCs without any issues.

ESC Firmware Alternatives

With BLHeli32 gone, the FPV community is looking for alternatives, and AM32 is quickly emerging as the new standard. AM32 is under active development and is expected to receive even more attention now that ESC manufacturers are looking for a new firmware solution.

And for BLHeli_S, there’s Bluejay.

When switching to a new ESC firmware, the flashing and updating process will change too. I’ve covered these in the following tutorials:

What Should You Do Now?

If you’re currently using BLHeli_32 ESCs, there’s no immediate need to switch. Your ESCs will continue to work as they did. Don’t rush into flashing AM32 because there’s no real benefit, and once you flash AM32, there’s no going back to BLHeli32. It’s better to wait and see how the situation evolves and then make an informed decision.

If you are buying new ESCs today, it’s worth considering AM32 for future-proofing, or go with BLHeli_S ESC so you can flash Bluejay. It’s still okay to buy BLHeli_32 and switch to AM32 later if you wish. You can find ESC with AM32 firmware here:

For those ready to explore AM32, it’s crucial to understand the process thoroughly. Take time to research and ensure compatibility before making any changes. I have a tutorial here:

For BLHeli_S users, you should flash Bluejay as it offers more features and better performance, particularly bidirectional DShot and RPM filtering. Here’s how to flash bluejay:


The discontinuation of BLHeli_32 is a significant and unfortunate change, but it’s not the end of the world for FPV pilots. While there may be some short-term disruptions, the FPV community is resilient and adaptable. With alternatives like Bluejay and AM32, we have the tools to continue flying and enjoying the hobby. In the meantime, keep flying with your current gear, stay informed about the latest developments, and be prepared to adapt as the landscape of ESC firmware evolves.

Leave a Comment

By using this form, you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website. Note that all comments are held for moderation before appearing.


Adrian Blakey 22nd June 2024 - 6:07 pm

There’s another good choice of open source firmware namely: ESCape32

Mateus Alves 10th June 2024 - 6:05 pm

I’m having a problem programming a BLHELI32 ESC, IFLIGHT E80. I can flash the arduino nano but it doesn’t connect to the ESC. I have already programmed this ESC before, and i’m doig the same process that i did and worked! Please someone help!

Paul Millard 8th June 2024 - 10:17 am

I have a 32.9 blheli on the way.Worried about spool ups . Only found out today. Should not have shut down servers till all are 32.10. Dangerous? You are ace!

Oscar 10th June 2024 - 4:53 pm

The issue has been reported on their Github and the BLHeli_32 developer is aware of it and said “working very hard to put it back in operation”. As to when, we are not sure.

Xan 4th June 2024 - 4:43 pm

They need to make flashing am32 to a bheli32 esc a helluva lot less confusing. I read your guide and quickly realized I’m better off just buying spare b32 esc because trying to flash am32 requires a 5 year degree in engineering.

Oscar 6th June 2024 - 4:14 pm

I agree. Hopefully with more interest in AM32 they will have more resource to improve the user interface.

Jan 4th June 2024 - 12:53 pm

Damn, thanks for the article!
I prefer BL Heli 32 over the others.

Can’t they make BL Heli 32 Open Source?

Mike 4th June 2024 - 8:25 am

If you buy a blheli32 today you will stuck with whatever firmware is coming with. There is no path to update. Servers are down. This is not something that you want because most of them they are not coming with 32.10

Oscar 4th June 2024 - 3:33 pm

Yea it looks like they’ve shut down the servers too just when I was writing this article.

Jonathan 4th June 2024 - 12:42 am

Sauce for that letter?

celso 10th June 2024 - 2:48 pm

it is written in the bottom of the letter.