The Flywoo 1S Nano Baby Quad has returned with its second iteration, this time arriving in the form of the DC16 and FR16. This updated version presents an exciting choice of two distinct frames, designed to cater to the diverse requirements of pilots. The variants also extend to three FPV systems, offering a broad spectrum of capabilities. I’ll breakdown the specs, share my flying experience, and discuss whether it’s a worthy contender in the micro drone market.
Where to Buy?
You can purchase the Nano Baby Quad V2 from Flywoo here.
- Analog: https://oscarliang.com/product-oxn1
- Walksnail: https://oscarliang.com/product-ygyo
- HDZero: https://oscarliang.com/product-wzdp
At the same time, Flywoo launched a new 1S 6-port A30 charger. If you plan on getting this quad, this charger might be a worthy add-on because you will be using A30 batteries. Alternatively, you could also use a charger or serial charging board with BT2.0 connectors, they are also compatible with A30 batteries. Read more about the differences between A30 and BT2.0 here: Introducing A30 Battery Connector for 1S LiPo: Competitor for BT2.0, Successor to GNB27
Battaries are not included, get them here:
- 1S 450mAh (with A30 connector): https://oscarliang.com/product-w7h6
- 1S 750mAh (with A30 connector): https://oscarliang.com/product-yaj9
For additional flying time, stock up on spare propellers here:
- 1609 4-blade: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DEADCn3
- 1608 3-blade (recommended): https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_Dn37wYN
DC16 vs. FR16
Flywoo’s new model, the 1S Nano Baby Quad, is available in two unique carbon frame variants: the DC16 and the FR16, both meticulously crafted to meet diverse piloting preferences.
The DC16, or ‘Dead Cat’ frame, is ideal for relaxed cruises, providing unobstructed camera views from spinning propellers. In contrast, the symmetric design of the FR16, an ‘X-shaped’ frame, lends itself perfectly to freestyle flights and acrobatics.
The ’16’ in both variants signifies the supported propeller size, 1.6-inch (40mm).
Regardless of the frame choice, both types come with three system options – Analog, HDzero, and Walksnail.
The main differences lie within their motor KV specs. The DC16 is powered by 1002 19800KV motors, whereas the FR16 opts for more powerful 1002 23500KV motors. Consequently, the DC16 boasts a longer flight time, attributable to its less powerful yet more efficient motor and prop combo. However, if speed and power are your top priorities, the FR16 might be a better choice.
The Firefly 1S Nano Baby V2 comes packed with numerous enhancements over its predecessor:
- A redesigned canopy for enhanced FPV camera protection.
- Thicker and wider bottom plate improves stability and durability.
- Bigger and higher KV motors for greater power and agility.
- More powerful FC and VTX.
- The use of the superior A30 battery connector ensures higher power output and lengthier flight times.
- HD FPV system options available: Walksnail Avatar and HDZero
- New battery holder design – supports a wider selection of batteries
Here’s the official specs comparison between the two quads I am reviewing here:
|Specs||Firefly 1S DC16 Nano Baby Quad (Analog)||Firefly 1S FR16 Nano Baby Quad (Walksnail)|
|Frame Kit||Firefly 1S DC16 Nano Baby Quad Frame Kit||Firefly 1S FR16 Nano Baby Quad Frame Kit|
|Motor||ROBO 1002 19800KV||ROBO 1002 23500KV|
|FC||GOKU Versatile F411 VTX 1S 5A AIO V2.0 with 250mw VTX||GOKU Versatile F411 ELRS 1S 5A AIO V2.0|
|Receiver||External ELRS RX||Built-in ELRS RX (UART)|
|Propeller||1608 – 3-Blade, 40mm, 1.5mm Shaft||1609 – 4-Blade, 40mm, 1.5mm Shaft|
|FPV System||Flywoo V3 Nano Camera||Walksnail 1S Mini Lite VTX and Camera|
|Weight w/o LiPo||29g|
A Close Look at the Baby Nano V2
The Flywoo Baby Nano V2, at first glance, is a compact marvel, weighing in at just 29 grams and measuring approximately 76mm motor to motor.
The FPV camera is protected within a 3D printed canopy (what appears to be ABS or PETG), feels very robust and rigid.
However, a minor downside lies in the limited room for camera angle adjustment. While the side screws secure the camera in place, the adjustability seems constrained, offering a relatively narrow window of 15 to 20 degrees.
The drone comes with propeller guards, though personally, I’d avoid using them. They add about 7 grams to your quad’s weight, leading to a noticeable drop in flight performance. Unless you’re looking to fly primarily indoors or around people, these guards appear unnecessary.
Powering this tiny drone are the Flywoo Robo motors, 1002 rated at a whopping 23,500 KV, turning 1609 quad-blade Gemfan props for the FR16. This is an unusual combo, we don’t normally pair such high KV motors with 4-blade props. Classified as competition grade, these motors boost the drone’s performance, albeit at the expense of efficiency, which impacts flight time and voltage sag. I much prefer the DC16’s motor and propeller choice – 1002 19800KV with tri-blade props, a better balance between efficiency and power.
While Flywoo’s argument for the high motor KV is increased power and less noisy flying, I found the quad-blade neither fly quieter nor fly better to 2-blade or 3-blade props on a small quad like this. In my opinion, 2-blade or 3-blade props might be a better option.
The FR16 Baby Nano V2 is equipped with a Goku versatile F411 v2 flight controller, completed with a built-in 250mW VTX. The drone uses the new A30 plug, which has much better performance than the PH2.0 used in the previous version.
The battery mount, 3D printed in TPU, is impressively thin and flexible. Although designed for the 1S 450mAh, you can, with some careful effort, fit in a slightly larger 1S 750mAh. It’s a snug fit, requiring a gentle yet firm push to slide it into place.
Video Quality and Camera Performance
When it comes to the image quality delivered by the Walksnail Avatar, it’s nothing short of spectacular! The visual experience with the FR16 equipped with Walksnail rivals that of a 5″ quad – rich details, clean transitions, and almost no breakup while weaving through trees, unlike what you might experience with analog. This clarity significantly boosts your confidence when threading through narrow gaps and helps you spot and avoid branches, preventing potential crashes. As with any quad using the Walksnail 1S VTX, bear in mind that the video feed may cut out around 3.1V. To avoid a sudden ‘blind’ moment and potential crash, ensure to land your quad before the voltage drops to this level.
On the other hand, the DC16 with an analog setup paints a starkly different picture. The camera performed worse than I expected, making flying quite a challenge. The overexposed image makes it hard to see clearly. You can’t adjust camera settings unfortunately, so all I could do was tinkering with brightness and contrast settings on my goggles. That sort of made it more flyable, but the image quality doesn’t look as good as the predecessor. I’d like to give Flywoo the benefit of the doubt here, it could just be a potentially faulty camera since the company has assured that their latest Nano V3 camera should surpass the previous generation in performance. I’ll keep you updated once I hear Flywoo’s view on this matter.
ELRS Receiver Performance
Both the FR16 and DC16 models I tested come equipped with UART-based ExpressLRS receivers. However, there are slight differences to be noted.
Regardless of the frame option, the Walksnail or HDZero versions have the ELRS receiver integrated into the flight controller (UART based), while the analog version is equipped with an external ELRS receiver.
The analog model, with its tower-style ceramic antenna, offered no issues with range, performing as one would expect from ExpressLRS. I managed to maintain control for distances up to around 300 meters without any problems.
In contrast, I encountered some hiccups with the Walksnail version, It features an extended T-style antenna which should theoretically offer better range. Surprisingly, I kept experiencing failsafe within just 50 meters! The culprit, it turned out, was the default antenna mounting approach. The antenna was fastened under the carbon fiber arm, leading to interference with the signal. After adjusting the antenna’s mounting position, the problem was resolved, and I was able to fly the quad out to around 200-300 meters without any issues.
Flight Performance and Conclusion
Personally, I found myself gravitating towards the tri-blade propellers over the quad-blade variants on both models, primarily due to their higher efficiency and more responsive feel.
The overall build quality is impressive. The 2mm thick bottom plate withstood crashes well, and the TPU canopy effectively protected the components.
That said, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. The main concern I found was the drone’s stock tune. Although not terrible, it wasn’t exactly Flywoo’s finest work either. I experienced occasional washouts and vibrations and generally, the stock tune could definitely use a bit of fine-tuning.
For comparison, the Sub250 Nanofly16 (my favourite 1.6inch quad back in 2022) offers a better stock PID tune, but I would still argue that the Flywoo pulls ahead in overall performance, thanks to its upgraded motors which contribute to a more snappy feel. It also presents a more affordable option (the Sub250 costs $150 while the Flywoo comes in at $140). In my view, Flywoo’s offering just needs a more refined tune, which I’ll be working on and sharing on my Patreon later.
The Analog Version
When it comes to the Analog version (DC16), I observed an undeniable upgrade in flight performance from the previous Baby Nano Quad. The larger 1002 motors deliver substantial power, improving speed, agility and responsiveness. Although there’s a bit more prop wash and vibration as mentioned, and the drone is slightly heavier, carrying more momentum than its predecessor, these factors don’t detract from the overall flight experience.
The increased power demands from the motors and prop combo do result in a noticeable decrease in flight time. However, the boost in fun and the improved stability, especially in windy conditions, easily compensate for that. Expect a flight time of around 4 minutes with a 1S 450mAh battery and around 5 to 6 minutes of aggressive flying with a 1S 750mAh battery.
Personally, I prefer the 1S 450mAh battery with this quad. The lighter weight optimizes the drone’s freestyle performance. That being said, the drone also performs well with the larger 750mAh battery.
To get your hands on the Analog 1S Nano Baby Quad, follow this link:
When flying the Walksnail version (FR16), I noticed a distinct difference in its flight performance compared to the Analog version. While it may not be as agile or fast due to its heavier build, this version truly shines when it comes to cruising and enjoying scenery in high altitude. The break-up free experience while navigating through trees is nothing short of impressive. However, for freestyle and acrobatics, it doesn’t match up to the Analog version. If freestyle and racing are your primary goal with a Walksnail quad, I’d recommend going 2S, such as the Happymodel Bassline.
In terms of battery choice, I’d go for a 1S 750mAh for extended flight time, it’s such a power hungry quad :)
Here’s where I feel Flywoo, much like BetaFPV’s new Meteor 75 Pro, went off track: the use of exceedingly high KV motors with heavy props. While I understand the desire to use more powerful motors to offset the weight of the heavier VTX, it results in significant voltage sag for the Walksnail VTX. The VTX shuts down at 3.1V, inevitably reducing your flight time. Personally, I’d prefer lower KV motors for more predictable performance and to prevent sudden blackouts when I punch the throttle towards the end of the pack.
Get your Walksnail 1S Nano Baby Quad here:
Get Your Props and Batteries
Get 1S 450mAh batteries (with A30 connector) here: https://oscarliang.com/product-w7h6
Get 1S 750mAh batteries (with A30 connector) here: https://oscarliang.com/product-yaj9
Get some spare propellers here:
- 1609 4-blade: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DEADCn3
- 1608 3-blade (recommend): https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_Dn37wYN
How to Setup
Before your first flight, make sure to setup the drone accordingly. The BTFL version used is 4.4.1 and the FC target is FLYWOOF411_5IN1_AIO. Stock CLI can be found here.
Here’s what I did for first flight:
- Bind radio (instructions: https://oscarliang.com/setup-expresslrs-2-4ghz/#Binding-Receiver)
- In Configuration tab, set arming angle to 180
- In Configuration tab, enable DShot beeper
- In Modes tab, setup arm switch, beeper switch and turtle mode switch
- In Preset tab, load ExpressLRS 500hz preset
- In OSD tab, setup OSD to your liking
Interestingly, the original idle throttle (in Motors tab) was set at 20%, which is unusually high. I’m not sure if this was intentional or a mistake on Flywoo’s side, but it caused issues during take-off – either flipping over on the ground or some crazy bouncing. To fix this, I had to lower it to 15%. Later when I retune PID, I plan to enable Dynamic Idle which eliminates the need for Idle Throttle.
That should be sufficient for the Analog version.
If you’re setting up the Walksnail version, there are a few extra steps:
- Bind Walksnail to goggles (no firmware update needed)
- Set a slightly higher warning voltage, such as 3.4V or even 3.5V, try to land when before it gets down to 3.2V
- set OSD format to HD
That’s it, happy flying.
Update (Aug 30 2023): Analog Camera Fixed
As mentioned the analog fpv camera has an overexposed issue, and multiple people in the comments also confirm it could be a common problem. I contacted Flywoo and they sent me a replacement camera, which fixed the issue.
The old camera is a Caddx branded ANT camera, the new camera they sent me is a Flywoo branded “V3” camera. Despite the different label on the back, the appearance and circuit board design are identical.