Review: iFlight Mach R5 BNF Racing Drone

by Oscar
Iflight Mach R5 Hd Bnf Racing Drone

The new iFlight Mach R5 is so far my favourite BNF FPV Drone for racing. It’s well designed, cleanly built, top notch quality, and POWERFUL! But is it beginner friendly and should you get it? Let’s find out!

Where to Buy?

HD Version (DJI Vista & Caddx Nebula Nano):

Analog Version:

The drone we are reviewing in this post is the HD version.

Iflight Mach R5 Hd Bnf Racing Drone Unbox Accessories

What’s in the box?

  • 1x iFlight Mach R5 HD BNF Racing Quadcopter
  • 1x 20x250mm Battery Strap (spare)
  • 1x spare battery pad
  • 1x spare set of Nazgul R5 3-Blade
  • 1x Set 3D Printed Camera holder (for Nano/Micro size camera)
  • Spare screws and nuts
  • Stickers
  • Micro USB cable

Specs Of Mach R5

  • Beast F7 AIO FC w/ built-in 55Ax4 BLHeli_S ESC
  • Caddx Nebula Nano FPV camera with Vista VTX (DJI FPV system)
  • XING2 2506 1850KV motors
  • Nazgul R5 Tri-blade propellers
  • Supports 6S LiPo (Recommended 6S 1300mAh)
  • Weight w/o LiPo: 338g

Closer Look

Iflight Mach R5 Hd Bnf Racing Drone Bottom Plate Frame

The Mach R5 has a very durable and light weight frame design, the arms are 6mm thick. You can get the frame separately here if you want to build your own: https://oscarliang.com/product-kgq7

The other feature of the frame is “quick swap arms”. By removing the 3 screws on the bottom of the centre plate, you can easily replace it.

The base plate (under the FC) is actually metal (aluminium 7075), not only it makes the whole structure stronger it also eliminates the use of nuts which make assembly and repair much easier.

The 3D printed TPU top fin is there so when the quad is upside down, one side of the props are less likely to get obstructed and turtle mode (flip over after crash) is more likely to work.

Iflight Mach R5 Hd Bnf Racing Drone Fc StackHere we have a very compact and clean FC stack – it’s just one board!

The FC is the Beast F7 AIO which has a 4in1 55A BLHeli_S ESC integrated. It’s pretty crazy how they managed to cramp all those components into a single board while still support 6S and powerful enough to run 5″ props.

Here’s the FC product page in case you want to learn more about its specs: https://oscarliang.com/product-ucyd

The Vista is mounted under the top plate, so when you remove it (4 bolts), you can access the FC very easily.

Iflight Mach R5 Hd Bnf Racing Drone Fc Stack Vista Remove Top PlateThe Nebula Nano camera doesn’t get much love in the FPV community, and in my opinion, it’s a questionable choice for racing too. It’s locked to 60FPS (more latency than the Nebula Pro and stock camera’s 120FPS), and locked to16:9 mode as well with the top and bottom of the image chopped, which is bad for racing fast through gates and gaps.

Iflight Mach R5 Hd Bnf Racing Drone Fpv Camera Caddx NebulaIt seems like iFlight upgraded the camera to the Caddx Polar in the new batches, which is nice for sure. The Polar does give you better image quality, however it suffers from the same issues as I mentioned above. Anyway, do check the Mach R5 product page to make sure which camera you are getting.

The iFlight Mach R5 is clearly racing oriented, so choosing either the Nebula Nano or Polar is a strange decision. While those cameras do get the job done, for ultimate performance, my suggestion is to swap out the camera to either the Nebula Pro, or the stock DJI camera for the full 4:3 sensor image and 120FPS low latency video.

Iflight Mach R5 Hd Bnf Racing Drone Motor Prop Arm

Motors are 2506 1850KV, with blue anodized motor bells that match with the blue props, they look absolutely gorgeous. As you probably have noticed, the motors are huge and have much wider stators than the ones we normally use on 5″ quads, e.g. 2306, 2207 etc.

The bigger stators means they have more torque and able to drive the props faster, giving you a more responsive experience. Of course those motors are also much heavier than the 22XX / 23XX sized motors, but I don’t really feel the weight when flying because it’s on 6S!

Iflight Mach R5 Hd Bnf Racing Drone Vtx Rx Antenna Xt60

It’s using a stubby VTX antenna and a mini size Crossfire RX antenna, for good reasons obviously, so they don’t easily get damaged in crashes, but they can become a concern when it comes to range. Since the Mach R5 is designed primarily for racing, you are not expected to fly too far away with this quad, so it’s not a real issue really. Besides, shorter antenna contributes less to frame resonance and vibration, making it fly smoother and easier to tune.

Is it For You?

The iFlight Mach R5 is SUPER FAST! Totally blown away by the flight performance here. I am not only talking about top speed, but also how snappy it is when zipping around trees and gates. It’s also well tuned, no jello in video and it’s very locked in.

Iflight Mach R5 Hd Bnf Racing Drone

With that said, keep in mind it’s designed primarily for racing, so if you are just starting out, or you normally fly freestyle and want to fly a bit further out (e.g. more than 800m), maybe you should consider the Nazgul5 V2 instead. Just like the Nazgul5, the Mach R5 will carry a GoPro with the appropriate TPU mount, but the problem is the compromised range due to the shorter/smaller antennas used. Also because it’s so fast, you probably would have to put a throttle cap on this beast in order to capture steady cinematic footage, I am not even kidding :)

It is a bit pricey for sure, $400 for the HD version and $320 for the analog version, but you get what you pay for. If all you want is raw power and speed, and you don’t want to build it yourself from scratch, the Mach R5 is a no brainer.

Get some good 6S batteries here. 6S 1000mah to 1300mah are good options.

How to Setup

Stock CLI dump can be found here.

  • Board: IFRC/IFLIGHT_F745_AIO(STM32F745), loaded with Betaflight version 4.2.4
  • BLHeli_S 16.70 Firmware (G-H-30)

Bind Crossfire receiver (FC USB connection doesn’t actually power the RX, you’d have to connect the LiPo, make sure props are removed before doing this), check in receiver tab if you get response from stick movement.

Check if the motors are running correctly in the motors tab. DO NOT mount props while testing motors on the bench. Use a smoke stopper if you have one, it will limit current to prevent motors spinning too fast. Remember the quad is configured props out so motors would be spinning the opposite direction (to the default config).

Betaflight setup:

  • In Modes, remove Angle mode (by default it’s always on, and I never fly in Angle mode, only Acro mode), assign switches to Arm / Beeper / Flip over after crash
  • Disable RX_LOST in DShot Beacon in Configuration tab to avoid motor overheat when you crash and lost signal (But enable RX_SET, since it doesn’t have a physical buzzer)
  • Setup OSD elements, I think they used a generic profile for both HD and analog models where some elements don’t actually work in DJI

Activate and update Caddx Vista. Do this with a fan blowing as it can take several minutes and you don’t want the VTX to overheat. Stock firmware is 1.05 and you want latest version 1.06 to use 50Mbps mode.

Further Reading:

Finally bind it to to DJI FPV Goggles.

You can now mount the props and get ready for the first flight!

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