Review: iFlight Nazgul5 V2 – Almost Perfect BNF Freestyle Drone

by Oscar
Published: Last Updated on

The iFlight Nazgul5 V2 is perhaps one of the best pre-built freestyle FPV drones I’ve reviewed. Just a few small details, it can easily be the perfect BNF kit for beginners as well as experienced pilots. Let’s me show you the pros and cons of the Nazgul5 V2 HD LED Edition.

Building an FPV drone from scratch can be tough, so buying a pre-built rig can get you in the air much faster. Also BNF models tend to have super clean build as the frame is designed around specific components, which makes it easier to repair and work with.

Where to Buy?

Receiver options: PNP (no receiver), Frsky R-XSR, TBS Crossfire Nano, iF8 R81, DJI-SBUS (for HD version)

Nazgul5 HD LED Edition (DJI Caddx Vista)

Nazgul5 Analog (Caddx Ratel + 800mW VTX)

GoPro Mount (Hero 5, 6, 7, 8): https://oscarliang.com/product-svjk

Spare Frame Arms and Plates: https://oscarliang.com/product-78to

4S or 6S

It depends. The only difference is in motor KV.

4S is usually easier to tune and has less hardware problems due to the less severe voltage spikes and noise. But performance wise, 6S is better. Flight time should be similar in both setups assuming you are using batteries of the same watt hour.

For racing and aggressive flying style, 6S is probably the better option. However for long range and cinematic flying, it matters less. Personally I’d get the 6S version, but they sent me the 4S version anyway. I don’t really mind because I have a lot of 4S batteries, and I am mostly just cruising in a park, so I am happy with 4S.

Learn more about the difference in 4S and 6S check out this article.

Out Of The Box

Decent packaging and accessories.

Motor rotations are clearly labelled. It’s running “props out” – reversed of what the Betaflight default is. It doesn’t make a huge difference on a 5″ quad, except it helps to keep the camera clean from dirt and grass juice, and less likely to get stuck on branches.

The quad is covered in warning stickers, which is beginner friendly I suppose, and it reminds you what to do, and not to do before powering on the quad.

Closer Look at the iFlight Nazgul5 V2 HD

The frame is iFlight XL5 V5, a classic True-X design. It’s a roomy frame with a long body for easy mounting of electronic components. Yea it’s a long body, but you still get props in view, some people like it some don’t. Good thing the props are not visible in GoPro’s view.

iFlight Nazgul5 V2 HD LED frame bottom

The XL5 V5 looks to be a durable frame, the arms are 5mm thick, 13mm wide. Apart from using bolts to secure the arms, they also meet each other in the middle which adds stiffness and strength to the frame. The carbon fibre edges are chaffered (slightly rounded off), so it feels nice in hand.

It has TPU bumpers on the front and rear of the body, and the tips of the arms to provide protection in crashes.

They made a big hole in the frame just for the LOW ESR capacitor (35V 470uF). There’s an LED on the bottom of the frame, which lights up with the iFlight logo. It’s a cool idea and I’ve never seen that elsewhere.

The FPV camera is the Nebula Nano – I will probably upgrade to the Nebula Pro because I like it a lot more in terms of image quality. The camera lens doesn’t protrude from the frame and it’s getting good crash protection from the front standoffs.

iFlight Nazgul5 V2 HD fpv camera

The Nazgul5 V2 already comes with an HD camera holder, but it requires a TPU mount for the GoPro, which has to be purchased separately.

There are TPU mounts for both video and radio antennas.

If you want to fly long range, you should probably upgrade the antenna to a longer one so it doesn’t get blocked by the HD camera and LiPo battery on the way back.

I think the Crossfire antenna mount should be extended a bit further out, so the tips of the antenna weren’t touching the arms (carbon fibre) which isn’t good for signal. Even better, with something to push the antenna downward to keep them away from spinning propellers.

iFlight Nazgul5 V2 HD RX VTX antenna tpu mount

I really like the clean FC/ESC stack with minimal wiring. The components are well organized with decent separation from each other, that should help reduce interference and provide decent airflow to keep everything cool too.

The FC is SucceX-E F7, and the ESC is SucceX-E 45A 2-6S BLHeli_S 4in1.

iFlight Nazgul5 V2 HD FC 4in1 ESC stack electronics

The motors are XING 2207 LED Edition. These have LED built in, similar to “race wires“, they light up at the bottom as you increase throttle. 4S version is 2450KV and 6S version is 1800KV.

Motor wires have these nice plastic covers on them for protection from props strike.

iFlight Nazgul5 V2 HD xing LED 2207 motor

Normally you’d see they use the newer BLHeli_32 ESC in these high end BNF FPV drones, but the iFlight Nazgul5 V2 HD is using BLHeli_S ESC.

I guess it has something to do with the recent “chip shortage” and I expect we will see BLHeli_S used more often in BNF models this year. But really the performance difference is little, so I wouldn’t worry about it. The only thing you should be aware of is RPM filtering and 48KHz PWM frequency. These features are supposed to improve your FPV drone’s flight performance. However the stock BLHeli_S firmware does not allow these features. In order to enable them, you can flash BLHeli_M firmware which is free (alternatively, we have JESC and Bluejay firmware too).

iFlight Nazgul5 V2 HD xt60 caddx dji vista

There is no strain relief on the XT60 pigtail, so you probably want to strap it to the frame with a zip tie. The stock battery pad is okay, but it’s not really grippy enough and your battery can still slide out in a hard crash. As an upgrade, consider using Ummagrip battery pad.

I found the FC bolts get in the way of the battery strap. Simply add a couple of washers to the bolts so you can move the strap further back to support the battery. This is especially important when you are mounting a GoPro in the front. I simply use the provided spare nylon nuts.

The Nazgul5 V2 costs $399, I think it qualifies as a top tier BNF quad, but it doesn’t even have a basic buzzer which only costs 50-cent! Yea, DShot Beacon is setup out of the box (using motors as beeper), but it’s definitely not as loud as a buzzer. To remedy this, solder a buzzer to the FC. Even better, get a self-powered buzzer like the Vifly Finder Mini. It’s tiny, loud, and can continue to beep even when the LiPo is ejected in a crash.

Let’s put the iFlight Nazgul5 V2 HD on the scale.

  • Dry weight: 424g
  • With 4S 1500mAh / 6S 1050mAh: 617g
  • With LiPo and GoPro 7: 761g

I am actually surprised, I thought it would be lighter due to the clean build. But this is what a typical freestyle FPV drone would normally weigh.

How to Setup Nazgul5

Stock CLI dump can be found here.

  • Board: IFRC/IFLIGHT_SUCCEX_E_F7(STM32F7X2), loaded with Betaflight version 4.2.4
  • BLHeli_S 16.70 Firmware (G-H-30)

Bind Crossfire receiver (you might need to push the RX forward with a screwdriver in order to access the bind button through the hole in the frame), 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. Remember the quad is configured props out so motors would be spinning the opposite direction.

Betaflight setup:

  • In Modes, remove Angle mode (by default it’s always on), 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
  • Setup OSD elements, I think they used a generic profile for both HD and analog models where some elements don’t 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 first flight!

Conclusion

If you hate building FPV drone from scratch, the Nazgul5 V2 HD is truly an awesome option. There are some small details which iFlight can do better, but I am impressed by the Nazgul5 V2, and I would recommend it.

iFlight Nazgul5 V2 HD freestyle fpv drone gopro

It’s not the cheapest quad for sure, but you get what you pay for. Top notch components and build quality. Great frame design and 3D printed parts.

The Nazgul5 is tuned out of the box and honestly it flies really well, there’s almost no prop wash and that’s hard to do even on custom builds. If you don’t know anything about tuning, this will save you a lot of headaches. Default rates are quite tame, so it’s suitable for beginner and intermediate pilots alike.

The arms are quite thick so it can take some beating. Not to mention you can easily get spare arms, unlike most cheaper BNF drones. If you find it too fast, you can always use a throttle cap.

Finally, you also need to get some batteries for this quad, here are my 4S and 6S LiPo recommendations.

Update – Beware of fragile USB connector

Iflight Nazgul5 Flight Controller Usb Port Connector Fall Off Broken Rip

Be gentle with the mciro USB connector on the FC, mine fell off during a tuning session. The solder pads are ripped off so there is no hope of soldering it back on. If this happens to you, you can still connect the FC to Betaflight via a UART.

Update – Better Tune and Setup

The stock PID/filter tune is 7.5/10 in my opinion, which is very good for a BNF to be fair. With some further tuning, I think I managed to improve it to 9/10.

If you decide to copy my setup, do so at your own risk. By altering settings and disabling filters, motors and ESC are more likely to get hot and damaged.

Filters:

  • Running 8K/8K, DShot 600.
  • I don’t have the exact filter settings as the USB connector is broken on the FC, this is just what I remember.
  • First thing first, enable RPM filter and 48KHz! I did so by flashing BLHeli_M. In RPM filter, use 2 notch harmonics, Notch Q 200, Notch min 120hz, Notch max 400hz
  • Disable Yaw low pass filter

That’s a pretty good filter setup there, but if you really want to take the risk and push it harder, you may try this:

  • Disable Gyro low pass filters and dynamic filter
  • Move Dterm filter slider all the way to 1.5 (to the right). My quad still had room to push further, so I think I disabled Dterm dynamic filter and enable low pass filter 1 and set it to Biquad at 200hz

PID:

  • Roll P 60 I 85 D 45 Dmin 25 FF 117
  • Pitch P 65 I 90 D 50 Dmin 27 FF 124
  • Yaw P 40 I 90 FF 117

Also I swapped out the radio receiver to ExpressLRS 2.4GHz, and enable 500Hz to minimize control delay. Crossfire is 150Hz at best which is still over 3 times slower. Don’t forget to apply the “performance enhancement” settings in my tutorial to take full advantage of the faster RC link.

Finally I swapped out the Nebula Nano to the Nebula Pro for better image quality.

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1 comment

Tormod Grutle Haara 28th June 2021 - 10:30 pm

Hello.

You say that the props are not visible in the GoPro view. But in my GoPro 8 (settings: 4k 4:3, 30fps, wide) the nazgul props are showing. Also when I use reelsteady the props are still showing clear in the video footage. I have approx 20 camera angle on the gopro camera.

I have the 6s Nazgul5 HD w/Caddx Vista / Nebula Nano Digital HD System.

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