DRL Race Vision 220 FPV Pro: Your Gateway Drone to Racing
Nikko Air DRL Race Vision 220 FPV ProStarting around $150.00
Ease of Flying/Stability7/10
- Acro/Rate Mode
- Betaflight Compatible
- True all-in-one FPV Package
- Narrow Field of View
- Limited FPV Range
- Flight Time: 6 minutes
- Range: 100 meters
- Size: 7 x 7 x 1.5 inches
The Race Vision 220 FPV Pro is an excellent idea that Nikko Air and the DRL (Drone Racing League) combined to produce. They have created two drones for beginner pilots to hone their skills before they step up to fly a pro-style race quad. The smaller Air Elite 115 is quickly becoming one of our favorite small drones, but it lacks an FPV camera. In contrast, the larger Vision 220 not only has an FPV camera but also comes with everything you need to fly FPV including the goggles. Is this the kit for you? Let’s take a look.
Vision 220 Design
At first glance, the Vision 220 has a menacing race-quad look to it. It looks aggressive, it looks fast, it looks like a racer. The brushed motors are fairly powerful and the tiltable camera is a nice feature for FPV flyers. The pre-installed propeller guards take away from the mean look a little but are a necessary evil for beginner pilots. Rather than a stiff carbon frame like professional racing drones, this DRL quad has a flexible design that absorbs the energy of impacts. The real question is, does it perform like the racing drone it is designed to look like?
Does it have enough power to race?
The Vision 220 relies on geared brushed motors for power, not brushless motors like professional quads. That means they are not nearly as powerful and they don’t have the punch or recovery power of a true racer. That doesn’t mean that it is slow, it isn’t. The Vision 220 is certainly powerful enough for a beginner. It has more zip than a typical brushless quad of its size, like the popular Syma X5. Just don’t plan on taking this to starting line at a DRL event.
The Vision 220 comes with three modes and three different speeds. The speeds are pretty straightforward. Low, medium and high. The modes, however, are one of the nice touches that make this quad unique.
N-mode, A-mode, and P-mode on the Vision 220
The Vision 220 has three different modes. N-mode is Nikko mode. This mode was designed to make the quadcopter easier to fly. They switched the yaw and roll to the right stick on the remote. I do NOT recommend using this mode. It makes little sense and will only be confusing when you try to fly traditionally or on any other quadcopter.
A-mode is angle mode or self-leveling mode. This is the mode that most pilots fly in. We recommend you skip Nikko mode and start here. This mode allows the Vision to self-level and is the best mode for beginners to learn how to fly a quadcopter.
P-mode is acro or rate mode. This is the mode that DRL pilots and racers fly in. In this mode, the quad does not self-level. It allows for the pilot to push the drone to greater limits. It takes some time and practice to learn how to fly acro. We’d recommend practicing in a simulator, like the free DRL simulator before you try flying acro on your quadcopter. This mode is something we have been wanting to see on an inexpensive quadcopter for quite some time so it is nice to see Nikko Air put it in action.
The ability to fly this quad in acro or rate mode really is a great feature. It allows the pilot to use this quad to grow and develop their skills. Not only that, but you can also adjust the PIDS in Betaflight. This is another big bonus for this quadcopter and the pilot aspiring to be a DRL racer.
This camera and video transmitter do the job. They do get the job done, but they certainly could be better. The video transmission distance is fairly limited and you will have to keep the quad close while flying. The signal started to cut in and out when the drone was around 50 meters from the goggles.
The ability to adjust the camera angle is also helpful. As you fly faster and more aggressively you’ll want to angle it upwards so you aren’t staring at the ground. The field of view was a little narrow, especially for a 220-sized quad. I experimented with adding a lens to widen the field of view and I have some mixed feelings on whether or not I actually prefer it. The wider FOV was nice, but the added lens distorts the view a little more than I’d like. For the beginner pilot, it will be alright, but a wider FOV would probably be preferred. You will also notice in our video that you can see one of the props but not the other. That’s because the camera was pointing to the side a bit – an issue with quality control.
The Remote Transmitter
The remote transmitter for the Vision 220 is a gamepad style remote. It has a nice solid feel to it. There are a lot of buttons, but they are all easy to reach. We would have preferred that all of the buttons were labeled, but the most important ones (speeds and modes) are pretty clear. There is also a place to attach a monitor if you want to remove it from the goggles.
16 Different Stunts
The four buttons on the top of the remote are preprogrammed to allow the Vision 220 to do 16 different acrobatic stunts. There are flips, rolls and spins of different kinds that the drone will do with a push of a button. You can also flip the switch into acro mode and do them without using the buttons.
Should You Get a Nikko Air Race Vision 220 Pro?
The all-in-one FPV package is really nice. It is hard to find a complete kit that includes the drone, transmitter, camera, and goggles. It’s even harder to find one for under $200. The picture is actually pretty good, but the recording quality of the monitor didn’t match the picture quality that we had while flying. If the camera and recording capability were better, then this package would be a slam dunk. As the drone is today it is definitely still worth considering. In comparison, the smaller Air Elite 115 is definitely worth a look if you want to learn to fly acro mode or if you just want a robust and fast little learning drone.
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If you are looking for a package that includes a real racer with a better camera then check out the Force 1 DYS race kit.
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