I recently looked at a budget ready to fly (RTF) racer (you can check the review out here, the Eachine Wizard X220) but today I’m looking at something a little more up market. The Diatone Crusader GT2 200 FPV Racing Drone comes in at a slightly higher price point, but you get a whole lot more drone for your money! If you are in the market for a racer, then be sure to read on.
The Diatone Crusader GT2 is readily available in three different sizes:
- 150 (get it here) – This is the lightweight, 3 inch prop version, which runs on 3-4S LiPo packs.
- 175 – A mid-range 4 inch prop version.
- 200 (get it here) – The 5 inch racing version, also running on 3-4S LiPo packs. This is the version I will be looking at in depth today.
All options are available as basic frames only or PNP, so whether you get the 150, 175 or the 200, you will need to supply and install your own receiver and pair up with your own radio. If you are looking at options, I recommend the X4R-SB and check out my FrSky Taranis Q X7 Review for a great, low cost transmitter.
I’ll start with an overview of the features, pros and cons, but if you want to understand more about what this all means and my thoughts, skip down to read my in-depth review.
Diatone Crusader GT2 200 – Features, Pros and Cons
The Diatone Crusader GT2 200 has great components, with a lot of upgrades over the previously reviewed Eachine Wizard X220.
- Motors: D-Silver (Sunnysky) 2205 2300 kV with hollow shaft
- ESC: 30A BLHeli_s
- Frame: Carbon Fibre “X” Frame with 5mm arms
- Motor-to-motor: 200mm
- Props: 5″ Tri-blade props
- FC: D-Link F3
- VTX: SP3 48CH 0/25/200/600mW 5.8 GHz
- Camera: HS1177 600TVL SONY camera
- Looks fantastic
- Solid 5mm bottom plate
- Clover leaf antenna
- Unique top cover flips up for easy component access
- All-in-one FC and PDB, plus VTX in the stack, providing a neat installation
- Motors made by Sunnysky, with a hollow steel shaft for reduced weight without sacrificing strength
- Low centre of gravity even with a GoPro mounted
- Camera mount allows up to 90 degree tilt, so ideal for racers
- Huge 60A burst current from the ESCs
- FPV camera is the highly popular HS1177 CCD
- No spare components provided
- No LEDs for orientation installed, but they do come included. This may be a pro for you.
- Limited space for electronics if you decide to swap/upgrade any components down the line
- No USB port on FC, need to use separate cable
- No 5/6S support (having to be picky now, this is a great FPV drone!)
Diatone Crusader GT2 200 – Initial impression
What you notice first will depend on what is important for you in a drone. For me, getting the most out of the experience relies on having a good camera and VTX. Diatone have pulled out all the stops with the Crusader, providing both a great CCD camera (not a cheap CMOS like you would expect on cheaper drones) in the form of the popular HS1177 and a feature-rich VTX. The SP3 VTX is a fantastic piece of kit. Mounting neatly into the FC stack thanks to it’s 30.5mm mounting holes, with 4 different power levels and 48 channels, you really don’t need anything else. The built in OSD hooks up the the FC, so you can have a heads up display with all the critical information.
The frame is a chunky 5mm thick, but the GT2 200 frame by itself weighs in at a respectable 95g thanks to the design. By using thicker carbon fibre, the arms are narrower (also reducing drag). The design uses only a few screws to fix the top cover, further minimising weight. The frame also looks fantastic, with its low profile compact look. This is also good news if you want to fly with an HD recording camera, as it means your centre of gravity will be nice and low.
Diatone Crusader GT2 200 – In depth analysis
As already mentioned, the foundation for the GT2 200 is a very solid frame. From my experience of 4mm one piece bottom plates, I expect this 5mm plate to withstand crashes better than anything else out there. If you intend on racing with the Crusader, this means less fear of hitting poles or skimming the ground! Combine this with the low centre of gravity and you have a very good frame to build upon.
With crashes in mind, the next thing I want to look at is just how easy it is to make repairs on the Crusader! The design incorporates a top cover (also acting as a GoPro mounting plate) which can be popped open by loosening the front screws. Flipping the cover up provides easy access to the FC stack, so repairs can be made in minutes rather than having to pull apart the whole frame.
The frame uses the popular “X” configuration, providing good pitch and roll control and predictable flight characteristics. My only criticism here is that for a bit more of an edge in racing, it would have been nice to see a stretch x frame. The stretch x is now considered better for racing, as it moves the rear props further out of the front prop’s wash when flying at even low forward angles, improving performance.
The Crusader’s motor and ESC combo is surprisingly good for a ready built drone. Those who have been in the hobby for a couple of years will know Sunnysky as a motor manufacturer of note, so it’s great to see their motors included in the package. Add these to the 302X ESCs and you have a power system made for drone racing. The burst rating for the ESCs is double the continuous rating, which is normally only seen in high priced alternatives! Normally you would expect to see a 30A ESC with a 35A burst rating, but by increasing this to 60A, Diatone have minimised chances of overheating and fires.
Incorporating the VTX with pigtail into the FC stack is a great idea, as this is usually the component left most exposed to damage. By bringing the VTX into the stack, it is properly protected. The SP3 is a nice compact solution, which when used with an all-in-one FC, fits well into even compact builds.
One thing that I would like to see included in the package is spares. Whilst there are some spare battery straps, you don’t go through these like you do with props (which should have been included). A replacement ESC and motor would have been a good addition, particularly as they are readily available. Spares can take a long time to be delivered from China, so I recommend you get the below components with your drone:
Diatone Crusader GT2 200 – Verdict
The overall feel with this drone is of quality, there is nothing that I would recommend immediately swapping out/upgrading. This isn’t often the case with ready built drones, so Diatone have done a very good job choosing quality components. It’s nice to see Diatone providing a ready built drone without skimping on cheap components where they may have been able to get away with it. Clearly aimed at racing, the 5mm bottom plate will mean you can carry on after even the most brutal of crashes! The build/format will be familiar to experienced pilots and is easy for newcomers to pick up, any repairs can be made without having to buy specific electronic pieces designed for this drone.
Pair this with the X4R-SB and FrSky Taranis Q X7 for a great racing package. If you need goggles to go with the Wizard, I recommend the Eachine VR D2 from Amazon or Banggood (you can check out my Eachine VR D2 review here).