Building a good quality FPV racing drone can be a bit daunting, even if you have done it before. Parts are being updated so frequently that ensuring compatibility can be a concern. Most equipment will work together, but matching components well is what makes a really good quadcopter. Historically the ready to fly (RTF) racers have been low quality and aimed at people new to the hobby, who aren’t looking for a high quality product, just something to learn with. The Emax Hawk 5 is both high quality and good value, so presents a good option for both new pilots and experienced racers. The new pilots get something of great quality and robustness, to endure frequent crashes, while the experienced pilots get a competitive racer without the time it takes to build one. My review gives you all the information about this high quality ready to fly FPV Racing Drone. If you are interested in drone racing, but don’t have the time or ability to build your own drone, the Emax Hawk 5 drone is a fantastic option! It provides you with all the features of a top end racing drone, without the associated cost. I think the Hawk is something a little special, but is it the best ready to fly FPV drone option out there? Read on for my review to find out why I think it could be!
Emax have been around since FPV first became popular and have consistently released high quality components that the community loves! Since the major components are all made in house by Emax (rather than bought in like most RTF quad builders), the level of quality achieved for the price is incredibly good. Adding up the individual component costs results in a price 10-20% higher than the completely assembled, ready to bind and fly version. This means that you get a fully built and tested drone for less than you could build yourself and there is no risk of damaging components during the build and no time wasted! This is set to be one of the hottest releases of 2018, as it really does tick all the boxes when it comes to specification, durability and price. Read on for my Emax Hawk 5 Review to see why it’s probably the right choice for you.
Emax Hawk 5 release date
The Emax Hawk 5 is available right now! Pre-orders will ship first, so make sure you grab one here to avoid a long wait. These are expected to fly off the shelves, so could be out of stock for some time. If they’re sold out, you can pre-order or click the alert on arrival button so that you don’t miss out. Also available on Amazon.
Emax Hawk 5 Features & Specifications
I’ve had a look at the impressive specifications and provided my thoughts below. The features include:
- Frame: A solid Aerospace grade carbon fiber frame with optimized low drag and exchangeable arms, with reinforced top plate braces. The frame is in the popular “X” shape, which provides predictable flight characteristics in all directions. The arms are slim to cut down on both weight and drag. The weight saving means you can fly faster for longer, as your motors are using less power to simply counteract the weight of the quad. The ends of the arms have chunky bumpers to protect your motors in a crash.
- Motors: EMAX LS2206 2300kv – a nice combination of size and weight from Emax themselves. Big enough to provide some serious grunt, but not so big that they weigh you down. Twinned with the always popular 2300 kV rating, these motors are fast enough to race, but will allow you enough control for more graceful freestyle. For an out and out racer, you may prefer a larger stator size or higher kv rating, but the 2206 2300kv motors provide a great option which perform well in a wide range of applications.
- Props: Avan Flow 5×4.3×3 3-blade 5 inch props are used. These provide incredible control and efficiency, with a linear response through the whole throttle range.
- FC: EMAX Magnum F4 with built in Betaflight OSD, this is stacked with the ESC, VTX and Receiver, meaning you get a really clean build in a compact package.
- ESC: EMAX Bullet 30A 4 in 1 BLHeli_S DSHOT600 – these certainly won’t bottleneck your power and being a 4-in-1 ESC, means the ESCs are protected. Being installed in the central stack rather than out on the arms, when that inevitable crash comes, the ESCs are protected from being hit by tree branches or bent propellers.
- VTX: 48 Channel 5.8ghz 25/200mW switchable power VTX board. This is easy to change channels and power with the push of a button and the range of channels means that you will be able to fly with friends at the same time. The switchable power output means that you can use a high power output for long range cruising, but still be compliant with race rules when using the 25mW output.
- Camera: Foxeer Arrow Micro V2 600TVL CCD camera, giving you a clear image with good dynamic range. This is a premium camera, so it’s nice to see Emax include it rather than a cheap generic camera to save a bit of cost.
- Receiver: Frsky XM+ 16ch Sbus Micro. One of the most popular receivers right now because of its full range but tiny size. Compatible with the incredibly popular FrSky Transmitters, there are a large range of options available depending on your budget and preferences.
Emax Hawk 5 Review – Cons
I have very little to say here, which says a lot about the quality and performance you can expect from the Hawk. My only real criticism is that the VTX is push button (easy enough) rather than having UART control to enable channel changing from your transmitter. A minor point is that the motors aren’t exactly the most powerful. However, they are light, which keeps the overall build weight down and means you don’t need as much power. It would have been nice to see Emax slap some of the popular red bottoms or the newer RS2306 motors on. These would have made for an absolute beast of a racing drone, but this would also have pushed up the price.
Emax Hawk 5 Review – Pros
As well as all the benefits mentioned in the features section, the Hawk 5:
- Includes a spare arm and hardware – this is almost unheard of and means any downtime after a crash is minimised. No more waiting for the post before you can make repairs and it means there are minimal extras to buy when getting this drone!
- Includes dipole whip, RHCP and LHCP Pagoda II antennas. Normally drones come with only the one, so to have all three antenna variations included is a real plus and helps to ensure compatibility with any setup.
- Is extremely light weight for a RTF quad. The Hawk 5 weight comes in at only 270 grams (including props) this will be a very nimble quad and will be ideal for tight courses or freestyle.
- Emax Hawk 5 battery compatibility is great. The frame allows you to put your battery anywhere. Whether you prefer top, bottom or sideways on top, the Hawk 5 has mounting options for all of these popular battery placements. This provides great flexibility as you can use the bottom mount for racing and the top mount for freestyle. The Hawk can accept a large range of 4S LiPo batteries, but we would recommend something around 1,300-1,500 mAh for racing. If you want to go for longer cruises with less agility, something larger like an 1,800-2,200 mAh would also be ok. In terms of C rating, the higher the better, but anything above 40-50C should be ok for beginners. For serious racers 70-100C is preferable.
- Clean build using the proven Magnum F4 Tower System – FC, ESC, Receiver and VTX all neatly stacked within the main body of the frame. This makes for a clean build but also provides the ESCs protection compared to out on the arms, where they are exposed to damage.
Emax Hawk 5 price
For the best price, it’s always worth checking all three retailers below as there are sometimes promotions at one and not another.
Emax Hawk 5 – Verdict
The Hawk 5 is probably the best ready to fly fly racing drone available right now. Thanks to its impressive specification, it is a real competitor on the track but can also be great fun to fly freestyle. Its compact frame allows it to spin racing standard 5″ propellers, making it a fast racing drone capable of both high speeds and acrobatic flight. Both beginners and experienced pilots will be entertained and for the price, this is an excellent package.
You could build something similar yourself, but the Hawk comes without any of the hassle or risk and actually costs less money! Pair it with the FrSky Taranis Q X7 for a great, high-performance package. If you need goggles as well, I recommend the Fatshark HD3, or as a cheaper alternative the Eachine VR D2 from Amazon or Banggood (you can check out my Eachine VR D2, and Fatshark HD3 reviews to learn more).
Breaking props is a fact of life when flying drones, so make sure you pick up some extras. If you haven’t flown before, you will be surprised how many you break. Also not included but definitely required are batteries, so I recommend that you get the below components with your drone: