Before proceeding to the disclosure of the question posed, it would be right to start with background. After all, it is one thing if the reader is an advanced user and is aware of the current trends in the unmanned hobby, and quite another if he is at the beginning of the path and he is certainly interested in what the community is talking about.
To start with, first person flight (FPV flight) is the number one hobby topic these days, and the reason for that is FPV drones (or FPV drone/FPV quads/FPV kwads). 2019 has become a significant year for the UAV racing niche. There are many different configurations that give the user more freedom to operate, and with the advent of the DJI Digital FPV system, first-person flight has risen to a whole new level. All this predetermined the emergence of such FPV drones as: Tiny Whoop, CineWhoop, Power Whoop, ToothPick and Twig, and apparently this is just the beginning.
Flying in first person mode with an FPV drone is a unique experience that is very different from piloting a GPS drone (ex: DJI Phantom/Hubsan Zino) whose potential is often electronically limited in favor of a simple comfortable operation that allows a beginner to fly the first time, but a professional get more opportunities in their field of activity.
FPV drones are deprived of all this automation, which, on the one hand, requires the user to be able to pilot in analog / acro mode (achieved exclusively in the process of practice), on the other hand, provides 100% drone potential and freedom in control — the freedom of the bird.
When someone in the hobby refers to Whoop, they are talking about a drone that has each propeller spinning in a sort of duct. Such channels are a special type of propeller protection (ring type). It provides maximum protection and helps stabilize the drone, making it more efficient and even quieter. Frames with ring protection were most often used on inexpensive toy drones. The first Whoop was implemented in 2016 by Jesse Perkins, who decided to equip the Blade Inductrix with a micro camera and the legendary CL-0615–14 motors, calling such a drone the Tiny Whoop.
The quad quickly gained popularity as it was extremely durable and could fly indoors safely. Interest in home competitions of small drones began to show throughout the country. Tiny Whoop soon became a generic term for any small drone. Such popularity allowed Tiny Whoop to develop, become bigger and better. The rule of thumb is that the Tiny Whoop is a palm-sized drone built on a 65–75mm frame, powered by a 1S battery. Typically, the weight of such drones is less than 30 grams without a battery. The price of Tiny Whoop is as affordable as possible for everyone and usually does not exceed $100 for a well-executed FPV quad (ready-to-fly kits are offered for beginners).
Jesse Perkins is the founder of the Tiny Whoop brand, under which Whoop-ready quadrics for FPV flight, as well as the necessary components and accessories for them, are mass-produced and sold. In the past, one of the best drone racing pilots in the world.
Over time, the potential of Tiny Whoop collectors began to be missed by people. Tiny Whoops are getting bigger and faster. It is from this moment that they originate — Power Whoop. The first mass-produced Power Whoop was the Mobula 7 drone, which paved the way for small, light, but at the same time powerful Whoop, capable of running on 1S or 2S batteries. When people wanted to fly with more powerful 2S and 3S batteries, the frames of such drones grew from 75–95mm. Essentially, the Power Whoop is a powerful and often larger Tiny Whoop.
*Power Whoop Mobula 7.
Cinewhoop evolved from Power Whoops. This happened with the advent of FPV HD cameras. Then people realized that from this small drone you can get impressive shots that are not available for full-size copters. Eachine Cinecan was the first 4K ready-to-play version to gain unprecedented acclaim in the hobby since its announcement. On board the quadric is the first hybrid FPV camera with two lenses — Caddx Tarsier. One video module of which records video in HD or 4K format, and the other transmits analog FPV broadcast to your goggles / helmet in real time.
*Cinewhoop Eachine Cinecan.
A little later, NurkFPV and ShenDrones developed a larger CineWhoop, the potential of which allowed the GoPro to be used for more professional filming. And Eric Siegel went further and developed a unique cinematic SteadyWhoop with a 3‑axis mechanical gimbal on board.
fpv toothpick drone
We owe the appearance of toothpick drones in the FPV hobby to Bob Roogi, aka KabobFPV — a dentist obsessed with piloting light drones once wanted something that could work like a full-sized racing drone, but was much smaller and lighter. The first prototypes were built on the same components that were used on the Tiny Whoop drones, with the exception of the ring protection, which Bob abandoned. Such small, lightweight drones were much more dynamic than the Tiny Whoop. An incredible power-to-weight ratio has given these small drones explosive flight. In the list of popular serial Toothpick drones: Tinyhawk Freestyle and Diatone GTB229 (the result of collaboration between KabobFPV and Diatone developers). These quads usually weigh less than 50 grams and can fly on 1S, 2S, 3S, 4S, and even 6S batteries. Pricing is broadly similar to Tiny Whoop drones. You can often buy a good Toothpick for around $100.
Twig drone is a redesigned toothpick drone. He’s bigger and faster. It can work with 2S, 3S, 4S and 6S batteries. The first Twig drone was the Speed Racer Twig from Racer X FPV. As a rule, Twig drones weigh between 50 and 80 grams and are equipped with 2–3 inch propellers. Looking at this trend, we can expect the next type of drones to appear in the near future — CineTwig.
*Twig Speed Racer Twig drone by Racer X FPV.
- Often pilots refer to their racing quad by propeller size. A 5″ drone has a 5″ propeller. A 4″ drone has a 4″ propeller. A 3″ drone has a 3″ propeller and so on. Five inches is the “standard” size for an FPV racing drone. These drones are large and very powerful. They can reach speeds up to 160 kilometers per hour. Five inch FPV drones are no joke. In addition, large drones come at a high price. These quads will cost the user $150–250 for a good beginner model.
- The new DJI digital FPV system has truly changed the way you fly. The new HD camera and FPV channel is just fantastic, you will get an unforgettable experience from such a tandem. The only downside is the price. A drone with such an FPV system will cost over $1,000. Therefore, if you are looking for a good 5‑inch drone, advanced users recommend looking at quads such as the Emax Hawk Pro or Hawk Sport.
- If you are a beginner and just starting to get familiar with the basics of FPV piloting, it is recommended to start with 2″ or 3″ drones. A 4‑inch drone is smaller than a 5‑inch, but it can easily realize the potential of a 5‑inch. Therefore, you need to start with a smaller and lighter drone. Whoop, ToothPick, and Twig are all great quads to start with. If you are new to FPV flying, start small and work your way up as you improve your piloting skills.
- Since any flight is associated with crashes/falls, especially for a beginner, it will not be superfluous to start practicing flying an FPV drone through a simulator. In practice, it has been proven that this approach significantly reduces the costs of a novice pilot and helps to quickly adapt to piloting in analog / acro mode.