Lumenier QAV250 Carbon Fiber Mini FPV Quadcopter
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- Lightweight sturdy carbon fiber frame
- Lightweight durable Carbon Fiber
- Requires propellers, motors, asks, and flight controller
- A 2.5D CNC-ed G10 unibody main frame board
- Integrated power distribution board for ESCs and FPV flight electronics
- 2 integrated LED strips (white and red) to aid LOS orientation
- Support for 32mm board cams as well as cams in cases with mounting bracket
- Integrated and included Landing Gear reminiscent of the QAV500 CF Landing Gear
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The Lumenier QAV250 Mini FPV Quad copter Carbon Fiber Edition airframe has all the features of the standard QAV250 plus the added benefits of carbon fiber. The pure 3K carbon fiber material gives the airframe incredible strength while at the same time reducing the overall weight. The entire assembled kit weighs in at only 122g. The QAV250 is a symmetric 250mm size airframe that accommodates 5" props. The 250mm is measured motor shaft to motor shaft diagonally. The airframe is designed to support a 3s lipo setup and powerful Lumenier FX2206-13 2000kv, FXC1806-14 2300kv or FXC2206-11 2350kv motors.
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Reasons why I thought I should buy it:
- It's easy to put together. Then again, if you know how to operate a hex wrench and screw driver then just about any frame is easy to put together. Seriously it only takes 3 minutes to screw together.
- It seems indestructible. But it's not. Sturdy is a better descriptor for the 3MM frame. The 3MM frame can take a small hit, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the electronics you strap to it are protected in any way. The only thing protecting your expensive Flight Controller, OSD, Video transmitter and Receiver from dirt, mud, rocks and tree branches are wishes and dreams.
- Charpu and Skitzo use this frame in all of those awesome YouTube videos! However, this frame is not what makes them great pilots.
- Packaging? Seriously. It comes wrapped in paper sealed with a sticker and slipped into a cardboard sleeve. It's not that great.
- Plenty of extra M3 screws.
Reasons that I learned later on why I should have bought something else:
- Price. Once you get into the hobby you'll learn how Luminier overprices their branded gear very quickly. Everything from screws, to camera lenses, to Luminier motors cost more than every other competitor.
- It's a unibody design, meaning that the arms are part of the frame. If you break or bend the frame you will have to purchase a replacement frame which isn’t as expensive as this kit, but still way more expensive than if you were to buy a replacement arm from another frame designer. Most frame designers have moved past unibody designs for 250+ class frames.
- It literally took me all of 30 seconds into my first flight to destroy the 3mm frame. I'm not kidding. I ended up buying the 4MM bottom plate frame from their site as a replacement for $65. And no, you can't buy this kit with a 4MM bottom plate. Luminier ONLY sells the QAV250 kit with 3MM plates. On top of that, replacement frames aren't always in stock so if you break it you can either buy a whole new frame or get put onto a waiting list for a replacement frame.
- It comes with ALMOST everything you need. There are no risers that are needed to mount a flight controller included with the kit. Carbon Fiber conducts electricity so you can't mount the flight controller against the frame without frying it. And flight controllers don't come with risers either. Turns out you can purchase 4 M3 risers for $4 from GetFPV (which are never in stock on their site). I ended up having to go to hardware store to buy a bunch of M3 nuts to make some standoffs.
- They provide a bunch of extra M3 button head screws, but only 4 M2x16mm screws and 4 M2 nuts that are needed to mount the camera. Unless you use Loc-Tite threadlocker and/or hot glue on each one, they will vibrate right off during mid-flight or during a crash. Go ahead and buy replacements.
- The Landing Gear... is about as useless as pedals on a wheelchair. These things either bent or broke off entirely after 2 flights. I honestly don't even know why they included them. Just don't even bother putting them on. Good luck finding a 100% effective solution though. I ended up putting furniture sliders on the bottom of my power distribution board.
- The camera has no option to tilt. While you are learning to fly, keeping the camera mounted facing forward is recommended. However once you get the hang of Horizon and Acro mode, you'll want to tilt your camera up by 10-30 degrees and unfortunately the only way to do that is to get another smaller camera with a tilt bracket or buy a 3D printed mount.
- If you want to mount a Mobius/Runcam/GoPro you'll need to buy the Vibration Dampening plate with the clear bobbins that will get ripped right off after a few crashes for $20. Be sure to buy 4 extra bobbins for $12 from GetFPV too! If you want it to be tilted then you'll have to fashion your own mount or buy a 3d printed solution.
- The battery placement is horrible unless you use Velcro tape on your batteries and frame. I killed 4 batteries over 2 sessions because during a crash the battery would slip (even with the battery strap holding it securely in place) right into the rear propellers and get sliced open. Buy velcro tape if you haven't already.
All of that being said, I still fly my QAV250 to this day and enjoy it but I've had to put more money into it than I originally anticipated. If this is your first quadcopter you can find many other 250mm frames that won’t cause as many headaches or force you to purchase expensive yet necessary replacement parts. This hobby is already expensive without having your wallet gouged by buying into one company.
The QAV250 is however not a frame for beginners! It will require some soldering skills, and fitting everything you need in such a small frame could be a bit challenging. It can react and fly a lot faster than larger quads such as the Phantom, F450, TBS Discovery, etc.
This is an update!
After flying this for a few weeks, I found that it cannot take much of an impact before a leg breaks. From ten 15 feet in the air while hovering, I lost control and the craft went sideways into the dirt. After brushing it off, I noticed the leg was broke. The down side to this frame compared to others, it the fact that you cannot replace the legs. In order to fix my issue, I have to go and buy a whole new bottom that costs almost $80. This frame is too expensive to be much fun because your afraid of crashing it. If this frame had replaceable legs, I would be trying to do more than flying in circles and hovering.