The FatShark 101 FPV Drone Training System ($246) is an excellent way for anyone looking to get into flying drones, and more specifically flying FPV or first-person view. FPV flying is the fast-paced, growing sport of drone racing. This FatShark 101 training system will give you the drone, goggles, controller, and accessories you’ll need to get started and you won’t have to deal with the setup and binding process. It is a headache and a hassle that is all too familiar with so many FPV drones. FatShark makes it easy.
What is the FatShark 101 Drone Training System?
The FatShark 101 starts with the drone itself. It is a small, brushed quadcopter with a 5.8 GHz camera. It has just about the perfect amount of punch for a beginner. It isn’t overly powerful, but it isn’t a dog either. The camera is not angled but rather pointed straight forward. This is good when you are learning to fly FPV but cannot be adjusted. This isn’t a problem for beginners, but intermediate and advanced flyers prefer an angled camera. This camera angle is fixed and cannot be adjusted. It transmits a 25 mw signal and can switch between the F and R bands.
You will also get a pair of batteries with your FatShark101 Drone Training System. This is definitely a bonus and you will rip through them pretty quickly. Flying FPV isn’t easy at first and takes a lot of practice. I highly recommend using the included DRL simulator subscription to help you learn. FatShark also has some excellent tutorial videos and has even included some gates, and a tether to help you along the way.
The FatShark 101 Remote
Not all drones come with remotes and often you will have to spend time getting the drone and the remote bound or connected to each other. This task is often a headache but FatShark has eliminated that problem by getting it all set up for you. The remote has a solid feel and the sticks are responsive. It has a switch to arm and disarm the drone as well as a rate switch to change from beginner to intermediate to advanced modes. It is a FlySky compatible remote so you can fly any drone with a compatible FlySky receiver.
Beginner mode is a typical self-leveling mode. Most drones that you fly will operate like in this manner. This is definitely how you want to fly the FatShark 101. Switching to intermediate mode will remove the self-leveling feature and put the drone in a limited version of acro mode. I found this intermediate mode an excellent way to practice your acro skills. Acro mode is how the professional pilots and drone racers fly. It allows for more freedom and control. You can do flips, rolls and other tricks in acro mode. The intermediate acro level allows you to get the feel of the drone. The full-acro mode is a lot more responsive and if you want to do flips and rolls you will have to be in this mode. The advanced, full acro mode and gives you the freedom to fly without limitations.
The DRL Simulator
I highly recommend you fly in a simulator before you attempt to fly in either acro mode. The controls are different and it takes some time to learn. Thankfully you get a subscription to the DRL simulator ($20 value) with the purchase of your FatShark 101 training system. The DRL simulator is an excellent way to hone your skills either in angle (beginner) or acro (advanced) modes. Flying a drone FPV isn’t easy and you can gain valuable skills without damaging your drone.
Learning to fly means you will crash. Crashing means you will have to do drone repairs. It happens. It is inevitable. The simulator can help you avoid a lot of costly repairs. The best part is that you can use the included remote so you can practice on familiar equipment.
Other FatShark 101 Extras
Once you’ve logged enough time and you are familiar with flying I recommend really putting in some time to fly. You may even want to pick up some additional batteries. FatShark included gates and obstacles for you to practice with. Start flying line of sight before you put on the FPV goggles. Once you are comfortable on how the drone responds it is time to gear up. The goggles sit comfortably and give you a first-hand view from the front of your drone.
These goggles are pretty nice and are better than most budget goggles you will get with cheaper kits. They can’t record so, unfortunately, you won’t be able to record your flights without picking up a DVR. If you want an inexpensive way to record your flights check this out. Once you get hooked you may want to upgrade to a pair of FatShark goggles with a built-in DVR like these.
In addition to the full all in one package you get with the FatShark 101 training system you will also get a membership to AMA or the Acadamy of Model Aeronautics. This gives you access to a lot of information and you can use it to network as well as find places to fly. You can also get discounted insurance through AMA. This is a nice bonus.
While I really like the FatShark 101 system I have some potential improvements. I really wish the camera angle was adjustable. Once you learn to fly you’ll want to angle the camera upward or you’ll be staring at the ground. The other is the propeller choice. I feel like it could benefit from some more aggressive propellers. This would give it a little more punch and maybe make it slightly more responsive. I also wish the goggles had a DVR but that isn’t realistic at this price point. This is a fantastic drone for a beginner but an intermediate-advanced pilot will find it a little sluggish. If you are looking for something with a little more punch I’d recommend the brushless DYS Shark Mako ($172). It is a beast and a solid next step in learning how to fly FPV.
The FatShark 101 is a bigger and better all-in-one FPV system, but the Eachine E013 is an economical option.
The FatShark 101 is probably the best beginner all-in-one FPV package you can buy. It isn’t cheap but it is well put together. If you are looking for a less expensive option I’d recommend taking a look at the Eachine E013 ($100). This is a smaller, inexpensive all-in-one FPV package. It isn’t nearly as nice but can be flown indoors and will cost about half that of the FatShark 101. Learn more about the Eachine E013 here.
Should you get the FatShark 101?
If you have been looking to get into FPV flying or racing you will be hard pressed to find a better all-in-one package. FatShark really did a nice job of putting this drone together and has added some really nice extras with the simulator subscription, extra battery, gates, and quality goggles. If you have been flying FPV for a while or want to take aerial photography then this isn’t the drone for you. But if you are a beginner this is one FPV drone I would recommend. Order the FatShark 101 from Amazon ($246) HERE. Order the FatShark 101 from Banggood ($249) HERE.
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