About the Author

Jack Towne

Jack loves to fly all drones, from FPV racers to the Mavic 2 Pro he flies them all. When he isn’t flying he is teaching, coaching or hanging out with his wife and three children.

Jack Towne's Favorite Gear

April 16

The Eachine Trashcan is an excellent brushless micro FPV quadcopter. It is a direct competitor to the very popular Mobula 7. In fact, on paper, the Trashcan is better than the Mobula in almost every way. Is it actually the better drone? We will take a closer look, but one thing is clear. The Trashcan definitely is NOT garbage. expand full story

April 15

The XDynamics Evolve is an intriguing alternative to the DJI lineup of drones. Starting around $2500 it slots in between the $1500 Phantom 4 Pro and the $3000 base model Inspire 2. In fact, that is precisely the niche that the XDynamics Evolve is looking to fill. This carbon fiber drone looks awesome, but can it hold its own against two of the best drones that DJI has produced? Let’s take a closer look. expand full story

April 1

Xiaomi has been busy producing aerial photography drones that look to compete against some of DJI’s flagship drones. We have already taken a look at the Xiaomi Fimi A3, a $299 Spark competitor. Now we will take a closer look at the Xiaomi Fimi X8 SE. It is a foldable drone capable of shooting 4K footage for only $499. How does it stack up against DJI Mavic lineup? We will also look at how it compares to the Hubsan Zino and Parrot Anafi. expand full story

March 29

The Eachine M80 ($62) is a small brushed FPV drone with a few interesting tricks up its sleeve. It is an excellent option, perhaps the best option for anyone looking to learn how to fly FPV. That is because the M80 has three very different modes. It can be flown in altitude hold mode, angle mode and even acro mode. Very few FPV drones have all three of these options and that is what makes this quad so special. expand full story

March 28

The Frsky Taranis X-Lite ($130) is an innovative design for an RC controller. Most drone remotes are large and cumbersome. They seemingly have hundreds of switches and are intimidating to novice pilots. Frsky decided to build a game-pad style remote for those looking for a more ergonomic and portable option. I recently picked one up and put it to the test. expand full story

Drone racing has been a growing sport over the last few years and you can find thrilling championship races televised on ESPN. Did you know that it also is a high school varsity sport? The GoDroneX Chicagoland Championships just crowned a handful of New Trier students champions in its third season. There are races for both varsity and junior varsity students so they can compete at different levels of complexity. expand full story

March 12

The Micro Drone 4.0 is an intriguing low-cost drone ($200) that carries a 1080p camera on a two-axis gimbal. It is being funded via an Indiegogo campaign and has recently just passed 1 million dollars. Not only that but the former CEO of DJI North America Colin Guinn has given it a ringing endorsement. Will the Extreme Fliers Micro Drone 4.0 be the beginner drone we have been waiting for? expand full story

The Happymodel Mobula 7 is one of the most popular FPV drones on the market right now. It’s small size and powerful 0802 15,000 KV motors make it a lot of fun to fly on either 1S or 2S batteries. At $79 is it a better option than the $109 Emax Tinyhawk? Let’s take a closer look. expand full story

March 8

Xiaomi is making a push into the consumer drone market with two new drones, the Fimi A3 and the Fimi X8. In doing so, for the first time, Xiaomi is trying to pull customers away from the DJI Spark and Mavic Air. With lower price points and specs that look to compete with DJI, does Xiaomi have what it takes to beat the world’s leader in drones? expand full story

February 19

The new Micro Drone 4.0 is a small brushed motor drone with a 1080p camera on a two-axis gimbal for less than $200. Their initial Indiegogo goal was $75,000 but they have shattered it already by raising over $500,000. There isn’t a drone in this price range that can do what the Microdrone 4.0 can do. Consumers look to be hungry for a good drone between the $99 Tello and the $399 Spark. Is the Microdrone 4.0 the answer? expand full story

February 18

Flying a drone FPV can be an exhilarating experience. Whether you are racing, doing freestyle or just having some fun it is an experience that is vastly different than piloting line of sight.  It takes both practice and preparation but is well worth it in the end. I’ve outlined some of the steps in two previous articles How to Fly FPV part one and How to Fly FPV part two. If you haven’t read them make sure you check them out. Hopefully, you have already picked out your transmitter and quad, done some laps in the simulator and you are confident and ready to go. Here’s what you’ll need to do next. expand full story

February 15

The Emax Tinyhawk ($99) is a small FPV quadcopter that touts powerful brushless motors. Right now it is my absolute favorite FPV quad and that includes much bigger and more powerful 5″ quads. While it may not have the power of a full-size FPV quad I believe that it is versatile enough to make up for that. If you are looking to get into FPV flying or if you are looking for something a little different, then you want to take a look at the Emax Tinyhawk. expand full story

January 30

If you already read my first post on getting into FPV flight then you know that purchasing a remote transmitter is step one. If you haven’t read that already you’ll want to check that out. Now on to step two, the fun part. The drone, or better yet, the quad. Choosing the correct drone for the beginner FPV pilot is important.  You don’t want to get a full-blown 5″ pro-style quad off the bat. That would be similar to handing a 16-year old the keys to a Lamborghini. Sure some lucky kid might be able to handle it, but is that the best car to learn how to drive? These are my top recommendations for beginners.

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January 29

The Extreme Fliers Microdrone 4.0 looks to be an exciting new offering in the entry-level drone market. This palm-sized micro drone features a two-axis gimbal as well as electronic image stabilization to go along with its 1080p HD camera. This little drone looks to be a step ahead of one of our favorite drones the Ryze Tello ($99) and a step behind the impressive DJI Spark ($399). Let’s take a closer look. expand full story

January 8

UVify has developed a 16 rotor drone that they believe is the world’s fastest and most maneuverable X-Class or Pro-Class drone today. Not only that, but the Draco 4×4 will be used exclusively in the DR1 Racing’s U-Class series in 2019. The Draco 4×4 16 rotor beast will be unveiled and demonstrated at CES 2019. expand full story

January 3

The Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro were game-changing drones upon their release. In typical DJI fashion, the Mavic 2 was released a bit hastily, with some issues yet to be worked out with firmware updates. DroneDJ and others have filed some complaints and it looks like DJI has been listening. These two drones are better drones today then they were upon their release.  expand full story

December 29, 2018

We couldn’t resist putting the Osmo Pocket on a drone. We know that the Osmo Pocket is an excellent handheld camera. It is small and compact. That got us thinking. How would it perform in the air? What if we put it on a drone? So we did. expand full story

December 17, 2018

There aren’t a lot of good GPS drones with HD cameras and intelligent flight modes for less than $200. The JJPRO X5 Epik an exception and currently is on sale for less than $130. It is one of the best beginner drones you can buy and is an excellent option for anyone looking to get into aerial photography.  expand full story

Flying FPV or first-person view can take your drone experience to the next level. ESPN is now televising the Drone Racing League and you can see why it is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing sports. If this is something you want to try there are a couple of ways to get started. Some people start with an all-in-one kit like the FatShark101, but that isn’t what we’d recommend. The first thing you need to choose is your remote. Whether you refer to it as a remote, a radio or a transmitter it is the place to start. The drone comes later. You can read about that in Step 2. expand full story

December 16, 2018

Amazon takes 40% off Force1 drones from $42 shipped

Force1 makes excellent beginner drones. Right now through December 31, you can save 40% off selected drones using the code 40FROMSANTA at Amazon. There are four drones including the U49WF, a medium-sized camera drone. It is on sale for $90 but is regularly $150. The U45WF is an ultra-durable camera drone that is on sale for $60 but is normally $100. The U34 is a micro FPV drone that usually costs $100 but is on sale for $60. The F111WF is a portable drone that folds up for portability. Typically it is $70 but is on sale for $42. I have personally flown all four of these drones and they are good for beginners. These drones make excellent gifts and Force1 provides excellent customer service should you have any questions flying these drones. These are currently the best prices for these drones and look to be near all-time lows.

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