Aerix’s Black Talon 2 is a beginner’s racing drone with some issues
If you’re looking for a review from a drone guru I am not your guy. If you’re a beginner or a novice to drones and want to know what to expect, then this is the review for you. Thankfully the Aerix Black Talon 2 is a drone for beginners, or so it says. Read on to find out what kind of experience it offers to a new drone user.
The Black Talon 2 comes with the drone, a controller, a bracket to hold a phone, 4GB microSD card with SD card adapter, charger, instructions, replacement propellers, and tools.
The drone itself is very lightweight and features a 720p FPV camera on the front. It features one LED on each arm to help tell front from the back during flight. Blue can be found on the front and red are in the back. The guards feel weak and won’t stand up to many bumps, something I learned from first-hand experience.
The battery uses an odd three pin connection. It can be charged while in the drone or slides out of the body of the drone making it easier to connect. This could be a little awkward to connect but it worked fine. The charger came without a charging brick, but this was not an issue for me because I have several lying around, but the average person may not.
A small LED indicates charging status, or at least it’s supposed to. The LED is apparently supposed to turn off when charging is completed, but more often than not I found this wasn’t the case. According to the website, it should only take 30 minutes to charge the battery, but I would see the light still on after hours of charging at times. It would have been better to have used a two-color system with red for charging and green for charged.
The microSD card is inserted in the side and records photos and videos. There is no spring mechanism, so you simply pull it out or push it in.
The controller takes four AAA batteries and it feels light. At first, I felt it gave it a cheap feeling, but once I put a phone on it I realized this is more to keep it lightweight because adding a phone makes it significantly heavier. The bracket worked well I was able to tighten it down on the phone and I always felt it was secure once attached.
The controller is covered in buttons and this can be a bit intimidating for a first time user. Trying to figure out what each button does, memorizing it, and learning when to use which one. It takes some practice, but eventually, it starts to sink in and feels more natural.
First Flying Experience
Excitement, frustration, blood-curdling anger, and finally satisfaction. If you’re new to drones this is how you can expect the experience to go. Don’t worry they are all perfectly normal emotions to go through. After unpacking the drone I was so excited I quickly read the instructions on the front page while charging and immediately tried my first take off.
It says it’s meant for indoor flying so I tried it indoors, this was a mistake. The drone began drifting forward and to the left right after take off, crashing into chairs several feet away. After two more tries, I went outside where I could practice more safely.
Again the drone kept drifting immediately forward and to the right after every takeoff. This made flying so frustrating, and by my 6th take off I had crashed it into a tree. Breaking one of the guards, oh great. I charged the battery and taped up the guard in anger while waiting for my next chance to fly.
This time knowing what to expect I began compensating for this drift and started to get better at controlling the Black Talon 2. It wasn’t easy but it was starting to become more enjoyable. It started to get dark outside and so ends day one of my endeavor.
Trim this is very important so I’ll say it again, TRIM. After consulting one of my drone buddies that night he informed me of this very important setting which is hidden on the back of the instructions page at the very very bottom, under how to replace propellers. Why oh why this oh so important feature is hidden I’ll never understand.
Turns out you can adjust for this drifting issue I was having with the trim controls. Armed with this knowledge I took to the skies for day two of my flying. After taking off I was able to adjust the trim using the four buttons in the upper right of the controller. Now I was able to get the Black Talon 2 to hover in place without drifting. Flying became much easier now without having to constantly compensate for the drift.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not easy to pilot, especially when there is wind, and there is almost always a slight breeze where I live. Having the trim properly set took a lot of the difficulty out of flying, and made it much more satisfying.
This drone features altitude hold, but I didn’t find it to work very well. When in use, the drone would lose or gain altitude at random, which at one point almost got the drone stuck on my roof due to it losing altitude completely out of nowhere. This can make it more challenging if you’re a beginner because you have more to compensate for while flying.
Aerix lists the speed as 15MPH for this drone and it is definitely a speedy little drone. I was impressed with how fast it got going sometimes and the controls were very responsive. That is helpful when you have to make adjustments quickly.
I found it impressive that Aerix was able to include a camera on such a small drone. Due to the size and price, I didn’t expect the quality to be that good. Without a gimbal to stabilize the camera you can also expect photos to be blurry and videos to be shaky. This is all to be expected at this price point and I found it to be perfectly acceptable.
One thing to note is that the button on the controller for taking photos and videos does not work. After reaching out to Aerix, I was informed the instructions were out of date and this would be updated in the future. For now, the only way to take photos or videos is by using the app on the phone.
For such an affordable drone the Black Talon 2 comes with some additional features that are very desirable in a drone. It offers headless mode which is perfect for helping beginners get oriented when first learning to fly. It also offers a return to pilot function that can be used while in headless mode. There is also a stealth mode that allows you to turn off the lights, and there’s an option to adjust the speed in case it’s too fast as you are still learning.
The Android app isn’t the prettiest but it offers plenty of features and it works great. You’ll need this for taking photos and videos which will be saved to the internal microSD card as well as your phone. This makes it very convenient for sharing online after a flight.
There is a mode for flying the drone directly from the app, but I would not recommend it. Due to the quick reflexes needed while flying this lead to far more crashes when I tried it. The app gives you a first person view from the camera, as well as a split screen mode for use with the company’s VR goggles.
Aerix VR Goggles
The goggles themselves are very well made and comfortable while wearing. Even though with the short battery life you won’t be wearing them for long. They offer plenty of adjustments for the eyepieces, straps, and it has no trouble fitting a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S8+.
My problem was that between the quality of the camera and altitude issues with the Aerix Black Talon 2. Using the VR goggles lead to far more crashes. I had trouble determining the altitude of the drone and making adjustments on the fly without being able to see it.
The battery is rated for 5-7 minutes of flight time and in my experience that was true. I found without using the app I would get 7 minutes or more usually. While using the app and snapping pictures or taking a video you can expect flight time to be shorter due to the WiFi signal being emitted from the drone. Thankfully the battery is small and only takes around 30 minutes to charge. Like all drones, you will probably want to pick up a few extra batteries so you can spend more time flying and less time waiting for your next flight.
The Black Talon 2 is meant to be a drone for beginners to help you get a taste for drone racing. In my experience, it is a quick speedy little drone with some issues. It can be fun to fly once you get a little practice and learn how to compensate for the altitude drops and drift. However, for beginners, this drone can be very challenging, and one with true altitude hold would be much easier to learn with. The app is good and having a camera is a nice touch. Although, you won’t find it very useful for taking photos or videos due to the quality.
I’m not sure how it compares to other racing drones or many others in this price range. If you’re looking for a drone to practice with this might fit the bill. As you want one that is not too expensive with access to replacement parts for all of your inevitable crashes.Buy the Black Talon 2