Drone flight controllers are an integral part of the entire Drone construction. Given their increasingly high numbers, getting the best ones is an uphill task. Being a Drone enthusiast, I sought to unravel the best drone flight controllers in 2017. After thoroughly and extensively reviewing each one of them, I compiled a list of those which out-muscled the rest.

 

Drone Flight Controllers Index

Click below on the index of flight controllers that you are interested in to learn more about them, and find the best drone flight controllers.

drone flight controllers

For 250 quad or fpv racing, you have to be keen on the drone flight controllers you pick. Here are some awesome options you can try out.

RMRC Seriously flight controller 250 fpv racing

#1 RMRC Seriously Dodo Flight Controller Rev 3b

Coming with 8 input and 8 output channels, RMRC seriously Dodo is yet another wonderful flight controller for 250 quad etc fpv racing.

Its voltage of 2-6s for input and 5v for output makes it quite reliable. It boasts 3 UARTS and weighs 5.4g which isn’t the lightest in the market although it’s still convenient for 250 quad fpv racing. With an STM32 256k processor, it boasts a five-star performance. With Dodo, you don’t have to worry about getting an external BEC since it comes fully packed and takes power from your battery.

Given its easy to setup construction, you can conveniently and comfortably configure it with cleanflight. It’s quite versatile and compatible with numerous receivers like SBUS, PPM and Spektrum.


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Kiss flight controller 250 fpv racing

#2 KISS FC – 32bit Flight Controller V1.03

Kiss is an acestar flight controller for fpv racing such as 250 quad. If you are looking for unrivalled performance, then you have to give it a shot.

It’s a 32bit flight controller with an F3 processor which means that performance is top-notch. Weight being an important aspect when it comes to flight controllers, its 4.6 grams make quite convenient. Its highly compatible mounting holes make it even better for fpv racing.

It comes with a serial number which eliminates chances of you being duped into buying an illegal and sub-standard product. Coming with an easy to setup custom software and firmware, you will love its convenience. All you are supposed to do is activate it by connecting it to the Kiss GUI and then you are ready to go! It’s important to note that Kiss FC functions only when it’s connected and activated.

It’s a versatile flight controller which supports numerous copter types including Quad +/x, Tri and Hexa +/x. It also supports RX types like Multiplex, Jeti ExBus, Futaba and PPM Sum among others. It voltage of 2-6s adds to its impressive features.


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Acro Naze32 Rev 6 Flight Controller

#3 AbuseMark Acro Naze32 Rev 6 Flight Controller

Compatible with MWOSD software, this is yet another top-tier flight controller for 250 quad fpv racing. With an easy to install software, its installation hole distance of 30.5mm is compatible with SP F3, APM and Naze32 CC3D.

It gives you an opportunity to solder on both sides which makes it quite convenient. It comes with an input voltage of 2-6s which is similar to the other flight controllers for 250 quad fpv racing. It’s advisable that you choose the 12V output through the welding spot when you decide to use an input voltage of 2-3S. Via the welding spot, you can also set the VTX and camera voltages to 12V and 5V respectively. Its copper coated PCB board makes it quite sturdy and durable.

The board requires a large current at all times. Its ergonomic design makes it quite convenient while soldering while the dual way BEC comes with LC filter to enhance performance. With an OSD function, it also comes with FDTI to beef up its blue-chipstar performance.


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RJX SP Racing F3 EVO Flight Controller for 250

#4 RJX SP Racing F3 EVO Flight Controller

Coming with an SD card reader, RJX SP flight controller lets you record flight data comfortably and conveniently. It integrates the latest Compass, accelerometer, baro and altitude sensor technology which makes its performance even better. Its 2 through holes are quite compatible and can mount onto PDBs as well as OSDs.

Coming with an advanced STM32 F3 processor, you will definitely love its performance. The processor is fitted with hardware floating point unit which gives effective and precise flight calculations. With an in-built race transponder, you can accurately have your lap time calculated the moment you turn it up while racing.


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Crazepony F3 Flight Controller Acro Cleanflight 6DOF

#5 Crazepony F3 Flight Controller Acro Cleanflight 6DOF

If unrivaled expansion capability and connectivity is your thing; then Crazepony is your bet. Designed with special features for racing, this is a great flight controller for 250 quad fpv racing. Its versatile design makes it compatible with numerous tricopters, aircrafts, octocopters and planes, its 8 RC channels adds to its elegance making it really adorable.

It also supports OneShot ESCs which makes it really reliable and convenient for fpv racing. Its all-rounded construction makes it convenient and ideal for FPV racing as well as aerial photography and acrobatic flying. Whether you are a professional or an amateur, you will find it quite reliable.


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If you are a journalist or simply want to capture incredible aerial images, you have to get a nice drone flight controller. The options here are monumental, but not all are good for your drone. Here are some good examples you can try out:

DJI Naza-M V2 Flight Controller Newest Version 2.0 with GPS

#1 DJI Naza-M V2 Flight Controller Newest Version 2.0 with GPS

Whether you are an expert or an amateur photographer, aerial images have to be accurate. If you want to take photos like an expert, you can trust DJI Naza-M V2. Its lightweight makes it quite convenient for your drone while the well designed control platform places the entire control process at your fingertips. In fact, it gives you total control of your drone as you capture those incredible aerial images.

This highly improved model of the Naza Flight controller has its functionality beefed up with the latest technology. Its hardware is structured and optimized to maximum performance while its expandability is simply incredible. Coming with the latest attitude stabilization algorithm, you will have complete control of your drone as it flies up in the sky. It gives exemplary maneuverability and a smoother flight control. With an easy-take off control, its added safety features will have you loving every minute.

The automated course deviation compensation gradually reduces magnetic interferences and disturbances thus giving a steady and precise flying. Its IMU error identification and warning increases performance and reduces chances of accidents. And yes, its GPS unit adds to its safety making it one of the safest flight controllers on the market.


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Vector Flight Controller XT60 + OSD

#2 Vector Flight Controller XT60 + OSD

If you are bold enough, you can also try Vector on your drone. Integrating an Eagle Tree system, you will definitely love its excellent performance. Ideal for professional and beginners alike, it also boasts an ETR00150 which gives it that unique performance and reliability. Its weight and size make it really convenient for aerial photography while the easy-to-use design adds to its awesome features.


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Pixhawk PX4 32Bit flight controller with NEO-M8N GPS

#3 Pixhawk PX4 32Bit Flight Controller with NEO-M8N GPS

Integrating with ARM 32bit chip and PX4FMU+PX4IO, this is yet another incredible option for any aerial photographer. Boasting UART, CAN, SPI and 12C bus interfaces; you will love its performance.

Hobbypower Pixhawk features an integrated power supply for backup and a failure backup controller which makes it quite safe. Of course, this is a PX4 controller which features a 32bit CortexM4 processor whose performance is incredible. It’s compatible with RTOS NuttX OS which makes it even better. Its actuator output adds to its adorable features while the micro SD ensures that you have every moment recorded in real-time. The fault transfer and redundant power input makes it really awesome too.

It also features L3GD20 6 axis 16 bit gyroscope, MPU600 6 axis magnetometer, LSM303D 14 bit accelerometer and MS5611 barometer sensors. Integrating 12C, SPI, PPM signal input and CAN interfaces, I’d recommend it for any aerial photographer looking for quality images.


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Readytosky Flip32 Omnibus F4 Flight Controller

#4 Readytosky Flip32 Omnibus F4 Flight Controller

Readytosky is another option for aerial photography. This flight controller runs a Raceflight CC3D REVO firmware, SBUS/PPM input and 6PWM output. Its versatile mount holes make it quite incredible and compatible with several drones. With a 128MB flash, it gives you an opportunity to capture and record data. It’s crucial to note that F4 firmware works with CC3D revolution only.

The size and weight makes it even better for your drone since it’s really portable. Whether you are using a drone, aircraft, hexacopter, octopter or a tricopters, you will find it quite handy. It features an STM32 F405 MCU and an MPU6000 SPI bus which add to its brilliant features.


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Usmile OSD PDB Current sensor 4-in-1 Racing F3 Flight Controller

#5 Usmile OSD PDB Current sensor 4-in-1 Racing F3 Flight Controller

Introducing a stellar combination of OSD and PDB, F3 flight controllers and current sensor, you no longer have to worry about those hectic and messy wiring procedures. Supporting up to 8 ESCs, you can comfortably use it on your drone, hexacopter, octocopters or aircraft.

Its easy to setup design only requires you to connect your camera, ESC, receiver and VTX to it. Of course, you no longer have to look for extra BEC, OSD chip or even PDB since it only requires one board. Its neatly constructed design ensures that you have the cleanest working environment for a superb finish. It comes with in-built 5V and 12V UBEC which is compatible with 2-6sb voltage output. The board is constructed using a 4 layer PCBA which gives it a sturdy finish thus requires a large current.

Its auto switch mode and integration OSD function makes it even more reliable while the weight and dimensions make it perfect for your drone. Coming with 5 electrostatic protection circuits, the safety of your drone is fully assured. In order to change MWOSD settings on your computer to NTSC, you will require an FTDI adapter.


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Drone flight controllers with GPS are far much better especially when it comes to locating your drone as well as capturing credible information. Getting the best ones isn’t a piece of cake especially with their high numbers. Here are a few incredible options:

JIYI P2 pro Flight Controller with GPS

#1 JIYI P2 pro Flight Controller with GPS

Introducing a next-level aerial photographing technology, this is an easy to control flight controller with GPS. It uses simple settings and an excellent ascent/descent ability which makes it a top-level controller. It’s highly customizable and gives you an opportunity to adjust numerous details.

Its supports OSD, allows for Datalink and comes with a strong processor for exemplary performance. It gives you stronger interference rectification ability while providing accurate position calculation using its unique satellite signal capturing. It eliminates the need for you to use cushions framework since all you should do is stick it onto your drone.

With a simplified installation process, the lightweight and small size makes it quite convenient for various aircraft. With its top attitude stabilize algorithm, it offers exemplary maneuverability.


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QWinOut APM 2.8 Multicopter Flight Controller with GPS

#2 QWinOut APM 2.8 Multicopter Flight Controller with GPS

This is an opensource flight controller which comes with a protective case for ultimate durability. Its advanced construction requires you to have basic understanding of c-programming language which is one of the earliest programming languages, monolithic integrated circuits as well as electrical and mechanical knowledge. Of course, you have to be ready to dig deeper into your pockets and also invest a lot in terms of time. It comes with 3-axis accelerometer, magnetometer and a highly performing gyro. The high performance baro adds to its excellent features.


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Mega APM V2.8 Flight Controller with GPS

#3 Mega APM V2.8 Flight Controller with GPS

Fitted with a shock absorber, this is a NEO-7M GPS module which comes with an HMC5883L compass. You can choose to mount it a distance from any sources of interferences. It boasts numerous rechargeable capacitors for backup and an active circuitry mainly for the ceramic patch antenna.

To ensure zero-magnetic interference, you are supposed to fix its compass as far away from the motor and power sources as possible. It gives an incredible flexibility and is specially designed for 3DR uBlox GPS. With a 3-axis gyroscope, magnetometer and accelerometer, its highly performing barometer will impress you even more. With an onboard 4 Mb flash chip, you will have an opportunity to extract data conveniently. It integrates a Gyro MPU-6000 which is quite advanced and reliable. Its barometric sensor is upgraded and enhanced to MS5611-01BA03 which gives a high precision and top-notch accuracy.


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YoCoo CC3D Open Source Flight Controller with GPS

#4 YoCoo CC3D Open Source Flight Controller with GPS

Coming with OpenPilot self-stabilizing technology, YoCoo CC3D is an awesome flight controller with GPS. Fitted with Beitian BN-220 GPS, you can use it with your quadcopteder, multirotor or even drones. Its configured and strictly monitored using a GCS software which is known for its superb performance and superior precision.

The OpenPilot firmware is run using a self-stabilizing hardware which gives you much control over your quad. With an STM32 which is a 32-bit microcontroller, it can run at 90MIPs using a 128KB flash coupled up with a 20KB RAM. It also comes with highly performing MEMs accelerometer and MEMs gyros which add to its superior finish.


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Hobbypower MWC MultiWii SE V2.5 Flight Controller with GPS

#5 Hobbypower MWC MultiWii SE V2.5 Flight Controller with GPS

With a 12C-GPS NAV module and a CN-06 GPS receiver, this is a Bluetooth enabled flight controller whose performance is also awesome. Coming with FTDI USB-TTL, you will love the whole experience. For both experts and amateurs, this is a reputable flight controller whose amazing features place it at the top. Highly compatible, you will find it quite handy.


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Fixed wing flight controllers are quite incredible. Although there are so many options, here are the best ones:

HobbyEagle A3 Aeroplane Flight Controller 6-axle Gyro for Fixed-wing

#1 HobbyEagle A3 Aeroplane Flight Controller 6-axle Gyro for Fixed-wing

Bringing three options i.e. standard wing, V-tail and Delta wing, HobbyEagle is a reliable fixed wing flight controller which comes with separated gain adjustment all aimed at making each flight mode breathtaking. If you want to have seamless flight, you can trust it to deliver nothing short of that. It comes with an aileron, elevator and rudder sticks which are designed to aid in the entire process. When setting it up, it’s crucial that you place the elevator, rudder sticks and aileron in the middle position for maximum performance. With an ability to conduct a stick-centering and self-calibration, you can never be wrong about this flight controller.


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YKS Upgraded Arduino APM 2.8 Flight Controller

#2 YKS Upgraded Arduino APM 2.8 Flight Controller

Using APM2.52.6 which is the latest APM version, this is an excellent fixed wing flight controller with impressive features and an amazing performance. Boasting 3-axis accelerometer, gyro and a magnetometer, you will find the high performance barometer even better. The barometric sensor is also upgraded to MS5611-01BA03 which is quite awesome. Its onboard 4Mb flash allows quick and timely datalogging. Supporting UBlox LEA-6H module, the compass makes it really awesome for its work.

In fact, it’s among the first autopilot systems to integrate gyro MPU-6000 which is known for its brilliant performance and exemplary reliability. And yes, with ATMEGA32U-2 and ATMEGA2560 chips, usb functions and processing are well-taken care of.


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Hobbypower Cc3d Openpilot Flight Controller

#3 Hobbypower CC3D Openpilot Self-stabilizing Flight Controller 32Bit

Coming with an OpenPilot firmware which is run by an all-in-one self-stabilization hardware, Hobbypower Cc3d is yet another fixed wing flight controller which is quite reliable. Configured and monitored using GCS software, it can fly almost any airframe comfortably.

Whether you are using a fixed wing or an octocopters, you can use it comfortably. Its high-performance STM32 which is a 32-bit microcontroller running at 90 MIPS with a 128KB flash and a 20KB RAM ensures that you get nothing short of stellar performance. Boasting 3-axis MEMs gyros and MEMs accelerometer, its 4 layer of PCB gives a superior flight performance and an incredible noise reduction. It’s a plug and play flight controller which uses a direct stellar speed USB support which requires zero drivers.


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Qwinqout high precision M6 flight controller

#4 QwinOut High Precision JCX-M6 M6 Flight Controller Digital Gyro

Offering dazzling flight assistance and stable flight, this is yet another awesome fixed wing flight controller. What’s more stunning about this flight controller is how its gyro is setup into a unique design. The gyro features an independent gain adjustment potentiometer as well as an excellent software algorithm all aimed at giving a powerful performance. In fact, it adjusts to its best automatically thus giving the best results. To make operations easier, it comes with a 4.4-digit DIP switcher. The start function makes the whole process even better while the blue and red lights give a visual clarity to tell the mode of your flight controller.

With a weight of 6g, one would argue that it isn’t the lightest. However, the weight is also quite convenient for your drone. The dimensions of 30 x 42mm make it even better for your aircraft. The voltage of 4-9V DC is also really impressive. And yes, it can operate within 25 degree to 80 degree of temperature which means that it’s good even when overheating occurs.


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Flight controller Cc3d vs Naze32 vs Apm vs OpenPilot vs Pixhawk vs Kiss

Which among these options is better than the other? This is a question that has probably crossed the minds of any drone orb aircraft owner. It’s a tricky question which needs to be addressed keenly. I will use numerous parameters to determine which one of them is the best.

1. The price:

If you are a beginner, you obviously wouldn’t want to use something too expensive for obvious reasons. Looking at all these options, Kiss, Naze32 and Cc3d are slightly cheaper than the rest. If you are looking for something cheap, you can give them a try. On the other side, Apm, OpenPilot and Pixhawk are slightly expensive and would be ideal for professional use.

2. Level of technology:

If you are a professional, you definitely want to have a drone flight controller whose level of technology is incredible. Features like self-stabilization, support of sensors, availability of GPS, presence of barometer or gyro, compatibility with cleanflight and support of flight configurations. When we talk of how much technology a given flight controller employs, Naze32, kiss and Cc3d are on the losing end.

For instance, Cc3d doesn’t come with any sensors or advanced features. It doesn’t even come with an on-screen display. On the other side, Naze32 doesn’t come with much features but it gives an option of adding a GPS. It features some sensors and barometers which make it slightly better than Cc3d. Kiss is similar to Naze32 and Cc3d only that it has its own firmware. As for Pixhawk, it’s more advanced and features open source firmware and software. The major difference between it and Apm is the fact that Apm is tested while Pixhawk isn’t tested. As for OpenPilot, this is at the top of the tier levels. OpenPilot feature advanced features.

Verdict:

If asked to place these drone flight controllers in order according to their features and performance. I’d say that Cc3d, Naze32 And kiss are on the lower side while Pixhawk, Apm and AutoPilot are on the upper side in that order.

All said and done, when you are looking for a drone flight controller, you have to be careful. You also have to consider the purpose and the reason as to why you need to have it. If you are getting it for fun, better get the cheap ones. However, if you are a professional, getting the advanced ones would be advisable.

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