Fractal 65 – BNF

$134.99

(2 customer reviews)

The lightest, sharpest and most durable whoop for racing and freestyle!

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Description

  • Are you a whoop racer looking for the sharpest performance without compromising reliability?
  • Or perhaps a freestyle pilot that wants a robust frame with quick maintenance?
  • Maybe you simply want a stronger alternative to those flimsy nylon frames to keep you longer in the air?

If you answer yes to any of those, then the Fractal 65 was designed for you!

 

 

— A little backstory —

The lifecycle of this craft started back in 2018 already, right around when brushless 0603 powertrains appeared and started looking like a solid next step in 65mm whoop class

Back then I entered the class with a UR65, and although it flew great compared to any other canopy whoop I’ve tried before, something was still off…

The nylon frame didn’t seem to hold up very well to the added weight and power from the brushless era design.

It needed to improve on 2 main factors; rigidity and weight.

So I went to work and came up with the first revision of the project, based on the CrazybeeF3 board and 0603 spinners.

Basically an UR65 powertrain on a carbon frame with individual ducts and 3D printed parts

And while it was great for my basher use, the weight, at 23g wasn’t quite up to my standard…so the project fell off, waiting for better hardware to support the idea…

For almost 3 years I kept flying the first revision occasionally until Happymodel released the right hardware that would make it all possible this time…

You may think there isn’t much to it, that I’m just pulling it out of my arse, but trust me, there is lots of R&D and testing that went into it; I wouldn’t have released it otherwise.

This frame was designed to the lightest it could, where it could, without compromising strength, where it needed it the most, in true aerospace engineering fashion.

here’s a little snippet of the FEA optimization I performed,
ensuring the stress gets spread out across the whole structure without concentrations

 

 

— So what about that frame? —

Remaining true to its original intent, the Fractal65 features:

  • 65mm diagonal, squished X geometry, for 31mm props
  • 1.5mm Carbon Fiber / Individual Nylon ducts hybrid construction
  • Low-profile camera mount, no props in view, no tilt offset
  • Low Center of Gravity, by bringing the AIO closer to the frame/motors
  • Allows mounting with USB pointing up for easy accelerometer calibration
  • No need for a canopy as all electronics are tucked safely between the ducts
  • Maximum rigidity where it matters most; connecting the motors to the FC
  • Easy maintenance, break one duct, replace only the single duct
  • Lightweight, less than 19.5g with HM DiamondF4

As always, this is a project that I designed for myself first, that I put together in a product to share with any pilot that would like to experience the same level of requirements!

Designed with love, by a pilot, for pilots.

But don’t take my word for it, here’s what Team Pilot Glenn “Bellaciao” has to say about it:

I am using the whoop at Full Send FPV’s races every week. I’ve been finishing higher and higher, even got a podium the other day. It is extremely stable in flight, and working on it has been incredibly easy. I am surprised at how the flight controller has held up – it is more protected than I expected. Redpine is a dream. Putting an 85% throttle cap on it improves the battery vastly. For angle racing, the camera angle was too aggressive. After a buddy glued the camera to about a 30 degree angle greatly improved angle racing performance, at the cost of acro performance. I cannot state enough how much I love the flight performance, stability, and workability of this platform. I already am planning on building a second one to use as my backup racer, and want to use this as my racing whoop frame, period.

 

— What do you get? —

As a BNF version you will get a ready-to-fly quad assembled by yours truly

It will come with a Happymodel Diamond F4 Frsky only, Runcam Nano 3 camera and EX0802 motors of your choice. JST-PH pigtail as opposed to pictured.

It will be tuned to the latest, bleeding-edge firmware, including a Project Mockingbird based Betaflight tune with RPM filtering and actual rates, as well as BlueJay ESC firmware

I sometimes help out assembling pre-builts with Armattan, so if you’ve ever seen the standard to which these are built, or seen my soldering jobs before you know it will be top notch.

 

— Contents: —

  • 1x Fractal 65 Frame Kit
  • 1x Happymodel Diamond F4 Frsky
  • 4x EX0802 motors
  • 1x Runcam Nano 3
  • 2x Gemfan prop sets (one assembled, one spare)

 

 

Notes:

-Due to continually ongoing development the actual product may differ from pictures.

 

— Video Reviews —

Additional information

Weight 30 g

2 reviews for Fractal 65 – BNF

  1. J. Slaker (verified owner)

    A fantastic, surprisingly capable little whoop

    Full disclosure: I have the good fortune of regularly chatting with Yves, but I purchased this drone out of pocket with my own money.

    I’m not the typical whoop pilot. I fly almost exclusively 5″ freestyle drones with the occasional 3″ thrown in for variety. I have basically no interest in racing. My Mobula6 sits on a shelf largely unused. Project Mockingbird’s angle mode confuses and frightens me.

    I am about as an acro-mode-or-bust and “I haven’t gone flying if I haven’t broken a bunch of parts and destroyed at least a couple of sets of props” FPV freestyle pilot as they come.

    So I’ve genuinely been surprised by this little whoop. It has just enough power for legitimate freestyle flying — even outdoors! — while still having a character very different from the 3″ and 5″ drones I usually fly. It’s a refreshing, fun breath of fresh air.

    And more surprising than that is the fact that it puts up with my abuse. Crashes from height into fixed objects. Absolutely hammering turtle mode while stuck in trees or tall grass. I’m legit shocked that I haven’t blown something, anything, up at this point.

    The sum total of the damage I’ve been able to inflict on it over the last several months is a single snapped duct strut. And it doesn’t care. It just keeps flying and doing all the things I ask it to. Permanent grass stains on the ducts and all.

    I can’t speak for how good the Fractal65 is or isn’t for racing. What I can say is that it’s a ton of fun in acro mode when you don’t feel like hauling all your 5″ gear around and just want to do flippy floppies in your backyard and terrorize your doggos. Tons of fun in a very tiny, lightweight package.

    I have a short compilation of footage from the Fractal65 available here. I hope it gives you a sense of just how much I enjoy this thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnMwzsMHfnk

    Fractal 65 - BNF
    Fractal 65 - BNF
    Fractal 65 - BNF
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  2. Glenn – BellaCiao FPV (verified owner)

    My Favorite Whoop

    My racing name is BellaCiao, and the Fractal 65 is the only 65mm whoop I race with. I’m now sponsored by Fractal Engineering for racing, but I preordered this whoop long before the sponsorship with my own money. These thoughts are my own, have not been reviewed by Fractal Engineering prior to posting, and I’ve not been compensated for this review.

    I’ve been racing this whoop since August 2021, about two to three races a week on average over that time span. I’ve had a grand total of three ducts cracked during that timeframe, and the carbon fiber has stayed laminated despite several extremely hard crashes. The board stays locked in place by the screws during crashes as well – I have never had any issues with my board making contact with the carbon fiber and shorting something out.

    In terms of battery life, you can expect between 3-6 minutes depending on your KV and how you have it tuned. When I first got this thing and was just flying it around my apartment, I was usually getting 4-5 minute flights when doing acro. In angle, it’s more around 3-4 minutes with a fresh battery lead and clean motors. The flight characteristics of the whoop are reliable in acro – when flying it outdoors with little wind, it feels bigger than it actually is. The responsiveness to drops is impressive as well – it can bounce out of large dives and drops like it’s nothing. For racing, I’ve been loving the experience of flying this whoop. At 19.8g naked weight, the whoop is absolutely within the 18-22 gram range that you want for racing, and it can keep up with any of the other whoops you’ll find people racing at Full Send – it’s an absolute beast of a 1s ripper. I can cut corners incredibly tightly, and I find that the stability of the carbon fiber keeps the flight characteristics more consistent than your traditional plastic whoop frame. And yes, it can crashflip.

    Another great thing about this whoop is how easy it is to work on. If you do chip a duct during a race, you don’t have to do a full frame swap or fumble with rolling papers and floss to bridge the crack – you can just clip a duct off another frame, remove your props, unscrew your motor, add in a new duct, screw it all back in place and you’re up in the air. It’s saved me more than once during races. The same applies for soldering – the Diamond F4 flight controller it comes with is a direct solder board, rather than using plugs. If you do need to do motor work, rather than taking the whole F65 apart you just need to remove the duct corresponding to the broken motor and you’ll have enough room to do work on the board. The ease of repair is by far one of my favorite features of this whoop, and the same advantages apply if you do use a different flight controller, such as the Crazybee X 2.2 that I run on my other Fractal.

    The customizability of the whoop is absolutely the best part about it. You can run it without ducts – it even comes with screws for smaller motors, which turns it into an incredibly fun 1s ripper. You can print off some 2s straps for it and push the whoop even further. You can add a canopy to it as I did to my backup. You can turn it into a pusher. You can run the battery through the middle instead of the bottom. You could 3d print a top part to hold a vtx and transmitter. You can run it with whatever 65mm duct you’ve got – any one will do. You might find one that even feels better. And that’s the great part – there is no right answer. This whoop gives you the option to mix and match components like no other 65mm does,

    There were two minor gripes that I have with the whoop. First, while in flight the camera’s angle is locked in despite the small TPU mount. Which is good – you don’t want wobble there. However, in a crash or midair, the camera can go slightly off center. This is a bigger deal for racing than freestyle, but it’s something to keep in mind. The Full Send FPV pilot TrimKing came up with the idea of putting a dab of hot glue at the bottom of the camera, which helped keep it locked in place and is how I still fly it when I have it in the default, slammed camera position. The second issue is that the receiver antenna in the back can get caught in the propellers. Either TrimKing or BrdsRtRl suggested gluing the antenna to the duct, and I’d have to recommend it – it’s common practice on a lot of racing whoops.

    Overall, I can’t recommend this whoop highly enough. From the flight characteristics that translate from racing to freestyle to the ease of repair to the customizability, you’re not buying a whoop – you’re buying a platform for you to build and experiment on. And you’re buying a whoop that I can say with confidence has the most durable, long-lasting frame you’ll find in 2021 in its class.

    Fractal 65 - BNF
    Fractal 65 - BNF
    Fractal 65 - BNF
    Fractal 65 - BNF
    Fractal 65 - BNF
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