Today we’re reviewing the Walkera Runner 250, and I couldn’t be more excited! This quad has been the topic of conversation since it’s initial release last summer, and that’s not because of any advanced revolutionary features, it’s because of the outrageously affordable price point.. When the Runner 250 was originally released, it set the bar for what an affordable RTF FPV system should cost. Most models at the time were selling at the 400-500 dollar mark and up, and offered way more features and technology then the average enthusiast required. Walkera realized that many new FPV pilots simply wanted a basic system, with minimal functionality that was low cost and fun. Walkera offers a few different packages, and pricing varies depending where you shop, but an entry level DIY kit could be had for as low as £150.00! Yes you’re reading correctly, you can have all the components to create a very fun and fully functioning quad, for about the price of what most hobbyists spend on just a set of four motors! That’s quite a deal, especially if you’re a beginner who won’t make use of the extra performance offered by high-end electronics.
Walkera has been producing variety of small remote vehicles since 1994. In this time, they’re mostly narrowed their production down to small remote controlled drones, up to about the size of a DJI Phantom. They also are one of the few companies that design and produce their own camera gimbal systems. A small known fact about Walkera is that, not only do they manufacture consumer grade aircraft, but they also custom design and build high end commercial UAV. They build these UAV (Drones) for large industrial clientele, looking to service agricultural, or civil engineering applications. Currently however, FPV racing drones dominate their production focus, and the Runner 250 is by far their most successful model of 2015.
Walkera has done a great job with this little drone! The whole thing comes packaged in a slick matte black box, with an image of the Runner 250 prominently displayed on the front. This definitely feels like a much higher end product than the price would suggest. You’ll notice while shopping, that quite a few different packages are available, and they all pretty much vary in terms of overall completion. For the purpose of this review, we’re reviewing the complete package minus FPV goggles. So this kit includes everything you need to get started, just connect your FPV goggles; charge up the batteries, and away you go!
When you open the Walkera Runner 250 here is what you’ll find inside:
- The quad-copter itself (including all electronics, FPV camera, and Downlink)
- The transmitter (Remote Control)
- 1V 2200mAH Battery
- Battery Charger
- Tools and spare screws
- Set of 4 props
All of this comes very nicely packaged in a laser-cut foam insert that perfectly cradles all of the components. This insert is a great addition, as it can be removed and placed in something like a hard shell pelican case without the need to custom cut a new insert. (A process that many of you know to be quite messy and time consuming) Overall everything in the box is pretty straight forward, and is exactly what you’d expect, but the important question is… how well does it fly?
Once you get it in the air, the Walkera flies better then expected. It’s not the most aggressive flight experience, and tops out at about 50km, but I mean for £150.00 you can’t really complain! It’s very stable, and really has no unexpected issues or strange flight characteristics what so ever. The Runner 250 tracks very well in the sky, and is a total blast to fly. Because it’s so affordable, it’s really the ideal training tool for new pilots to gain some flight hours, while still experiencing the full spectrum of FPV flight characteristics. The lighting scheme also looks great in the air especially while flying at night, and is a very cool addition to an already sleek looking design.
Now don’t get me wrong, for £150.00 I really can’t be complaining, but a few small things could be tweaked. For instance, the camera sticks out way to much. Many people have already brought up this complaint, but they haven’t seemed to take interest in fixing it yet. Also the battery always seems to come loose, as the included strap doesn’t seem to do a great job. This is especially dangerous as it sits right behind the major electronics and camera, meaning it could slide forward destroying that entire set of crucial tech, so be sure to wrap some extra Velcro around it!
Overall it’s a great little FPV package, and for the money it can rarely be beat. I honestly don’t think there is a better way to experience FPV especially for beginners prone to frequent crashes. From packaging to flight performance, it’s an outstanding piece of gear, and will provide hundreds of hours of fun! Check it out for yourself, and have some fun Happy Flying!