I was recently stricken with an incurable condition known as FPV racing fever, and now that the fever has spread to my brain the only thing I can do is treat the condition with FPV racing aircraft, and the Walkera Rodeo 150 is my new favorite treatment. I came down with FPV racing fever when sponsors started sending me FPV racers and now I’m hooked on the sport. The thing that really got me into the sport was receiving a pair of Eachine 007 VR glasses and actually flying FPV for the first time. The more I did it the more I wanted to do it.
Now that I’m into the sport I need a good racer and I think I’ve found one. I’ve been testing aircraft for more than a decade and in all that time I’ve never flown anything from Walkera. They make aircraft of all shapes and sizes and they’ve received good and bad reviews from users over the years, so I had my trepidations. But I am happy to say that in this case I am gobsmacked, I am blown away, and I am amazed with this aircraft.
Walkera has produced coaxial helicopters, collective pitch acrobatic CP helicopters, airplanes, racers, and countless quads over the years, so they have a lot of experience, and they put all of that experience to use in the Walkera Rodeo 150.
Racers have become smaller for a lot of reasons recently, including speed, but one size barrier that has been hard to cross is the FAA weight barrier. If you want a fast and stable racer it needs to be brushless, but brushless motors are usually heavy and require large batteries. The FAA requires anything over 250 grams to have a registration number on it, and most racers are well over that weight limit. The Walkera Rodeo is only 215 grams so it doesn’t require FAA registrations and there are no flight restrictions.
It’s not just small; it’s also very stable and very well built. Everything about this aircraft has been thought out and well planned. It has all the features you need for a good racer plus all the speed and maneuverability that you’re looking for.
I was also really impressed with the camera quality and range. It has a tiny little antenna, but the range is great with very little interference and the picture quality looks really nice for a 600 tvl camera. It works really well in low light conditions, even after sunset.
|Battery type, Input Voltage||LiPo 2S 850 mAh, 7.4 V|
|Camera||600 TVL DC5 12 volt 110 degree FOV|
|Motors||WK WS 17-002 Very small!!!|
|Size-Motor to Motor Max Diameter||5.9 inches 150 mm|
|Size-rotor tip to tip Length||7¾ inches 196.85 mm|
|Size-rotor tip to tip Width||8¼ inches 209.55 mm|
|Size-Height||6 inches 152.4 mm / 3 inches with antenna down|
|Flight Time||7 to 8 minutes|
|Charge Time||20 minute quick charge. hour with stock charger|
|Lights||2 vertical LED headlights, red front decoration LED|
Quality of build
This is an absolutely beautiful racer, and that’s not something I would normally say. They are usually ugly piles of carbon fiber and metal with little concern for appearance. This aircraft has been designed to look great, fly great, and have all the functionality you need in a 150-size racer. The entire body is enclosed in a plastic shell that protects everything. It has a USB port for reprogramming the flight controller, an external Rx port, an SBUS/PPM switch and a little panel that opens up on the top to let you access dip switches to change the video frequency. The folding antennas look great and I love the camera housing, as it’s a nice circular nose piece that gives the aircraft a high-tech look. The camera can also pivot almost 90 degrees up or down for different flight speeds.
This is the strongest, most durable racer I have ever flown, I’ve been flying it fast and hard while testing it and I have crashed it a number of times while flying through obstacles and it has survived every one without a scratch. It just gets right back up and keeps flying; it’s absolutely amazing how durable it is.
Assembly and tuning
I love the box that this aircraft comes in; everything is all very well protected and nicely polished. The only thing that you need to do is screw on the FPV video antenna, everything else is preprogrammed and ready to go. The rotors are even preinstalled because it’s small enough to fit in the package with the rotors on. It comes with a spare set of rotors and a wrench for installing them, as well as a few cables and a really nice set of instructions for the aircraft and a DVD for the Devo 7 transmitter.
You will need a pair of VR glasses. I used a $60 pair of 007 Eachine glasses and they worked just fine.
It only takes about five seconds to screw on the FPV antenna and you’re ready to fly.
If you want to reprogram the F3 flight controller you can do so pretty easily through the aircraft’s USB port, but I think they did an amazing job and wouldn’t want to change it.
The manual has a lot of really good information and is definitely worth looking through.
This aircraft feels amazing right out of the box; it is the smoothest, most stable racer I have ever flown. It didn’t need any tuning of any kind.
My first few flights were around the house, and I mean literally around the house. I stood on the front porch and was able to fly to the backyard and through all the trees without any trouble at all. It’s so small and so stable that it’s easy to fly through tight spaces at high rates of speed.
It has three flight modes available: auto stabilization, high speed, and full acrobatic.
In auto stabilization mode it’s easy to fly anywhere and it’s very stable, but the speed is a little limited. In high speed mode it can go fast enough to win a race, but it’s still nimble enough to make quick turns and fly through obstacles. And in full acrobatic mode it is crazy, I mean just absolutely crazy. Only professional pilots are able to fly in full acrobatic mode!
Whether you’re a beginner or a professional FPV racer, this aircraft is for you, because it is fast when it needs to be, stable at the flip of a switch, amazingly fun to fly, and it looks really cool. You can finally fly through all those tight spaces and race down the track without worrying.
It doesn’t have any preprogrammed stunts or a return home feature, but the range is really impressive and the video signal is very clean and easy to fly with.
Ground station and Controller
The provided Devo 7 transmitter is huge compared to the aircraft, but it is a very professional high end transmitter that can be programmed in countless ways. It has a nice display menu and a good layout, but it does require eight AA batteries.
There is no GPS signal, flight planning, or even telemetry, but the aircraft is so small that adding those systems would just take up space and power that is better used for racing. The aircraft does have a built-in low voltage alarm that causes the red light around the camera to start blinking, and it causes the aircraft to emit a loud beeping sound.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – how can I hear the low voltage alarm or see the flashing light if I’m flying FPV? Well the answer is that the aircraft transmits video and audio, so if your monitor has speakers you can hear the low voltage beep.
It was all very easy to handle and very user friendly.
The camera’s quality during a race is really impressive; it gets great range and stays very clean and clear during the entire flight. I also really like how easy it is to reposition the camera.