In-Depth Review of the Wizard x220 FPV Racing Drone

In addition to being a favourite at the Skynex Global Drones Store, the Wizard X220 UAV RTF FPV RC racing quadcopter drone is without a doubt one of the most popular choices amongst drone hobbyists when it comes to selecting an FPV racing or aerial acrobatic drone. This medium-sized quadcopter racing drone comes ready-to-fly out of the box, with only basic installations required. Aside from its flashy, ecstatically appealing triple-blade purple props, and aside from the fact that expert drone hobbyists are constantly endorsing the Wizard X220 as "a really great FPV", various features and characteristics of the Wizard X220 combine to make a truly agile, fast, and overall amazing FPV racing drone. In addition to being reliable, durable, and easy to maintain, the design of the Wizard X220 offers great protection to all of its critical parts and components. For the most part, replacement parts and components, whether it be for conducting maintenance, repairs, or customization, are readily available on the market at a low price. In addition to being light, the Wizard X220's motors pack a lot of punch and power under the hood. As for receiver-transmitter technology? The usual state-of-the-art ("SoA") in drone transmission technology. All of these features, and much more, are reviewed in detail immediately below. (Note: expert drone hobbyists are always welcomed to suggest revisions or additions). 

WIZARD X220 DRONE FRAME

4mm Carbon Fibre Quadcopter Drone Frame

  • Strong and durable 4mm carbon fibre material
  • A quadcopter design that's easy to maintain, repair, and customize
  • An "X" shaped drone frame that accentuates acrobatic agility and speed
For starters, the Wizard x220's adopts a solid, durable, compact (440 x 300 x 100), light-weight (approx. 484g with battery attached), 4 mm thick carbon fibre composite for its frame, a material commonly used in the aerospace industry due to its high tolerance to impact and light-weight. This feature alone greatly enhances the Wizard x220's resistance to impact and crashes, and overall durability. As mentioned in previous posts, (4) quadcopter frames (as opposed to (3) tricopter, (6) hexacopter, or (8) octocopter frames) are the norm in the consumer hobby drone sector. The corollary implication is that most drone parts and components are designed and made with a quadcopter frame in mind. Not only does this make it easier to bring routine maintenance or repairs to the Wizard x220, but also to customize the Wizard x220 with additional parts and components. 

True "X" Shaped Quadcopter Drone Frame

Another notable feature is that the Wizard x220 adopts a true "X" shaped (the term "true" is used to differentiate "X" shaped frames that adopt some features of an "H" frame) quadcopter drone frame configuration. This is opposed to a true "H" frame quadcopter configuration, or to hybrid "X" or "H" shaped quadcopter drone configurations. What are the advantages of an "X" shaped quadcopter drone frame configuration? Much debate amongst expert drone enthusiasts has revolved around the various advantages and disadvantages of each of these different types of drone frames. Although it appears as if the answer as to which one is the best type of frame may vary from one drone to another, due to each drone's individual features, characteristics, and composition, it is still interesting, for our purposes, to look as some of the advantages advanced for "X" shaped quad drone configurations. It is also informative to consider that the Drone Racing League's new "Racer3" adopts a true "X" quadcopter drone frame configuration. 
  • Smaller aerodynamic frontal area for reduced drag
  • Less energy consuming
  • Greater in-flight agility for sharp 
  • Greater agility to perform acrobatic flips and rolls
Some expert drone enthusiast have underscored the fact that "X" shaped quadcopter drone frames have a reduced aerodynamic frontal areas. In a true "H" shaped quadcopter drone frame the front propeller are affixed at a 90°, perpendicular angle to the centre body frame. Consequently, the front edge of the drone's propeller arms are completely exposed towards the front, a feature which can arguably create more drag, and slow down the drone's overall speed. Conversely, in a true "X" shaped quadcopter drone frame configuration, the propeller arms are affixed to the centre body of the drone at an angle of approximately 45°. The front edge of each propeller arms forms an open scissor-like "v" shape that cuts through the frontal airflow. For this reason, true "X" shaped quadcopter frames are said to have a reduced aerodynamic frontal area, the benefit of which is higher speeds and arguably, less energy consumption. Other advantages of a true "X" shaped quadcopter drone racing frame are better in-flight agility for acrobatic flips and rolls. 

Double-Plated Protective Centre Drone Body 

  • Prolonged "H" type centre body offers more "real estate" to affix powerful drone racing firmware
  • Integrated protective design (bottom and top plates, side walls) offers full protection to critical parts and components
  • Intelligent modular layout facilitates maintenance, repairs, and customization
  • Top centre body plate offers a second base upon which to affix additional parts and components (e.g. a second FPV camera, battery, etc.)
It is perhaps inaccurate, incorrect, or untrue to refer to the Wizard x220's quadcopter drone frame as a "true" "X" frame. The reason being that the centre body of the Wizard x220 adopts a prolonged centre drone body that is characteristic to an "H" shaped quadcopter drone body, one advantage of an "H" shaped quadcopter drone frame. True "X" quadcopter drone frames tend to have a small centre body centralized around the crossing point of the "X". Such would be the example, for instance, of the mini Aurora FPV quadcopter racing drone. This tends to leave a reduced space to affix the more important and critical part of the drone, such as its flight controller, 3D augmented virtual reality/FPV camera, receiver, and the likes.
The Wizard x220 departs from the true "X" quad drone configuration in that it adopts a prolonged centre body composed of two carbon fibre plates. The advantages for this design are manyfold. It offers more "real estate" to affix critical drone parts and components, such as powerful drone racing hard/software. It also allows the 3D augmented/virtual reality/FPV drone camera to be placed at the nose of the drone body, rather than being stacked on top of the drone's hard/software. In the case of the Wizard x220, it should also be noted that the centre body offers full protection to the drone's critical parts and components. Most drone designs that adopt a prolonged two-plate centre drone body do not have walls protecting the side of the drone. That is not the case with the Wizard x220. Another great feature about the Wizard x220's centre body is that its top plate adopts an intelligent layout with many slants and openings. Not only does this facilitate maintenance and repair, but it also allows for more creativity in customizing your drone. The top plate also offers a second base upon which to affix additional parts and components, such as an extra drone camera, on top of the Wizard x220. 

WIZARD X220 3D/FPV CAMERA

  • FPV camera affixed directly at the nose of the Wizard x220 for dynamic, immersive, 3D augmented/virtual reality experience
  • Quality HD FPV camera for clean and clear images
  • Real-time/live video image transmission via 5.8G transmission drone racing technology
 
Affixing the drone's camera immediately at the front of the drone provides for a much more dynamic, immersive, and accurate first-person-view flight experience. Objects in the Wizard x220's flight path/trajectory appear closer and more accurately in relation to the drone's real-time position, offering better reaction times if flying the Wizard x220 from 3D/FPV drone goggles. What is more, the Wizard x220 adopts a light weight (12g), adjustable 1/3 inch CMOS, 700TVL micro (29 x 29 x 23.5mm) HD drone camera that operates on the PAL (Phase Alternating Line, 720 x 576 at 25 frames-per-second) video system, with a 2.8mm IR coated camera lens, a field of view (FOV) of 127° diagonally and 110° horizontally. 

WIZARD x220 PROPULSION SYSTEM

2205 2300KV Drone Racing Motors

  • Offers in-flight speeds ideal for racing, and acceleration that's ideal for aerial acrobatics
In addition to adopting an ingenious drone body frame, the Wizard x220 also adopts a decent propulsion system. Starting with its motors, the Wizard x220 sports compact (32.2mm in length, 27.9mm diameter, 3mm shaft), light weight (25g) 2205 2300KV drone racing motors, with a maximum thrust (or, maximum mechanical propulsive force generated by the motor to move the drone in a desired direction) approximating 440g. The number next to the "KV" indicates its R.P.M. or, the number of revolutions a single motor will attempt to turn in 60 seconds when 1 kilovolt of energy is applied, without any load attached. 2300KV is a very decent number for drone racing. The quick acceleration of the Wizard x220 also makes it ideal for performing freestyle aerial acrobatic stunts.  

Protective Motor Casings and Dampeners

Beginner drone hobbyists and aspiring drone racers may be pleased to see that the Wizard includes in its design protective motor casings, as well as dampeners underneath its propeller arms to absorb the landing shock that would otherwise succumb the motors. 
 

BLHELI_S Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs)

  • The latest BLHELI_S offers improved quietness, smoothness, and overall in-flight responsiveness of the Wizard x220's motors
The Wizard x220's powerful racing motors are tightly moderated, or regulated by state-of-the-art BLHELI_S electronic speed controllers (ESCs). For anyone unaccustomed with this technology, electronic speed controllers, as the name indicates, regulate and control the speed of the motors so as to ensure they don't spin out of controller (overdrive). They also prevent the motor from suddenly jamming while current is still being applied. Conversely, they ensure that the motors do stop spinning in the event of a sudden jam. Electronic speed controllers also regulate the smoothness in speed transitions, acceleration, and breaking, a bit like a clutch in a manual automobile regulates the smooth transition between speeds. The S version of BHELI (BHELI_S) include the very latest updates and upgrades to these ESCS. Updates/upgrades were brought to improve active breaking for improved in-flight responsiveness. An improved PWM (pulse-width modulation or, digital signal) is also said to improve quietness, smoothness, and overall responsiveness. 

5" Tripple-Blade Aerodynamic Drone Racing Propellers

  • 5" thick propellers that accentuate speed and forward momentum
  • Impact-resistant, flexible propeller material
  • Triple-blade propellers for greater in-flight thrust, traction, and stability
To top it all off, the Wizard x220's propulsion system uses, as its default propellers, sizeable (140 x 140 x 65mm) ultra light, purple, aerodynamic, flexible, 5040, 5 inch, triple-blade, drone racing propellers (with 5mm mounting hole). Being the firs thing to fly off in a crash, the fact that the propellers are flexible should come as good news for beginner drone hobbyists and aspiring drone racers. 
Expert drone hobbyists have long debated the highly scientific question of whether triple-blade drone propellers are better or, more efficient than dual-blade propellers. Some argue that triple-blade propellers offering more thrust, but at a higher energy consumer rate, and therefore, with reduced flight times. Others advance the argument that due to increased surface area, triple-blade propellers offer more traction, and therefore better control, especially in tight turns found in drone racing tracks. Some also say that triple-blade propellers offer more in-flight stability, and therefore, more stable real-time/live first-person-view video footage. It may also be telling that the DRL's Racer3 uses larger, triple-blade propellers. Based on the Racer3's technology, it appears as if triple-blade propellers do offer more thrust, but at higher energy consumption rate. 

FLIGHT CONTROLLER, RECEIVER, AND TRANSMITTER

F3 6DOF Flight Controller

  • The Wizard x220's nervous system and brain
  • Offers a highly responsive, smooth flight experience
  • USB connectivity for easy online updates and upgrades
  • Betaflight, the number 1 open source multi-rotor firmware
  • Easily obtain periodic online updates/upgrades from the drone community
The Wizard x220 uses as its flight controller an F3 6DOF running Betaflight version 2.9.1. What do all these terms mean? As explained in previous posts, a drone's flight controller is akin to its brain, or nervous system. As one commentator lucidly explains, "no human is capable of controlling the rotational speeds of three or more motors simultaneously with enough precision to balance a craft in the air. This is where flight controllers come into play." He correctly goes on to explain that a flight controller (FC) is "a small circuit board of varying complexity. Its function is to direct the RPM of each motor in response to input. A command from the pilot fro the multi-rotor to move forward is fed into the flight controller, which determines how to manipulate the motors accordingly". FCs also use sensors that are used as supplemental navigational aids. These can include, for instance, gyroscopes for orientation, barometers for maintaining a desired altitude, or even global positioning systems (GPS) for advanced flight features/modes, such as auto-pilot, auto-return home, fail-safe (crash prevention), and more. 
So what does the Wizard x220's FC have to offer in terms of flight performance, experience, and characteristics? The advantages are better understood by comparing the F3 flight controller to the F1 FC. As this tends to be a highly technical discussion, only a few advantages will be highlighted. 
Without going into the technical details, a first benefit with F3 flight controllers are that they have micro-USB port capacity, allowing you to easily connect it to a computer for customization and upgrades. In contrast to an F1 flight controller, the F3 flight controller is capable of performing in-flight operations (accelerometer, LED strips, etc.) at a nearly twice the speed than any of its predecessor flight controllers. The F3 also offers more connection points (or, hardware serials) to connect external devices (e.g. GPS, MinimOSD, SBUS, SmartPort telemetry, Blackbox) that contribute to overall flight improvement, and allow for more customization. The F3 also brings some improvements in terms of energy-efficiency. 
In short, the Wizard's x220 offers a significant contribution towards ensuring that it carries out the pilots commands and controls as exactly and as quickly as possible, for an overall responsive flight experience. With respect to Betaflight 2.9.1., suffice to say that it is the number 1 open source multi-rotor firmware. Updates and upgrades published by the online community of expert drone hobbyists can easily be uploaded via USB connectivity. 

Receiver

  • Compact, logical layout, easy and neat installation
  • Easy to bind with compatible transmitter/remote controller
  • Offers a control range that exceeds 500 meters
  • Uses up to 6 channels via 2.4GHz frequency range
  • Clear, interference-free transmission signal for optimum responsiveness
  • Dual antenna drone transmission technology for optimum signal reception 
The Wizard x220 uses as its receiver, a component that is responsible for receiving commands and controls from the transmitter or, remote control, a standard state-of-the-art (SoA) iA6B receiver. The iA6B receiver offers a decent control range that exceeds 500 meters. In addition to being compact (47 x 26.2 x 15mm), light (14.9g), and easy to connect to the Wizard x220, A great feature about the iA6 receiver is its dual antenna capability, a feature that greatly enhances an interference-free signal reception, and therefore, in-flight responsiveness and smoothness. The iA6B is also user-friendly, in that it bind (connects) easily to any compatible transmitter/remote controller. In short, the Wizard x220's iA6B receiver offers excellent reception.

Transmitter

  • State-of-the-art drone transmitter
  • Provides granular command-and-control over the Wizard x220
  • Unique binding ID assigned automatically to transmitter for interference-free command-and-control
  • Works on the 2.4GHz frequency range of optimum signal transmission
  • Updates readily available online, reflecting the latest available in drone transmitter technology 
Finally, the Wizard x220 uses a state-of-the-art drone transmitter/remote controller, the i6. The i6 is undoubtedly one of the most popular choices of transmitter in the consumer drone industry. The i6 transmitter offers as much granular command and control over the Wizard x220 as the number of switches, nobs, sticks, and keys that it contains, and much more. It works on the 2.4GHz frequency range, and binds easily to the iA6B receiver. When binded, a unique ID is automatically assigned to the transmission signal, ensuring an interference-free command-and-control signal transmission. 

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