What is the tbs vendetta? It’s everything we’ve ever wanted in a racing drone!
FPV drone racing is a fast growing sport. These days, most people build their own racers, but is that about to change? On February 9th, Team Black Sheep (TBS) announced the Vendetta, a completely new FPV racing drone with features we’ve never seen before on a quadcopter of this size.
Look At That Curvy Carbon!
The first thing you’ll notice about this drone is the uniquely molded carbon-fiber design.
In order to achieve its unibody design, the Vendetta starts out as sheets of raw carbon-fiber which get carefully hand-molded into what will be the master shape. After the mold is done curing, it is then cut down to exact measurements by a 4-axis CNC machine. Then the CNC machine cuts all of the remaining holes and smooths out any rough edges, giving the frame its smooth/natural look. Once the shape of the frame is complete, it is then sand blasted to give it an even smoother looking finish. Even the seemingly simple arms are chamfered to avoid delamination over time, which is definitely something that happens a lot to other frames when you crash.
In the four years that I’ve been flying FPV (First Person View), I’ve never seen a racing drone frame that has such a complex manufacturing process, which just goes to show how much effort TBS put into this design.
Leave Your Soldering Iron At Home
TBS spent a lot of time making the Vendetta look aesthetically pleasing, however it’s just as ergonomically thought out. With its completely modular design, motors, arms, cameras, or just about anything else is able to be taken out and replaced without the need of a soldering iron. One of the more interesting things about this frame in my opinion, is the swappable arms which have integrated motor wires running through them that plug into the frame. This makes it really easy to take the arms off for maintenance, traveling, or even replacing the motors with different ones if you want to run 6S batteries.
Let’s Talk About Electronics
The Vendetta has a really impressive design, but the electronics and firmware used will still determine what the flight characteristics are and if it can really compete with custom drone builds. Thankfully, all of the electronics in the Vendetta are top quality just like the frame, and the firmware will blow you away if you’ve never flown with it before.
Most of the electronics on the Vendetta are all in one place, inside the TBS Power Cube. The Power Cube is not just a few ESC’s stacked on top of each other. It’s actually a flight controller, four ESC’s, power regulator, current sensor and a power distribution board all connected without any wires or soldering. This means that if something breaks, you won’t need to solder anything to fix it and there won’t be a massive amount of fragile wires which can break in a crash.
For the flight controller, TBS went with a custom solution running the popular 72 MHz STM32 F3 microprocessor and some super fast gyros to go with it. They call it Colibri! Since the design for the Colibri is custom, they were able to provide power to the flight controller through the brass standoffs used to mount it to the ESC’s.
In my opinion, the most important thing that a good racing drone should have is good firmware. Without good firmware, even the best drone ever made will never fly like it should. This is why TBS didn’t just use the easiest firmware they could find to integrate into the Vendetta. From what I understand, they took the firmware called CleanFlight and modified it so that it could be set up and tuned from their OSD (on-screen-display). In other words, you won’t need to set general settings on the computer. It also seems that they have taken the PID loops found in BetaFlight and integrated them into CleanFlight for even better stabilization performance.
Just like the flight controller, all four of the ESC’s are powered from the brass standoffs, and each ESC has a special plug which brings the signal information up to the next floor, eventually reaching the flight controller. The technical specs on these ESC’s couldn’t be any better. All of them are 6S capable running BLHeli with Oneshot, plus you can run them at anywhere from 30A to 50A depending on weather conditions.
Pricing And Release Date
The Vendetta is available now for pre-order on Team Black Sheep’s website and through their dealers for $499.
That’s right, for $499 you’re getting the best racing drone design to date, one of the best flight controllers running the best firmware possible, an OSD with current sensor, four overpowered 6S capable ESCs, four cobra motors, a high quality flight camera with almost no latency, a video transmitter and circular polarized antenna, LED lights, propellers, a camera mount and probably something else that I’m forgetting. The only things you’ll need to get flying is a transmitter and receiver, video receiver, 4S battery, charger and some video goggles.
Expected delivery will be around the 15th of March, but since this is a really hot item, they probably won’t be easy to get if you don’t order quickly.