The Floss offers the pinnacle of racing performance in 2017. The frame was designed by FPV Kebab, who coincidently created the prop loading theory. This prop loading theory is what the frame is based around, and the goal was to create an ultralight weight quad that weighs under 250g. This focus on keeping AUW as low as possible has transformed frame design. Another key part of the design was the way the arms attached with only one bolt, but with a nut supporting it as well. This ensures strength due to the two points of attachment to the central body, yet in a crash the arm can be changed by undoing only one bolt. Arms are very cheap as well at only $10 for 5 arms. A V2 version has also very recently been released, which is slightly heavier but offers a much stronger frame.
The ImpulseRC Helix, despite being nearly a year old, is one of the best racing frames on the market. Designed completely from the group up, it features an integrated a FC, VTx and Frame all in one to create the best designed frame around. It is the most durable and versatile frame on our list, as it comes with camera plates designed for a GoPro, so its possible to use it as a freestyle frame. Its quite heavy compared to other options on the list. Don’t let this put you off though, Thomas Bitmatta recently won the MultiGP Riot International Open using a Helix. This was one of the most competitive races of the year with some of the best racers turning up. In conclusion, the Helix still holds its place as one of the best frames around.
Since jumping onto the scene last year Race Day Quads have made a splash and their Mach 1 is their latest frame design. We reviewed the RDQ182 and were impressed by its no nonsense design and light weight. This time round, they have opted for a frame with removable arms instead of the previous unibody design. The frame has two different options, one with race arms and one with normal arms. This means you can choose a much lighter quad if you are keen on race or a slightly heavier one for much greater durability in a crash. The race frame comes in at 68g and the normal version at 82g. Both of these are respectable weights considering the arms are made from 4mm carbon.
The lightest frame on our list at only 50g, the Kraken 5 Worx is seriously impressive for its size. Unlike other frames on the list it is a true X design, most of the others feature a stretched X design. This is an interesting choice from BoltRC as most racers these days have switched to the stretched X design. Nevertheless the design is nothing less than truly stunning, at only 50g its by far the lightest frame on the list. The molded polycarbonate pod is the unique part of the frame and offers a significant aerodynamic advantage over any other frame without a pod. The fact the pod is molded PC suggests it is significantly stronger than 3d printed pods. As a general rule of thumb 3d printed parts are only 30% as strong as their molded counterparts. The super lightweight design does come at a cost though; its weaker than other options on the list. Its also expensive at $75, but does include a spare arm and custom designed PDB.
The Slim Phast is one of the more minimalist frames on our list but it’s still an excellent frame. The frame is designed around the Micro Swift camera and is a very specific build, with the central area best suited for a XM+ receiver and VTX03. The nice thing about this frame is the availability of many different 3d printed parts. Such as scuff guards for the arms, an adapter to allow use with a 2.3mm lens and finally a mount for the GoPro session so you can record your flights when your’e not hurtling down the race course. The weight is 75g, not quite as light as other options in the list, but still very respectable.