ZOHD Talon 250G Review

Recent RC models released from ZOHD were focused on small size and low weight of 250grams. Talon 250G is no different and it follows the same path of being ultra small and light. This time though it is a trimmed down version of a popular Nano Talon which I have never flown before.

In this review I will be looking at the Talon 250G V-tail FPV plane and also testing it in the air.

For this review ZOHD supplied me with a sample of PNP version.

Box content and overview

What’s in the box (PNP Version):

  • Talon 250G EPP plane
  • ZOHD 1406 2600kv motor
  • ZOHD 30A Lite ESC
  • 4 x 4.3g Servos
  • 3″ and 5″ props
  • Servo attachments and hardware
  • Stickers

Plane comes with a fuselage, main wing and tail wings separately. Wing screws onto mounting plane inside fuselage by one single screw. Tail wings are meant to be glued in place (I did a magnet mode but more about later). Battery bay cover has magnets installed so removing it is as easy as in other ZOHD models like Drift or Dart 250.

There is a carbon fibre spar inside the main wing. Till this day I have no clue how they managed to put it in – I cant figure that out! There is no more spars anywhere on this plane apart from that one and control surfaces.

Inside the fuselage we find a battery support wooden tray, ESC attached to motor as well as the two servos for v-tail installed in the wooden frame glued to the fuselage.

Fuselage walls are on the thin side.

Aileron servos wires on the main wing are merged into one single 3 pin connector which is meant to be plugged either into Kopilot or a Flight Controller.

At the front of the fuselage there is a FPV camera cut out as well as 3 ventilation inlets + 1 ventilation outlet.

Foam quality and finish is again very similar to what I have seen on Dart 250 or Drift – good quality mould and all parts fit together correctly.


Talon 250G Build

Parts used for this build:

  • Matek F411-WSE Wing
  • TBS Unify Nano Pro 32
  • TBS Crossfire RX + Immortal T antenna
  • RunCam Phoenix V2 FPV camera
  • RunCam Split Mini (HD camera, old one I had spare)
  • Beitian BN-220 GPS module (never used this module before)

As always I used Matek FC dedicated for planes – it’s super compact and also has a very good video filtering. Given the cost of this board it was no brainer to get one again (I have one in Drift already). Board was flashed with INAV 2.6 and ACC was calibrated before installation.
I have soldered all wires before glueing FC inside the fuselage. Took some measurements regarding cable lengths needed etc. Once that was done I used UHU-POR to stick the board to the bottom of fuselage

Rest of the components I used were my trusted bits used in the past like TBS gear or Runcam FPV cameras. I am not interested in DJI digital system but looking at the size of fuselage their video gear should fit inside without a problem.

FPV antenna was attached to the underside of the plane using u.fl pigtail extension. Antenna is looking down for a good reception and no dead spots. VTX is super tiny and I didn’t bother fixing it anywhere inside the fuselage – it just sits on the pigtail which acts as a support.

My FPV camera diameter was larger than the hole in the nose, so I had to enlarge it a little bit. Runcam Split Mini HD camera was fitted above FPV camera after cutting a tiny bit of foam. It was then hot glued on place at a slight angle. I put the Split PCB into 3D printed case (material is PETG because that board gets hot!) and it normally just sits on top of battery – perfectly fine that way.

I was thinking a lot about GPS and RX antenna placement and came to a conclusion that GPS can be simply attached to underside of the main wing by a double-sided tape and Crossfire T antenna punched through the wing and secured by a small “plug” 3D print I use in most of my builds.


AUW weight of what you see in the photos with 2S Li-Ion 3500mah battery was 300grams. HD camera on its own is 20grams. 250g is perfectly possible with few compromises.


Tail wings magnet mod

To be able to put Talon 250G back in the box for storage or travel tail wings had to be removed.

The only way to achieve it was to add magnets, so those small wings could be easy disassembled. I bough 8 magnets 8mmx3mm. I made small hole in the foam using my soldering iron and then hot glued them in (I am not too patient when it comes to UHU POR and its super long drying times).

Mod works very good because wings are not coming off mid flight and even after failed launches or heavy dune landings (check my flight 5 footage)


Flying experience / Test flights

Weather this year is nothing but awful most of the times. It’s may and we haven’t had a single pleasant day in Scotland as yet. Forecast was “ok” after I finished my build so I had few flights with different conditions to check what Talon 250G is capable of.

Flight 1 / Maiden: Little bit of wind during that flight. Launches were all successful and straight forwards. I tried 2S and 3D batteries with the same prop – 5×5. I didn’t bother with 3″ prop supplied with Talon because I knew it was going to be rather weak. Good flight, I was happy she flew !

Flight 2 : Moderate wind. I lost my SD card from HD cam after a bad launch (card just ejected) and also found out that on that crash I broke a spar and foam in the nose split after hitting a spiky bush.

Flight 3 : Light wind conditions. I flown on 2S and she was very very stable. Banana smile after this flight.

Flight 4 : Light wind conditions. Runcam Split must hate ma because during this flight negative wire soldered to PCB detached and HD wasn’t recording hence DVR only. It was very snappy flight on 3S and I got home with banana smile again šŸ™‚

Flight 5 : Quick flight on the way back from with with almost no wind at all. I saw this big cloud coming in and there was already some rain showers earlier on but managed to squeeze a pack and flew Talon on 3S. One failed launch, probably too much throttle and she torque rolled. No damage though


Conclusions

Pros:

  • Talon 250G is small and easy to carry. With tail wings magnet mod it can be stored inside the box for travel
  • PNP Version comes with most of the gear already preinstalled
  • Generous space inside fuselage to fit components. Easy installation and cable management
  • Good components ventilation inside the case – no overheating etc.
  • Very quiet in flight, almost stealth meaning no disruptions to general public
  • Launching is easy and convenient by holding it by the fuselage
  • Prop is protected on landings by a piece of foam (other Talons have that too)
  • Very good flying characteristics. There is no “nose” wobble often experienced on small wings. During calm days she flies very stable
  • Possible long flight times (30-60 minutes) on 2S Li-Ion battery but 3S can also be used for more snappy flying around with reasonable 20-30 minutes of flight

Cons:

  • It’s not best suited for a windy conditions. Best to fly it on a calm days
  • Weight saving resulted in less carbon fibre reinforcements. Fuselage is more prone to damage after hard crashes or landings. Foam walls are on a thin side
  • Wooden elements need more glue so they can stay secure. After few flights battery wooden tray moved out of the position but also the tail servos mounting plate popped out of the position. All good after applying more glue but this is definitely something ZOHD needs to address
  • Main wing wooden support broke way too easily. I have used 3D printed replacement (Painless360 thingiverse). ZOHD already told me they have re-designed this element so its stronger.
  • Rudder performance not great. Best to fly it without touching the yaw, it is not really necessary

Final thoughts

Talon 250G seems like an interesting additional to Talon family. Personally 250grams weight thing never appealed to me but some pilots managed to build it at this weight so it is doable for sure.

Building this little fella was a very quick process. Mostly because it was already PNP but also fuselage is very open and spacious for installing everything inside. I kind of wished ZOHD would make a special GPS slot somewhere on this plane but maybe that was just too much to ask šŸ™‚

I liked how easy is to launch this little plane but on the other hand if things go wrong and launch is not successful we can then damage the plane quite easily.

Initial reactions amongst the pilots were that wing held by a single screw wont do the job. Let me assure you – it keeps the wing secured without any problems.

This tiny Talon was first V-tail plane I flew so complete lack of v-tail experience but I have expected better yaw performance. When using yaw stick plane would just slightly roll instead of making movement along Z axis.

Configured Talon 250G is a pleasure to fly. Flying performance is exactly what I would expect from FPV plane: relaxing and stable and it is a huge bonus if I can take the plane folded into the box for travelling.

Who is Talon 250G for ? I don’t think it is really for beginners given the relatively low crash resistance but….. if you are looking for something small and portable which doesn’t draw attention wherever you fly this little plane should be a good choice for you then.

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