14th of February UPDATE: I have done a major update on the drones that are listed in this article in order to account the newer models that are available on the market today.
I have been thinking about writing this article for quite a while. On one side writing about cloned freestyle frames means promoting them instead the real ones. The real ones have countless hours of work and testing put into their development. On the other side not everyone has a $100 to spend on a frame. I know this is not a cheap hobby, especially for someone like me living in country where the average salary is $600. Spending around $300-400 for a new freestyle rig is more difficult than for someone who earns $4000-5000 or more.
Fellow pilots are discussing this topic a lot on YouTube and the forums. Personally, I’m against using cloned frames and I own only one cloned frame. That is unless you love this hobby and you are grounded not being able to pay for a new frame, top of the line motors and other electronic components.
Here is a quick overview of the best freestyle frames that the Chinese manufacturer have more or less successfully cloned:
US$44.73 Umbrella 5 Inch 230mm /6 Inch 250mm/7 Inch 305mm Aluminum Hardware Cage
Armattan Rooster clone, with aluminum cage
US$31.19 HSKRC KT 230mm 5 Inch / 260mm 6 Inch / 290mm 7 Inch 3K Carbon Fiber Frame
A cheaper alternative to the Ummagawd Remix frame with 3K Carbon
US$31.19 Strech X5 Freestyle 220mm Wheelbase 5.5mm Arm 5 Inch FPV Frame
AstroX X5 Freestyle Frame clone JohnnyFPV Edition. This is one of the better clones on the market
US$35.98 Smooth 5 225mm Wheelbase 5mm Arm 3K Carbon Fiber 5 Inch Frame Kit
Catalyst Machineworks, Smooth Operator clone
US$24.95 Venom 5 Inch 235mm Wheelbase X Style Split 4mm Arm Frame Kit Carbon Fiber with Sticker
Clone of the SKITZO Nova FPV Freestyle frame
US$29.64 Stingy V2 235mm Wheelbase 4mm Arm Carbon Fiber 5 Inch Frame Kit
XHover Stingy V2 5″ Freestyle Frame clone
US$31.59 LEACO FlosStyle 245mm Wheelbase 5 Inch 5mm Arm
Hyperlite FlosStyle 5″ Acro Freestyle Frame clone
US$25.99 Dragon HX5 X5 220mm 5 inch FPV Racing Frame Kit
Clone of the Armattan Cameleon Frame
US$35.33 Skyeliner 230mm Wheelbase 5 Inch True X 4mm Milling Arm
Clone of the Le Drib Skyeliner by Xhover 5″
Similar alternatives to the above mentioned frames:
In the end I would strongly encourage you to think about alternative solutions for sourcing a frame. Either buy from SabotageRC or Armattan Productions or go with TBS Source One that retails for US$ 26.95 on the Team Black Sheep website.
Armattan Production is a sister website of the Armattan Quads. They offers CNC cutting services for carbon fiber and fiberglass. It is really worth browsing trough the variety of offered custom frames. You will surely find a frame that suits your needs both design-wise and price-wise. In the same time you can brag for owning a uniquely designed limited edition freestyle frame 😉