Before I destroy a pricier toy, I'm going to purchase one of the $50-$120 quadcopters that have hit the scene lately and learn how to fly it. 

From other forum posts, I've seen many recommendations, but many are a year or more old and I'm hoping to get a recommendation for 2015!

I would prefer one that has a camera of some sort that is 720p, but that is not a hard requirement.  The most important factor is that it fly similar to, and have controls similar to, the larger copters.  Stage 2 is likely to be a CX-20/Nova or Iris+.

What would you recommend as a flight trainer?

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Dave, I'd recommend first a simulator program. Get a decent transmitter like a Spectrum DX7s, a compatible dongle and try Phoenix RC5 or another sim program that has quads. As far as a trainer goes, I tried a Hubsan X4, it's around $65 on Amazon and even has a camera...order extra batts n props.

Don't expect any trainer to fly like the bigger quads, but getting the hang of reverse sensing will go a long way to making you more competent before taking on the larger quads.

Hi Bob, Thanks for the Hubsan recommendation.  I've looked at a few reviews and I think that will be perfect for my goal.

That said, I blew my budget and ordered the FPV version; I was inspired by this video:

FPV Racing Mini Quadcopters

 

I'm gonna need more props!!!

:-)

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