Everytime a new version of Betaflight comes out, I feel like the bleeding edge of performance in this hobby can’t be stretched any further. After all – miniquad racers are relatively simple aircraft when compared to their bigger autonomous cousins. How many features can you add to an aircraft that is flown in rate mode 99% of the time?
Well with Betaflight 3.1, the amazing development team has one-upped themselves once again. The realization of digital ESC control with DSHOT comes with noticeable performance improvements and a vastly simplified quadcopter set-up process. Flight controllers with build in OSDs are finally becoming mainstream with the upcoming Betaflight FC and the brand new on-board OSD support baked into Betaflight and Betaflight Configurator. Finally, a slew of improvements to RX functionality will leave you with some neat new features to try out, no matter what system you use.
As always, the latest version of Betaflight can be downloaded from the release page:
Upgrading from Betaflight 3.0
This feature release has a ton of bug fixes and small tweaks to the core controller code. As a result, you should expect to re-tune your quadcopter if you are coming from 3.0 to have the best possible performance. The set-up procedures should not have changed, however – so our Betaflight configuration guide is still valid.
As always, you should read the Betaflight wiki before doing any update. This is the article most relevant to the Betaflight 3.1 release.
As mentioned above, Betaflight 3.1 comes with a slew of new features you may be interested in. Here are our favorites:
DSHOT ESC Protocol Support
The DSHOT protocol is the premier feature of Betaflight 3.1 and is the first fully digital motor control system available on the (*)flight flight controllers. Going digital greatly simplifies quadcopter set-up, gets rid of “quirky” quadcopter behavior caused by electrical gremlins and slightly improves performance. You must have an F3 or F4 flight controller and ESCs running BLHeli_S to take advantage of DSHOT.
Betaflight OSD support
With Betaflight 3.1 and certain boards like the Omnibus F4, you can now configure an OSD directly from the Betaflight GUI. While this is only really useful if you have one of these new boards, the flexibility and ease-of-setup it affords is really stellar. Look for an review article on the Omnibus in the near future showing how to set-up the Betaflight OSD.
Changes PIDs over telemetry
For Taranis users out there, a change that enables you to modify your PIDs directly from your transmitter has finally made it into Betaflight 3.1. Check out this article for more information on how to do this.
The ability to see your Spektrum satellite receiver’s signal strength over an OSD has finally gone mainline with this release. You can check out our set-up article on the subject here.
FlySky custom RX support
For those pilots flying with FlySky, the FS-iA6 receiver can now be used with IBUS in Betaflight. This receiver is much smaller than the dedicated IBUS receiver and is much cheaper to boot. There is a great guide on how to “hack” your receiver here.
Aside from the above features, there have been a ton of improvements to the performance of the software. Even if you don’t necessarily want any of the above features – we recommend you do the update to take advantage of a faster, more efficient and easier to set-up quadcopter.