Graupner Tri-copter Hornet 250 FPV RCGroups Review

The internet's buzzin' with word of this new tri-copter from Graupner! Let's take a look at the Hornet 250, by reviewer Nikolei Zinsli.


People always say multi-rotors sound like a bunch of angry hornets...

Product:Graupner Tricopter HoTT-Hornet 250 FPV RCGroups Review
FPV Camera:700 TVL
FPV Transmitter:5.8 GHz 25mW
Motors:Ultra 2806 2300Kv
Battery:3s-4s 1300mAh
PDF Manual:Click Here

My online callsign has been "Hornet" for the last 20+ years. When I saw this tricopter come up, I just had to have it! With a unique design in a bright frame with big bug eyes that can glow 7 different colors, Graupner has come up with a multi-rotor that will set you apart from the crowd of plain-jane quads. The RTF package comes with a nice variety of features and bonuses, so let's check it out!


  • Expertly built no assembly needed
  • Integrated S1019 GR-18C receiver and flight controller
  • Selectable flight modes (beginner to expert)
  • Auto Flip in attitude mode
  • Receiver with out-of-the-box built in telemetry (RX volt, Main Volt, RF signal strength, Rx temperature)
  • Warning notifications of battery level, radio range and temperatures
  • Over the air access for copter setup with optional SmartBox
  • No computer or setup boxes needed to configure or operate
  • High resolution FPV 700 TVL camera with selectable tilt angle
  • FPV 5.8GHz 25mW Transmitter
  • Powerful, lightning fast response Graupner Ultra 2806 2300Kv motors
  • Graupner high performance copter C-Props
  • High frequency switching Graupner ONESHOT performance ESC s
  • Digital servo for crisp rudder response
  • Carbon vibration free camera mount
  • High intensity in-flight switching LED light system

In the Box

This is the RTF version, but it is also available as bind & fly, all but controller and camera, and frame only options. The entire frame is a thick durable polycarbonate plastic that has some good elastic properties to it. The landing skids are nicely designed to act as a spring for hard landings. Everything but the FPV transmitter antennae and hornet head is safely tucked away into the frame. Note that the Hornets head can be angled up with the removal of 4 bolts. I did notice that the FPV transmitter antennae would impede the head from tilting too far, but I should be able to take off the frame top and move the transmitter back so the head can clear.


With the RTF version, very little setup was involved. After binding the radio to the Hornet, I had to setup the 2 flight modes to channel 5 and assign them to a switch. I also verified throttle cut and played with the switches to figure out how to change the LED colors in the eyes. For my MZ-12, the s4 switch on top right changed between the first 2 colors. The s2 switch would change to the 2nd set of colors (which is then toggled by the s4 switch). And finally, hitting s2 twice quickly switched it to the 3rd set of colors, again toggled by s4. With the props reattached and a quick hover test around the workshop, we were ready to BUZZZZ around the field!


This Hornet was setup with 2 flight modes, Attitude and Rate. Attitude is your default stability mode that will only allow you to 50 maximum angle. This was perfect for our initial flights and getting a feel for its responsiveness. It hovered nicely and didn't feel overly touchy at all. The Graupner Ultra 2806 2300Kv motors provided really good power for the Hornet, burst power out of a hover or a fall was great even on a 3s. The lit eyes showed up nicely in the sky and were definitely helpful for maintaining orientation. Flight times for a 1300mAh pack averaged 5-6 minutes.

Most of our flying that day was line-of-sight, but we did strap on the goggles to test out the camera. The picture was good and on-par with others I've seen. The range of the stock transmitter and antennae left a little to be desired. We couldn't go much beyond the length of the field before it static'd out. I'll be trying some other antennae on the transmitter to see if that improves.

On rate mode, the gloves come off and you're flippin' and rollin' while the real hornets watch jealously. I'm pretty new to multi-rotors, so I had a lot of fun tossing this around and learning how to handle it. That said, the learning curve for a newbie like me was very short. It handled great and I never felt out of touch with it. Rolls and flips weren't the fastest I've seen, but not bad at all in my opinion. I'm sure that adjusting the flight controller settings could improve this if desired.

Finally, I let Alex take it for a spin with his 4s pack. After noticing how much less throttle was needed for a hover, he did a full power climb. All that was missing was a smoke trail for that rocket! It was reasonably fast on 3s, but on 4s there was no question it was fast. Speed runs spanning the length of the field were a blast and aerobatics were nice and crisp. We were both giggling like kids at the full throttle passes and 3 second climbs to 500 ft. I now have some 4s packs on my shopping list!

Review Video

Graupner Hornet Tricopter - RCGroups Review (13 min 44 sec)



The Graupner Hornet 250 is a unique looking quad that's fun to fly. I don't expect you'll be entering any races with this, but that's not its primary purpose either. This is a toss in the air, flip it around, freestyle and have a ball kind of multi-rotor. I love the color changing eyes, and the whole design will give you lots of inquisitive looks from your buddies at the field. It has plenty of power and handles very well. If you've been wanting something different to set yourself apart from the pack of typical quads, definitely check out the Graupner Hornet 250 FPV Tricopter!

Last edited by Matt Gunn; Nov 03, 2016 at 10:37 AM..
Thread Tools
Nov 01, 2016, 12:45 PM
Maggie is in charge
ncsky's Avatar
Nice review and flight footage.

Jason G.
Nov 03, 2016, 11:09 AM
14s 180mah should be enough...
IFLYOS's Avatar
Looks like a solid bird, Nikolei! Nice job!
Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!
Dec 26, 2016, 12:54 PM
Registered User

Having troubles getting the Hornet in the air


I've bought the Hornet and built it. But it cannot fly : after putting some power, left part is leaving the ground and is going to hit the ground. Impossible to take off ! Do you have any ideas where the problem comes ?

Many thanks,

Dec 28, 2016, 07:45 AM
If it's R/C, I LIKE IT!
Nikolei Zinsli's Avatar
Thread OP
Double check you have the right props on the right arms.
Latest blog entry: 93" AJ Laser 230z
Dec 28, 2016, 07:54 AM
"Aircraftus Fragmentum"
kydawg1's Avatar
Guys.... can this be built without the hornet head?
Dec 29, 2016, 04:28 PM
If it's R/C, I LIKE IT!
Nikolei Zinsli's Avatar
Thread OP
The head is held on with 4 bolts. I'm sure you could fashion something to mount there instead!
Latest blog entry: 93" AJ Laser 230z
Dec 30, 2016, 03:34 AM
Psalm 37:4
HawkHunter's Avatar

Fun Little Flyer

I got this for Christmas and have a few flights on it now. I'm getting 9 minute flight times on 3s 1500mAh packs without pushing the Tri-copter hard.
It's fun and easy to fly right out of the box.
Feb 15, 2017, 09:37 PM
Registered User
I just got this guy and I love it! I've been trying to figure out what the cable is that came in the box. The cable that looks like it has a barrel plug for power and one for video, and 3 different micro molex plugs on the other end, with a multi-directional button in the middle. It's the cable pictured on the left in the "Extras in the box" photo.

What is it for?
Feb 16, 2017, 07:49 AM
14s 180mah should be enough...
IFLYOS's Avatar
Thats for setting up camera. You plug it into the camera, power, and a monitor/goggles/TV, and you can change several settings based on your preferences. All the better FPV cams have that option nowadays
Latest blog entry: Intro..a few years to late!
Feb 20, 2017, 03:31 PM
Psalm 37:4
HawkHunter's Avatar

Hornet Camera Settings

I made a "How To" post here
Easy steps to follow to remove or replace the "Graupner name".
Dec 20, 2017, 08:05 PM
Gravity is patient............
Here is my custom Hornet 250. I used the baby tricopter electronics set from rcexplorer, along with the F3FC racing board and baby pdb, and the graupner hornet 250 kit (about $50). The kit didn’t come with leds for the eyes so I had to order them as well from Graupner USA. I am using betaflight configurator and triflight v.7 beta 3 firmware which uses servo feedback to the tail for great performance. The stock pids from rcexplorer for the baby tri work fine, but I increased the rates and decreased the expo for pitch roll and yaw.

It ended up about 100 grams heavier than the Rcexplorer baby tri, but it flies great and still a TON of power. Also it is larger than the baby, actually closer in size to their mini tri. So perhaps you might consider going with the mini electronics but I tell you even with the baby the hornet flies great and fast. Using a 4sx1300 lipo.

The head has a nice integral mount for a standard board camera, I had a 1000 line one on the shelf with a 2.5mm lens. I am using dragonfly mini tx 5.8 for video. I also have a 25w adjustable voltage regulator and an LC filter for 12v power to the camera and tx.

Using the XR4-SB receiver.

In order to use rcexplorer's 210DMH servo with feedback wire I had to re-engineer and 3D print the tail arm, servo holder and tail motor mount. STL files are attached.

I have to say this is way nicer than I expected. Yes it probably won’t survive a crash too well, but it flies great and looks excellent in the air. I will say that the tail mechanics are superior to the rcexplorer tail. It uses bearings on the tilt mechanism, and is super smooth. I wouldn’t mind David from rcexplorer co-opting this design for his future tri’s. Also I like the way the servo is held in place, no tie-wraps in comparison to the rcexplorer tri's. The servo is clamped in place and will not move at all.

I do have a question to the op or anyone that might know, what is the jumper settings on the SXM 3971 led controller so I can get different colors for the eyes? It's not clear in the Graupner manuals.
Last edited by billyd60; Dec 21, 2017 at 07:35 PM.
Dec 21, 2017, 07:32 PM
Gravity is patient............
Ok I was able to connect the led controller direct to the x4rsb receiver. Just bind it with a jumper on pins 2 and 3 and this assigns those pins channels 9 and 10 (and SBUS output). Then redirect a slider to channel 9 (pin2) on the tx and control the led colors. It's a strange control, by moving the slider fast or slow and different amounts you can get different color eyes. You set the jumpers on the led controller to the top and middle pins (all 4 jumpers).

ps And this is important. Be sure to remove the tab on the forward arms, otherwise the clip that locks them breaks easily. I think Graupner added this tab to stiffen the clip, and it does, but it also makes the clip break if you just touch it. So cut the tab out with a razor knife (carefully)

See attached photo, I point a hex drive to the tab you should remove.
Last edited by billyd60; Dec 21, 2017 at 07:38 PM.
Dec 30, 2017, 09:21 PM
Gravity is patient............
Well I was wrong about it's toughness in a crash! I had a failsafe 20' up and came in hard. Broke two props and bent the tail servo main shaft (aluminum). That's all the damage there was. The frame is TOUGH. Very impressed.

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