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What are RTF, BNF, and ARF drone kits?

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

These are few of many terms that get thrown around here and there in the drone world. Knowing these 3 terms will DEFINITELY help you work your way around purchasing your first mini quadcopter (Racing and video/photography drones) and help not knowing what our geeky RC friends/acquaintances are talking about.

So first…

Monoprice Walkera 250

RTF (Drone kit):

RTF stands for Ready To Fly, meaning the drone is completely built, everything included and ready for a basic flight experience right out of the package. An RTF drone can be recommended for anyone looking to simply enjoy flying around and not focus on the building of a drone. These are typically the most common type of racing drone because of its cheaper cost. The only drawback is for when any damages occur to an RTF drone, it is difficult to repair as they aren't meant to be rebuilt.

practicing beginners getting into the hobby because of its cheaper cost and basic modules.

Spedix s250

BNF (Drone kit):

Next, BNF stands for Bind ‘n Fly. Bind, meaning to connect a controller to the drone. BNF drones are almost like Ready-To-Fly drones however, BNF requires a hobby graded RC (Remote Control) to bind with, which is NOT included in the BNF drone kit. Hobby graded controllers is not something you get at a toy store but rather a hobby store. These controllers are more serious to the hobby with a vast range of controls and upgrade-able parts that a toy controller cannot offer.

In strong opinion, If and only do you have a hobby graded RC to bind your drone with does it make sense to buy a BNF drone kit.

ARF or DIY (Drone kit):

The Beagle Drone Kit

ARRFFFF!! Sorry, I had to. ARF or A-R-F stands for Almost Ready-to-Fly. This drone kit has everything you need for a basic flight BUT all parts are unassembled. Yup, also very well known as a DIY (Do It Yourself) drone kit. Here's an example. You build the drone the way you want it for personal use BUT of course, guidance with an instruction manual that comes with it.

Side note- ARF or DIY drone kits may or may not come with a controller, so be sure to check out the list of what that drone kit comes with before purchase. Most of these type of drone kits lack multiple parts or insufficient instructions. Rest assure, the Beagle Drone Kit eliminates the worry of not having every part you need. It includes full detail instructions that leads you step by step in building your drone from start to finish.


  1. RTF drone kits are great for beginners getting into the hobby simply because they’re inexpensive (considering price of professional racing quads), so there are affordable to bang up, crash, break a few propellers to get the hang of it.

  2. BNF demands a comprehensive, expensive RC (Remote Controller) that requires skill and experience, so these kits are more recommended for pros who already have the hobby graded controller from experience.

  3. ARF or DIY drone kits are great for both markets, beginner and pros; pros like to design their own builds the way they want it and this also teaches beginners to be more savvy with their new piece of technology and understand future problems/possible defects. ARF or DIY drone kits are also rewarding! How many people can say they’ve built a drone?!

Thanks for reading,

The Beagle Team

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