The fastest racing drone in 2017 was a DRL RacerX with a speed of 163 mph breaking a Guinness World Record for FPV drone speed.
Factors That Affect The Speed Of Drones:
· Drone Type
This is a major factor, if a drone was created for taking aerial photography like the one filmmakers use, for instance, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, you won’t get speed, you will get longevity. Your drone will be able to fly for about 30 minutes, and it will also be incredibly lightweight because the makers understand that filmmakers go from location to location and definitely won’t want to always worry about the size of their drones. More importantly, a speed drone is of no use to a filmmaker because it will be too fast and won’t capture good quality photography.
· Weight of the Drone
The weight of a drone is something to consider, just as it is for car racers, the heavier the vehicle, the more disadvantaged the car racer is compared to his/her counterparts who have lighter vehicles. This applies to everything, and the cheetah is the fastest cat animal not just because of its anatomy but also because it is one of the lightest cat animals. If you want a speed drone, go for the lighter ones, it is simply physics. Nikko Air DRL Race Vision 220 FPV Pro is a very lightweight drone, it is small and fast, although it may not be your best bet for winning drone races because it’s a toy racer.
· Attached Gadgets
When your drone has to carry a camera and other gadgets such as landing gear, safety sensor for propeller, lighting kit, etc., then your drone will immediately become heavy, and at this point, you shouldn’t be expecting speed from your drone. There is a simple trick you can use for this, buy a lightweight drone and purchase lightweight gadgets too so that after attaching your gadgets to your drone, the weight will still be manageable and can even be relatively fast. In any case, don’t expect the speed of a racing drone.
· Quality of Drone – Price
We would talk about this. A Lamborghini hurricane is one of the fastest cars out there, and yes, it is pricey, now when someone who knows how to drive it gets into a drag race with a sleeper or just another car, maybe an Alfa Romeo, most people will predict that the huracan will win the race. The quality of a drone is a huge factor, no matter how good a drone racer is or no matter the custom speed technology designed into a DIY drone when it comes to speed contest between the drones carried out by expert drone racers, the quality drone will most likely win the race. Why is this? Well, the makers of quality drones are innovative and experienced engineers who commit themselves to research and developing new technologies which also means that their drones usually have all-round high performance. The DJI drone company is one of such quality drone makers, DRL is also into the business of making quality drones that can go fast.. DRL RacerX goes for about $1,000, and that’s a lot compared to other racing drones that go for as low as $240.
These factors are not all there is for determining how fast a drone can be. Different drone types have the range of speed, so no matter how fast a filmmaker drone is, it can’t be as fast a military drone. Hence, we would talk about drone types or categories for lay men so that beginners and drone enthusiasts can be familiar with the speed range of different drones.
Types Of Drones – Speed Range
While there are different uses of drones such as search and rescue, science and research, surveillance, mapping, inspection, etc., we would categories them not according to these users but according to the major use for easy understanding.
Ø Nano/Mini drones: these are the smallest drones available, the nano-drone can be as small as an insect, while the mini can reach up to 50 cm and usually stronger than the nano-drone. The usual flight time for these tiny drones is 5 minutes to 10 minutes. Now, they are not so fast, one of the fastest nano drones is Aerix Turbo-X drone which can reach a maximum speed of over 30 mph. Spies often use these tiny drones, but they also make for good indoors drones.
Ø DIYs: some drone enthusiasts have used different drones since they became addicted to drone technology and they believe they have seen it all, so they end up making their custom-built drones. So, we’ll call that Do It Yourself drones, in the drone community, they are known as a quadcopter, and they can be fast. Warthox has made quadcopters that can go as fast as 86 mph from kits he bought from different suppliers, although you won’t get his custom-built quadcopters in any store if you happen to know Warthox then you can get your Quadmovr.
Ø Regular speed drones: we will put drones used by scientists, filmmakers, and individuals in this category because they usually have about the same speed range, although they function differently. Filmmakers prefer drones that are light, have a good quality camera and other functionalities that will enhance photography and video coverage. Scientists may, however, want more advanced camera functions such as sensors, ultraviolet lighting, etc. In any case, they want average speed so that they can capture clear photography and video. So most of the drones that fall in this category will usually go as fast as 65 mph.
Ø Racing drones: we can’t talk about the speed of drones without mentioning racing drones. Racing drones are made for this purpose to take off swiftly and cover a lot of distance in a very quick time. Drone makers put a lot into this because hobbyists and drone racers are always seeking for more speed because there are drone leagues to win. Racer drones usually reach over 100 mph, and some top-notch race drones go faster. We haven’t heard of any record-breaking drone speed this year yet, last year, DRL RacerX broke a Guinness World Record for drone speed.
Ø Military drones: military drones are the bad boys, these drones flight speed can be in the thousands of miles per hour, they come in different sizes, some as small as regular drones while most of them are huge. Military drones are used for military purposes for spy missions, to detonate explosives, to transport ammunition, etc. US military drone, Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV 1) can reach 16,742 mph, and it’s not exactly a small drone, it’s about the size of a jet. For regular size military drones, you can get a speed range of 100 mph to about 400 mph; Austria’s Schiebel Camcopter S – 100 can reach 241 mph in flight.
The Future Of Drones
We hope to see more advancement in drone technology, besides this, we hope that more industries will start using drones, and we believe that this will become a reality. The FAA believes that in two years time, 2020, there will be increased use of drones in the USA. We do hope that as more industries start using drones, they will be used for the good of people and the world at large, using it to advance space researches, climate researches, for rescue missions, etc. We can’t wait to see the next record-breaking racing drone, and it’s about time.
As mentioned already, a drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle which can also be called Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), drones are pilotless aircraft that can fly autonomously, can be remotely controlled, or can be controlled from a ground cockpit. There’s no need for a human in drones. Drones are used for different functions based on the choice of the user. Drones, especially military drones, can be mistaken for cruise missiles but they are not, a cruise missile is a munition while the drone is not, although military drones are often used to carry munitions and to detonate bombs. While the cruise missile would launch along with the target, drones usually aim at the target and then return to home.
Do you ever wonder when drone technology started? Drone technology is not a new thing that started a few years ago. Drones were used during the first World War, “Aerial Target” was created in 1916, although it was not used, Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Airplane was later created and used. However, that was not the first attempt. The first drone attempt was in 1849 when Austria attacked Venice in Italy with “Flying Balloons.” The Flying Balloons may not exactly fit into today’s definitions of UAV. However, the Austrian Flying Balloons started something phenomenal, and after then, a lot of research went into drone technology, and today we have different kinds of drones.
Now, this is the part we have all been waiting for, just how fast does a drone fly or how fast can a drone fly? Well, it’s not a one-size-fits-all thing, there are different types of drones, and that determines the speed you should expect from your drone. However, when it comes to getting your drone to be fast, there are some factors to consider, these factors apply to all the different types of drones.