Racing drones refers to the small quadcopters unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are purposely built for competing in the first person view (FPV) racing events that take place in most big cities worldwide.
It is also important to bear in mind the fact that racing drones aren’t similar to the camera drones. The camera drones fly ‘low and slow’ and are specifically designed for capturing videos of high quality in real estate, landscapes and surfing contests. The cameras of racing quadcopters don’t have such abilities.
Drone racing is experiencing increased popularity which is mostly resulting from the formation of various leagues like the Drones Racing league (DRL) and competitions like Dubai World Drone Prix, where a boy of 15 years recently won $250000. If you are interested in drone, then maybe you have encountered the racing videos of the FPV drones racing, which offer high competition level and an octane thrilling riling ride simultaneously. All these videos on the internet are probably making you wonder; how do I join drone racing?
You simply don’t except that you’ll be competitive if you just go into the stores and choose the cheap drones. Although you can still use such types of quadcopters when racing with your friends or colleagues, you will not find any FPV drone racer being sold in those retailers, which means that you will not get the same exciting experience like the one you are observing in the videos. The game of quadcopter racing that involves the view of the first person is still within the infancy stages, meaning it’s currently an excellent time to join in on the fun before it becomes obsolete. People simply enjoy racing drones because it is exciting and fun.
We are constantly considering some of the fastest drones available in the market that you can select to ensure that gain the best experience in the drone racing. You should also be familiar with certain things about drone and the things you might need so that you can get started in the racing.
Factors to consider when purchasing racing drones
Despite the fact that most of the drones that are designed for racing are fast, they are certain factors that you should consider when purchasing the racing drones. Such factors may include; drone prices, maneuverability, durability, ease of operation, lift power and how agile or responsive they’re. When we are talking of term ‘fast,’ we are simply referring to the ability of the drone to complete to complete the courses quickly. It is also worth noting that you can race using either the pre-made drones or alternatively build one yourself, although that is if you have the expertise and technical capability.
If you are a starter in drone racing or flying, then you should certainly start by using a cheap RTF (ready to fly) mini-drone. Purchasing a starter first-person view drone is essential. This is due to that fact that you will want to gain racing skills and feel comfortable when controlling the flying drone using the view of the camera, without wasting a lot of money and time.
Believe my word; you will certainly crash the drone and make mistakes many times before you become a pro in drone racing. , therefore, better to learning using a less costly platform-right?
Currently, the best option for first-time drone racers is the small whoop class micro quad first-person view drone which costs less than $200. These types of drones are light, almost unbreakable and inexpensive. They have integrated fixed mounted cameras, and RC transmitters that have the controller mounted 1st person view monitors. Additionally, they have everything that you need when learning how to drone race using the FPV video.
Once you have mastered the flying of the microdrone, then you are ready to upgrade to more expensive racing drones and start competing with the other pros.
Racing Meet-ups and leagues
When purchasing the racing drone, the very first you must put into consideration is whether you’ll be competing in racing leagues or in the less formal meet-ups and events. These types of formats dictate various things about the race such as the type of controller, aircraft, budget and the FPV gear you will need in order to enjoy and compete in the drone race.
Drones racing leagues
These leagues are currently popping up worldwide. Every league has its own distinct rules which dictate various things about the race such as rules for overtaking and combat, race environment and the equipment type (open spec or standard spec). Some of the drone racing leagues that are currently in existence include; FPV Racing TV, MultiGP, Drone Derby, Mini Quad clubs, Drone Nationals among others.
Ensure that you document the maximum and minimum specs for the suitable aircraft within the league that you prefer, currently, most leagues use the 5- inch/ 250 mm mini quads.
Apart from the drones racing leagues, there’re currently many local FPV meet-ups, user groups and other similar occasions that happen in most European and US cities. Most of the local events tend to be open- spec which simply means that they will accept all and any types of controllers and aircraft. The main objective of the meet-ups is so that racers can learn from one another and have fun. Another aim is so that racers can socialize, although this can be challenging when everybody is wearing the FPV goggles.
Outdoor Vs. indoor
Most events of the drones racing leagues are conducted indoor so as to make sure that there is no drone is disadvantaged because of the environmental conditions of a particular day. The main idea of the drone league racing is to get the team &machine Vs. Team & machine, competing on pure equipment design and piloting skill. Contrarily, user groups and local meet-ups race ay any place can encounter suitable courses. Outdoor and indoor meetups exist in many cities.
Types of drones racing
There are various types of drones racing namely; drag race, time trial, and rotor cross. Rotor cross is where there are at least two racers competing during the same period/ time so as to observe who will be the first one to cross the finish line. This format is the most exciting since crashes happen in the process.
Drag race refers to the race involving at least two racers competing during the same period so as to observe the drone that has the fastest acceleration over short distances which are usually 100 meters or 100 yards.
The time trial race involves where every drone runs racing course alone and the one that uses the shortest time to run the course is considered the winner.
Speed of the racing drones
The speed of the racing quads can exceed 120 km/hr (75 miles/hr). However, maneuverability of the drone is considered to be important than speed when it comes to drone racing.
Props and motors that are more powerful and efficient offer more lift to the drone, which enables the race successfully negotiate around the sharp corners during the race and also accelerate faster than the competitors after making the turn. Currently, there are certain drones that have power to the weight ratio of 10:1. Drone racers mostly use the high-quality 4S and 3S motors.
Additionally, carbon fibers are preferred for the props because of its efficient, extra thin design and lightweight. However, one should be cautious when using the CF props that are super strong since they can harmful once they hit the skin.
As we previously stated, this happens to be the essential characteristic for the performance of all the racing drones and cannot be quantified easily. It simply refers to the sum of various components or characteristics that can affect it such as; flight stability, lift power, smooth and predictable banking and the time of control response. Generally, using components of higher quality will help to improve all these characteristics.
Most of the drone races don’t exceed five minutes. They have been designed to last for five minutes that involves hard racing that quickly saps the batteries. However, this is not the case for the camera drones which are designed to fly ‘slow and low’ for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Enhancing the performance of racing drones
The performance of a racing drone can be enhanced by upgrading various components so as the intended effect can be achieved. For instance, upgrading propellers will increase the lifting power, motors will affect reliability and lift power and ESC will affect the response time of the motor and maneuverability. Other components include the flight’s control hardware and software.
The performance of a racing drone can also be improved by reducing the weight of the aircraft. You should, therefore, consider the weight of various components in the kit such as props, motors, battery, landing gear, frame, motor mounts, and harnesses.
Those are some of the things that you may find very useful if you are thinking about joining the drone racing.