Flying your drone at an enthralling pace of 100mph on an expertly contrived course sounds a fabulous experience. It, perhaps, is the beginning of the fun when it comes to drone racing and we all know that drone racing is the new rage in the country. It is another thing of taking your DJI Phantom to a park in the neighborhood and flying it alongside your friends. Yes, it is a lot of fun as well but that’s absolutely not what we are talking about, folks! We are talking about compact sized, swift, fast-paced buzzing devices equipped with FPV cameras and goggles and whizzing around the closed intricately designed courses.
Drone racing has numerous levels of expertise. If you are a novice, you can enjoy some drone racing in a local meetup or at a local organized racing event. However, if you are a professional racer, then you are in for an opportunity to win prizes worth millions of dollars at sporting events held throughout the world. It is a certainty that everyone has got to make a start from somewhere and if you have an appetite to learn more, this is the perfect place for you to get hold of tons of knowledge.
Let’s divert our attentions to the additional information, tools, auxiliary gear and add-ons before we actually embark on our journey to knowing the best racing drones available in the market.
Here we go again: In the United States, if you own a drone that weighs more than 0.55lbs, then you ought to get it registered with the Federal Aviation Authority. However, FAA is only concerned with outdoor flights. If you are intending to fly your UAV indoors, then you ought not to get your drone registered with them. Line of sight is another of very important FAA rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Most of the racing drone utilize the FPV goggles system which actually implies that a pilot will not keep his/her eyes on the drone itself, technically speaking. You should sift through the regulations to figure out if you could have a spotter while you are flying your drone outdoors with the goggles on.
Finally, the Federal Aviation Authority dictates that the optimum speed for a drone has to be 100mph. When it comes to an expertly designed course, as is the case in the racing contests, it is not easy to beat this speed limit. But given the capabilities the modern day racing drones are equipped with, they can quite easily cross the 100mph limit when given the opportunity.
Here is an update: You are no longer required to get your drone registered with the Federal Aviation Authority. We still recommend you to get it registered but for the time being, it is not compulsory anymore. Having said that, you still have to abode by all the other prevalent rules and regulations governing drone flights.
Buy or Build a racing drone?
We definitely would love to share with you the processes and the techniques involved in building your very own racing drone. But for now, we will only be discussing with you the devices that come in Ready to Fly packaging or Almost Ready to Fly ones. You should be aware of the fact that the leading drone racers tend to invest a lot of money into their machine and spend thousands of hours in customizing them in accordance with their requirements and preferences.
If you want to participate in professional leagues and racing events and win some serious cash money from the Dubai World Drone Prix, you will be required to build your own customized drone. Even if you have bought a Ready to Fly device, you will be required to carry out meticulous adjustments to the machine.
If you own a then you must remember that it got shipped with a pair of FPV goggles meant to transmit a live video feed from the integrated camera in the drone right down to your goggles. If you are thinking of taking those goggles to the race course, then you better avoid it! First Person View provides an immersive digital experience, but when it comes to racing drones, they boast such high speeds that even a little bit of delay in the video transmission would spell doom for the pilot as well as his/her expensive machine.
You will come across a brand that has become a household name with regard to FPV goggles and you will see its logo impregnated on the headgear of almost all the pilots in professional racing contests: it’s Fat Shark! We have not carried enough research so far as to determine the best goggles for you but one thing is for certain that
The fundamental concept, for the newbies, is that majority of the race tracks have some sections that are out of sight. In these nick of the woods, the pilot has to depend exclusively on the vision provided by his/her headset to make it across those paths. Keep in mind that these are not augmented reality devices (at least majority of them are not!). As a matter of fact, they offer a complete Virtual Reality based immersive digital experience. As discussed above, the real time video streaming at a high speed of 100mph has got to reach your flight controller and headset without any latency. This calls for some highly sophisticated engineering to integrate some highly intricate electronic software and hardware into your equipment.
You can buy a decent set of FPV goggles for around $250 but when it comes to equipment enabling you to compete at the world stage, then you will have to spend $500 and up to get the most out of your device.
To be honest, we do not believe that the DJI Goggles have been fabricated keeping in mind the requirements of racing drones. Having said that, they offer a delay in video transmission of just about 110ms when connected to the DJI Mavic Pro via their OccuSync feature. In addition, they boast a complete High Definition display, that along with its large size, tends to provide an exhilarating user experience. You can know more about the DJI Goggles here. They may turn out to be the type of gizmo, you have been waiting for!
When you are flying a large sized camera drone, you would never want it to get crashed so that all your investment goes to waste. There are certain techniques that you can employ to avoid crashing your drones into the ground. When it comes to racing drones, it is also not at all plausible to get them crashed. But crashes happen and so we have got to be on our toes to get them repaired as soon as a crash occurs.
All of us are restrained by budget provisions and allocations. If you are looking to become a professional drone racer and participate in professional racing contests, then there are a few suggestions for you. First and foremost is to move onto the racing course with a backup of everything. Racing courses are nothing like your grassy backyards. There are metallic poles, wooden floors and other relentless hindrances. It is judicious to avoid crashes but in such stringent situations, a crash sounds inevitable.
With backup of everything in your reserve, including an extra chassis for your drone, you will be able to get your drone going at least once after a catastrophic accident. Most of the drone racers come with at least a couple of Ready to Fly drones in their armory. Now, they can have one of them as a replacement option or they could have the other one with a slightly different configuration to suit a different race track.
Battery packs and propellers are the next thing we want to talk about here. Power is what everyone is vying for in these strongly contested racing events. So, you should ensure that you have all the juice in the bank so that your batteries don’t really run out of it once the situation demands the most. You should also take care of powering your flight controller and headset as well. When it comes to props, they are virtually the first thing that will get damaged in case of a crash. As a matter of fact, more often than not, they are only ones that get damaged. So, you should always have an additional pair of props so that whenever the need arises, you attach the replacement parts and off you go with your drone soaring in the skies of the racing arena.
In addition, you should keep propellers of different sizes and shapes in your reserves. We would not be getting into complexities such as angle of attack and others such as this but beware that varying widths, lengths and angles on your propellers tend to bring about a complete transformation in the flight capabilities of your drone. I am offering you these pieces of advice without considering the fact that there are double bladed and triple bladed propellers available out there. You, most probably, would want to get your hands on the double bladed propellers but ensure that you have lots of them in your stocks.
We all know about that cliche; practice makes a man perfect! If you are stepping into the world of drones for the first time, I would suggest you to go through our comprehensive cheap drones guide as below. It enunciates some of the cheapest drones available that can be used by the beginners. You should buy a $30 drone, fly it, crash it, again fly it and crash it and once you get a hang of it, move onto a more expensive device that is way more faster as well.
There are a number of simulators available that will also help you to learn how to fly a drone. If you are adept at hand-eye coordination, you could become a real champ. Moreover, you’ve got to have a top quality flight controller. Opt for a design that is in accordance with your requirements, fly it and get better at flying!
Remember that racing drones do not come with automated flight capabilities!
If you have ever come across DJI Phantom drones and other machines of their type, you would know that they tend to carry out a number of incredible manoeuvres all on their own. For instance, you will have to do nothing and the damn thing would keep on hovering over a certain spot automatically. Racing drones, on the other hand, do not provide such luxuries. Their control is in the hands of the pilot and a pilot has to decide what to do with them. It is prudent to get better at flying low cost drones before you take the racing drones to the skies.
Let’s Get Going!
This is it guys! It is time now for you head over to your neighborhood and search for some attractive racing league. Once you find it, you will have to ensure that you meet their requirements and then you will be able to participate in their racing contests. We have not actually talked about the racing drones themselves in this article though! Telling you to build your own drone and be ready to repair and maintain it is a piece of cake. We suggest you to make friends at your local hobby shop.
Now, you are in serious need of a top quality drone. Here are some of them as below!
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