Do you love drone racing? Then you want to make sure you have the best racing drone available on the market and here’s what we recommend. Drones take the saying “the sky’s the limit”, to a whole new level. The racing of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), has seen a phenomenal spike in recent years.
According to a new study by PwC, the emerging market for business services using drones is valued at over $127 billion. It’s gotten so big, that ESPN has hopped on board to the craze and airs of the biggest drone racing competitions in the world, the official Drone Racing League (DRL).
And why shouldn’t it? It’s exciting, it’s fun, and there’s some serious cash involved. The 2017 DRL Allianz World Championship had a whopping $100,000 as the winning prize money.
With such a drastic increase in interest in the drone racing market, we take a look at our five top picks for the best racing drone.
What is Drone Racing?
Drone racing is a sport where drone pilots fly fast and agile drones around a set course as fast as they can. The majority of drone racing today is done with First Person View (FPV) systems. This allows the pilot to really get a feel for what it feels like to be in control.
The small, agile and fast machines have an onboard camera that transmits real-time video back to the pilot for a cockpit perspective. FPV monitors or special FPV goggles give the pilot a completely immersive experience. It gives you the sensational feeling of zipping through the air, without ever having to leave the ground.
What to Look for When Buying the Best Racing Drone
Here’s a few things to consider before clicking that buy button.
Buy or Build?
Drone building sets are amazing things to get into. Imagine the feeling of directing your own little machine to whizz around, knowing you built that machine from scratch. However, this is no easy feat. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) vs RTF (Ready-To-Fly) is an ongoing debate that requires some serious consideration, particularly for first-time buyers of racing drones. DIY means that if anything goes wrong, you’re going to have to diagnose and debug your baby yourself. Be prepared for a lot of hours, if you decide to take the DIY route.
To Quadcopter or Not to Quadcopter
Majority of drone flyers own quadcopters. If you’re just getting started in the racing drone scene, opt for this category of drones. As the best beginner racing drone, these types of drones are known for their stability and reliability due to their H or X square frame. The four propellers give these babies enough power to carry 1-2 pounds and can glide easily through 10-15 mph winds. They’re popular due to their lightweight UAV form factors and stability, compared to the more complex systems of tricopters, hexacopters, and octocopers.
League Racing vs Informal Meetups
Are you looking to try your hand at competing with the big dogs, or just whizz circles around your friends? The type of racing drone you are going to fly is determined a lot by what type of racing you’re going to b e taking part in. Drone racing leagues have risen in number and popularity all over the world, with each league having different rules determining what kind of drone you can fly. If you’re looking to compete in a league, make sure you investigate the specifications, the type of equipment, size of drone, the race environment, rules for overtaking etc.
Top 5 Picks for the Best Racing Drone of 2018
Here’s Unleash the Bot’s top 5 picks for the best racing drone.
This racing drone is built for speed. Don’t be deceived by its strange, bulky appearance – the four powerful 2500kv brushless motors of the Walkera F210 get this guy moving, making it a contender for the fastest racing drone. The Devo 7 transmitter with real-time HD image transmission is some of the best in the business and comes with a unique 700TVL night vision camera. That means you can use the drone’s wide 120-degree viewing range at night. A great professional racing drone for entry-level pilots, it’s our first pick for the best FPV racing drone.
Equipped with instant FPV, this racing drone will have you soaring through the air as soon as you take it out the box. This is one of the best FPV racing drones for beginners. It comes with all FPV equipment pre-installed, from LCD video monitor to 5.8GHZ gear – no soldering or any extra assembly needed. It even comes with its own pair of goggles, scratching off yet another thing you don’t have to worry about. The distinct design gives it a unique fashionable edge, with a micro memory card slot. You can easily transfer flying footage from the onboard camera without having to sacrifice video quality. Considering the lengthy list of features it comes with, the Rise Vusion 250 is a great option in terms of value.
One of the most popular models in the drone community, the Arris FPV250 provides amazing quality with sophisticated features. For a drone of this size, the quality of video from the 700TVL camera is unparalleled, with zero delays. Coming fully assembled, tuned and tested by professional technicians, the only thing you have to worry about it the battery and radio set. The ease at which the Arris can be maneuvred through the air will have you a drone racing pro in no time.
The assembled RTF version of this Arris X-Speed comes with all the features tuned, tried and tested, ready for you to let loose. Being able to adjust the FPV camera angle from 0 to 45 degrees gives you complete control in terms of the high-quality camera. A great feature is the vibration dampening plate that ensures video quality is unshaken. The simple structure frame installed with tower structure ESC/PDB makes it easy to assemble and repair, making it a great option for beginner drone racers.
The full Carbon Fiber frame kit makes this racing drone fantastically light, with great intensity. It is arguably one of the best racing drone frames out there. Flying to up to 900m off the ground, the LHI Full Carbon Fiber 250 is designed for pursuing fast speed. Those pilots who have not yet mastered stable flying may want to look for a different option as the open pilot flight controller is sometimes not as stable as the commercial flight controller. The HD camera, image transmission and replacement components allow you to change it however you wish. Definitely in our top five for the best racing drone.