The Beginner’s Guide to Drone Racing

You may have noticed an unusual new sport airing on ESPN in the past year called FPV drone racing. For those who haven’t heard of this new phenomenon, or for those who don’t understand the hype behind it, CPR Cell Phone Repair is here to explain.

What Is Drone Racing?

First Person Video (FPV) drone racing is a competitive motorsport in which pilots control drones with the goal of completing a course as quickly as possible. Each pilot wears FPV goggles that live streams the camera feed from his or her drone. This enables the pilot to see only what his or her drone is seeing as it races through the obstacle course.

The sport originated in 2014 when armature competitions began popping up around Australia and New Zealand. By late 2014, drone enthusiasts were creating their very own drone racing equipment and leagues.

How Hard Could It Be?

Racing drones and camera drones are entirely different types of quadcopters. A camera drone, such as the DJI Phantom 3, has sensors that stabilize the drone.  A racing drone flies in “rate mode” which means all stabilizing features are disabled to allow for maneuverability and agility.

Without the stability of onboard sensors, drones can be unbelievably difficult to control. However, professional drone racing pilots have mastered rate mode, enabling them to compete on the most challenging of courses.

Watch the video below to see what rate mode looks like with Dunkan of Drone Racing League piloting.

Drone Racing League

By far the most prestigious league to date is the Drone Racing League (DRL). Only the best of the best pilots are part of DRL and participate in world’s most competitive tournaments. In fact, DRL is the group of professionals that appear on ESPN.

What Drones Are Used in DRL?

This year, DRL introduced the league’s newest edition of its racing drone – the Racer3. The Racer3 is sturdier and faster than its predecessor. With the ability to go from 0 to 80 mph in less than one second, the Racer3 “wowed” viewers in the second season of Drone Racing League on ESPN.

How Can I Begin Drone Racing?

Leagues such as DRL are always looking for ways to attract more competitors. If you’re interested in trying your hand at drone racing, here are a few tips to get started.

  • Try out DRL’s high-intensity drone racing simulator.
  • Purchase the essentials: racing drone, FPV goggles, and controller.
  • Join a league, race with friends, or fly freestyle on your own.
  • Attend an FPV racing meet up near you.
  • Read the safety guidelines for flying.

As you can imagine, accidental crashes and damage are common for FPV racers, as well as for recreational drone enthusiasts. If your drone is in need of repair, contact your local CPR Cell Phone Repair store.