Drone Racing – Can it Become the New Mainstream Sport?

AR Drone 2.0 Parrot

The growth of popularity of drones and their increasing affordability and technological advancement sparked the growth of interest in professional drone racing. In fact, this sport already has its leagues, and the number of fans keeps growing at a very fast rate. But what exactly is drone racing and what makes a professional remotely piloted aircraft? If your are wondering quel drone choisir en 2016? Read on…

Getting ready for the uav raceSimply speaking, FPV drone racing is a sport in which owners of UAS (unmanned aircraft systems) focus on building and maintaining the fastest machines, capable of winning with the vehicles of others. And, of course, on racing itself. In fact, some people believe that the racing of quadcopters is the new big thing and compare it to the early days of motor racing just hundred years ago.

Currently, this sport is just two years old, and it is believed that the first amateur competitions took place in 2014 in Australia. Because of that, drone racing is still in many places considered to be a social event rather than a professional tournament, and it still lacks significant sponsorship and money prizes. Despite that, it already has a few professional leagues with “The Drone Racing League” being the biggest and most popular one, attracting top pilots from around the world.

What Makes a Good Racing UAV?

A typical racing drone differs a bit from the standard remotely piloted aircraft which you can buy at the mall or your local electronics store. While an average drone can go as fast as 35 mph, racing RPAs can go 10 or 15 miles faster, and reach speeds of up to 50 mph. They are also much smaller than their standard counterparts and are equipped with much more powerful batteries that have higher voltages. The Smaller size and more power make them more manoeuvrable and more crash-resistant.

Additional Equipment

piloting your uas through virtual reality headsets FPV view

Apart from a racing drone, to think of RPA racing, you need a high-quality flight controller, one that allows you to keep your drone stable and which you can control without losing too much time on moving your fingers. Drone racing is a very demanding and fast sport – every second counts. Apart from that you also need a professional FPV (first-person view) camera and goggles. In fact, a quality camera can be considered the most important part of your equipment, because it allows you to see everything that’s happening to your drone and allows you to react quickly. The goggles, while not necessary because you can watch your drone on a monitor, give you an even better experience of the race. The last important part of your equipment is a powerful spare battery together with a strong battery charger – this assures you that your drone is always ready to fly.

“The Drone Racing League”

The league can be considered to be still at an infancy stage, and is currently open to all new pilots interested in professional racing. The FPV meet ups are happening all over the United States, and while the formal competitions are still relatively rare, there is a lot of opportunities to train, meet new pilots and get ready for the real race. It is believed that drone racing may evolve just like the e-sport grown in a short amount of time – at first, it was just a group of computer geeks, now it’s a multi-million dollar, industry full of sponsorships worldwide tournaments. And many believe that’s precisely the future of FPV drone racing.

This post was brought to you by Marc David from Amateurs de Drones