Drones have totally changed the way youngsters have fun nowadays. They are not interested in cars or bikes anymore. All they want is to have a high-tech powerful drone, learn its various controls including basic functions and advanced maneuvering techniques and then take part in drone racing to test their skills against so many other pilots’ abilities at this art. It is recommended to first gain knowledge on how to participate in such a contest, what the pre-requisites are and what to expect when you finally arrive at the racing site and start flying your aerial machine.
If you haven’t already seen a drone racing contest, you might be wondering how it actually takes place. Of course you cannot follow your drone all around the fixed course to keep it in your line-of-sight. Then how do you monitor its location, change directions or altitude, and find out where you stand in the race? Well, drone racing takes place through FPV or First Person View systems. This kind of drone handling is also known as FPV flying because the person who is flying a drone sees it through a screen as if he is actually sitting inside the drone. Exciting, isn’t it?
Well, that’s exactly what makes this sport even more enjoyable and worth being a part of. Since the sport of drone racing is increasing in popularity all over the world, the latest drones come equipped with specialized goggles that allow the user to experience the entire flight through his or her eyes.
A Racing Drone
The first thing to do before you actually are a part of such a sporting event is to buy a racing drone. You might already have guessed that not all drones qualify for drone racing. These specialized aerial machines are also known as multi-rotor drones; they move faster than normal drones and are also much more stable. They are also smaller than a drone made for some other purpose such as surveillance, mapping or data acquisition.
Features to Consider in Your Racing Drone
Although there is not a limitation on the model or make of the drone you bring to the contest, it is a good idea to see what other racers are using so that you can also get a suitable machine for this purpose. Here are some of the features you should consider when shopping for a racing drone:
Speed: Anything that participates in a racing contest needs to be fast and agile. What good is an extremely sophisticated machine with all the latest features and a high-resolution camera, which is not fast? A rule of thumb is to get a drone that can easily go over 35mph and in some situations even cross 50mph speed. To realize this level of speed, you are also going to need powerful batteries and higher voltages than normal drones.
FPV Camera: Don’t forget to buy a model that comes equipped with a FPV camera and this is clearly mentioned in the specifications when you check out various models of drones. The position of the camera is also important in drone racing because you want to see what lies ahead when your drone is tilted forward.
Flight Controller: Just keep in mind that without a good flight controller you are never going to win a drone racing contest. Why? Because such a controller comes with firmware that makes a drone flight smooth and stable. Many novice pilots can easily overlook this feature but this is one tip you’re going to receive from every drone racer who has had a good experience in the field.
Longevity and Insurance: Powerful drones do not come cheap, so you need to get your racing drone insured before taking part in a contest. This is because in a racing event, crash episodes, damages, and collisions are quite common. If your drone isn’t repairable, you are going to lose a good amount of money.
Flying a Racing Drone
Once you get your hands on a racing drone, you first need to learn its controls. Basic controls are required for a normal, just-for-fun flight, but when you are taking part in a race with world-class drone pilots as your competitors, you need to master some advanced level skills as well. Fine tuning your drone to keep it stable when taking off and flying in mid-air is also a very important step. How to change the altitude, how to fly through the trees and how to avoid obstacles or even collide with small objects during flight and getting back on the track again are some of the things you need to learn.
With a racing drone in your hand, it’s not necessary that you always have to take part in a racing contest to enjoy it. You can also try freestyle drone flying just to get that same feeling, which usually comes as a result of drone racing. In fact, it is recommended that you first experiment with all the controls at home and once you have complete confidence over your skills at drone flying should you take part in a racing tournament. Try experimenting with speed more than 50mph to see how your drone reacts. Also, test various other functions and combine them to have more fun and excitement.