If you are fresh into the drone space, you can expect a conversation peppered with droning appropriate jargon like the commonly used UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems), BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line Of Sight) and the more technical INS (Inertial Navigational System) and IOC (Intelligent Orientation Control). There will also be mention of multicopters, quadcopter, and hexacopter all of which can leave you confused.
However, this is actually the easy part of droning and it is common place especially for a racing drone pilot. The complication for such a pilot is finding the ideal racing drone that will leave a mark in international leagues like the droning racing league and the Dubai droning grand Prix.
So to get you started on this, let us start by defining a racing drone. It is a quadcopter specifically built to compete in droning with competition standard specs on the rotors, propellers, power and size among other things. The emphasis for these drones is on speedy forward momentum as opposed to the height attaining build of the normal ones. This is achieved by the H-pattern configuration on the four blades which is different from the X pattern on photography drones. They also mainly use FVP (first person view), placing the pilot or operator in a position to view real-time footage from the drone using special goggles or a tablet or smartphone during the race.
So let’s check out 7 of the top racing drones in 2017:
The Arris FPV250 sits pretty at the top of FPV racing. Although it spots some of the best and latest racing friendly specs such as the high quality S2205 2300KV motor and low weight, it does not come completely assembled when you buy it. As a BNF (bind and fly) drone, you need to buy your own radio system, battery, and transmitter.
To ensure it can endure the hardest of crashes, it’s made out of fiberglass/carbon composite which is durable and strong. Although you have to install the propeller among other parts, that is best part about purchasing a BNF drone.
To add on to that, It is small and lightweight with astounding speeds and it handles extremely well in tight spaces. You are also guaranteed to fall in love with the 700TVL HD camera that takes high-quality real-time footage for first person view during racing. Best thing about the camera? Well, it has zero delay or no latency.
Since you have to purchase a battery, keep in mind that it works extremely well with the 3S 1300mAh - 2200mAh.
Besides being strong and resistant to crashes, the Arris FPV 250 borrows a traditional racing drone design and putting into mind that it's lightweight and comes equipped with the latest motor, this makes it an attractive option to miniquad racing enthusiasts. It’s also relatively cheaper and bear in mind that you’ll need to install the propellers, radio system, battery as well as a transmitter so as to complete the build.
Like every other BNF model, the Mach 25 includes everything except FPV goggles, battery charger, and a radio transmitter. But what sets it apart from the rest is the unique shell and its race-inspired design. As such, the Blade Mach 25 FPV is an unchallenged favorite when it comes to drone racing. It is well known for complying with the racers instructions at the turn of a switch or touch of a button.
For the main frame, you have carbon fiber plates each measuring 2mm whereas the motor arms are made out of aluminum. In the event of a crash, your drone will endure the punishment and survive it. Also, this drone is made with an impeccable balance between the build and motor mounts and this fuels greater speed and even better acceleration.
Blade Mach 25 FPV comes out of the box ready to race. Its camera system, which includes a 5.8GHz video transmitter (VTX), has a carbon fiber mount that keeps the camera steady and free of vibrations resulting in outstanding footage in real time. The Spektrum 25 mw ultra micro FPV camera is responsible for an excellent first person view for the operator. It’s also compatible with the fat shark FPV headset, the latest and best headsets in drone racing.
If you look to making the transition from your mini quad or whatever other drone-related gig that isn’t quad racing, this is quad is a perfect fit. It’s fast, strong and with no limits to how far you could take your racing action. When you combine the LED lights and the SAFE technology employed by the Blade Mach 25 FPV, you get a drone that is easily identifiable with the race and one that also keeps the operator enraptured with astounding first person view.
Force 1 XDR220 was purely designed to race and this is evident its light weight, durability, and quality frame. It fits all levels of racers and much as you can get as an RTF package, you also have the option to buy the kit separately and go ahead to assemble your own unit. And it comes highly recommended not just for aerobatic flights and flight views but aerial photography as well.
The body of the DYS XDR220 is made of bend resistant carbon fiber and this ensures that the drone doesn't suffer much damage when it crashes. Its CCD camera has an HD resolution of 1280 x 720 which makes for great live real time footage during the race while the LCD color screen keeps the footage interesting.
The switches are customizable and easy to manage during racing sessions. Accessories like the goggles that come with the DYS XDR220 give a full peripheral view and real time transmission that is clear and smooth. It comes with specs that are specifically geared towards racing like its powerful brushless motors, propellers, SpracingF3 flight controller system, OSD integration, and many other features.
Overall, this drone is a perfect choice for racing as its specs are race friendly. Ready to fly and fully assembled, this works well for an intermediate and expert drone racer. The battery also keeps for longer as it employs cell balancing which increases battery life.
Eachine Racer 250 is more geared towards the pilot who is fresh into drone racing as opposed to the FPV racing purist. It’s relatively cheap as well making it an inexpensive option to get into FPV racing while at the same time allowing you the space to upgrade it as you wish. It’s built not just to be reassembled but disassembled for upgrades and repairs with its parts/ hardware readily available and affordable. Other race-inspired features include built-in OSD, automatic search frequency, long distance remote control and a lot more.
Powered by 2300kv brushless motors, the Eachine Racer 250 is packed with speed and power. The 1000 TVL HD camera is a joy for any racer handling this drone because not only is it powerful, it has night vision. This allows for racing in poorly lit areas if necessary.
We absolutely love the 7-inch monitor on the controller that provides a great visual of the real-time footage from the Eachine 16 transmitter. The footage can be transmitted over a range as long as 1 mile and beyond.
The Eachine Racer 250 can attain speeds of between 25mph - 30mph and even as much 40mph with some modifications. It is made to accommodate different levels of pilots with its different flight modes.
With the Eachine Racer 250, all you need is to hook it up to the receiver and put in a charged battery and it's ready to go. It is fast and sturdy enough to handle a good race. It’s powerful 2300KV brushless motor make it an ideal candidate for racing in the big leagues.
Hubsan is a dominant brand in the drone space and their X4 H107D comes loaded with 6-axis flight control system, adjustable gyro sensitivity not to mention the live feed from its camera amongst a pack of other race-inspired features. It’s relatively cheaper, small and able to navigate even confined areas. , Hubsan has launched beginner drone racers into the fast-paced and exciting world of racing drones and this product stands out as a great fit for amateur racers.
This quadcopter comes with a 4.3 color screen that is built into the controller. It also busts the myth that all racing drones must be bulky and big in size. It is small in size and nicely portable. Hubsan also comes fitted with the first person view support.
The 5.8 GHz transmitter (which is a unique offering for a beginners racing drone) allows the drone to broadcast live feed footage in real time. It also has a powerful battery that comes with an equally high powered charger.
Although it gives only 7 minutes non-stop flight time, the recharge time is a fast half hour to 45 minute period. We also like the rubber feet that Hubsan threw in for good measure. However, the resolution is just 640 x 480 which doesn't make for great picture quality.
For the first timer looking to get their feet into FPV racing, the Hubsan X4 H107D lets you enjoy that without breaking the bank. Being lightweight makes it extremely maneuverable and can withstand hard falls on your pavement or trees. As a racing drone, it fits the bill. It is able to provide decent FPV in real time for the operator and remember it has a powerful battery and short recharge times.
This racing drone from vortex falls into the category of a 250 mm drone racer. It is meant for an experienced drone racer who wants to experience even edgier racing. It is even so versatile that you can repair it even as you are in the field or just about any other space.
Overall, the vortex 250 pro-drone has utilized the latest and best technology like the 2204-2300kv custom motors with custom 20A ESCS and 4mm carbon fiber arms to make it fast and versatile.
It also comes fitted with a tiltable vibration free action camera mount and the powerful 5.8 GHZ video transmitter that offers the operator first person views and line of sight flying while keeping the footage vibration free, with zero delay and real-time. The transmitter is an integrated 40 channel NexWaveRF.
The frame is a lightweight carbon fiber for maximum speed and we love the built-in black box that allows for professional tuning of the drone. It also has a camera mount for action cameras. We especially love the power and speed that the finely tuned sturdy but light carbon fiber frame bestows upon this drone.
The build and materials used in building up the Vortex 250 Pro were clearly selected with speed and quality in mind. Such materials ensure a good thrust for the drone in addition to enhancing its crash resistant capacity. Combined with the integrated F3 flight controller that is pre-loaded with Cleanflight, this gives it not just faster loop times but also quicker flight performance.
Right out of its package, this bird is tuned with efficiency and this allows all levels of users, from novices to veterans to fly it at intense speeds. Even with standard OEM settings, it’s surprisingly fast and even more fun than you could imagine. In total, there are three flying modes: 2D stabilize mode, 2D intermediate mode and 2D advanced mode. Beginners can opt for the basic mode while the advanced mode is a perfect fit for advanced users.
Even before we look at the frame and body, we are completely enamored with the 700TVL camera that has night vision. You can race or just fly this drone at night without any problem courtesy of this fantastic camera. And as its name suggests, 3D flying is what sets this quad apart from the rest. Flipping the flight mode switch on its Devo 7 controller will have you transition from a standard horizontal flight mode to the inverted 3D mode. You can do this midflight.
The body is made of the lightweight carbon fiber allowing it to attain high speeds in record time. Its design is not conventional which is a plus for its character. It is also bulky and has unique protrusions which some find off-putting but we think it adds to the drones appeal.
Powered by 2500kv brushless motors that give it that forward momentum it is famous for, the F210 just needs a pitch to take off at exemplary speeds. It also comes with a superior transmitter, the Walkera Devo - 7, which ensures your drone is always within range and you can never lose sight of it.
Overall, you are going to relish the fact that the Walker F210 professional Racer comes ready to fly and efficiently tuned. The 3D flight modes sets it apart and with its remarkably responsive controls, you all have a good time maintaining your aircraft all the time. Speed and agility are also decent as it can swiftly maneuver through tight places and even maintain its cool when you scale the speed regardless of the range. For a quad of its class, it has more than you could ask for and moving into the future, one can only hope for better specs.