Drone racing is a fast growing sport with an increasing audience and popularity across the globe. This increase in popularity can be attributed to the fact that there are now more drone brands in the market with different offerings than ever before, and also the fact that drones now come with better technology and increased flight time. Therefore, it was quite expected that we were going to witness such an activity as drone racing.
Drone racing has become a real sporting activity with its own championships and a very long value chain.
If you are looking for a new hobby or you are already an experienced drone racer, this article will help you find the best racing drones that you can find on the market as well as all the information you need to make the right decision.
What Are The Important Characteristics Of A Racing Drone?
Speed is the most important feature to consider when you are looking for the best racing drone to compete in drone racing championships. In as much as a high skill level is needed to compete, racing with a slow drone that has been equipped with low power motors will take away some of your competitive advantage.
Flight time is not as important as speed considering most races are over and done with in less than 15 minutes or there about. We suggest investing in quick charging batteries, or buy extra ones so you don’t have to wait till the one battery gets charged before getting in the next race.
Some of the best racing drones are known to be extremely agile in addition to being very fast. They can do 360 flips, spin in multiple directions, and make sharp turns around the race course. There are competitions that are focused on being able to perform breath-taking tricks on the race track as much as how fast the drones can go.
Generally, racing drones do not need cameras with the highest quality such as 4K cameras that come with camera drones. All they need is a good quality FPV camera that lets you guide your flight around the racetrack, also you need to ensure that your camera has a good quality FOV and great video transmission range.
Just like in most racing sports, crashes are very common in drone racing. What did you expect? These machines are flying at very high speeds and the slightest mistake can lead to a crash, just like in Formula1. We recommend improving you racing skills or investing in high quality and durable parts.
Who Can Use A Racing Drone?
Racing drones are designed to reach higher speeds than your regular camera drones, so we suggest an experienced drone racer or a hobbyist who is very familiar with drones. Controlling racing drones require a higher level of skill due to high speeds that they reach, and they can be dangerous in the hands of a person who is a beginner or inexperienced. However, with the right training you can advance to racing drones and competing in the numerous championships across the globe.
How Fast Can Racing Drones Go?
Racing drones are known to reach tremendous speeds up to 120MPH, which is why the sport is extremely enjoyable. This is one of the major differences between your regular camera drones and racing drones. While racing drones are designed to pierce through the air at very high speeds, camera drones can go even as fast as 40MPH, and are fitted with technology that keeps them stable in order to be able to record quality and blur free videos and images.
Racing drones have a flight orientation that is optimized to increase their speed. Unlike camera drones that fly parallel to the ground, racing drones have their rare propellers elevated. This slight difference in flying orientation gives the drone a forward flying movement.
Another factor that helps racing drones reach extremely high speeds is their aerodynamic bodies. Camera/fancy drones have a high wind resistance when compared to racing drones, which have a body that allows them move through wind with less resistance.
Ready to Fly (RTF) VS Drone Racing Kits
If you are an experienced drone racer or a hobbyist looking to get into drone racing, you will come across these two terms ‘ready to fly’ and ‘racing kits’ when shopping for a racing drone. First, we must differentiate between Ready to Fly and Drone kit in order to make it a lot easier to decide which best suits your needs.
Ready To Fly (RTF)
The name already give it away, it already suggests that it is ready to fly right out of the box or that it does not require any assembling before it can be operated. A ready to fly drone comes with everything you need to get it in the air as soon as you get it out of the box except batteries that go into the controller. The advantage that a ready to fly drone has is its ability to get it racing the moment you get it out of the box, saving you time of assembly. On the downside, ready to fly drones are not the best when it comes to upgradeability, especially for people who are not familiar with disassembling of putting a drone together. Another thing to note is that you must ensure that your drones FPV must match TX frequencies and bands in order to have a working FPV setup.
Drone Racing Kit
Drone racing kits are a totally different approach to drone racing. They do not come assembled like the ready to fly ones. If you go racing drone shopping and you purchase a racing kit, expect to find a box filled with small parts and bits that you are required to assemble all by yourself. If you have never assembled a drone before, this can be quite tricky. You are basically going to be doing a lot tampering with electronic parts that will require soldering and wiring, which requires a lot patience and concentration. Building a racing drone from scratch can take anywhere from a few hours to several days, it all depends on the specifications you are working with. The great thing about building your own drone is the feeling of pride that comes with it, knowing that you put every bit and piece together, especially when it performs impressively.
What Are Some Of The Drone Racing Competitions?
There now several drone racing competitions that take place around the world. Drone racing has become such a big deal and the prizes keep getting bigger and better, and they are now being covered by the media more than ever before. Here is some of the most popular drone racing championships:
- Drone Racing League: DRL is a well-known professional action packed drone racing championship with multiple events.
- FAI Indonesia Drone Racing World Cup 2018 in Bali, which included more than 20 events and fat prizes.
Comparison of 5 Best Racing Drones in 2020
Best Racing Drones
This section will outline the features, pros, and cons of 5 of the best drones on the market. We have taken the pain to review 5 top racing drones to help you make the best decision that suits your need for a racing drone.
1. Holy Stone HS230 RC Racing FPV Drone
If you are looking for a racing drone with very powerful motors that can reach speeds up to 45kmh, the Holy Stone HS230 RC Racing FPV Drone might be the one for you. This drone is aerodynamically constructed to give you maximum speeds. The HS230 has a sturdy frame that can withstand multiple crashes. We recommend you get extra parts such as additional propellers and ESC.
This HS230 is fitted with a 720 120° FOV HD camera and 5.8GHz real-time image transmission, which lets you watch your racing drone at high speed while also taking fantastic action shots on the LCD screen.
Another key feature is the 3 speed mode, which lets you transition between speeds while competing at different drone racing challenges.
Fitted with bright LED Lights—The LED navigation lights gives your drone visibility when racing at night or in low light conditions.
2. REDPAWZ R011 Micro FPV Racing Drone
This is one of the most agile mid-range racing drones on the market. Do not let its small size fool you that in fact has proven to be beneficial as it is lightweight and glides through racetracks with great speed. If you are into tricks, this racing drone can perform 3D flips. The drone can roll up and down, make diverse changes, and allow you to indefinitely show off your flight skills. The R011 has a striking red frame and eye detail, which gives it the appearance of a speed demon, which it actually is.
The RO11 does have a lot to offer in terms of speed and agility. This RTF drone is supplied with everything that you need to improve your drone racing skills. You might not be able to compete at championship levels because this drone does not pack as much speed as you need to win races, but you can compete with your friends.
One of the things we love the most about the R011 is that it is supplied with a HD mini customized VR goggle. This goggle has the ability to get you to feel more immersed in racing the drone thereby increasing your excitement and fun.
The R011 is powered by a 200 mAh battery which gives you a flight time of about 6 minutes, including hovering, 360 movements and flips, we ar quite impressed with the flight time the small battery was able to give.
3. Holy Stone HS100G FPV RC Drone
The Holy Stone HS100G has every feature that you might want in a versatile drone. It is FPD optimized that gives you a driver’s seat view while racing with your friends or having fun flying in the park. The HS100G does have a lot offer considering it is a fast drone and is capable of longer flying time thanks to its 2500 mAh battery.
Holy Stone keeps proving to customers that it is in for the long run with the variety of high quality drones that they keep producing. The HS100G can be said to be a testament to the companies approach to quality and also a good first impression for those shopping for a fast drone that can do a lot of things.
The HS100G is fitted with a standard 1080P HD FPV camera that offers you the opportunity to capture moments as well as enjoy a first person view of your environment through the camera lens.
The altitude hold feature comes in handy when you need the drone to hover for a bit, and it also makes it a great drone for beginners and newbies. Another feature that is quite common is the headless mode, which adjusts the orientation of the drone in relation to the position of the pilot, this feature also helps bring your drone back should it go out of sight.
The HS110D is compatible with VR goggles, but you can control the drone with your smartphone connected. The mobile control lets you operate the camera and other flight functions.
The HS100G is compatible with VR goggles, but you can control the drone with your smartphone connected. The mobile control lets you operate the camera and other flight functions.
If your drone flying skills are not at a high level, you can reduce the drones speed to a level that is suitable for you.
4. Contixo F18 RC Remote & App Controlled Quadcopter Drone
The Contixo F18 is a sleek looking drone designed for speed and manoeuvrability; credits to its design build. If you were looking for a drone that is packed with advanced features and attractive specifications, the F18 is a solid contender.
Let’s have a breakdown of some of the F18’s features that stands it out from the other. This drone has GPS, which simply means that it is constantly aware of its position and the chance of drifting away is greatly reduced. The F18is constantly locked to the satellite making the return to home feature even more effective, especially when the battery is low.
The Contixo F18 is driven by 1806 KV1800 brushless motors that guarantee a high performance and efficiency while flying. The four built-in brushless motors produce a lot of power and precision speed, they react to increase and decrease in altitude quickly, and stop immediately. The main advantage is that brushless motors are 50% more powerful and consume less power, which is why the F18 is able to reach a flight time of 20 minutes. Also they work with lightning-fast ESCs to make your F18 fast, agile and responsive.
The onboard FPV system has a5.0GHz band and is WI-FI zero latency with image
5. Potensic GPS FPV RC Drone, D80
Another sleek drone with impressive features is the Potensic D80 with FPV system. The D80 is just not another good looking drone, it is actually quite fast and is packed with a lot impressive features. When it comes to speed, the D80’s brushless motors can push the drone up to 40 km/h. Also they work with Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs) to make your drone fast, agile and responsive. It doesn’t end there, the 1800mAh lithium battery is capable of keeping the drone in the air for a maximum of 20 minutes, we find this to be very impressive for a drone its size.
There is a dual GPS mode that ensures that you are able to send the drone back home should it end up with a low battery or a poor transmission signal. This is a very important feature because in many cases pilots often find out too late about a poor signal and experience difficulty in bringing the drone back.
The D80 has an impressive 500 – 600 meters (up to 800M) of control range if all conditions are great and theirs is no signal interference. It supports 5.0GHz WI-Fi zero latency transmission, and is capable of transmitting full HD 1080P images over a distance of 300-500 meters.
All the drones have their advantages as well as features that stand them out from the rest. From the small sized beginner REDPAWZ R011 with basic features to the advanced and feature packed Potensic D80, these drones offer a great flying experience. Having considered all their features and how they stack against each other, The Potensic D80 is our pick, and our reasons are quite straightforward. The D80 checks all the boxes in terms of speed, flight time, distance, and manoeuvrability. A close second will be the Contixo F18, which also has similar features as the D80, but falls short when compared to the D80 beats it in terms of speed and flight time.