Drone racing is rapidly growing in popularity across the globe. Aside from big players like the The Drone Racing League (‘DRL’), the International Drone Racing Association (‘IDRA’), MultiGP, or the DR1 Micro League, where big prize money as big as $250,000 is sometimes at stake, smaller local FPV drone racing leagues, associations, and clubs are springing up around the world. With the sport of FPV drone racing being in its nascent phase, for many avid drone and drone racing enthusiast, the idea of becoming a professional FPV quad drone racing pilot with a six figure remuneration is still in close reach, and has never been more real. This is especially true when considering that some professional FPV quad drone racing pilots are ascending to the big leagues through FPV quad drone racing video games. Such was the case of Jawz, a professional FPV quad drone racing pilot now featured on DRL season 2. Jawz was recruited by the DRL after winning the 2017 Bud Light Championship, a drone racing event held on the DRL’s High Voltage, a free virtual drone racing simulator. The CEO & Founder of the DRL, Nicholas Horbaczewski, has also revealed that the DRL also recruits professional drone racing pilots from Youtube, as well as from local drone racing events. In that sense, becoming a professional drone racing pilot is, for many, much closer to reality than, say, becoming an F1 or NASCAR racer.
As the drone racing community around the world battles hard to find the world's Nico Rosberg of FPV drone racing, the demand for drone enthusiasts with a knack for FPV drone racing has never been greater. With this in mind, if you think you have the skills and aptitudes for FPV quad racing drone, then its time to get out there and practice. To help you, Skynex Global Drones has compiled a list of 5 of our top FPV quad racing drones, which we think will help you excel at FPV quad drone racing. First, a quick look at what constitutes FPV quad drone racing, and what you'll need to get started is in order for anyone unaccustomed with the sport of drone racing.
A. ABOUT FPV QUAD DRONE RACING: WHAT IT IS, AND WHAT YOU NEED TO GET STARTED
1. Jedi Skills
Perhaps one reason why FPV quad drone racing has grown so rapidly in popularity in the past years is the affordable, low cost, and little material/equipment needed to get into the sport of FPV drone racing. Leaving aside excellent hand-eye coordination, a razor sharp focus, quick mental reflexes, and a superior ability to remain calm under high pressure environments (the apparent cool, calm, and composed nature of Jawz is visibly apparent throughout the 2017 Bud Light Championship), a pair of FPV/3D virtual reality goggles and, of course, an FPV quad racing drone is all you'll need to get you started. But wait, there’s more.
2. Newbie to Drone Flying? Consider Starting Small Before Going Big
If you've never flown a drone before, you may first want to learn how to fly a drone with an inexpensive micro/mini hobby drone, or even through the DRL's drone racing simulator (referenced above). Becoming agile with a micro FPV quad racing drone, or with a drone racing simulator, may save you the cost of a new FPV quad racing drone down the road. Note that FPV quad drone racing is also happening at the micro/nano/mini level. Such is the case with the DR1 Micro Series, a professional drone racing league focused on micro/nano/mini FPV quad racing drones. In any event, starting with a micro drone or on a drone racing simulator is also a good way to determine whether or not you think you’ll enjoy drone racing in the long run, enough for you to invest in the cost of a decent FPV quad racing drone. Of course, if you known yourself well enough, starting with a real FPV quad racing drone won’t be a problem. You’ll just need a few hours of practice before being able to enjoy the full punch and power of an FPV racing drone.
3. Find a Local Drone Racing Community + Watch Out for Domestic Drone Regulators
Drone racing communities are flourishing all over the world. Consider the Winnipeg Drone Racing League in Canada, for instance, which recently held its first ever drone race. MultiGP is a great starting point to find a local drone racing league near you. If you don’t have the benefit of having a well organized local drone racing community that already has insight into applicable drone laws and regulations for your geographic area, you’ll first want to determine who the regulators are for your region, what the applicable drone laws and regulations are, and how they apply to you drone flying activities, particularly drone racing. Performing your drone activities in construction sites or abandoned properties to circumvent local drone laws and regulations applicable to public outdoor environments (e.g. outdoor parks) can lead to trespassing issues. In some regions of the world (e.g. Australia), you’ll also want to be respectful (and in some cases careful) with local wildlife. If you’re unsure whether an environment is suitable for your drone racing activities, than err on the side of caution by foregoing your drone racing activities. Also note that, aside from micro FPV racing drones, racing a standard FPV racing drone inside your home is not an option. Standard size FPV quad racing drones require large indoor or outdoor environments.
4. What You Need to Buy: FPV Drone Goggles, and an FPV Quad Racing Drone
In case you’re not yet familiar with the terminology, ‘FPV’ stands for ‘First-Person-View’. It refers to a drone racing pilot’s ability to pilot her/his drone, just as if s/he was Han Solo or, Chewbacca, sitting in the cockpit of Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon spaceship. In an FPV drone racing context, the FPV goggles receive a live/real-time video feed, through video transmission technology (‘VTX’), from the FPV camera mounted in the front of your racing drone. The live/real-time feed projected from the eye of the racing drone's camera is projected onto an LCD screen built inside the FPV goggles. Most FPV goggles also display critical flight data inside the FPV goggles, such as drone battery energy and remote control connectivity strength. Both FPV goggles and FPV drone cameras will vary in price range and quality. Skynex Global Drones addresses how to choose/buy a pair of FPV drone racing goggles in a separate blog post. You’ll also want to make sure your FPV drone racing goggles pair well with your FPV racing drone, which leads us to the main purpose of this blog post that is, which FPV drone racing you should buy. Our selection of some of the best FPV racing drones follows immediately below.
B. TOP 5 FPV QUAD RACING DRONES TO BUY THIS SUMMER
1. The Wizard X220 RC FPV Medium Quadcopter Racing Drone
The Wizard X220 RC FPV quadcopter racing drone is commonly described by avid drone enthusiasts as a favourite, one of the best FPV racing drones, a very agile racing drone, and very worthy of being labelled a racing drone. Keeping in mind that professional racing drones, like the DRL’s Racer3, aren’t available for sale on consumer hobby racing drone markets, the Wizard X220 would be our first choice in terms of amateur FPV racing drones. Aside from its alluring appearance, most would agree without hesitation that the Wizard X220’s design incorporates excellent craftsmanship. As its body and frame, which is cut out from ultra-light 4 mm carbon fiber, the Wizard X220 adopts a hybrid “X” frame that is to say, its propeller arms are angled in an “X” type configuration, but its body adopts a prolonged “H” type centre drone body. The “X” shaped propeller arms enhance agility and manoeuvrability, and the “H” shaped centre body offers more “real estate” for high-performance drone racing hard/firmware. The Wizard X220 FPV quad racing drone’s propulsion system is composed of 2204 2300KV drone racing motors, 20amp BHeli_S Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs), and 5” triple-blade drone racing propellers, all of which deliver all the power and punch you need to become an excellent FPV quad racing drone pilot. A complete review of the Wizard x220 FPV racing drone is available on the Skynex Drone Review Blog.
2. The Tyrant S215 Medium Quadcopter Racing Drone
Our next pick for top FPV quad racing drones to buy is the Tyrant S215 FPV quad racing drone. Just like the Wizard X220 FPV quad racing drone, the Tyrant S215 uses as its body and frame material solid, ultra-light 4mm thick carbon fibre, a factor that largely contributes not only to its ultra-light weight and speed, but also to its crash and impact-resistance. Unlike the Wizard X220 FPV quad racing drone, the Tyrant S215 FPV quad racing drone adopts a drone body and frame configuration that is closer to an “H” type drone racing frame. While this takes away from its agility and manoeuvrability in tight turns, the added space between front and rear propulsion systems offers more room for the rear propellers to fetch their own air stream, rather than feeding off the used air stream projected from the front propulsion system. This arguably increases the Tyrant S215’s in-flight traction, forward momentum, and therefor speed, making it a good competitor to the Wizard X220 FPV quad racing drone. The Tyrant S215’s propulsion system is composed of high-performance Sunnysky T2205 2300KV brushless motors, a good competitor to the Wizard’s 2204 2300KV motors. Like the Wizard X220 FPV quad racing drone, the Tyrant’s S215 motors are regulated by BLHeli_S electronic speed controllers (ESCs), and propel dual-blade 5045 drone racing propellers. A complete review of the Tyrant S215 RC FPV quad racing drone is available on the Skynex Drone Review Blog.
3. The GOOL RC FPV Medium Quadcopter Racing Drone
Our next top pick for top FPV quad racing drones to buy is without a doubt the GoolRC 210 FPV quad racing drone. The GoolRC FPV quad racing drone adopts an ultra-light carbon fiber drone racing frame and body similar, if not identical, to the Wizard X220 FPV quad racing drone. The advantage of the hybrid “X” drone body configuration is to preserve the agility of “X” configured propeller arms, and the extra “real estate” afforded by a prolonged “H” shaped centre drone body. Unlike the Wizard X220 and similar to the Tyrant S215 FPV quad racing drone, the GoolRC FPV quad racing drone has no side wall protection, adding to its leanness and ultra light characteristics. In comparison to the Tyrant S215 FPV quad racing drone, the GoolRC FPV quad racing drone’s body is arguably less compact, a feature that takes away from its aerodynamic character. Comparable to the Wizard X220 and Tyrant S215 FPV quad racing drones, the GoolRC FPV quad racing drones sports powerful, competitive 2204-2300KV brushless drone racing motors. Like the Wizard X220 FPV quad racing drone but unlike the Tyrant S215 FPV quad racing drone, the GoolRC FPV quad racing drone uses 5045 triple-blade drone racing propellers. Unlike the Wizard X220 and Tyrant S215 FPV quad racing drones, the GoolRC adopts 12A BLHeli electronic speed controllers (ESC), rather than the BLHeli_S ESC version. The difference with the “S” version is hardly noticeable to drone racing experts. A full review of the GoolRC FPV quad racing drone is available on the Skynex Drone Review Blog.
4. Falcon 180 RC FPV Quad Racing Drone
Another excellent, top FPV quad racing drone to consider when buying your first or next FPV quad racing drone is the Falcon 180 RC FPV quad racing drone. The Falcon 180’s drone body frame’s characteristics are similar to the Tyrant S215, and unlike those of the Wizard X220 or GoolRC 210. While not as compact in design as the Tyrant S215, the Falcon 180’s drone body adopts a true “H” configuration. Unlike the true “H” drone frame configuration found on the Wizard X220 and GoolRC 210 FPV racing drones, the “H” drone racing frame configuration allows the rear propellers to fetch their own air flow, rather than feeding off the air flow projected from the front propulsion system. The advantage that the Wizard X220 and GoolRC racing drones have with their hybrid “X” drone frames are great agility in sharp turns, flips, and rolls. The Falcon 180 RC FPV quad racing drone sports 2204 2300KV drone racing motors, which are comparable in performance to the Wizard X220, Tyrant S215, and GoolRC210’s drone motors. Like the Wizard X220 and GoolRC drone but unlike the Tyrant S215, the Falcon 180 RC FPV quad racing drone adopts 5045 5” triple blade drone racing propellers. Unlike all of the above FPV racing drones, the Falcon 180 RC FPV quad racing drone adopts comparatively performant Fairy 20A electronic speed controllers (ESCs).
5. Racer 130 RC FPV Quad Racing Drone
Last but not least in our lineup of top 5 RC FPV quad racing drones to buy is the Racer 130 RC FPV quad racing drone. The Racer 130 RC FPV multi-rotor/quad racing drone adopts a true “H” drone body frame configuration that is unlike the Wizard X220 and GoolRC 210, and like Tyrant S215 and Falcon 180 RC FPV quad racing drones. As with the Tyrant S215 and Falcon 180 racing drones, the “H” drone body configuration offers extra in-flight traction to the rear propulsion systems, and therefore, extra forward momentum and speed. Unlike all the aforementioned FPV racing drones, the Racer 130 RC FPV multi-rotor quad racing drone sports 1105-4000KV brushless drone racing motors, offering a lower speed option for FPV quad racing. Its dual-blade propellers are also less thick than all previous drones, offering extra lightness, maneuverability, and energy consumption, but less traction and speed. Unlike all the above FPV quad racing drones, the Racer 130 RC FPV quad racing drone adopts a 10A electronic speed controllers which, while in a lower grade, still deliver the performance needed for FPV racing.