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So You Want to Try Your Hand at FPV Racing

FPV Freestyle can be an exciting experience. When it comes to FPV Freestyle, it’s all about how you get there. FPV racing refers to First Person View racing. An FPV drone racer herself doesn’t move from where she is sitting for the duration of the race. Instead, she controls a drone that has been equipped with a camera. A live feed from the camera is visible to the racer on her head-mounted display. The goal of the race is to be the first drone to complete a set course while performing a series of tricks.

Drone Racing vs FPV Racing

Drone racing began in 2014 as an amateur sport in Australia and has been popular ever since. According to some people, it became an official sport in 2016. Today, there are a number of outfits across the world that organize drone racing at varied levels. Though FPV racing also involves a drone, it is not the same as drone racing. Drone racing is all about completing an obstacle course in the shortest possible time. On the other hand, time is only one of the factors in FPV racing. The heart of FPV racing is the way a pilot navigates tight corners, small openings and goes around obstacles while performing a variety of tricks. Take a look at FPV freestyle videos to get an idea of the action that one can expect during these races.

Watching FPV race is also different from any other race. Whether you’re cheering marathon runners or swimmers, a spectator always has an outsider’s view. When it comes to FPV racing, spectators can also wear video goggles like the drone pilots. These goggles can be tuned to different radio wavelengths so as to catch the images being transmitted from the camera on each drone. By changing the frequency of their goggles, they can watch the race from all the different drone’s perspective. The features of these goggles are constantly being upgraded. Some features include receiver diversity, multiple frequency settings, a wide field of view, head tracking and video recording.

Scoring FPV Races

Thus, to win the race, the pilot must complete the course as fast as possible and perform as many tricks as possible. Each trick is awarded points based on the difficulty. For example, a 360 degree forward flip, a 360 degree right roll or passing through a large gap very slowly are considered novice tricks. Mid-level tricks include back to back rolls/flips and 180-degree rolls/flips with a pause. Passing through a gap with a roll/flip and a power loop also fall into this category of tricks. A power loop through a tiny gap or flipping over an object while keeping it in view is more difficult and considered an expert trick. These tricks have maximum points.

Course Design

FPV racing can be organized indoors or outdoors and use a combination of manmade and environmental elements. Many races are organized around iconic landmarks or incorporate movie props. Some of the most well-known courses for races conducted in 2017 include Bunowen Castle in Ireland, Trona Pinnacles and the DHL Bonn Post Tower. Obstacles along the course are usually lit with LEDs.

What Type of Drone Would You Need

There are a number of different types of drones available but not all of them can participate in competitive FPV racing leagues. Mini quad drones are the most popular for FPV racing. These are very agile and more durable than other drones. If they crash into an obstacle, the damage is usually limited and they can be picked up and flown again in a few minutes. This gives pilots the confidence to take chances and push their limits while performing tricks.

Racing drones are also designed in a different way as compared to drones used primarily for photography. In this case, all of their energy is focused on moving forward instead of hovering over a spot. The motors are also placed differently. In a quadcopter used for photography, the four motors will be configured in an X pattern. On the other hand, the motors of a racing model are configured in an H pattern. This allows the drone to move forward. When it comes to racing drones; the lighter it is, the better it will fly. Their electric motors give them the ability to accelerate quickly and allow pilots to maneuver them at high speeds.

Drone racing is an expensive but exciting hobby. If you want to experiment with this sport, empty buildings, gardens and children’s playgrounds are ideal places to practice.

 

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