By: Carol Paiz, New Drone Pilot and Communications Specialist
What is FPV Drone Racing?
Drone racing is a sport where participants fly special drones that have a cameras fly around an obstacle course. Racers wear First Person View (FPV) goggles in order to view the camera feed from their drones. It’s a race where pilots only see what the drones see. They then feed their drone footage to certain channels that allow spectators to see what the pilot is seeing as well. Racing drones are specifically designed to be faster and more agile than STEM or recreational drones.
Jay McKibben conducts a race for Dallas Drone Racing group.
While most people who are interested in drones buy the “off the shelf” versions, drone racers to build and tweak to their liking smaller-sized drones. The custom-built drones are built to the pilots liking and require a battery. Since the drones fly so fast, the battery usually only last about three minutes. The racers usually have three to six spares already charged and ready to be swapped when needed. Along with the batteries, some pilots set up with more than one drone in case of a crash (part of the sport) or to supply spare parts to quickly fix any damaged.
While drone racing is still fairly new, different rules and regulations have changed or been established as time passes.
“In the beginning it was mostly lap count based. Everyone showed up, everyone flew a set amount of time, and whoever had the greatest number of laps at the end of the day was the winner. This rewarded consistency and helped raise everyone's skill level,” states Jay McKibben.
As this becomes more popular most organizers and audiences liked the attraction of multiple drones screaming around the track. In a Fastest 3 consecutive format, a racer has to have one good heat or round to string three really fast laps together in the course of the day to make it into the mains. At the end of the mains you have your top four, six or eight fastest racers.
The RQ-56 Cheyenne Racing Drone
OnPoynt provides drones, curriculum, educator training, and creates custom drone education programs for schools. The team at OnPoynt are experts on STEM, Career Technology Education (CTE) and Racing Drones for use in education.
You can reach Jay via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for answers to your racing drone questions.
Note: The OnPoynt Cheyenne racing drone is available for pre-order.