Drone technology has evolved into a phenomenon over the past years. So it's no wonder that drone racing has taken the world by storm. Here's the complete guide to help you find the best racing drones that will undoubtedly stay ahead of the race.
Originally intended to aid the military force, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) also commonly known as drones have gained popularity among hobbyists.
Today, high-speed drone racing has become a professional sport that operates internationally. The Drone Racing League (DRL) since its public launch in 2016 has enthralled thousands of racers from all around the world.
Since then, more and more people have been looking for the fastest racing drones that they could get their hands on. There are lots of UAVs available in the market, but only some of these are suitable for high-speed competition.
With a winning prize of $100,000, it’s only fitting that UAV racers will stop at nothing in increasing their drone’s power and speed. If you’re interested in this sport and still trying to find out where to begin, we can help you find the perfect racing drones for you.
Getting the best racing drone is the only way to win the race. That's why it's important to take your time comparing different models in the market.
Careful analysis of the specifications and features can help you find the model that perfectly suits your preference. However, with thousands of options available for sale, it would take a lifetime to scrutinize each model one by one.
We'll make it easier for you by giving you our list of recommended racing drones. You can make sure that every model in our list is guaranteed to provide nifty results and exhilarating flight experience.
However, before you give you our top 5 picks, let us give you an overview of what FPV (first person view) drone racing is all about.
Understanding the fundamentals shall give you a head-start in this sport. More importantly, learning the basics of racing drones shall give you an idea which particular feature to look for.
Just like typical air racing sports, the goal of FPV drone racing is to complete a set of course as quickly as possible.
However, this particular type of sport doesn't require the pilot to ride in an actual aircraft. Instead, FPV pilots control the UAV equipped with cameras while wearing a head-mounted display that shows real-time image feed from the camera.
To put it just, this sport allows the pilot to see what the UAV sees through live streaming footage. Any UAV could be used to race, but professional FPV leagues often require UAVs to meet certain standards.
To participate in these events, you'll need three basic tools: the drone, the remote control, and the VR (virtual reality) goggles.
These essential components are all connected via radio and transmit data to and fro with impressive speed to allow adequate control.
To be able to win the race, veteran racers often create custom-built quadcopters with very powerful multi-rotors that can fly at incredible speeds.
One of the racers goals is to keep their quadcopters as light as possible because unnecessary weight can make it lose speed and momentum.
If you're a beginner at this sport, you may find it difficult to build your UAV. The best way (and the only possible way) for beginners to triumph in this sport is to buy high-speed quadcopters.
Professional leagues would require you to register your UAV before you can participate. FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) registration may not be necessary for amateur UAV events.
Most people probably think of drones as a flying robot programmed to take photos or record aerial videos.
Although the majority of the quadcopters in the market are intended for aerial photography, the popularity of this sport also increases the demand for racing drones.
If you are mainly looking for a quadcopter for this sport, some sellers might try to trick you by giving you photography UAVs instead. So, how can you distinguish a racing drone from an aerial photography one?
There some vast differences between these two types of UAVs. Since racing drones are specifically designed to be lightweight, the most distinguishing feature that separates these two is the weight.
Compared to standard UAVs, racing drones are lighter and smaller to allow them to be more agile during flight.
Despite being extremely lightweight, they are made of durable carbon fiber material that can handle much punishment.
In addition to this property, racing drones also come with mushroom antennas that transmit data without delay.
To better understand the difference between racing drones and the standard camera UAVs, here is a brief and more detailed summary of their fundamental differences:
Speed and Maneuverability
Camera quality, ease of flight and stability
Heavy due to the additional weight of the camera
A wide variety of materials
Loaded with different flight modes and smart features
Now that you know how to distinguish a mini racing drone, the next thing is to learn the differences between RTF (ready to fly) quadcopter and racing drone kits. You'll probably encounter these terms when you go shopping for racing drones, so it's essential to have a grasp of these things.
As the name implies, RTF quadcopters are prepared to take flight straight out of the box. In other words, these types of racing drones come fully assembled so there's no assembly required on your part.
Typically, these types have all the components included in one package except the batteries for the remote controller. Beginners can benefit from RTF quadcopter because it allows to race with no lost time on assembly.
The only disadvantage of this type is the issue on upgradeability especially for novice pilots who have never disassembled a UAV before.
When buying RTF quadcopters, make sure that it has an FPV kit included or else, you'll have to purchase for a separate set of FPV system.
In this case, you need to make sure that the bands and TX frequency of your UAV and the FPV set are compatible. If these components don't match, the FPV setup won't work.
Unlike RTF types, racing drone kits don't come fully assembled. Upon opening the box, you'll find several miniature components that you need to assemble all by yourself.
Assembling a racing drone kit can be a bit tricky for those who haven't assembled a UAV before. Therefore, only purchase this type just if you have enough experience in assembling quadcopters.
Precise wiring, tampering around with electronic components, accurate soldering and other assembling tasks require steady hands and much patience.
Building your high-speed UAV would take several days to complete depending on your level of expertise.
Seasoned FPV racers often prefer to design and construct their quadcopters. This is because nothing can beat the satisfaction of winning a race using your product.
Your choice of high-speed quadcopter (RTF or racing drone kits) will depend on your level of experience and expertise. Some veteran racers still opt for RTF quadcopters then modify them later to increase their speed and power.
You can also do the same. Different spare parts can be purchased to replace damaged parts or to upgrade your UAV. Many people often underestimate RTF types that are available in the market. The truth is, there are high-performance models with impressive speeds and reliability that can win the game.
To start your journey towards this sport, the most important thing to do is to find the best racing drone. Here are the best FPV high-speed quadcopters for sale to get you started:
There are a plethora of high-speed FPV quadcopters in the market. If you try to look them up on the internet, you'll find out that these models significantly differ in price. So, would it be wise to invest in high-priced models? Alternatively, would it be better to settle for the more affordable ones?
The best racing drone doesn't have to be expensive. Since these models are designed to be lightweight as much as possible, the need for fancy construction and other smart features are eliminated. The primary goal here is to find the best racing drone that focuses on quality and value without spending much money.
However, do these models exist? Well, we've got good news for you. We've round up the best FPV high-speed quadcopters that can give you an exhilarating experience at an affordable price.
First on our list is this fantastic quadcopter racer by Walkera. As a renowned manufacturer of UAVs, Walkera has established a reputation as the most trusted manufacturer of commercial Microcopters.
So, you can ensure that you’re getting nothing but the best from this leading manufacturer. The Walkera F210 Professional Racer features the latest F3 flight systems designed to provide excellent flight performance.
Equipped with a new generation of processor with proven sensor algorithms, this system will give your quadcopter all the functionality required. This RTF model comes assembled, but you'll need to charge the battery first before it can take flight.
Its DEVO 7 transmitter supports real-time HD image transmission, and the quality of this controller is indeed unparalleled. The quadcopter is equipped with a mushroom antenna that is capable of receiving and transmitting data at an impressive 5.8G transmission.
When the transmitter and receiver work together, the ease of control and no-delay transmission make this quadcopter perfect for this sport.
Constructed of carbon fiber materials, it combines streamlined design and physical mechanics to move the center of gravity to the central point. With its bow design and same wheelbases, flight becomes more agile, more reliable and more stable.
While flying at a speed comparable to F1 racer, its anti-crash and anti-drop design make it more robust and durable. Plus, the motors and other internal components are securely protected so they won't easily get damaged in case of crash or fall.
Propelled by four powerful 2500kv brushless motors, this quadcopter can fly at incredible speeds and zips. What's more interesting about this high-speed quadcopter is its unique 700TVL night vision camera that enables you to practice even at night.
Aside from its night vision feature, its amazing camera also gives you a wide 120-degree viewing range Despite its bulky-looking body (thanks to its vast mushroom antenna), Walkera F210 only weighs 0.81 pounds with battery weight included.
-Flight control adopts the latest F3 flight system to provide high-performance flying experience
-Carbon fiber material with anti-crash and anti-drop ability
-A 700TVL camera which is equivalent to 0.5MP camera features adjustable angle and night vision functionality
-Ergonomic remote control DEVO 7 has responsive buttons and joystick for a better control experience
-Optimized brushless motors with high-efficiency ESC improve positive and negative acceleration as well as the resistance to wind current and in-flight disturbances
-5.8G real time image transmission
-Flip ability in 3D Aerobatic Mode
-Dimension: 11 x 4 x 9 inches
-Weight: 0.82 pounds (battery included)
-Motor: 2500kv brushless
-Top speed: 50 MPH
-Remote Controller DEVO 7
-Battery 14.8V 1300mAh 40C 4S lithium polymer
-Charging Time: 90 minutes
-Flight Time 8 to 9 minutes
-Camera: 700TVL night vision
This mini racing drone comes pre-assembled, but it's not necessarily RTF because it doesn't have a battery and controller included. This means that you have to provide your battery and controller to fly this thing.
Furthermore, if you intend to use it for a race, you’ll also need to get a separate FPV headset. However, despite its shortcomings, the flight performance and durability of Arris FPV250 BNF is quite impressive.
The body is made of composite fiberglass frame making it durable and reliable. It uses ultra powerful 2300kv brushless motor and 20A ESC to propel this mini racing drone to fast speed.
So, when it comes to speed, this affordable mini racing drone has a lot to give. In addition to these, this mini racing drone is also equipped with a 700TVL camera that can capture quality video with zero delays.
One of the good things about this model is that it uses standard connectors to allow users to modify them easily. As mentioned earlier, you'll need to buy separate essential parts such as the battery, controller and FPV headset.
For the battery, we highly recommend the Arris 4S 14.8V 1500mAh lithium polymer battery which is designed explicitly for Arris high-speed quadcopters.
Since this mini racing drone is using FrSky 4RSB receiver, we highly suggest that you buy FrSky transmitters. Different brands of transmitter other than FrSky may not work well with this receiver.
Moreover, don't forget to purchase a battery charger because the package doesn't include one. As for the FPV headset, we recommend the Fat Shark Dominator V3 to get real-time HD image transmission for a better flying experience.
Having to buy several essential parts may be troublesome. However, putting all of these components together would bring in ease of maneuverability and amazing flight performance.
-High quality 2300kv brushless motor and 20A ESC for incredible speed and power
-No latency 700TVL camera makes a high-quality video without lags
-5.8G FrSky 4RSB receiver supports real-time HD image transmission when used together with compatible FrSky transmitter (not included)
-The frame is made of fiberglass composite materials for durability
-Dimension: 9.6 x 9.1 x 5.3 inches
-Weight: 0.87 pounds (without battery)
-Motor: 2300KV brushless with 20A ESC
-Camera: 700 TVL 3.6mm
-Battery (not included): 3S 11.1V 1500 – 2200 mAh required
-Flying Time: 10 minutes (with 3S 2200mAh battery)
-Transmitter (not included): FrSky Taranis X9D Plus recommended
-FPV Headset (not included): Fat Shark Dominator V3 recommended
Here's another RTF quadcopter intended for this sport that will surely stay ahead of the race. Although the Blade Mach 25 FPV Racer is categorized as a BNF (bind-and-fly) quadcopter, it does come with a battery.
However, aside from the battery, this UAV doesn't include a controller, FPV headset and battery charger. So, you'll need to buy these components separately to use the quadcopter.
This super-fast quadcopter uses 2300kv brushless motor powered by an E-flite 1350mAh 3S battery. Moreover, it uses tilted motor mounts for higher speeds and faster acceleration.
For the user's convenience, the powerful propellers feature a self-tightening design that allows you to install or replace them with no tools required. Its frame is made of heavy-duty carbon fiber with lightweight aluminum supports.
Additionally, it comes with a Spektrum 25mw Ultra Micro 330TVL FPV camera mounted on a carbon-fiber mount to reduce vibration.
Since the camera has 5.8 GHz frequency with seven channels available, it would require FPV goggles with the same band and frequency. That is if you want to take advantage of real-time image transmission during flight.
We highly recommend Fat Shark FPV headsets because these are considered the best brand of FPV vision systems for this sport.
Unlike other high-speed FPV quadcopters, the Blade Mach 25 doesn’t have a mushroom antenna. Instead, it uses a 6-channel Spektrum A3174 receiver that is compatible only with a 6-channel Spektrum transmitter. For the transmitter, we highly suggest the Spektrum DX6.
-Durable carbon fiber construction with reliable aluminum frame supports
-The frame (except the propellers) comes fully assembled, propeller installation is so easy due to its self-tightening hubs
-SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology offers multiple safe-enabled flight modes
-Highly efficient 2300kv brushless outrunner motors installed on canted mounts for higher speeds and faster acceleration
-Spektrum 25MW Ultra Micro FPV camera installed on an anti-vibration carbon fiber mount
-Multicolored LED lighting system helps with identification and orientation during the race
-Compatible with Fat Shark FPV headsets and Spektrum DX6 transmitter
-Dimension: 14.4 x 10.2 x 4.5 inches
-Weight: 2.2 pounds
-Motors: 2300kv brushless
-Battery: E-Flite 1350mAh 3S 11.1V lithium polymer
-Flight Time: 10 minutes
-Receiver: 6-ch Spektrum A3174
-Transmitter (not included): Spektrum transmitter required
-FPV Headset (not included): Fat Shark FPV Goggles recommended
Trying to find the best racing drone is a burdensome task by itself. Now imagine having to buy other basic components that are not included in the package. That’s double the hassle.
Beginners should look for an RTF quadcopter that has all the necessary parts included in the box. Moreover, if you're a beginner, then you don't need to look any further.
Eachine Wizard x220 FPV is the ideal solution for you. This high-performance model is built to withstand a decent amount of crashes and falls due to its sturdy frame construction.
Realistically speaking, there's a very slim chance that you'll win the race on the first try. Your quadcopter is likely to experience getting into a collision with obstacles or getting plowed into the ground at the start of your career.
That's why it is advisable to look for a durable quadcopter that can survive all kinds of punishments. Moreover, Eachine Wizard x220 can do just that. However, still, we recommend that you get some spare parts in case some of the components get damaged.
This model runs on 2205 2300kv brushless motors working together with efficient 20A ESCs to propel the vehicle to astounding speeds. Like other advanced FPV quadcopters, it also incorporates the F3 flight system that features two modes of control.
It comes with a FlySky I6 2.4GHz 6-ch remote control with a transmission range of 500 meters to provide long-range maneuverability.
To keep the powerful motors alive, it uses 3S 11.1V 1500mAh lithium polymer battery that can last up to 20 minutes. This is longer compared to other quadcopters with batteries of the same energy charge.
The package also includes a B3 battery charger, so there's no need to buy a separate one. For a real flying experience, this model is equipped with a 700TVL CCD camera and an fantastic 5.8Ghz 48-ch 200mw transmitter.
Unfortunately, it doesn't come with FPV goggles, so you have to buy your own. When choosing FPV headset to bind with this model, look for the one that has the same frequency and bandwidth as the transmitter.
However, aside from the headset, other essential components and accessories can be found in the package. Battery strap, antenna, wrenches, and all the necessary tools required for the set up are included.
-Robust propellers have anti-vibration property for better flight performance and more stable operation
-Streamlined design for faster acceleration and more powerful lift
-Uses the latest F3 flight system, the cutting edge flight control system
-Interchangeable components for easy modification and upgrades
-Supports real-time HD image transmission to give real flying experience
-Unique ID feature to prevent interference from other signals nearby
-Bright indicator LED lights to allow you to see the quadcopter from far away even in broad daylight
-Energy efficient brushless motors can extend battery life
-Dimension: 12 x 9.5 x 5.3 inches
-Weight: 1.2 pounds
-Motors: 2300kv brushless
-Speed: Up to 50mph
-Flight Time: 20 minutes
-Battery: 3S 11.1 V 1500 mAh lithium polymer
-Charging Time: 30 minutes
-Transmitter: Flysky I6 2.4G 6CH remote control
-Control Range: 500m
-Camera: 700TVL CCD
It's an accepted fact that racing drones don't need to be visually pleasing because the speed and performance are what matter. However, what if you can have all of these features in one quadcopter?
Take a look at Rise Vusion 250 Extreme. This fine-looking mini racing drone flaunts striking design with a black/yellow color scheme that will certainly stand out.
However, then again, these high-speed UAVs can only go as far as their flight performance could take them. So, aesthetically aside, what exactly can it offer regarding performance?
As a mini racing drone, this budget-friendly model uses 2280kv brushless paired with high-frequency ESCs provide speed and agility.
What makes this quadcopter a cut above the rest is that it is the only model that uses injection-molded construction modular design. This state-of-the-art design makes this mini racing drone tough enough to bounce back from crashes or collisions.
It is powered by an 11.1V 1500mAh 25C lithium polymer battery that can supply sufficient power for up to 8 minutes.
Another fantastic thing about this quadcopter is its astonishing 600TVL camera with a video transmitter featuring 5.8GHz technology. For a more realistic FPV experience, it also features eight specially-reserved Raceband channels optimized for this sport.
The only disappointing downside is that it doesn't include FPV goggles, remote control, and battery charger. When buying FPV goggles or monitor, make sure that it has a 5.8GHz frequency to bind it with a video transmitter.
Also, get a 5-channel remote control to operate the UAV. Rise J200, Futaba, Tactic SLT, or other 5-channel radio would do the job flawlessly. It has a memory card slot where you can install a memory card where you can save as much data as you like.
-Injection-molded construction allows the quadcopter to bounce back from crashes or collisions
-High-resolution FPV camera supports real-time HD image transmission
-Powerful motor and high-performance ESCs with OneShot 125 programming for higher speed and agility required for this sport
-With a built-in memory card slot that allows you to save footages in real time by adding a micro memory card
-Spare bullnose propellers included
-Interchangeable parts for easy replacement and modification
-Size: 19 x 12.4 x 6.6 inches
-Weight: 1.1 pounds
-Motors: 2280kv brushless
-Battery: 3S 11.1V 1500mAh 25C lithium polymer
-Flight Time: 7 to 8 minutes
-Charging Time: 90 minutes
-Video Transmitter Frequency: 2.4GHz
-Transmitter (not included): 5-channel radio required
-FPV goggles or monitor (not included): 5.8GHz required
-Micro memory card slot
UAVs are more than just flying machines because they can conduct various jobs. These aircraft are distinct from one another respectively on their ability to perform a specific task.
However, the most available and the most sought-after model in the market is the quadcopter. Technically, quadcopters use a quartet of rotors placed on the airframe's ends.
Quadcopters come in many forms depending on their applications and functions. Photography drones, GPS drones, trick drones, and racing drones are examples of quadcopters with specific purposes.
Bigger UAVs that are mainly used in agricultural, delivery, and professional surveillance industries may require more than four rotors.
As for racing drones, there are tons of different models available in the market. Naturally, people would be focusing more on a quadcopter’s flight performance and speed.
However, there are also other important factors to consider if you want to find the best racing drone. First, you need to consider your level of expertise in this sport.
Most veteran racers often modify their commercial quadcopter to boost its speed and improve its features. So, these skilled UAV racers tend to choose racing drone kits which allow them to assemble and build their aircraft.
RTF, on the other hand, would greatly benefit novice racers who are just starting to learn the ropes of this particular sport.
Aside from whether you choose an RTF or DIY rig, let us give you some helpful tips to guide in making your final decision.
Fast acceleration and super fast speed can be determined by one factor – the weight. Remember, the more load it carries, the slower it goes. That’s why UAV designers try to make high-speed quadcopters as lightweight as possible.
Some models even exhibit bare-bone design to eliminate unnecessary burden that can weigh down the quadcopter.
Yes, bare-bones design quadcopters are not pleasing to the eyes. However, keep in mind that lighter UAVs will get more out of their motor's power. In comparing different models, please pay attention to their weights.
The quality of the camera can play an essential role in winning the race. Make sure that your quadcopter provides a real-time transmission with zero latency and no delay. Even a split second lag can cost you the game.
Having a clear view of what's in front of the quadcopter and where it is going is crucial to winning this sport.
If you can't afford the pricey HD cameras, then you can opt for the cheaper ones that can produce a good quality image transmission. Purchase an adequate camera with a video resolution of around 600TVL to 800TVL.
Choosing to buy a racing drone kit or a BNF rig can be a little tricky. Unlike RTF, these types would require you to find other essential components that you can bind with the quadcopter's receivers.
To bind these components with the receivers, you need to make sure that they are operating at the same frequency.
For example, a 5.8GHz receiver would require a radio control transmitter with 5.8GHz frequency. Moreover, a video transmitter with 2.4GHz frequency would need to pair up with a 2.4Ghz FPV goggles or monitor.
There are two options to view your camera's feed. You can opt to choose between an FPV headset (goggles) and an LCD monitor.
FPV goggle is a VR (virtual reality) device that is worn like a pair of eyeglasses. This headset provides a fully immersive experience by eliminating other distractions around you. Professional racers prefer to use FPV goggles so they can focus more on UAV's track.
On the other hand, an LCD monitor is usually attached on top of the controller. So the users can view the feed while they’re operating the controller.
LCD monitors are cheaper than FPV goggles. Moreover, if you can't afford the expensive FPV headset, we suggest you go with an LCD monitor for the meantime. Then you can upgrade for a pair of FPV goggles when you already have the budget.
If there's one thing that is bound to happen in a UAV race event, that is one or two of the participating vehicles will crash.
Moreover, there's no telling when it will happen to you too. So, it's better to be sure than sorry.
Most high-speed quadcopters are built to be tough. However, to be sure, see to it that the frame is made of carbon fiber. This material is known to be durable and won't easily break even if the vehicle crashes or falls to the ground.
You already have a competitive high-speed quadcopter with all the necessary components at hand, so what’s next?
How can you sign in and participate in a particular FPV race? Here are some requirements and additional tools that you need to obtain to compete in this sport.
In the United States, UAVs weighing more than 55 pounds are required to be registered with the FAA before they can be used.
Smaller UAVs weighing less than 55 pounds that are used mainly for recreational purposes don’t need registration. However, if you intend to use it for business, you’ll need to register it online.
Some amateur FPV events don't require FAA registration to allow participants to compete. However, professional activities and other amateur FPV leagues may require your FAA registration before you can participate.
Crashes and collisions are to be expected in this sport. No matter how careful you are, it would be best if you always were ready with spare parts at hand.
Propellers, camera, battery, control board, motors, and other fundamental components can be damaged during the competition. If you don’t have any spare parts to replace the damaged parts, then it’s likely ‘game over’ for you.
We recommend that you bring at least two of every component with you to the track. Bear in mind that the race track will not be as smooth as your backyard. There will be metal poles and other unforgiving obstacles that you may not be able to avoid.
Thankfully, racing drones are designed with interchangeable parts that would make it easier for you to replace damaged parts.
A state-of-the-art quadcopter means nothing if you don't have an equally competitive mind. To win in any competition, one must be mentally ready and fully equipped with the right tools.
Moreover, to become a professional drone racer, you'll need lots of practice and lots of experience in this sport.
Before heading to the race track, we strongly urge you to take plenty of practice first. Start with cheap quadcopters and practice on these until you get right. Then you can begin operating high-speed quadcopters and get as much practice as possible.
Your main connection to the quadcopter is the remote control. Therefore make sure that you’re familiar with the buttons and controls even with your eyes closed.
Hand coordination and visual orientation are essential skills to get the most out of the best racing drone. Moreover, you can only achieve these skills through arduous practice and training.
Initially intended for military applications, UAVs indeed has gone a long way over the years. Now, racing drones are becoming a craze that has been driving racers into a frenzy.
Started as a simple hobby, drone racing has become a big business. That's why more and more racers want to take their ambition to a more professional level.
To be able to come on top in this sport, you'll need to find the best racing drone. Super high speed and fast acceleration are the most focal features in choosing racing drones. However, there are other important things to consider apart from speed and acceleration.
No matter how fast your quadcopter is, it won’t make it to the finish line if the battery drains out before the others. Can your mini racing drone stand up to impacts and falls? Is it durable enough get back on track after a crash or a collision?
Does it have available parts that allow easy replacement when you need to replace damaged components? Are the FPV modules giving you good quality live stream video without any delay? Is the control range considerable enough to cover the entire track?
As you can see, these factors can also determine the success of your quadcopter in this sport. For racing drones, there’s no need to look for extra features and irrelevant gimmicks.
Try to concentrate on the functionality of every component (not just motor power) and cut off anything that is unnecessary. Remember, understanding and learning how to boost the performance of every component is the key to prevail in this race.
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