Drone racing league
Since the introduction of drones for civilian use, many people have found drones handy for many reasons. Initially, drones were primarily used for professional and military purposes. But recently, recreational drone usage has been on the rise for all the good reasons. One such reason is racing. Drone racing has been around for a few years now and people have even started a league known as the Drone Racing League.
What is Drone Racing League (DRL)?
The DRL is a professional drone racing league that was established in the United States. The league has professional drone pilots who race with FPV drones through 3D courses at very high speeds, often more than 80mph. The league was founded in 2015 but was officially launched in January 2016. The inaugural season was highly publicized in most of the mainstream media including ESPN, Sky Sports and many others. The race took place in various locations across the United States. The 2017 season kicked off in June 2017. Most people view the DRL as an equivalent of NASCAR, MotoGP and Formula 1 for drones. The league is still new in its early stages and hasn’t gotten a lot of pilots to subscribe but it sure is very promising.
What drones are used for Drone Racing League?
The organizers of the DRL build all their drones in-house in order to create a level playing field for all pilots. In this case, when a pilot wins a race, it would be easy to conclude that he was the best pilot and not necessarily the pilot who flew the best drone. All drones are built from scratch by the engineers of the league. Below are some of the drones used for DRL.
The Racer2 drone is one of the most advanced racing drones built by the DRL. In the 2016 season, this drone was mostly used and there were 100 of these during the season. This drone had a flight time of between 2 and 3 minutes and was known to reach speeds of up to 80 mph. Unlike other racing drones, this drone weighed slightly more than the average racing drones thanks to the LED lights attached to each rotor to provide visibility and to also identify the pilot. As far as the design was concerned, most of the electronics of this drone was exposed which meant that it was more likely to be completely damaged in case it crashed.
The Racer3 was introduced in the 2017 season and was more advanced in terms of performance than the Racer2. It has the capability of accelerating from 0-80mph in a second and had a flight range of about 6 kilometers. Unlike the Racer2 drone, the Racer3 has a protective shell to protect the electronics in case of a crash. Currently, there are no models available for sale although plans are underway to have the toy model on sale.
DRL engineers built the RacerX in July 2017 with an aim of coming up with a drone that would break records. It had a maximum speed of 179.6 mph and it broke the world record for the highest speed ever attained by a quadcopter. In fact, earlier prototypes burst into flames when these speeds were achieved due to the massive power required to propel it.
How much does it cost to build a race drone?
Most racing drones are designed to have a powerful forward thrust and come with a camera attached to the front of the drone. Agility, speed and durability are the main features of this drone and therefore the engineers attach a lot of importance on these factors. Their Electronic Speed Controllers are some of the best in the industry because they are used to modulate the speed of the drone. The external shell of the drones are usually made from strong, lightweight carbon fiber that has the capability of withstanding great impact even when in an accident. For this reason, a lot of money goes into the creation of a racing drone. Designers of these drones estimate an average cost of $1000.