TAKE FLIGHT TO THE NEXT LEVEL
If drone racing and freestyle flying sounds like something crazy you would see in a movie, you’re right! If you’re even considering getting into the sport of drone racing, do it! This is the intense, fast paced, super addictive side of drone flying. Racing drones are like race-cars. They will take a lot more research and time than any other type of drone to start out with, but the experience you get when flying is unlike anything else in the world.
Drone Racing is a real sport with real competitions and very real prize money, and it’s starting to take off all over the world. Nobody knows where this sport will end up years down the road, but it’s only getting more intense as technology advances. One day drone racing could become just as popular as any other major sport, so if you want to be the best, you better start now.
1. TBS VENDETTA
The TBS Vendetta is a tiny little quadcopter designed specifically for FPV (first person view) racing and freestyle flying. Today, you can find quite a few mini FPV racing drones that come ready to fly, but the Vendetta is the best option out there. It comes with almost everything you need to start learning to race. The only things that it won’t come with is a controller, battery, charger and FPV video goggles, but in the world of drone racing you’ll usually want to choose that stuff to fit your needs anyway.
Racing drones like the Vendetta are usually much smaller than camera drones like the Phantom 4, but don’t let the small size fool you. The TBS Vendetta will easily reach speeds of 70mph and above when racing on a track, or over 100mph when doing nose dives down the sides of cliff faces.
There are a few reasons why we think the Vendetta is the best ready-to-fly racing drone, but the main reason is because it’s designed well and all of the parts have great performance and quality. The Vendetta is a drone that’s going to be hard to break, but if it does, no problem! It’s one of the only drones that doesn’t require a soldering iron when you need to replace components after crashing. This is a big deal for racing drones, because you’re always crashing and repairing it at racing events, or even just at the park. Because of its modular design, you can also upgrade to bigger motors, add a high-voltage battery and instantly have a faster machine.
As far as price goes, it’s about $500 (which is pretty normal for a drone this size with all of the features that it has). Availability for the Vendetta is not the best right now because it’s new and high in demand, but if you ordered one today you could expect to have it in your hands within a month.
2. IMMERSIONRC VORTEX 250 PRO
The Vortex 250 Pro is another great ready-to-fly racing drone and it’s a direct competitor to the TBS Vendetta. It’s about the same size, but a bit heavier and comes with two bladed propellers instead of three like the vendetta. Typically, two bladed props will be slightly more efficient, but three bladed props have more power and a crisper flight characteristic to them. You can change the props on both quadcopters if you want to, but then the flight controller will have to be re-tuned.
The main difference between the Vendetta and the Vortex 250 is that you aren’t getting the removable arms or the modular components. With the Vortex, it’s not going to be as easy to fix and you won’t be able to upgrade it to get more power, but I think it’s still a good alternative to the Vendetta and better than the older Vortex 285.
3. IMMERSIONRC VORTEX 285
The Vortex 285 is another drone from ImmersionRC. It’s actually one of the first ready-to-fly FPV racing drones that came to market back in 2015, but because of the features it has and the price, it’s still very relevant even today. It runs similar firmware to the Vortex 250 Pro, but the hardware is just slightly slower which means that it shouldn’t be as responsive. It will still feel like a very precise machine, matching performance to most of the custom racing builds out there, it’s just not the best of the best.
The biggest drawback of the Vortex 285 is the frame design. It’s about 35mm larger than the Vortex 250 Pro (which isn’t a problem for traveling thanks to the folding arm design), but the frame has a lot of small plastic pieces holding it together. In other words, the Vortex 250 Pro will be a lot stronger than the 285 because it has a stronger and more simple frame design.
So why would you want the Vortex 285? Because the current price is only $330 ($170 cheaper than the 250 Pro).
4. LUMENIER QAV250
The QAV250 is a quadcopter designed for freestyle flying and FPV racing, just like the Vendetta. It’s actually just a frame that’s sold by Lumenier so people can add their own electronics to it, but you can get a ready-to-fly version with all of the electronics installed if you’re willing to pay extra.
This is truly a hobbyist type of multirotor and all of the parts and components are high quality, customizable and made by completely different companies. Getting it set up and fixing it when you crash would be a lot harder than most of the other ready-to-fly options out there, but it’s a good choice for someone who wants to use specific parts to build the perfect racing drone.
The price for the frame is about $130, but once you add up the cost of buying the high quality components, it will be in the same price range as the TBS Vendetta.
5. EACHINE RACER 250
This is a drone that looks great from the outside. It’s small and looks like it could be pretty fast. It even comes with everything you need for FPV racing (a controller, charger, batteries and FPV gear). You get all of this for a low price of $359.99 which sounds great, but racing drones like these are not what they seem. You might have a lot of fun for the first few days of owning a drone like this, but after getting more familiar with what a good racing drone really is, you will soon be looking for something much better.
I’m using the Eachine Racer 250 as an example, but there are a lot of cheap ready-to-fly racing drones out there in this price range, and the story is always the same. They all use the cheapest components possible, cutting corners with the design whenever they can. Quality control can also be a big issue, but the main reason why I wouldn’t recommend these kinds of drones is because they just aren’t designed to grow. You probably won’t be using the cheap controllers, battery chargers and FPV gear that come with these kits on future drone builds, so you’re basically throwing away money if you plan on upgrading.
However, if you’re dying to try FPV racing and you just can’t afford to spend the extra money on a proper setup, a drone like this could be the best option.
Original content from MyFirstDrone.com