Last Updated on December 23, 2020 by Righteous Daddy (Rehan)
Disclosure: My content contains affiliate links, meaning “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”
Drone racing isn’t that easy as it seems. You can’t take your DJI or Mavic’s mini drone to any drone racing tournament. It requires a specialized drone to speed-off in the air. No matter if you are new to drone racing or a pro, there are drones present in the market specially designed for racing purposes. In this article, I have brought to light the best drones for racing.
It is my personal opinion that you should customize your own drone if you’re planning to make an entry in some global drone racing tournament. However, customizing one’s own drone requires a lot of effort, skill, and time. It is better that you should start with a readymade drone. Besides the three best drones I have chosen for you, I have also enlisted a few of the factors you should consider while purchasing the best racing drone.
Before I switch over to the drones list, it is essential to know what rules must be followed during drone racing.
Rules and Regulations of Drone Racing
- FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Certified
Before taking your drone out, you must ensure either your drone is FAA certified or not. The basic rule is; if your drone Iighs more than 0.55 pounds, it has to be registered and legally authorized. Guarantee the legal authorization of your drone and fly it legally.
- Restricted Places
To avoid every kind of risk and danger of accidents, you cannot fly drones near or over airports, sports events, and stadiums. Hence, you must restrict yourself from flying near or over these sensitive places.
- Take Care of People Around You
You must not fly drones over people. Obviously, you would never want to hurt people around you in any way. You should fly the drone at least 400 above the ground. It is your responsibility to certify no person around you gets injure or uncomfortable by the flight of your drone.
- Never Lose Sight of your Drone
You must never lose sight of your drone. Make sure there should be an official observer to keep an eye on the drone when you cover your eyes with FPV goggles. Or even without FPV goggles, if your drone is out of sight, you have to bring it inside your vision.
- Ensure the Weather Conditions before Flying your Drone
Flying your drone in Stormy Weather is a whole new experience. It significantly deviates from flying in normal conditions. We know it is not easy to restrain yourself from flying the drone, but it is better to be late than sorry.
Let’s get to the top three drones ideal for racing.
Comparison Of Drones For Racing
EMAX Hawk Sport- Righteous Daddy Choice
This is the very first PNP and FPV drone on our list.
EMAX Hawk Sport has the superior speed and weight to speed-off in the air. It is not only designed perfectly but also provides you the dominance to customize the drone according to your preference so you can fully enjoy the flight experience.
Following are the Hawk Sport features that notify us about it is the perfect fit for drone racing.
Let’s review all of its features in sequence.
It features a Caddx Turbo Micro F2 1200TVL FPV Camera that provides you a clear view of where the drone is flying as if the drone has eyes of its own.
Electronic Speed Controller (ECS)
With Magnum 3-6S 35A BLHeli_32 Electronic Speed Controller, you can conveniently regulate the speed and the relative direction of rotation of the drone. The mentioned ECS also increases the possibility of implementing a real dynamic break when needed.
EMAX Hawk Sport is equipped with a Mini Magnum III F4 Flight Controller, which ensures the motor’s sequel and smooth manipulation and functioning.
The drone contains 25-200mW 37CH VTX w/ Raceband to spread out each channel across the entire allowable range, removing the probability of spectrum overlapping in the same band.
As a sports drone, it doesn’t have anything much to elaborate on. We are done with its features.
It is now time to review its unique and elegant design.
It measures 11.2 x 9.5 x 2.9 inches and Iighs 1.2 pounds only. Without the propellers, the wheelbase measure 210mm. The Hawk Sport has a slim and light profile, which enables it to generate fast racing speeds.
Though slim and light in weight, it has excellent durability and rigidity to fight off every situation.
The drone features powerful ECO 2207 1700KV Performance Brushless Motors, enabling the fast spinning of the propellers.
This is all about its design.
The accessories included with EMAX Hawk Sport are enlisted below:
- One instruction manual
- Six AVAN 5*3.0*3 (half are CW and the other half are CCW)
- Six AVAN 5*2.8*3 (half are CW and the other half are CCW)
- One extra hardware set
- One EMAX Nano RHCP SMA Antenna
- One spare canopy
It is now time to reveal the defects and downsides of Emax Hawk Sport
Batteries Not Included
Batteries are not included in the package.
Not for Beginners
The drone is not designed for beginners. You require skill and training to handle EMAX Hawk Sport. It’s no beginner’s game!
Let’s sum it up with pros and cons.
Despite the two minor defects, EMAX Hawk Sport is one of the best drones you can ever get hands-on for racing. It’s a beast in the air. It’s light, slim, and unique profile provides exceptional speed. It also provides you with the facility of customizing it according to your liking. What else do you need more out of a drone?
iFlight Titan XL5 HD Drone
This is the second drone on our list.
iFlight Titan XL5 HD is truly a beast in the air. All it takes is the knowledge of how to fly and handle it to unleash its #beastiness.
Let’s reveal all of its unique features and functions.
The drone is equipped with a powerful FPV camera that provides 720p video at 120fps. Exceptional clarity, crispy, and high-quality video quality is truly promising.
Electronic Speed Controller (ECS)
It features the latest SucceX-D F7 (50A 4-in-1) ECS smooth and complete control over the drone’s speed and rotation.
GPS Rescue Mode
GPS rescuer mode needs to be enabled in the Betaflight configurator. It is set at OFF by default to avoid any kind of unexpected movement of the drone. However, the simple GPS is ON by default to count the distance and number of satellites at that point. To unlock the GPS rescuer mode, there should be at least six satellites. By default, the minimum distance is 100m. You can also turn this feature on manually by the AUX switch present on the radio. Make sure you test, try, and understand the GPS rescuer feature and set it as a failsafe procedure at first.
To make your first flight safe and smooth, angle mode is pre-set.
This is all about its features.
Let’s have a quick review of its design.
It measures 10.91 x 8.94 x 2.8 inches and Iighs 1.52 pounds only. It has a 6mm arm design.
The drone is equipped with XING 2208 powerful motors. By default, the motor power is set to a 70% throttle limit. Once you get familiar with it, you can set it to 100%.
The antenna mounts are protected with 360 degrees TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethanes).
We are done with its design.
Let’s see in which areas this drone lacks behind.
Reversed Motor Direction
By default, the motor direction of the drone is reversed. You will have to download BLHeli32 forward the motor direction for each electronic speed controller.
Not for Beginners
While going through its features and functions, you might have a glimpse that this drone is not for beginners. That is true. It is not. Make sure that the GPS is set to failsafe before you take it out for test and trial.
Let’s have a quick review of its pros and cons.
The bottom line is, iFlight Titan XL5 HD is absolutely worth the purchase due to its elegant design and breakneck racing speeds. Once you get familiar with it, it’s a beast that no one can beat. All you need is to go through its manual carefully and have the proper training to fly it. Have appropriate knowledge of all of its features and how to use them beforehand. Take care of the sensitive parts, and you are good to go. The saying perfectly fits here; ‘’Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty.’’
Walkera F210 Professional Drone
This is the third and final drone on my list.
F210 features Walkera’s ever best engineering and technology. Walkera F210 comes in several different packaging. We have included the RTF package in this article, which contains the Devo 7 transmitter. Other packages include ARF and BNF. It is definitely a smart choice for drone racing.
Let’s have a quick review of all of its unique features and functions.
The drone features a 700TVL HD camera with one million pixels, a night vision lens, and photosensitive sensors. All these features combined provide remarkable video quality and bright light even at night times. It alters itself according to the external light. The camera also has an adjustable angle and 120 degrees visual range. Nothing can stop you now from racing at night or evening.
It features a 1300mAh 40C 4S battery that provides an average of 5 to 9 minutes of flight time. Most of the modern-day drones feature 4S batteries that are capable of providing 14.8 volts. FPV drones have less flight timing as compared to photography drones. The flight time doesn’t solely depend upon the battery. There are many other factors, such as environmental conditions, speed, etc., that either enhance or decrease the drone’s timing to stay in the air.
Walkera F210 is accompanied by an F3 flight featuring Clean Flight. The drone is pre-tuned and doesn’t need any significant adjustments. However, suppose you are a pro and advanced pilot. In that case, you can conveniently connect the drone with Clean Flight software on your PC and make necessary adjustments according to your liking and taste.
Devo 7 is included with the package mentioned above of F210. Devo 7 has many impressive features such as Expo and Dual Rate. Nevertheless, if you want to enjoy a color display, go with the packaging that includes Devo 10.
F210 can reach a minimum of 50mph and a maximum of 80km/h.
It is skillful in traveling a maximum distance of 800m or 2642 feet from the pilot.
To enhance your flight experience, Walkera F210 features various unique flight modes such as beginners mode, intermediate mode, racing mode, and even 3D flips and rolls.
This is all about its unique features and functions.
Let’s have a quick review of its sophisticated design.
The drone measures 26.81 x 13.11 x 5.71 inches and Iighs 8.88 pounds.
Frame Material: The main frame of F210 is made up of carbon fiber with a little aluminum touch. This combination provides a rigid and robust structure for the drone.
It is easy to install and disassemble.
F210 is equipped with a powerful brushless motor, which makes it really solid and resistant to crash.
The drone features a mushroom antenna that provides flight status and data in no time.
We are done with its design.
It’s time to enlist all of the add-ons that are included in the package.
- Devo 7 transmitter
- 4S 1300mAh, 40C Li-Po flight battery, and XT60 connector
- Battery charger
- 4 spare propellers (2 CW, 2 CCW)
- Tools kit
- 3 cables (charger cable, USB to MicroUSB cable, RC trainer port cable)
- Anti-slip mat
It’s time to find out the downsides of the F210.
The only defect I found in F210 after trying and testing is that it has a fail-safe bug. When the drone gets out of the transmitter range, the fail-safe function cuts the motor after 20 seconds. If your quad is flying a full-throttle, 20 seconds is a long time for it to travel a great distance.
How to Solve it?
To resolve this bug, try updating the firmware of F210. This will most probably reduce the time to only 6 seconds.
Besides, the drone is perfectly fine.
Let’s have a quick review of its pros and cons.
Though F210 has a fail-safe bug, it is an incredible racing drone overall. It has excellent speed, durability, portability, and the potential to travel far distances. The drone is a beast in the air. It has an anti-crash, reliable and robust design. F210 is, undoubtedly, worth purchasing.
How to Buy Best Drones for Racing?
As a customer, I understand it isn’t a piece of cake for you to decide upon one product. You would never want to waste your hard-earned money on something useless and low-quality item. To make it easy for you to choose, I have cropped up a few of the factors that will help you determine the best drone for racing.
For quick and easy digestion I have created the infographic. If you prefer long text form I have covered it too. 🙂
The race is all about determining which drone is capable of the highest speed. Many factors contribute to generating the drone’s fast pace, e.g., motors, design, etc. The powerful the motor, the higher the speed. A powerful engine makes the propellers spin at a rapid pace. That is why the drone you’re planning to buy must have a powerful motor and an aerodynamic profile. There are many drones available in the market that can reach 100mph, but if your drone delivers 75mph speed, that’s more than enough.
The speed of a drone is entirely determined by its motor. A motor is capable of spinning the propellers at a certain speed. As a result, the drone flies. It all comes down to the potential and toughness of the motor. You must not overlook the drone’s motor and choose the drone with the most convincing motor available in the market.
In the market, you will come across two types of motors; brushless and brushed. If you are confused and worried about the right choice of motor for a racing drone. In that case, I will recommend you brushless motor as it is more powerful and durable than the other. However, the brushless motor is more expensive than the brushed one.
The basic phenomenon is; the lighter the drone, the higher the speed. You should opt for a lightweight drone. Though light and tiny drones are prone to be carried away with high winds are less stable, that’s not the case with all drones. Even though few drones are as light as a feather, they have strong resistance against strong winds. It is due to their high speed and powerful motor. So, never feel half-hearted about the light Light drones.
A racing drone is not only remarkable in its speed but is also breath-taking in its looks. There are many impressively-designed racing drones available in the market. These drones are extraordinary in their looks and serve as a symbol of a strong competitor.
If the race is within a restricted area and you are so sure of not losing your drone’s sight, you are good to go without FPV goggles. However, if you want to enjoy the birds-eye view and want to fully appreciate the mesmerizing scenes of all the places your drone flies over. Then get FPV goggles. The professional drone racers love and adore to wear FPV goggles during the race.
Types of Drone; RTF, BNF & PNF
If you are facing difficulty choosing between different types of drones, below, I have explained every kind of drone with its use.
- Ready to Fly (RTF): RTF drones are among the most reliable drones to fly as they include everything in their package. From transmitter to battery and charger, everything comes along with the drone.
- Bind N Fly (BNF): The most common type of drones you will find is BNF drones. These drones are also reliable to fly because they also include everything in the package except for the transmitter.
- Plug N Fly (PNF): This type is the opposite of the classes mentioned above. PNF drones do not include the transmitter, receiver, not even the battery or charger.
After analyzing your needs and preferences, choose the right type of drone.
Often people tend to ignore the fact that camera quality does matter in a racing drone. The higher the camera quality, the better the view you’ll have through the FPV goggles. You would never want to waste your money on a less quality camera that delivers nothing but a blurry view. As a racer, all your senses must remain fully and actively engaged.
Heavy and large drones are more prone to damage and fragility than compact and light drones. Besides the durability, lightweight drones generally have faster speed and more control over their movement. However, the durability of a drone doesn’t solely depend on its weight. It also depends on multiple factors such as the number of crashes, your skill of flying the drone, the measures and protectors you use to keep your drone safe, and so on.
The frame is the most essential part of a drone. It is the structure that holds everything together in a drone. That is why a frame has to be designed strong but also light. All other parts except the frame experience damage, such as propellers and camera, when a drone is crashed at a breakneck speed. But if the frame suffers any damage, the drone falls apart. It is desirable if the drone is generally built with carbon fiber.
Make sure that the drone you’re intending to purchase should deliver an average flight time. A racing drone is remarkable in its speed, durability, camera quality, and battery timing. However, an FPV drone has less flight time than a photography drone.
The average flight time of an FPV drone is between 4 to 8 minutes. To increase the flight time, a drone often comes with extra batteries. However, windy conditions, speed, and other factors tend to reduce a drone’s battery timing.
Do not confuse an FPV drone with aerial photography drones. A racing drone is never intended for aerial photography. Neither does it have that potential to shoot incredible photos and videos. An FPV drone generally suffers when flown over water bodies and in stormy conditions. Do not take your FPV drone out in stormy weather; otherwise, you have to bear a significant loss.
Either you’re a hobbyist or a commercial flyer, you can easily enter any drone racing tournament with the right choice of drone. Not every drone is capable of speeding-off in the air. Constructing your own racing drone is incomparable.
But for those who just want to start off racing, a readymade drone is a perfect choice. That is why I tried, tested, and chose the three best-racing drones for you. These drones and their pros, cons, features, and design are present in this article.
Besides the drones, I have also listed a few of the rules and regulations you need to follow to race the drones. At the bottom of the article, I have presented various factors that will help you make the right choice.
Good luck, and thank you!