Drone racing is seeing a meteoric rise in popularity, thanks to the formation of leagues such as DRL (Drone Racing League) and competitions such as the Dubai World Drone Prix, which just recently saw a 15 year old boy win $250,000. And if you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’ve already seen the crazy videos of FPV drone racing, which provides a high octane thrill ride and a high level of competition at the same time. It’s probable that the many videos floating around the web have you wondering: how can I get into racing drones?
It’s not like you can go to your local Toys R Us or Wal-Mart and pick up a cheapo drone and expect to be competitive. While you could use those type of quadcopters to race your friends, there aren’t any FPV racers sold at those retailers, so the experience isn’t as exciting as what you’re seeing in those videos. The sport of first-person view quadcopter racing is still in its infancy stage, so now’s the perfect time to hop on board before it explodes.
Luckily for you, I’m always seeking the fastest drone on the market to test, and I know a thing or two about drones (our dedicated readers might have noticed by now) and what you need to get started. While all of the drones on this list are fast, the list below factors in other important aspects of buying a racing drone, such as durability, drone prices, ease of use and how responsive/agile they are. So, we’re using the term “fastest” in the broader sense of the ability to complete courses quickly. I’ll also note that these are only the fastest pre-made builds out there; building a drone yourself would result in a faster drone for the money if you know what you’re doing. But for those who want a pre-made drone to race, these are the best choices.
Here are the 5 best racing drones for sale in 2018 to get you started with drone racing:
1. Arris FPV250 BNF
The pre-assembled Arris FPV250 250 Racer is currently our top pick for the best racing drone out there right now. Not only does it come in at a realistic price point of just $209, but it also has the 700TVL camera that provides no latency/zero delay, which makes it one of the best drones for sale for racers. Note that it’s not exactly ready to fly right out of the box, as you need to provide your own battery and remote, as well as a camera system, but it’s the best almost ready to fly solution available for those looking for speed.
The build is very strong and durable, thanks to its composite fiberglass frame, and it uses standard connectors so that it’s easily modified (which you’ll want to do after you’ve been able to master it out of the box). To get it up and running, you’ll have to install the propellers (super easy). And although it’s not necessarily RTF (ready to fly), setting it up won’t take more than a few minutes, and once it’s set up, you’ll have one of the fastest and most affordable racing drones on the market.
We also included one of Arris’s FPV goggles in our list of the best FPV goggles on the market.
- Sturdy Design
- Standard Connectors
- Not RTF
- Doesn’t come with everything you need
2. Blade Mach 25 FPV
We’ve been big fans of Blade’s quadcopters, especially the Blade Nano QX, so it’s no surprise that the Blade Mach 25 has made our list of the best racing drones available. It comes fully assembled, and its SAFE technology makes FPV racing incredibly easy. It comes with a Spektrum A3174 Flight Controller, and a Spektrum 25mw ultra micro FPV camera system that’s mounted with a carbon-fiber camera mount that reduces vibration (making it easy for users to see where they’re going more clearly).
The Mach 25 uses powerful 2300kV brushless outrunner motors, and the propellers require no tools to install or replace (they use a self-tightening design). The frame is ultra-durable carbon fiber with lightweight aluminum supports, and it uses canted motor mounts that allow for faster acceleration and higher speeds. It comes with an E-flite 1350 mAh 3S battery.
All you’ll need to fly it is a Fat Shark FPV headset, which are widely considered to be the best in the sport. I’ll also note that it’s one of the best-looking racing drones on the market, with brilliantly lit LED lights that help you quickly identify your drone and orientation. It also works great with a Dx6 controller.
Price: $349.99 (29 percent off MSRP)
- Carbon Fiber Frame
- 1000 ft. Range w/ patch antenna
- Bright LED lights on each arm
- Comes with Controller
- FPV headset not included (and they’re pricey)
- Doesn’t come with battery charger
3. Walkera F210 Professional Racer
The Walkera F210 Professional Racer has a unique 700TVL night vision camera that allows you to practice at night, and it has a wide 120 degree viewing range. It comes with a reliable Devo 7 transmitter. It’s admittedly one of the strangest, bulkiest-looking racing drones to buy (even though it’s a 210 class), but don’t let its appearance fool you — this thing can buzz around with the best of them! It’s a truly innovative design that’s incredibly fast, and it’s one of the best plug and play solutions on the market right now.
It’s driven by four powerful 2500kv brushless motors that push it to the limits, giving it incredible speed and zip. That ridiculous-looking mushroom antenna in the back might be an eye soar, but the makers placed it there for superior transmission capabilities, making it less likely that you’ll lose contact with your drone in the middle of a race. When you give some pitch, it’s incredibly fast. It’s the perfect entry-level professional racer, and like the Blade Mach 25, it also has a carbon fiber frame that’s ultra durable.
Price: $469 (33 percent off MSRP)
- Fantastic camera
- Powerful motors
- Night Vision
- Comes with DEVO 7
- FPV headset not included
4. Eachine Racer 250 FPV Quadcopter
Eachine also used the ridiculous mushroom antenna seen in the Walkera F210 with their Eachine Racer 250 FPV quadcopter. For the price range, it’s the fastest drone available, which is especially notable since it’s an RTF model (which is why we consider it one of the best RTF FPV drones available). It comes with a 1000TVL Camera with night vision, an FT200 VTX and a Eachine I6 receiver which has real-time image transmission and a long range of over 1 mile. What’s more, you don’t necessarily need a pair of FPV goggles, since there’s a large 7 inch monitor right on the controller.
It has four 2300Kv brushless motors for power. It hits speeds of up to 25-30 MPH, with some claiming they’ve been able to push it into the 40 mph range with some heavy modifications. It has three different flight modes for three different levels of pilots. It comes with the camera, and all you need to do is charge the battery and hook up the receiver to it and you’re ready to go. There’s also an ARF version for roughly half the price ($189.99).
- powerful Motors
- Night Vision Camera
- Long Range
- Includes 7 Inch Screen
- Battery Life
- Reported issues with battery charger (If you have your own, it’s not a problem)
5. Hubsan H107D X4 Mini RTF
The best starter racing drone on the market is the Hubsan H107D x4 Mini RTF, which comes in at under $150. If you’re looking to just buy a racing drone just to test your skills and whether or not you like it enough to pick up a more advanced model, the Hubsan H107D is a great choice. It comes with a transmitter that has a 4.3″ LCD FPV monitor, so you won’t need to hook it up to FPV goggles. We included its brother, the Hubsan X4 H107C in our list of the best toy drones available, so it’s no surprise that the H107D is making our list of the best FPV drones.
- Comes with LCD monitor
- 5.8Ghz transmission
- USB charging
- Not as fast as higher tier racing drones
- Micro size
- Short Range (only 150 ft max)