Nothing quite beats the feeling of piloting a fast-flying quadcopter. Although many factors come to attention when trying to choose an appropriate quadcopter, speed remains the flashiest one. We can even bet that anyone who picks up a quadcopter is bound to wonder –after a while—about how fast they can fly the drone and what different kinds of maneuvers they can learn to accomplish.
In case you are trying to find fastest quadcopters on the market or racing quadcopters, you might want to consider the following models
Well, the obvious answer is speed of course. But we’re more interested in figuring out which quadcopter components contribute to actually make it fly faster.
- Frame’s weight:
How much the frame weighs and the material from which it is built significantly affect the Quadcopter’s ascension and flying speed. Plastic and injection-molded polycarbonates feature prominently in almost every Quadcopter’s frame thanks to a combination of durability and lightness. However, some frames are designed to include add-ons like gimbals (for camera support) which can severely impact the frame’s overall weight.
Motors provide the thrust needed by Quadcopters to lift and propel forward. The rule of thumb is that the combined thrust of the rotors should provide twice as much thrust as the Quadcopter’s full weight.
However, more unconditional thrust might not always end up with good results. If you combine a light-frame quadcopter with powerful motors, you will find yourself unable to control it and maneuver it well.
Batteries indirectly affect how fast a quadcopter can fly. Besides the few grams they add to quad’s overall weight, batteries also dictate your choice of motors by setting up the threshold for how much power can be allocated to motors.
Propellers come in difference sizes depending on the frame and the overall quad’s weight. Notorious for being one of the most fragile quadcopter pieces, investing on a good set of propellers appropriate for your quads can significantly improve speed and performance. Good propellers minimize vibrations and can even optimize battery usage if combined with good rotors.
Quadcopter speed records continue to be broken regularly. Speeds ranging from 60 to 90 Mph have been reached by both factory made quads and customized ones.
The X Plus One for example claims to be the “world’s fastest quadcopter aerial camera drone” promising an initial cruising speed of 60 mph (100 kilometers per hour).
Crowdfunded through a successful Kickstarter campaign, the X Plus One costs $199 for a DYI kit, or $479 for ready-to-fly model. For speed enthusiasts, DYI models allow the most room for customizations aimed to boost the speed of their drone as other quadcopter hobbyists usually do.
But other, more established models are ARRIS X-Speed FPV 250 Racer Mini Drone, which is made for FPV racing. It is not the best model, but it is an established racing drone which can reach high speeds.
You want to go real fast? ImmersionRC Vortex FPV Racing ARF Quadcopter Drone is expensive, but it provides you with high speed and good balance. If you are looking for something fast currently on the market, this quadcopter might be a good choice.
Quadcopter pilot and DIY enthusiast “WartHox” has been known to regularly build Quadcopters that reach the insane speed of 86 mph while maintaining the capabilities to fly with agility and stability.
Of course, it takes dedication and significant investments to build models like the WarHox’s, but it is very unlikely that you’ll find a similar model sold as read-to-fly.
The obsession with speed is a naturally competitive sentiment. Hence why quadcopter racing is getting increasingly popular especially now that FPV cameras are turning out to be prominent features of almost every quad available on the market.
Drone FPV racing
Drone racing can be an immersive and adrenaline fuelled experience. Asides from racing amongst a number of other Quadcopters to see which one will be the fastest, drone races can also incorporate obstacles and hoop maneuvers to test Quadcopters agility and pilot’s ability to minutely control their aircraft.
Although drone racing is still at its infancy, the growing number of manufacturers, racers, drones racers and enthusiasts who yearly participate in yearly races is very promising.
In fact, 2015 marked the first US national Drone-racing competition which took place in California this past July. With over 120 FPV racers, significant media coverage and the participation of top drone pilots such as Carlos Puertolas, commonly known as “Charpu”, the competition is bound to attract an even bigger audience in the following years.
Costs of FPV racing
It’s important to note that drone racing or piloting a fast quadcopter can be a hazardous hobby. A fast flying quadcopter also means that crashes will result in more destruction and harm. As mentioned before, piloting a fast quadcopter for beginners can be incredibly difficult and requires a lot of time invested to get acquainted with the sensitive controls.
Any drone hobbyist interested in upgrading their models to faster ones should seriously look into prioritizing safety and good flying practices first. Otherwise, the crashes resulting from high speed Quadcopters leave little to be recovered and can seriously damage any property in which it crashed. In addition, careless flying can destroy other Quadcopters if racing amongst a fleet for example and can even hurt bystanders on the ground.
In conclusion, fast Quadcopters are a joy to behold and an incredibly immersive experience when paired with an FPV setup. Fast Read-to-Fly quads are on the rise, but DIY offers pilots a greater range of customization when it comes to tweaking components in order to optimize speed, agility and general performance. It also helps if you know how to model quadcopter if you want to design your own fastest quadcopter.
Furthermore, the competitive quadcopter racing scene is attracting significant media attention and numbers of competent participants. This is bound to catalyze the quad manufacturing market to produce more speedy models to cater to this increasing demand.