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How to: Drone racing

Drone Racing League

Ever fancied trying your hand at drone racing? Getting started may be easier than you think. Major Karl Eze tells you how to get your drone racing career off the ground. 

Get social

The first step is to get online. There’s a really big social media following for drone racing, so get on Facebook and YouTube etc. The resource is great and the community is so helpful. You can get so much information on the sport including how to build a high-spec drone.

Drone racing simulators are king

Download a drone racing simulator, then buy a radio transmitter that you can plug into your computer. That way, you can use a real transmitter – with which you can fly your drone – but practise on the simulator. If you crash, you can simply hit the reset button. A lot of the muscle memory or skill required to fly a racing drone takes a month or two to develop. So rather than getting a racing drone and crashing it straight away, you can do that in a simulated environment and get your skill up before letting yourself loose on the real thing.

Start building your racing drone

Most racing drones are self built because – especially when you’re learning – you crash and break them a lot and you need to be able to repair them. You get to understand how to solder the components together, what the components do, and even do some basic programming (the flight characteristics) etc. Then you can fly your own racing drone.

Go drone racing

The fourth step is actually going to races and jumping in without being scared of getting involved. That’s where you gain the experience and practice. One of the really interesting things, especially in competition, is how you cope with the adrenaline buzz, which can be really useful, but can also make your hands shake. You need to get used to competing and racing and understand how to cope with that. It’s about a lot of time and practice, learning how it flies and races. And then you develop the racing skills to fly at speed through the obstacles and gates for racing.

The expert

Name: Karl Eze
Job: Battery Commander
Unit: Honorable Artillery Company
Rank: Major
Biog: Karl helped found the Royal Artillery drone racing team. He became interested after a masters course in Battlespace Technology and has served tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Image: The Drone Racing League