The new, underground sport of first-person view (FPV) drone racing

If you haven’t observed, drones and FPV quadcopters are rather well-known right now. Hardly a day goes by without some type of automated or remotely piloted aircraft somehow resulting in a fuss, or offering a new way for budding pilots or cinematographers to get the excitement they need. What you might not have observed, however, is that there is a subterranean group of people that get together to race drones, in essence, merging a computer game into reality.

Known as FPV (first-person view) drone racing, or FPV racing, the sport involves building an FPV quadcopter kit and racing FPV quadcopters using virtual reality video goggles and radio transmitters to race around a custom designed race course including obstacles with varying levels of difficulty. Competitor’s race in timed heats or laps of the course, racing around at speeds of around 60mph (100km/h) while having safe and adrenalin filled fun in the process. This emerging sport has attracted everyone from serious gamers and ambitious aviators to electrical engineering minds meticulous mechanical designers. The excitement and addiction of FPV racing is constantly fuelled by the high speed, thrills, crashes and amazing acrobatics keep even the most enthusiastic individuals satisfied.

For the previous three weeks, I’ve been taking photos of FPV drone at various locations throughout the UK. I’ve found that there is much more to it than a small group of computer game addicts evaluating voltages and quadcopter configurations in the forest or deserted parkland on a weekend. Surprisingly, it’s been more interesting to meet passionate, intelligent and very normal people gathering together for a common interest in new technology and participate in friendly competition using new and constantly changing technology. There is an ever growing community of knowledge hungry individuals who are constantly challenging themselves, their abilities and electrical engineering knowledge as well as each other in a fun and friendly way, by racing FPV quadcopters using FPV drone racing.

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