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Best Racing Drones of 2018: A Beginner’s Guide for Drone Racing

Are you an aspiring drone pilot or wanting to be a drone flying pro? If you are one of these, then there’s a big chance that drone racing has already attracted you.


Well, owning the best drones is one of the things you need to do to prepare. And in this part of your journey, I would be glad to help you since it is pretty challenging to find the most suitable racing drone for your needs.

Trust me, I’ve been there! So, I’ve come up with a list for you to check out and for me to help you find your match.

The Best Racing Drones For Me and For You

In this guide, I have featured five racing drones. Essentially, I found these drones suitable for any aspiring drone racers. But let me just remind you that there’s no perfect drone. And each of these has its own distinct features, edges, and also, downsides.

Also, note that these are all ready to fly models having different price values. And I hope that you would find something that will catch your eye and fill your drone racing needs.

Holy Stone HS230 FPV Racing Drone

The HS230 Racing Drone of Holy Stone is one of those under-200-dollar drones that can adjust according to your skills. FPV Drone Racing is tough and hard but this ready to fly drone is easy to control. Whether you are a new to drone racing or a hardcore competitive drone racer, it may suit you accordingly due to its three-speed modes.

Quick Summary

  • 7-10 Minutes Flight Time 
  • 720P 120° Wide-angle HD Camera
  • 100 meters Control Range
Holy Stone HS230 RC Racing Quadcopter

The HS230 FPV Racing Drone of Holy Stone is one of those ready to fly under-200-dollar drones that can adjust according to your skills. Whether you are a newbie racer or a hardcore competitive racer, it may suit you accordingly due to its three-speed modes.

Accordingly, this drone is ultimately designed for racing as it can withstand various external factors that can affect its functionality. Its body is designed to reduce wind resistance and increase sensation in the air. Plus, its headless mode can orient the drone according to your flight controller.

HS230 features as well a 5.8GHz real-time transmission and has a 2.4GHz operating frequency along with the LCD screen monitor transmitter. So, your smartphones are out of the equation for this matter.

PROS

  • Durable
  • High speed, fast
  • Flight time can reach 14 to 20 minutes

CONS

  • LCD screen usually freezes
  • Not great for photography activities
  • No GPS and altitude hold

Potensic U31R FPV Drone

Potensic U31R is not entirely designed as a racing drone but I consider it as one of my best FPV racing drones due to its features and designs.

Quick Summary

  • 6-8 Minutes Flight Time 
  • 720P 120° Wide-angle HD Camera
  • 100 meters Control Range
Potensic U31R FPV Drone

Similar to the HS230, Potensic U31R has also three-speed modes which can be switched according to your desired operational degree. From it low-speed mode all the way to its high-speed mode, you can make variable adjustments.

It’s quite durable if I may add as I have experienced crashing it too many times myself! Even so, there was no damage encountered or seen. And I’m really impressed with the materials used to build the said drone.

But the real edge of this drone over the first one is that it comes with VR glasses that can add hype to your flying activities, which have a 5.8GHz real-time transmission. It also has a sharing monitor that can serve as an LCD screen for remote control and as a screen to the virtual reality helmet with glasses for first-hand viewing.

This under-200-dollar drone also features altitude hold, headless mode, one key for take-off and landing, and a 720P camera resolution.

PROS

  • Very durable
  • Flight time can reach 10 minutes and can be doubled due to the extra battery inclusions
  • High definition camera

CONS

  • Does not perform acrobatic turns and exhibitions
  • Mid-ranged speed rates
  • Difficult to control, needs constant adjustments

Bolt Drones FPV Racing Drone

The Bolt is one of the best FPV racing drones that you can get for 200 dollars, more or less. For this price, you could already train your flying and racing skills since it offers pretty decent racing features.

Quick Summary

  • 12 -15 Minutes Flight Time 
  • 720P Wide Angle Lens
  • 48 kph max speed
Bolt Drones FPV Racing Drone

For its speed, you could fly the Bolt with a maximum speed of 48 km per hour which is pretty fast for an entry-level racing drone. However, it does not provide tilt, rolls, and turns or other exhibitions. So, this drone is basically for a plain line of sight racing only.

As for its durability, the materials used in this drone is carbon fiber focusing mainly on its frames. So, it’s quite insusceptible to crash damages which is great for piloting, training, and racing especially for beginners.

The package also includes FPV goggles and an HD screen with 50 Hz screen transmitter and 5.8 GHz frequency. The camera of the Bolt provides a 1280 x 720 wide angle lens. Also, the flight time can reach up to 12 to 15 minutes when batteries are fully charged.

But, what I find very likable in this racing drone is that it is very convenient for beginners to use. There is no need for further set-up and adjustments to the drone prior to flying.

PROS

  • Fast speed
  • Insusceptible to damages
  • Has an altitude hold

CONS

  • Stability is not great
  • Terrible customer service
  • Effective transmission distance is too short

Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone

When I first encountered the HS150 Bolt Bee, I thought - too good to be true. But the moment I saw how it works, I was so surprised how this mini and compact drone can be a good buy!

Quick Summary

  •  5-7 Minutes Flight Time 
  • 50-70 meters Control Range
  • 50 kph max speed
Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone

For an entry-level racing drone, it is pretty fast. It features five-speed modes where you could adjust according to your flying speed requirements. The fastest speed it could achieve is seen at 50 kilometers per hour which by far is the fastest on this list.

Along with its speed, it can perform various flight movements including 3D rolls and 4-way flips. Beginners and newbies are also targeted as the HS150 has a headless mode functions and the 6 axis gyro for flight stability and control.

Well, I manage to fly this drone a few weeks ago and I noticed that the transmission range can reach up to 50 to 70 meters. Although, I am a little worried about its battery life since it can only last up to 3 to 5 minutes - tops. And maybe that is why an extra battery is included.

While it does not have a camera, this (under-) 100-dollar racing drone can definitely be one of the best drones of today!

PROS

  • Fast speed
  • Great maneuverability
  • Very durable

CONS

  • Tend to have battery life issues
  • No camera
  • Hard to manage battery size

Swagtron SwagDrone 210-UP RC Racing Drone

Lastly, but certainly not the least, the Swagtron SwagDrone 210-UP.

Quick Summary

  • 7-10 Minutes Flight Time 
  • 700 TVL Camera
  • 500 meters Control Range
Swagtron SwagDrone 210-UP RC Racing Drone

I see this drone as one of the most innovative yet beginner-friendly racing drones as it features emergency functions such as the kill switch and failsafe for when something unwanted happens during flight. Also, it has a self-repair feature.

As for its speed, it offers three different modes ranging from primary to mid, up to the highest level. You may adjust it through its toggle by simply switching the flight mode button of the controller. In addition, it has a 5.8 GHz mushroom antenna that can transmit and broadcast up to 800 meters of distance.

Speaking of broadcast, the 210-UP has 700 TVL camera with night vision modes and a 120-degree wide angle view. So, this drone is not only designed for racing purposes, you could use this for your adventure travels too.

The main material used in this drone is carbon fiber which keeps it light, durable, and aerodynamic. I remember someone crashing it from its flight just to see how resistant it is to breakage and stress. And it seems that the 210-UP can pretty much withstand stress and impact.

PROS

  • Can be controlled easily
  • Super fast speed; It can reach up to 97 kilometers per hour at its high-level speed mode
  • Has a kill switch

CONS

  • Flight time is too short; 3 to 5 minutes - tops
  • Quite pricey for its battery life
  • Difficult to assemble

Things To Look For In The Best Racing Drones

When you are looking for the best racing drones, there are several factors and things you must consider first. If you will notice my list above, you would see that the type of features I have included for each drone are the same.

Well, the main reason is that these are exactly the factors you must need to look into for a racing drone. While there are maybe other variables and features that a racing drone could possess, I’ve listed only the most important ones that you will need.

And knowing these will allow you to choose effectively what would be the most suitable and best drones for you and for your unique needs.

1. Speed

By and large, there is more to racing than focusing on speed. Nevertheless, speed is relatively an important factor.

When you intend to join a racing competition, your chosen racing drone must be able to compete with the other drones’ speed and acceleration. So, having a fast quadcopter is an edge on your end.

It is also important to note that racing quadcopters or drones today can reach up to 120 kilometers per hour or 75 miles per hour.

2.Maneuverability

Maneuverability is often considered as the most important factor to consider when buying your racing drone. This is much more emphasized when you are competing in gated races as your chosen racing drone must perform acrobatic turns, rolls, and intense speed.

And essentially, the maneuverability of a drone is determined by various factors. These include the lifting power, flight stability, smooth banking, and control response time. So, be sure to check out for these features too.

3. Durability

Are you worried that your drone might crash during flight?

In choosing for the best drones, you must very well consider the materials used in building the quadcopter along with its accompanying parts.

The truth is, your drone will crash at some point or another and there is no denying about that. Which is why the durability of your drone will play an important factor.

Essentially, lighter and smaller racing drones tend to be much more durable. And this is why they are pretty much popular for most beginners and newbies.

4. Flight Time

It is important for you to note that racing drones are not designed to have very long flight times. They are largely designed to execute high speed and power for a short period of time. Unlike the camera drones, they are intended to fly long, low, and slow.

So, not unless you are using the same drone for entertainment purposes and other activities, you don’t need a racing drone that can reach up to 25 minutes or longer.

However, you will need a racing drone that can last for more than 5 minutes since most races normally last for 5 minutes, maximum.

The Best Among All The Best Racing Drones

In the list of the best racing drones that I’ve given above, the one that really suits the factors I must consider and the one that fits my racing needs is the Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone.

Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone

First of all, it features five-speed modes and it has the fastest speed among all the drones I have listed above. And since the speed is adjustable, I could easily train my racing skills.

Secondly, its maneuverability is quite good since it can perform different flight movements. Also, with its 6 axis gyro, the flight stability and control can be much more convenient to manage during flights.

And thirdly, HS150 is so small and compact which contributes to its total durability. A great factor to consider for any beginner. For me, this is an all-inclusive package for a racing drone considering its relatively low price.

Now, I do hope this guide will help you in your racing journey.

While it may be challenging to find the best one for you since there are quite a lot to choose from the market nowadays, just remember the factors that you need to consider. And from there, you would surely end up buying the right one.