Most of the drones flying off the shelves this holiday season come packed with sensors powering clever automatic modes for snazzy video shots and to ensure your bird doesn’t careen into the side of a building or disappear into a tree.
That’s all well and good, but what if you’ve grown tired of your Phantom 4 Pro or Mavic and now desire a more exhilarating experience than your current drone provides? In that case, a diminutive racing drone could be your best bet.
Competitive drone racing is buzzing toward the mainstream thanks to the Drone Racing League (DRL) and backers that include Sky Sports, The Grand Tour, Swatch, and Bud Light. ESPN’s coverage is playing its part, too, and the best racers are picking up some serious prize money.
The sport, if you didn’t already know, involves competitors strapping on first-person view (FPV) goggles and firing up their drone to tackle complicated neon-lit courses featuring hoops, turns, dives, and climbs.
Aware of the growing interest in drone racing, Fat Shark, which has been in the goggles game for a while now, is launching its 101 drone training system “for anyone looking to get into sports drones.”
The $250 kit has everything you need for your first foray into the world of drone racing, including a custom-designed quadcopter, race-ready Recon goggles, and a professional-grade radio controller that lets you pull every move imaginable (though it may take a considerable amount of practice to perfect them all).
Besides the quadcopter and extras, you’ll also get free access to the DRL simulator (worth $20) and three months of free Academy of Model Aeronautics membership and insurance. In addition, the radio controller “plugs directly into a computer for direct integration with the DRL simulator and can also be used to pilot the quad in stabilized or advanced mode,” Fat Shark says on its website.
The 101 Kit is available now for pre-order through select retailers (Amain, GetFPV, or Ready Made RC), with the first shipments set to go out in the middle of January 2018.