May 29, 2018

Ready-to-fly FPV drones

If you’ve ever watched FPV videos, you’ve probably had the same thought as everyone else: that looks like a ton of fun.

But you’ve also perhaps had the same question as many others watching those videos: how do I get into FPV drones? Most pilots that fly FPV (first-person view) build custom quadcopters from a variety of different parts. That involves some basic knowledge of electronics and soldering, which isn’t a skill that everyone has — especially those of us who are used to flying camera drones that are ready to fly right out of the box.

Luckily for anyone looking to get into FPV drones, more and more companies are building ready-to-fly FPV mini quads with everything already assembled. All the pilot needs is a controller and goggles, and then pair those with the drone and you’re ready to go.

Drone manufacturer Teal has created the Teal Sport, an FPV drone that boasts it can fly 80 mph out of the box. The drone is modular, meaning replacing an arm or a motor is much easier than custom-build quads. Both the Racer and Freestyle models of the Teal Sport retail for $499.

Similarly, Uvify recently showcased its Draco drone at AUVSI Xponential in Denver. Like the Teal Sport, the Draco is modular and allows pilots to swap out an arm of the drone if things break or need repairs. Uvify offers both an analog and a digital version of the drone with regards to its video quality.

Even some of the best FPV pilots in the world enjoy flying pre-built quads. That list includes Shaun Taylor, who recently won a race at Xponential with the EMAX Hawk 5 ready-to-fly drone.

“If you’re getting into it, or if you’re a pilot like me and maybe don’t like working on them so much anymore, it’s really great,” Taylor said. “It’s super fun to fly. … It’s faster than the rigs that I build for myself.”