fpv freestyle

What is FPV freestyle, and how is it different than drone racing?

The following piece is a guest post by FPV drone pilot BMac. Check out his YouTube Channel BMac FPV or his website FPV Drone Pro.

FPV drone racing is blazing a path to becoming the next big E-sport of the world.

While drone racing has been happening for years, some say drone racing became an official sport in 2016 when the Drone Racing League pitted the world’s best drone pilots against each other in high speed obstacle courses and hosted a Drone Nationals event. DRL recently received sponsorship from Allianz insurance to solidify a new 6 race series in major venues across the globe called “The Allianz World Championships.”

But before flying through extravagant obstacle courses, the people who are now professional drone racing pilots started out doing tricks and maneuvers in places they thought looked cool or offered challenging architecture.  This is the heart and soul of FPV Freestyle.

What is FPV Freestyle?

While drone racing simply involves completing an obstacle race course in the fastest possible time, FPV freestyle involves navigating tight corners, under trees, around obstacles and through small openings all while doing tricks. Pilots must do all that while having an understanding of their spatial positioning to avoid hitting the ground while doing a power loop or clip a race gate.

Below is a list of the suggested trick difficulties from the drone national championships official rules.  Each trick is awarded points based on difficulty.

Novice Tricks

  • Flip – Complete a 360 degree forward or backward flip
  • Roll – Complete a 360 degree left or right roll
  • Gap Pass – Pass through a large gap slowly

Intermediate Tricks

  • Multi Flip/Roll – back to back flips/rolls
  • Flip/Roll with Hesitation – Flip/Roll 180 degrees with a pause then complete the flip
  • Gap Pass Flip/Roll – Pass through a gap while performing a Flip or Roll
  • Power Loop – Complete a 360 degree loop in a circular motion
  • Inverted Hangtime – Flip upside down and fall for an extended duration

Expert Tricks

  • Knife-edge Flip – Drone vertical flip end over end like a cartwheel motion
  • Flip/Roll – though a tiny gap
  • Power loop – through small or tiny gap
  • Proximity Flip – Flipping close to or over an object while keeping it in camera view
  • Knife-edge proximity – Flipping over an object on a vertical axis
  • Intentional ground/obstacle skid with flip – Rail slide

Pilots to watch

Johnny FPV’s style evokes juicy dubstep song swiftly changing directions inward and outward up and down, as well as some amazing building dives on the Florida coast line.

Mr. Steele’s wit and artistry shines when he comes up with ideas like using a sponge mounted to his quad to place a Rotor Riot sticker on a building hundreds of feet in the air where no human can reach without wings. (Don’t worry, it’s an abandoned building)

Stinger Swarm is the undisputed king of Power Loops and he performs in places that make you appreciate the hard work and skill he has achieved.

How to get into drone racing or freestyle

Drone racing and freestyle are amazing hobbies to get into and can now be done at a fairly affordable price range.

The Eachine Wizard X220 is an example of an amazing ready to fly drone kit that can be purchased for under $300.  The kit includes all the most recent parts with great performance and include everything needed to get started.  You can read a comprehensive guide on the Wizard X220 at FPV Drone Pro.

Combine the Wizard kit with a $60 pair of Eachine EV800 Goggles to complete your FPV drone kit, or get a $300 pair of Fat Shark goggles if you have the cash and you are good to go.

About the author

BMac is an avid FPV Drone Pilot and goes flying every day he can.  His goal is to learn, teach and inspire others to capture and share all their Drone adventures forever digitally in stunning HD.  You can check out his YouTube Channel BMac FPV or his website FPV Drone Pro for helpful tips and guides on FPV Drone Racing and Freestyle.

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