FPV drone racing feels like flying the forests of Endor



So many questions!

How sturdy are these little guys? They took a lot of falls in that video, some at pretty high speeds, so I’m guessing they can taking a beating?

What kind of battery life do they have? The cuts in the video make me wonder if they can only fly for 30-60 seconds at those speeds before running out of juice…

What does the control rig look like? Something like an RC plane controller? A laptop? Some kind of Gibsonian cyberpunk Oculus Rift setup (I wish)?

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man, when i was a kid, the only thing dorkier than liking RC planes and helicopters was liking model trains.

the “drone” rebranding certainly changed things.

This is what you need an Oculus Rift for.


I submitted a link to BB for a French news story about this the week before last!

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Civil war re-enactments are so 20th century! Let’s have some air battle re-enactments! Sure, Yavin and Endor would be fun, but the battle of Britain might actually help teach us something about history!

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Synchronized, 4-way split screen video in Goldeneye (N64 version) style, please. Please?

I eagerly anticipate this becoming a full on sport because damn it’s fun to watch.


Unless the German team goes all fed up and decides to win.

Also, scrapping the jet engine development idea early in the war, and resurrecting it too late, was a big mistake.

Suddenly I’m eleven years old again!

The only possible improvement: wall off an acre or two. Then arm these little guys with… I dunno, laser-tag-esque emitters and sensors? BB-size projectile weapons? Miniature tracer rounds? Roman candles? Take Robot Wars into the air!

Hey, they’ll be hunting us down and using our skulls as trophies from which to quaff 30-weight soon enough. We might as well have fun with them while we may.


Razor buzz saw pincer thingies and HUMAN PREY!

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Yeah, but your link references TPM, not ROTJ…


A critical distinction for a critical generation!


Oh, I know the answers to these questions! I got bit by the FPV racing bug last winter, and scratch-built one from a kit.

How sturdy are they?

I try to break mine in entertaining ways every time I take it out. The goal is to break the inexpensive bits, and protect the expensive bits. So you will spend a fair amount of time replacing cracked propellers, bolting on new thruster booms, etc. Really, it’s two hobbies – flying a multirotor and wrenching on a multirotor. A multirotor that you are happy with will break all the time when you smack it into a tree, but you’ll be back in the air in 10-15 minutes usually.

What kind of battery life do they have?

From about six minutes to about twelve minutes, depending on how big of a lithium-polymer battery you are using and how much you are thrashing it around in the air. I find with my own flights that I run out of concentration before I run out of battery. Plus, you usually carry around a couple of spares in a cool-looking fireproof nomex bag (search Youtube for “li-poly battery fire” for some entertaining and enlightening videos!)

What does the control rig look like?

Like an RC plane controller, you got it. Google “spektrum dx6i”. Usually folks are wearing a pair of Fatshark video glasses, too. With ANTENNAS STICKING OUT OF IT. It’s 1,000% Gibsonian. Though the badassery of it is somewhat tempered by the fact that after 30 seconds, you end up naturally curled into a fetal position.

A great place to find more info and a really welcoming community is at Flite Test – just look up their Youtube channel and forum for a lot of friendly advice and information!


Fun Video, nice use of the music.

Shouldn’t there be a music credit in there somewhere? did I miss it?

And that was how I discovered that I do, in fact, have an AMSR trigger.


Hey, I’m trying to level up my Internet Pedant merit badge this week, but since I’m not very good at it, I hope someone will correct me if I’m wrong…

…but doesn’t “scratch-built” mean you didn’t use a kit? I don’t wanna be mean about it, but it makes me wonder if I’ve been using the term correctly all my life. I was brought up to believe that when making chocolate-chip cookies (for example), you could slice 'em off a roll of cookie dough and pop 'em in the oven in two minutes flat, or you could make them “from scratch” by mixing up flour, eggs, chocolate chips, and what-have-you, either by following a written recipe or by the seat of your pants if you have the experience/skill/imagination/gall to just go for it. (I think “from scratch” implied “from basic staple ingredients,” not implying that you had to milk your own cow and mill your own flour.)

So I figured one could make a drone “from scratch” by utilizing constituent parts that are found or repurposed or fabricated for your purpose, but not obtained in a kit where they’re purpose-made to be assembled as a specific model of drone. Building a drone from a kit would then be “building,” just not “scratch-building.”

Relevant example: this guy builds his airplanes from scratch.


…but doesn’t “scratch-built” mean you didn’t use a kit?

Yes, you are 100% right, I was being simultaneously lazy and grandiose! I definitely should have said “kit-built”. I used the excellent Anycopter kit from Flite Test, which results in a stable multirotor with wooden booms that break inexpensively:

The important thing (to me) about building from a kit, as opposed to store-bought, is that then breaking your multirotor creatively and putting it back together again is a part of the hobby, rather than a tragic expensive mishap. The best weekend activity is to take it out, fly around really low and stupid (but not around people), break it in a way that it’s never been broken before, then put it back together again and make a YouTube video of the crash.

Here’s me with my KIT-build quadcopter practicing FPV flips:


Perfect soundtrack. I laughed at the end, sorry! :slight_smile: