There are a lot of different startups trying to turn drone racing into a serious, professional sport and moneymaking league. So far, the folks at the Drone Racing League, or DRL for short, have gotten the most traction. The league has scored a lot of venture capital and big TV deals. We caught a race in London recently and came away impressed.
One of the things DRL prides itself on is building its own technology. It built its own drone, the Racer3, which every pilot in the league uses. That craft needs to be fast, but also agile and durable. It tops out at 80 miles an hour. So what do the engineers who work on these drones do in their spare time? Build crazy aircraft and try to break speed records, of course! DRL has claimed a spot in the Guinness World Records with a battery-powered quadcopter that hit a top speed of 163.5 mph.
The team noted that it actually hit a top speed of 179.6 miles per hour when flying with this prototype, but not on the 100 meter course Guinness had specified for the record setting run. Earlier prototypes reached similar speeds, but also burst into flames.
The official specs for the RacerX won’t mean much to most readers, but here they are for the true rotorheads in the audience. Weighing only 800 grams (1.76 pounds), the RacerX manages to generate 46,000 RPMs. It also has:
• 10S (42V) powertrain
• BeeRotor 80A (10S) ESCs / BLHeli with multishot
• TMotor F80 2407 2500kv
• 1300mAh 2 x 5S R-Line Tattu lithium polymer batteries