Perhaps you've seen some spectacular First-Person-View (FPV) drone footage on YouTube or watched the Drone Racing League where they fly FPV racing drones on television and now you want to learn how to fly one.
FPV means first-person-view. Traditional drones are flown from the perspective of the pilot on the ground. What this means for FPV drone pilots is that they see the same thing the drone does while in flight. Instead of the pilot's point of view, a camera on the drone's underside allows for a first-person view, allowing the pilot to control the drone from the inside. Much like a bird, or rather, a drone's, eye view.
The FPV drone and the traditional drone look identical from every angle. Traditional drones already have cameras installed or can have them added if the operator is interested in First-Person View (FPV) flight. If the FPV viewer prefers a more traditional perspective, they can have the camera turned off. It really is a matter of individual preference.
FPV drones provide a unique insight from the pilot's seat, allowing for a more exciting and realistic flight experience than is possible with other types of drones.
As mentioned, FPV drones and traditional drones don't physically differ that much. Both are radio-controlled devices that have live-feed cameras installed. A significant aspect of the FPV protocol is the endpoint of the sent video.
FPV pilots control their drones using a live video feed from the drone's camera, as opposed to the ground-based view used in traditional drone flying. The drone sends the video to a screen or video goggles on the ground that can receive and broadcast it.
Any screen, from a 4K cinema display to a smartphone, will work for first-person-view flight. You can use any device as an FPV monitor if it can receive and broadcast the live video feed from the drone with minimal delay.
In contrast, video goggles worn on the head are highly specialized for first-person view (FPV) use. Thus, video goggles provide a more immersive experience and boost the quality of the first-person view like the impression of being "inside" the drone's cockpit. In terms of how they function in practice, video goggles are exactly as advertised. The goggles receive live footage from the drone and display it in real time, allowing the wearer to pilot the drone from a first-person perspective.
Once you understand how the various controls on a drone work and how they contribute to the overall flight experience, you'll be ready to take off on your own.
If it is your first time piloting a drone, start by slowly pushing the sticks to make the drone make small movements. As you gain confidence, you'll be able to execute more precise motions.
To fly your drone, you need to maintain the throttle at a constant rate, and use the right stick to guide the drone where you need it to go.
Flying a drone continuously involves rotating and changing directions at the same time. It will take some practice to get adjusted to the drone's viewpoint relative to your own, so you'll need to pay careful attention to how every movement of the control sticks affects the drone's flying.
Drone racing is an exciting new sport where competitors race at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour through challenging courses. The idea of taking out your drone for a spin with your buddies who are also doing the same thing sounds like a lot of fun, but that is not what we're talking about.
Drone racing is a multilevel sport, with entry-level enthusiasts allowed to participate in their community's league and elite pilots competing for multimillion-dollar payouts at international tournaments.
Armed with the understanding and knowledge of how to fly your FPV drone, all you need to do is to keep flying it and have fun. And when you're ready to compete, all you have to do is join a league that suits your skill level and enter the racing season.