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All of the Gear a Drone-racing Pilot Needs


Drone racing is booming – and with the first FAI Drone Racing World Championships on the horizon, we got the lowdown on just what a top-level drone-racing pilot needs.

Pilot: Obviously the first thing is the pilot. A junior is under 18. You will see they all wear first person view (FPV) goggles, and use a radio control to fly their drone. Some like to stand, some like to sit: at a big drone race you’ll see both.

Competition Crew: Pilots can’t race on their own. The crew of people involved in a competition includes Spotters, Judges and Starters. A Spotter stands behind a pilot and acts as their eyes outside the goggles. Pilots don’t have a rear-view mirror, so they have an important role. Judges – there is one per pilot – checks the video feed of the pilot. If a pilot misses a gate the judge calls out the pilot’s number and they have to go around again. The Starter has a safety role and runs the race.

Timing and scoring system: The timing system records how many laps each drone has done, when they cross the line and what order they cross in. There are different systems in use – infrared and a system which records the power-signal from the drone as it passes. The scoring system at the FAI Drone Racing World Championships in China will be supplied by FAI Global Technical Partner Noosphere, and will use their eNavigator system for real-time scoring both on big screens in the stadium and online.

The Drone: We all know drones these days. You get mini drones, really small ones, you get toy drones which are for use inside, then the camera drones, which can be quite expensive, and then you get racing drones. You can buy a racing…


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