The Drone Racing League features futuristic, flashy events
FPV drone racing is already a huge hit amongst RC hobbyists.
And as the sport continues to grow in popularity, so do pro circuits.
The Drone Racing League, or DRL, is trying to take the sport to the next level with awesome looking racetrack designs, innovative tech, and some of the coolest broadcast equipment we've ever seen.
This is DRL's first official season, and we got to go to their second qualifying event, Level 2 LApocalypse set in a real abandoned shopping mall near Los Angeles.
VRLs CEO and founder Nicholas Horbacheski gave us a walking tour of the enormous post apocalyptic track.
This is a very cool setting for a drone race, because it allows us to use the full, three dimensional elements of racing.
So, the drones go up, down, they come around.
And those drones aren't just flying up, down, and through simple hoops.
DRL worked with Hollywood special effects company, Legacy FX, to create a one of a kind environment.
Their experience working on films like Jurassic World, Iron Man, and Pacific Rim really shows in this elaborate course design.
Not only does DRL have to consider how pilots from all over the world will fly through the track, but also how spectators will be able to see the drones, which travel up to 80 miles an hour at times To do this they borrow cable system called the Batcam which follows along and even gets ahead of the action.
The Batcam is a cable cam that runs over the length of the course.
I can go 100 miles an hour.
You know, you've got a 100 mile an hour camera casing an 80 mile an hour drone so it's pretty exciting when they're both going full speed.
Since races require constant video signal from the drone's FPV camera to see where their quadcopter's going at all times.
had to create a lot of the tech they use
The drum racing week has designed and built our own radio frequency equipment from the ground up.
It allows us to put on race courses on a scale that's never been seen before.
Each drone is also built from the ground up.
This is our second model drone, it's called the Racer Two.
It' all carbon fiber and it's designed for speed and maneuverability, but also for visibility to the audience.
You'll see it's covered in these LED lights, when they're on a brightly lit and each in a different color.
So you know which pilot is flying which drone.
DRL provides its own drones for pilots.
Because of that, racers can push the limits of their quad-copter and compete on true pilot skill as opposed to technical enhancements.
We're always taking chances.
We wanna go as fast as we can and, you know, to get that adrenaline rush that's what you need to do.
So that's what we live for as pilots.
We often say to the pilots if you're not crashing, you're not racing hard.
Watching drone races feels like you're in a science fiction film.
And if a race comes to your area get a ticket, you won't be disappointed.