The Drone Racing League has unleashed its latest aerial speedster. The next-generation DRL Racer4 will be flown in the Drone Racing League’s 2019 season, commencing on NBC and Twitter livestream on August 11. A high-speed, first-person-view (FPV) drone that’s capable of accelerating from 0 to 90 mph in less than a second, the Race4 will be piloted by 12 of the world’s top drone pilots during the upcoming season.
To coincide with the season’s debut, the Drone Racing League has also taken to Kickstarter to sell a street-ready model that’s virtually indistinguishable from the one that viewers will see on their screens this Sunday.
“The DRL Racer4 Street is nearly identical to the DRL Racer4 drone that the pilots [will] navigate through complex courses in iconic venues around the world,” Drone Racing League founder and CEO Nicholas Horbaczewski told Digital Trends. “It has the same high-performance, speed, and modularity, so fans can experience exactly what it’s like to fly like the best pilots in the world. The only difference is that the DRL Racer4 Street will have 100 LEDs instead of a thousand, as well as simplified electronics. Our professional racetracks require an advanced radio package and diagnostics tools that aren’t necessary for flying on the street.”
Considering that the 1,000 LEDs are chiefly there for broadcast visibility, that’s not much of a compromise.
If you’re at all interested in owning one of the zippiest drones around, we’d recommend heading over to the project’s Kickstarter page for more information. As ever, would-be buyers should make themselves aware of the risks inherent in crowdfunding campaigns. The DRL Racer4 Street is currently taking pledges. A finished unit will set you back $599. It’s worth noting that you’ll need to have your own controller and receiver (installed via an SBUS port) and a pair of FPV goggles in order to fly it. It’s also currently available for (eventual) purchase only by people living in the United States.
The zippy first-person street drone is scheduled to ship in April 2020. To get up to speed on drone racing before then, you can download the DRL Simulator on Steam and play around in its Tutorial mode, which will teach you the basics of FPV flying and provide you with real-time feedback.