Editors note: The DJI FPV Drone combo has now launched. You can read our full review here, and buy the combo here.
If you’re experienced with drone racing, all it takes is one look at the leaked photos of DJI’s forthcoming FPV drone to realize it’s not going to compete with stripped-down, steroid-fuelled racing drones that can easily hit speeds well over 100 miles per hour (the Guinness World Record is just shy of 180 mph). But that doesn’t mean people won’t want to race their DJI FPV drones.
From the start, we’ve said DJI’s FPV will be a hybrid, not a racing drone. But it will have Rate mode and be able to be controlled the same way as an FPV racer. It’s just going to be too heavy and bulky to win any races, at least not when pitted against the latest and greatest builds. Yet there’s going to be a new group of pilots, potentially a very large group of pilots, who will be flying these new products.
And yes, some of those people are going to want to race.
If you’re familiar with Drone Racing League, or DRL, you’ll know that the pilots race against each other with identical machines. That’s great because then it really comes down to the skill of the individual pilots. With all other things being equal, it really is all about the pilot.
It also means there are, regularly, some incredibly tight races:
DRL: DJI Racing League?
So let’s assume DJI sells a ton of this new product. Let’s also assume there are plenty of people who would love to race but know that they’d be dead last if up against the kinds of drones you just saw in that video.
Well, why not have some races restricted solely to stock DJI FPV drones?
We don’t know how fast these new machines will fly, but they’ll certainly be faster than, say, a Mavic Air 2 – which is probably of a similar size to the new FPV drone. And people love competition.
Will someone set up a DJI FPV Drone Racing League? Who knows. But you can bet there will be informal races popping up in major centers around the world, even if it’s only a few friends getting together and racing for bragging rights.
Would DJI be interested in sponsoring something like this? Again, we don’t know – and DJI never comments on any products prior to their release. But you’d think a robust racing network might be a great way to raise the product’s profile – and also help fuel sales.
Mind you, we don’t think DJI is going to have an issue with sales. In fact, we would not be surprised if these things sell out – though it does appear that their release date was bumped, which gives the company time to really stockpile new product before the green light.
What about you?
We’d be keen to take part in a race like this. Would you? Let us know what you think – pros and cons – in the comments below!