If you’re a beginner in FPV drone flying, the FPV Lovers Learn website is the perfect place to expand your knowledge. The GetFPV Learn website provides important articles that detail the inner workings of an FPV racing drone, along with meticulous articles written by the GetFPV writing team that cover technical topics, FPV product reviews, FPV flying tutorials, FPV build logs, and buying guides, to name a few.
If you’re asking “What is an FPV racing drone?” this is the place for you. The “New to FPV” page is the perfect location for beginner FPV drone pilots to learn about the essential components that make up an FPV racing drone. Welcome to the world of FPV multirotors!
If you’re reading this, something inspired you to research FPV multirotors as a beginner. It can be a little intimidating when you’re first starting out, but stick with it. The rewards far outweigh the challenges. This series of articles is here to help you navigate your way through those challenges and give you insight into what you need to know to proceed. Although not all-encompassing, this series will provide a good knowledge base for starting as an FPV beginner.
What is FPV? Simplified for Beginners
First Person View (FPV) provides a unique experience of interacting with your aircraft through a level of immersion unparalleled by anything short of virtual reality. In its most basic form, it takes you, the pilot, and transfers your visual consciousness into the body of a fast, agile, and precise flying machine. It gives you a whole new and awe-inspiring view of the world around you that only those who fly FPV get to experience. There are three different schools of FPV multirotor flying: racing, freestyle, and aerial photography. There’s nothing stopping you from trying all three, and each has its own exciting aspects. There’s a community out there to support you through your journey.
FPV Drones: A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide
If you’re looking to get into the exciting world of FPV drones, you’ve come to the right place! This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know to get started, from the basics of what FPV drones are and how they work, to the equipment you’ll need, the best places to fly, and more.
What are FPV Drones?
FPV stands for First Person View, which means that the drone’s camera provides a live video feed to the pilot, allowing them to fly the drone as if they were sitting in the cockpit. FPV drones are typically smaller and more agile than traditional camera drones and are designed for racing, acrobatics, and other high-speed activities.
How do FPV Drones Work?
FPV drones use a combination of sensors, cameras, and radio equipment to allow the pilot to control the drone in real-time. The drone’s camera sends a live video feed to a pair of goggles or a screen worn by the pilot, who can see what the drone sees and control its movements accordingly. The drone’s radio equipment communicates with a controller held by the pilot, sending signals to control the drone’s speed, direction, and other movements.
What Equipment Do I Need to Fly FPV Drones?
To get started with FPV drones, you’ll need a few key pieces of equipment:
- Drone: There are many FPV drone models available, ranging from simple and affordable beginner drones to high-end racing and acrobatic drones. Choose a model that suits your needs and experience level.
- Camera: Most FPV drones come with a built-in camera, but consider upgrading to a higher-quality camera for better image quality and performance.
- Goggles or screen: To fly FPV drones, you’ll need a way to see the live video feed from the drone’s camera. Goggles offer a more immersive experience, while a screen can be more comfortable for longer flights.
- Controller: The controller is used to send commands to the drone and control its movements. Look for a controller with a good range and a comfortable grip.
- Batteries and chargers: FPV drones are powered by batteries, so make sure you have enough batteries and a charger to keep your drone in the air.
- Optional accessories: Depending on the drone you choose, you may also need additional accessories such as propellers, spare parts, and maintenance tools.
Choosing the Right FPV Drone
When choosing an FPV drone, consider your experience level and what you plan to use the drone for. For beginners, a simple and affordable drone with a basic camera and controller may be the best option. For more experienced pilots, a high-end racing or acrobatic drone with advanced features and capabilities may be more suitable.
Some popular FPV drone models include:
- DJI FPV: This high-end drone from DJI features a 4K camera, advanced obstacle avoidance technology, and a range of up to 10 km.
- EMAX Tinyhawk 2: This affordable and beginner-friendly drone features a 1080p camera, a lightweight design, and a durable frame.
- BetaFPV 85X: This racing drone features a powerful motor, an HD camera, and a lightweight and durable design, making it a great option for pilots looking to get into the competitive racing scene.
- GEPRC Phantom: This mid-range drone features a high-quality camera, long-range radio equipment, and advanced flight modes for more experienced pilots.
Where Can I Fly FPV Drones?
When flying FPV drones, keep in mind the rules and regulations regarding drone use for recreational purposes. In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has specific regulations.
Here are some general tips for safe and responsible FPV drone flying:
- Choose an open and clear space with few obstacles and people around.
- Check the weather conditions before flying to ensure there is no wind or precipitation.
- Keep your drone within your line of sight and avoid flying near other people or structures.
- Be aware of any local laws and regulations regarding drone flying in your area.
- Fly responsibly and avoid anything that could put people or property at risk.
Freestyle flying is all about your environment and your multirotor, as well as the interaction between the two. It might be finding a new gap that your multirotor barely fits through, dodging ghost branches as you dance through your local park, discovering cool new locations to explore, or finally learning that new trick that you saw on someone’s flight video. Freestyle is a form of expression in flight, more focused on acrobatics and exploring your environment. Moreover, it has the added benefit of helping you prepare for racing by pushing the limits of your multicopter through control learning. As an FPV beginner, this is likely where you will start your journey!
FPV racing involves flying either solo or with a group of other pilots through a series of obstacles, flags, and gates. The goal, as with all racing, is to win first place by either beating all other pilots to the finish line or getting the best time on the track. While this may sound simple, most tracks not only test speed limits but also challenge your ability to control your multirotor in all aspects. Many races come down to who has the fastest reflexes and can find the best line on the track.
Aerial photography is viewing and recording your chosen subject matter from the air. It is a great way to explore the world around you and gives you a unique experience of taking your photography to a whole new level. Moreover, aerial photography has many practical uses, such as showing unique views of real estate, area mapping, or even filming movies!
How a Multirotor Works: FPV Beginner
A multirotor has four control points: roll, pitch, yaw, and thrust, and each of these works independently and can work together to create more complex movement. Let’s start with an exercise to show each of these controls. Hold your hand out in front of you palm down. Rock your hand from side to side; that is your roll. Now, tip your hand forward, then backward; that would be pitch. Keep your hand palm down, turn your hand left then right; that’s an example of yaw. Lastly, lift your hand higher in the air then bring it back down; there is your thrust. Combining roll with thrust will shift your multirotor either left or right. When you pitch forward, the multirotor will start to move forward, and when you pitch back, it will move backward. Yaw is generally used to change your heading or the direction your multirotor is facing. The more thrust you provide, the faster the multirotor will gain altitude, and the roll and pitch effectively change what direction is truly up.
To build or not to build, that is the question…
When you first get into the hobby as an FPV Beginner, there is that little thing in the back of your mind that we like to call “instant gratification.” While there is no shame in buying a pre-built multirotor, and there are some great builders out there that will be more than happy to provide that for you, a word of caution: you will crash your multirotor many, many times. There are times where a part will not survive your crash, or a wire will get jarred loose, and it will be up to you to fix it. Therefore, if you are someone who enjoys tinkering and building things, then building your own multirotor may be an excellent choice for you.