Drone Racing League (DRL) has done more than most to take drone racing into the mainstream. The latest season is set to premiere in the US on NBC and Twitter this Sunday, August 11 at 2pm ET, and there are now media partnerships in place worldwide and a genuinely global audience for the sport.
In short, it’s taking off. But today DRL has made it clear that the ambition doesn’t stop at broadcasting deals. The company has announced that the DRL Racer4, the racing drone flown by pro pilots during the 2019 Season, is being made available for public sale in the form of a “street-ready” version.
That’s right: fans can pre-order their own Racer4 on Kickstarter as of today.
DRL enters the consumer drone market with the Racer4 Street
In each DRL season, pilots compete using the same aircraft. The DRL Racer4 is the league’s fourth iteration. It can accelerate from 0 – 90 MPH in under a second and DRL had to build a fleet of 600 units for the 2019 Allianz World Championship Season.
The DRL Racer4 Street ($599) is a street-ready version of the Racer4.
“We’re incredibly excited to launch the DRL Racer4 and the street model for everyone to experience the thrill and speed of professional drone racing. The DRL Racer4 will make our 2019 DRL Allianz World Championship Season more competitive than ever and finally give our fans what they’ve been asking us for: a DRL drone they can fly,” said DRL CEO & Founder, Nicholas Horbaczewski.
So how does the Racer4 package DRL has made available compare to the real deal?
The company has said that the drone is essentially identical to official competition version. The only difference is that the Street version will have 100 LEDs and simplified electronics, and will not include DRL’s advanced radio package.
The Racer 4 generates over 16 pounds of thrust via its upgraded power system: 21v 5s 70C Lipo, 2510 1250kv motors and 7x4x3 inch props. It’s also designed with crashes in mind: its plug-and-play electronics are part of a modular system that the league says can be repaired within 15 minutes.
The $599 package might seem expensive to some, given that it’s far from everything you need to get started in FPV racing.
You’ll need to separately buy a controller and a receiver, along with a pair of FPV goggles. And if you want HD video while you fly, you’ll need to buy an HD Box camera. The Racer4 is compatible with the Runcam 5, the Foxeer BOX2 and the GoPro Session.
DRL expects to ship the Racer4 Street to backers by April 2020. If you’re keen to get into FPV racing, you might want to consider combining this package with some of DJI’s racing gear – launched last month.