If you thought drone racers simply rolled up to an event, grabbed an RC toy out of their car boot, and lined up to race, you’ve got a lot to learn. We headed to the US National Drone Racing Championships, recently held in New York, and asked one of the competing teams to show us what it takes to compete.
In addition to cases full of drones, backup drones, spare batteries, replacement motors, VR goggles, and a pricey controller, racers like Steve Zoumas’s of team Zoomas also pack every tool you could possibly need for emergency on-site repairs. If you want to compete, with a shot of actually reaching the podium, you’ll also need thousands of hours of practice under your belt, and a steady hand at the controls of your craft. Having the best equipment alone doesn’t cut it.