On September 23rd, Kyosho announced the “Drone Racer.” This brand new ground-up design incorporates a surface style radio to control a formula-one inspired quad-copter. Ultrasonic and barometric sensors keep the Drone Racer at a comfortable 13 or 23 inches (two levels are controlled by the 3rd channel switch) above any surface even water. The controlled height also relieves the Drone Racer owner with having to deal with any FAA regulations. This makes for a very simple to control drone. You just worry about your steering and your throttle, and yes, reverse. The Drone Racer has a traditional surface style-reversing feature. No more turning around to go the opposite direction.
What Comes in the Box?
The Ready Set box includes everything on day one to get you going (just supply your own 4 AA batteries for the remote) including:
- the Drone Racer,
- 1000mah 3.7v lipo battery,
- USB charger,
- 4 spare blades,
- optional tilting blocks,
- spare body mount,
- binding tool,
- USB cable and
- owners manual.
Measurements of the Drone Racer are about 15 inches from guard to guard diagonally and 2.5” in height. Head and tail LED lights are super bright along with the programmable propeller arms’ LED lights. You can change the color of the LED lights via USB on your windows based computer from White, Blue, Green, Yellow, Pink or Lt. Blue to identify your Drone Racer. Two colors are available – White, which is called the Zero G and Black which is called the Zephr.
How Does It Fly?
I was able to get my hands on a pre-release sample of the Kyosho Drone Racer and was able to “fly” it at a local park. Being very “surface-minded” the Drone Racer is easy to fly. It comes pre-programmed and ready to fly after charging the included Lipo battery (took about 45 minutes with a 2 amp charging block). Arming the Drone Racer is simple – just verify both units are on and tilt the remote wheel full left and then full throttle which will light up the Drone Racer’s arm lights. Stock set up comes with the zero degree tuning blocks (10 and 20 degree are included) installed, which controls the pitch of the propeller arms. Hitting the 3rd channel switch launches and makes the Drone Racer hover at the specified height. I was very comfortable after the first couple of minutes. The remote felt right at home and I was literally driving it like a car! Landing is even easier. Just drop the 3rd channel switch and the Drone Racer lands. Wow!
Installing the Optional Blocks
After feeling really comfortable with the box stock zero degree set up, I decided to add some challenge to the Drone Racer and installed the 20 degree blocks. A simple Philips screw design on each block and rotating the propeller arms gains you the angle. The Drone racer responds very quickly now to throttle pull and upon launching it immediately starts heading forward. Next, I will be working on the programming of the Drone Racer to see if I can add some more advanced agility via USB programming. Stay tuned.
Overall Impression of the Kyosho Drone Racer
The Kyosho Drone Racer is a great way to get surface RC enthusiasts into flying along with novice pilots. That’s not to say the expert pilots are left out. With some optional/included items and some programming, the Drone Racer can be very challenging. The Drone Racer is about having fun and keeping the drone in the pilot’s field of vision. It’s about racing your buddy and sharing the RC hobby. The Drone Racer will be available by November.
I’d like to hear which drone you already have or would like to get. Comment below. Tell me what you like and don’t like.
Check out my video on the Kyosho Drone Racer – Unboxed and 1st Flight!