Are you interested in starting your journey into the world of FPV drones? Look no further! In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to start flying FPV drones. We will cover everything from the best way to start, the equipment you need, and how to practice before taking your drone to the skies. Additionally, we will provide a guide on how to choose the right video system, goggles, and drone for your FPV experience. We will cover the differences between analog and digital video systems, the pros and cons of BNF and RTF drones versus building your own, and tips for finding a good practice space to fly your drone. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced pilot, this article will provide you with valuable insights to help you get started and choose the right equipment for your FPV drone.
The Best Way to Start Flying FPV Drones
When it comes to starting your journey into the world of FPV drones, there are many different paths you can take. However, the right answer for you lies in a combination of price, performance, and what you personally value. To help you find the best route, we've come up with three criteria you can consider:
- Price: Know your budget and how much you're willing to spend
- Longevity: How often and how long do you see yourself flying FPV drones
- Performance: What do you see yourself using FPV for? Is it for fun as a hobby or for work?
While there is no one true answer to get into FPV, we recommend starting with a simulator. A simulator is still probably one of the best ways to get into FPV because it's so cost-efficient. It's not going to cost you broken frames, broken arms, broken parts, injuries, or losing drones. Some of the simulators we recommend are Velocidrone and Liftoff. Velocidrone is great because it runs on even the lowest spec computer, so you don't need a high demanding computer. For more information on simulators, check out our guide on The Best FPV Simulator to Practice Flying
Equipment You Need and How to Practice
Once you've got yourself a simulator, the next thing you're going to want to get yourself is a controller.
If you ordered an RTF Kit
If you ordered yourself a RTF kit to start flying, many of the controllers included are compatible with FPV simulators, so you can just plug in the radio and use this to get started, so no need to buy a separate radio system at this stage. Only later when you are addicted to FPV will you want to then get a "propper" radio system.
The reason you want to buy the controller first before anything else is that you can use the controller to link into your computer and practice on a simulator as if you're flying your drone without having your drone or goggles. It's amazing!
When it comes to choosing a controller, there are many different kinds, sizes, and price ranges of controllers. The first thing we recommend you look into is the protocol that the controllers use. There are two main protocols at the moment that seem to be dominating FPV: TBS Crossfire and ELRS. TBS Crossfire is made by Team Black Sheep, the same people who make the Tango 2 controller. We would arguably call TBS the apple of FPV world just because they've been so consistent with their performance, quality, and products over the last couple of years. Recently, ELRS came out, which is an open-source protocol that actually uses a lot of Crossfire's properties. In that sense, we'd compare ELRS and TBS to PC and Mac.
Once you finally get into your simulator, you're going to want to practice understanding exactly all the movements that your gimbal and your controller have on the drone. The main things you're going to want to look up more and practice yourself are going to be throttle control, roll, pitch, and turns. You're going to want to practice in a sim as much as possible because the more time you spend in the sim getting familiar with how to keep your drone in the air, the less money you're going to have to spend on broken parts, and the less stress you're going to have losing your drone. It's just worth time exponentially.
Analog vs Digital Video Systems
When it comes to choosing a video system for your FPV drone, there are two main options: analog and digital. Analog has been the go-to option for the past seven years, but digital is quickly gaining popularity due to its higher quality video and lower latency. However, analog still has some benefits, such as being more cost-efficient and better for racing or freestyle pilots who need to react quickly. Ultimately, the choice between analog and digital comes down to personal preference and what you plan to use your drone for.
Building Your Own Drone vs Buying a Pre-Built One
Another important decision to make when getting into the FPV hobby is whether to build your own drone or buy a pre-built one. While pre-built drones are convenient and ready to fly out of the box, building your own drone can be a rewarding process that allows you to understand how to fix and maintain your drone in case of crashes. However, building your own drone does require some knowledge of soldering and the different parts that go into a drone. If you're short on time or don't want to deal with the hassle of building your own drone, a pre-built option may be the way to go.....
Tips for Practicing and Learning to Fly
Once you have your drone and video system set up, it's time to start practicing and learning to fly. Finding a good practice space with soft ground, such as grass, is crucial for safety and minimizing damage to your drone in case of crashes. It's also recommended to bring a friend or find a fellow pilot to practice with and exchange tips. Learning how to fly line of sight can also be beneficial in case of technical difficulties with your goggles. With dedication, patience, and practice, anyone can become an FPV pilot and capture mind-blowing shots.
Starting your journey into the world of FPV drones can be a daunting task, but with the right equipment and practice, it can be a rewarding experience. We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights to help you get started, as well as a guide on how to choose the right video system, goggles, and drone for your FPV experience. Whether you choose analog or digital, BNF and RTF drones or building your own, and find a good practice space, the payoff of being able to capture mind-blowing shots is worth it. Remember, the best way to start flying FPV drones is to start with a simulator, choose the right controller, and practice as much as possible. Happy flying!