In case you did not know, professional drone racing is a thing these days. The top dog in the drone racing circuit is the Drone Racing League (DRL), which just recently tested what is officially the fastest racing drone in the world. Guinness World Records was on hand for the record breaking attempt for the "Fastest ground speed by a battery-powered remote-controlled quadcopter," which DRL set with its RacerX drone.
In order to set the record, the drone was required to fly back and forth across a course measuring 100 meters (328 feet). Guinness World Records goes by the average of the top speed on each flight, rather than the peak top speed. As such, the official speed set by the RacerX is 163.5 miles per hour, though it also achieved a top speed of 179.6 miles per hour during one of its runs.
"We're thrilled to put our proprietary technology to the test, as we're all about speed and pushing the limits of drone design here at DRL," said Nicholas Horbaczewski, DRL CEO/Founder. "The record-setting RacerX represents the culmination of years of technological innovation by our team of world class engineers, and we're very excited to unveil the fastest racing drone on earth."
It took quite bit of engineering and tweaking to set the world record, which was achieved in a field in New York. DRL says it took month of trial and error and hundreds of broken motors before coming up with a design that could set the speed record. Some of DRL's earlier prototypes even burst into flames, as they were not able to handle the power required for such high-speed acceleration.
The final design that set the record weighs just 800 grams (1.76 pounds). It is a handmade drone constructed from 3D printed TPU, carbon fiber, copper wire, and fasteners. Large ESC's are mounted around the center pod for minimal drag. A pair of 1,300 mAh lithium polymer batteries power the RacerX's four electric motors, each of which can spin their propellers at up to 46,000 RPMs. This results in a high-pitched buzzing sound that can be heard in the video above.