When we first saw this, we wondered if it might be a joke: Giant quads, resembling beetles, being tested as potential racers. Is this real? CGI?
Well, apparently – and we still say this with some caution – apparently it’s a real thing. Or at least it is in the minds of Australia’s Freedom Drone Sports, which is developing an entirely new scale of drone for what it calls the Freedom Class of racing.
The thinking is that small racing drones aren’t that much fun as a spectator sport. It would be a whole lot easier to see what’s happening – and potentially more thrilling – to see much larger scale quads tear up the airspace.
We can see the upside of that, and also the downside. The investment required would be significantly higher, and the protection for any spectators would have to be massively beefed up. Their prototype weighs 30 kilograms (66 pounds) and was able to reach a top speed of 159 km/hr (more than 99 mph). They figure they can get it going much faster with higher revving motors.
So, what does it look like in flight? Well, like this:
Comments on YouTube indicate that some people think it’s a pretty cool concept. We tend to side with Gary Mortimer of SUASNews. As he put it:
“I am torn between thinking this giant drone racing idea is work of genius or lunacy.”
We hear you.