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Excellent places to fly, from noobs to advanced

Would you pay admission to FPV Fly/Race your drone?


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cavalleydude

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You got yourself a new FPV Racing Drone and you're all ready to fly, now what? Where can I fly? You read all the rules for your area... FAA registration, blah, blah, blah... now what? If you're like me, you've at least seen some of the DRL races and you want to try that once you get to the point you can fly.

I'm just getting started and I've used about 20+ batteries for learning and still have a long way to go, but it's raining today in southern California and I want to fly. It would be fun to have an empty warehouse or some place like that... heck, I would pay admission to fly there! I'm hoping that these types of businesses spring up.. who knows, maybe I will spring it up! But, could you imagine the fun that would be to have an indoor fly-zone? Yeah, I know what you're thinking... people... "you're drone crashed my drone!... etc.", yeah, maybe in Texas where they think BIG, have you ever been to "Top Golf" in Texas or elsewhere? If so, you know what I mean... extrapolate that into an FPV FlyZone!

Really, I'm wondering where do people fly legally and safely? Luckily, I live out in the suburbs (somewhat)... outdoor places must be FAA safe... I use both the FAA B4UFly app to check if I'm within any restricted zones, etc. and an app called DroneZones is kind of cool because it lets you find places in your area where others have written comments, etc. But, there are still untapped places to find. The search will continue...

Less than an hour away is a place where DRL held one of it's races at an abandoned mall... check it out below. How fun...

L.A.POCALYPSE
We went to the 'post-apocalyptic' L.A. mall that was transformed into a drone racing track

Anyhow, I'm curious what others think. Ideas, suggestions, cool places to fly, etc.
 

theGreenOrange

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I researched opening this type of business a little bit a couple months ago. My plan involved micro drones with a scaled down indoor course which would look big while flying. I felt the awareness and demand were just too low, and the learning curve too steep to attempt opening a business of this kind for my main source of income. Bit I still love the idea, and am waiting for FPV to blow up to look at it again.
 
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merdok

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Dude, I think its a great idea but I agree with tGO as its too new right now. I would be all over it and I am sure it will happen in time. Thanks for the heads up on the drone zones app, I'm gonna give it a try.
 
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PhoenixFord

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I think that the business opportunity is here and now. Like any other business, if you wait till someone else is doing it, then your probably to late. That being said, it's going to be just as hard to develop as any other business. Your going to have to spend a lot on advertising, property rental, insurance. And lets not forget all the legalities that goes along with it.

I wouldn't go out and try to set up a 5-day-a-week or 7-day-a-week permanent business though. I don't believe that would be viable. I would make the business mobile. And maybe start out holding events every couple of months or so. But I think that the right person could make it work.
 
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PhoenixFord

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As for legal places to fly, the way I understand the law, any public property is fair game. As long as your not placing someone else in danger. I usually fly school playgrounds, baseball, football and soccer fields. But I personally don't have a problem flying right outside my front door either. (Not placing others in danger of course.)
 
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theGreenOrange

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Even two adjacent soccer fields start to feel really small, really quick when you are first learning. I usually fly on a golf course in my back yard and that was even hard at first. Now that I have a bit of control over the drone, it is much easier to find places to fly.

But I still have about 10x as much time on my micro drone since I fly it around the house. I did 4 batteries on it today no problem. Well, I did break one motor wire at the FC. That was the tiniest wire I have ever had to solder, holy cow. But it worked out fine. :)
 
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cavalleydude

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Hi PhoenixFord, I agree with the 'not placing others in danger' part for sure. We have been going to empty fields, baseball fields, etc. when there are no people around. We also have a ginormous multi-soccer field park facility that makes for an awesome place to fly when nobody is around (this time of year, no soccer going on), it's all grass and good for noobs like me, lol. So far, parks & recreation have not kicked us out... but, it only takes one time and fun-time is over.

With the indoor facility business, I also agree with you that waiting until someone else does the FlyZone biz first makes it hard to play second fiddle (so to speak). I also agree with tGO and Merdok that it's a little early too... with all that said, starting something part-time and working out the kinks and legalities to find out what works and what doesn't seems more appropriate. Anyhow, it's all food for thought. I want to do it because it would be just plain fun (as much as work can be fun).

I really could see having a huge Top Golf (multi-story indoor/outdoor) type facility (where you race against others) would be super fun! You've seen these huge multi-story golf ranges, you stand on a deck on the edge of a building on the 4th floor... and tee off... in this case your drone flies off! You compete with others, your VTX is displayed on a large screen along with all the other racers in your party! You race around the outdoor track... that all lit up and 100% netted-in so nobody gets hit. A server comes by to serve wings and other snacks, :) batteries, props etc... lol. I'm there... This is only a few $M, investors wanted. Lol.
 

cavalleydude

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Even two adjacent soccer fields start to feel really small, really quick when you are first learning. I usually fly on a golf course in my back yard and that was even hard at first. Now that I have a bit of control over the drone, it is much easier to find places to fly.

But I still have about 10x as much time on my micro drone since I fly it around the house. I did 4 batteries on it today no problem. Well, I did break one motor wire at the FC. That was the tiniest wire I have ever had to solder, holy cow. But it worked out fine. :)
I totally get that, we fly over at a baseball park... it's really too small, but it's close by and good for a few batteries of fly time. We went night flying last night over at the mega soccer field in total darkness... broke a prop, crashed hard 3-4 times, crashed into a 50ft tree at the top, luckily it fell to the ground. Bottom line... night flying is hard IMHO, it's hard to get the orientation down. We are flying line of sight and the drone has bright LEDs front and back, but still... way to easy to crash it :) I'll stick to day flying until I get better at recovering from loss of orientation.

Frame-02-01-2017-04-52-02.png
 
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cavalleydude

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theGreenOrange

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On the plus side Fatsharks are small, light, and have a good receiver (may not be included though). On the negatives, the field of view is small and they are expensive.

Different pilots like different things. I like a big FOV and pretty high resolution for more immersive flying. So I use big ol' cheap Eachine EV800 but I like them. (if you dont mind waiting, they are $55 on banggood right now, restocking on the 22nd) Only complaint is that I was getting dropouts sometimes from interference causing crashes. I got a new premium VTX (tramp HV) but I haven't been able to really test it yet. Hopefully the dropouts will be gone.

Eachine also has "VR D2" and "goggles two" with diversity receivers, but Jerry says the reviews aren't too good. I may give them a try if I still get dropouts.

Basically pick your poison. Those yuneec ones look interesting but need an external receiver for FPV and will no doubt be overpriced compared to Eachine and Kylin, which are a similar design.

Despite the issues, I would still recommend the EV800 of you want that style. The similar Kylin ones might be better, I haven't used them.
 

pixelPilot

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The business would be great to be involved in. It may be a but soon but perhaps that depends on his the business is configured. Coffee and food and general rc shop with inline store and yr good to go...
 

cavalleydude

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pixelPilot, for sure... this could have so many dimensions. Every time I visit my sister in Dallas, I always go to Top Golf, I'm using that place as a reference, because the place is so fun. Shops, bar, food, digital scoreboards at each table area to keep score automatically (like bowling) ... you can play a variety of golf games... makes it entertaining for everyone. I could see FPV drone games being a thing.


-cavalleydude
 

PhoenixFord

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I really could see having a huge Top Golf (multi-story indoor/outdoor) type facility (where you race against others) would be super fun! You've seen these huge multi-story golf ranges, you stand on a deck on the edge of a building on the 4th floor... and tee off... in this case your drone flies off! You compete with others, your VTX is displayed on a large screen along with all the other racers in your party! You race around the outdoor track... that all lit up and 100% netted-in so nobody gets hit. A server comes by to serve wings and other snacks, :) batteries, props etc... lol. I'm there... This is only a few $M, investors wanted. Lol.
I think the best business will be conducted something like how DRL does it. Besides, every town has some huge abandon mall or warehouse that some owner would love to make a little cash off of. The plus side to that would be the ability to travel to different places. More opportunity for different people to spend money - enjoy your services. Just one of the negative sides to that would be the logistics of setting up a weekend event in an abandon facility. I'm sure that it could be done though.

I still think that the business is out there right now. I think all that someone would really need to get the ball rolling would be access to a cow pasture close to a large town. And a little cash to rent facilities like port-a-potties and such. I'm sure that local roach-coach people would jump at the opportunity to make a sale.
 

pixelPilot

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Sounds like a fun place. Where I used to live their was the largest indoor skate park in the southern hemisphere. It is called The Park. I should fire them an email as that place would be a good candidate for a hybrid setup. They already have the kids there and plenty I space. They could have drone days. Perhaps this could be done with similar businesses in your area. Indoor trampoline or rock climbing businesses or similar may be receptive to a deal...
 

PhoenixFord

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theGreenOrange

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Sounds like a fun place. Where I used to live their was the largest indoor skate park in the southern hemisphere. It is called The Park. I should fire them an email as that place would be a good candidate for a hybrid setup. They already have the kids there and plenty I space. They could have drone days. Perhaps this could be done with similar businesses in your area. Indoor trampoline or rock climbing businesses or similar may be receptive to a deal...
Hey, that is a good idea!
 
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