We all know drones to be versatile gadgets that can also be used for DIY travel vlogs, drone shows, drone racing, drone soccer and even military warfare. If you have an interest in piloting drones whether as a noob or professionally, we heard from a drone pilot who shared with us more about drones and their possibilities.
What are Drones?
Drones are also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles which are remotely operated. The common ones we see are small with propellers, motor, camera and controlled via a flight controller or a transmitter.
Drones are increasingly popular for various functions. They can perform automated tasks, have cameras and sensors, can deliver items, do surveillance and reconnaissance, monitor crops and optimise irritation and fertilisation, monitor wildlife and be used for recreational purposes such as photography, racing, sports, entertainment and flying.
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Where to Fly Drones in Singapore
Many hobbyists fly their drones at certain parks and open spaces. Do note that drones can only be flown outside of no-fly zones.
There are also requirements for registration of drones above a certain weight limit. In addition, unless the drone flying is for personal, recreational purposes, permits are required.
One of the dedicated Unmanned Aircraft Flying Areas is at at Pandan Reservoir, a popular space where enthusiasts can gather to fly their drones safely.
Get more details on no-fly zones.
But it is also possible to start drone flying indoors too.
Beginners and Indoor Drone Flying with ThrottleUp
On a recent visit to ThrottleUp, a drone flying academy, my family was introduced the world of indoor drone flying.
Professional Drone Pilot Tong shared more about drone flying as well as what drone racing was all about.
A indoor tinywhoop arena was set up with over 1800 square feet of “air space”. The LED drone tracks transformed the space into a futuristic-looking racing arena with tunnels, hoops, nets.
While the arena was typically used for drone racing, it was also setup to help hobbyists refine their drone-piloting skills.
We saw the drone pilots navigating sharp angles and hoops, swiftly going under tables and obstacles. We also saw how satisfying it could be manoeuvring your own UAVs.
A racing drone can often go over 100mph and the world record is at 179mph.
Children could also try their hands at flying drones at Throttle Up. Using beginner-friendly drones which were light-weight and easy to control it took mere minutes to learn how to fly one.
Families can also participate in ThrottleUp’s Family & Kids drone workshop. The one hour workshop consists of learning indoor drone flying, basic controls and operation, basic circuit flying and mini drone racing.
The minimum age to participate is 5.
The benefits of drone courses include learning about science concepts such as aerodynamics, electronics, radio transmissions, video transmissions, GPS as well as developing motor skills and making judgements, assessing risks and problem solving.
FPV Drones & Other Professional Drone Sports
We also got a glimpse of First Person View (FPV) drones.
FPV drones are usually fully customised, fitted with video cameras and capable of extremely precise manoeuvres. They are used in filmmaking and drone racing. The drone pilots would pilot their drones via video googles or via a mobile phone, tablet computer or other screens.
Donning the video goggles to get a first person view, it was almost as if we were in flight. It was fascinating seeing the world from a drone’s perspective; it almost felt as if we were flying.
FPV drones make filming scenes possible without camera tricks and chunky equipment. They unlock a whole different dimension of filmmaking!
Drone sports is not limited to just racing, it can be a competitive ball game in the form of Drone Soccer too.
Drone Soccer is a new air sport using a drone soccer ball that requires less kicking and more flying. Players literally fly the drone balls all around the netted arena to attempt to score goals while opponents try to block the attempts. Players can compete internationally at drone soccer competitions.
Find out more about drone-flying at ThrottleUp.
If you are interested other places where you can try drone flying indoors, did you know that Science Centre Singapore has a drone arena at its Maker Space?