If you are a drone pilot, indeed, you heard about FPV. Or maybe you are a more experienced FPV pilot seeking some answers about the future of FPV drones.
Are FPV drones becoming more popular?
As FPV drones have had a massive increase in popularity over the past few years due to advancements in digital transmission and the release of DJI FPV and DJI Avata, we should expect some significant changes in the industry and soar in popularity over the following years, and likewise, some downsides.
There is a long list of information I want to share with you regarding FPV drones and how they may or may not become more popular in the near and far future.
Table of Contents
What are FPV drones, and how it impacts the drone industry?
FPV drones, also known as First Person View, are a subcategory of drones that, instead of controlling the UAV while looking at a mobile phone or screen, you are drowned in the unimaginable feelings of observing in real time what your drone sees via a pair of VR goggles.
There’s often confusion where an FPV drone is considered to be only an acrobatic drone for racing or freestyle. FPV hugs everything using goggles, not only those drones.
Generally, FPV drones are controlled differently, and their core point is to freestyle or race.
Because you see through FPV goggles, you have low latency live image, and you are able to see details and maneuver these drones like none others.
But for an FPV drone to be fully maneuverable, it has to be in acro mode; hence all the sensors and gyroscopes are turned off for complete control.
While flying an FPV drone in full acro mode, you are in command of every single drone movement without any aid.
Why are FPV drones not so popular at this time?
Until two years ago, to be able to fly an FPV drone, you would have to deal with buying or building such a drone by yourself, getting a controller and goggles and pair separately, setting the rates and other settings in Betaflight, and dealing with an entire list of issues to make it fly.
That’s why only a small percentage of drone pilots dared to get into FPV.
But ever since, the DJI FPV drone and then the DJI Avata have been released.
With these two FPV drones released by DJI, they are as simple as it gets: it comes in a complete kit, are bound and ready to fly, can be flown in manual (acro) and as well normal mode, and they provide high-quality and low-latency digital transmission image.
No other company has done this before; There were a few BNF FPV drone kits, but they were analog and not what most pilots were looking for.
Nowadays, with these two drones, the popularity of FPV took breadth and become more popular than a few years back.
However, it is still not as popular as standard drones.
Are FPV drones becoming more popular?
If you ask a random person if they heard about drones, they say yes; but that person may never have heard about FPV drones at all.
That is why it will take a long time for the general population to hear and know about such hobbies and types of drones.
But ever since the release of DJI FPV and DJI Avata, as mentioned above, the popularity of FPV has soared like never before.
The FPV drones are currently becoming more widespread. They are way more favored than it was three years ago and, at that time, than two years back.
More and more pilots are not only trying FPV but switching to flying FPV drones because of the adrenaline rush and unique control of the drone.
This hobby hosts quite a few reasons people are flowing to FPV.
- Freestyling with an FPV drone is an entire passion for many drone pilots. It provides you with adrenaline and allows you to control FPV drones acrobatically like no standard drone.
- Racing with FPV is like racing with a car. Maybe you can’t race with a vehicle in the real world, but surely you can get into racing with FPV drones. The competition is fierce, and more and more pilots are getting into FPV for this reason.
- To create cinematic content. The content you create with FPV drones is absolutely unique in this world, and there is nothing similar to even compare the possibility of capturing such types of videos which you can with an FPV drone.
As the filmmaking industry is advancing, the use of FPV drones for this reason and even advertising is becoming more popular by the year.
So to shortly answer this, FPV drones are part of one industry that is becoming more popular at a much higher rate than average.
FPV quads or FPV fixed wings – what’s more popular?
These are two different niches and communities of FPV people.
You can not only fly FPV drones but as well FPV fixed-wings, which seems incredible.
Although I don’t have experience with FPV fixed wings yet, from what I have seen, these are a fantastic way to enjoy the superbity of nature and landscape while flying long-range with fewer risks and more extended autonomy.
But FPV drones are relatively more popular than FPV fixed-wings. And unfortunately, DJI doesn’t have any Fixed Wings FPV released yet.
Who knows what the future holds?
» READ MORE: How Far Can You Fly the DJI FPV Drone?
Is it hard to fly an FPV drone?
It is pretty difficult to fly an FPV drone as a beginner, one yet another reason why it is not so popular.
To fly a standard GPS drone, all you have to do is take off and efficiently use the controls to give commands to the drone.
But with FPV is another story.
An FPV drone cannot hover by itself, and you have to be in total control of it every fraction of a second.
This is because the drone will only fly forward at a specific speed, and if you let any of the controller sticks go, the drone will simply crash.
An FPV drone has no intelligent function, and you will need to learn and know how to fly this drone from scratch. It’s a totally new skill.
To fly an FPV drone, you will need to train in simulators such as Liftoff, DRL, or TRYP FPV; that’s because the controls of an FPV drone are totally different from the ones of a standard drone.
All these factors make an FPV drone to be less popular and preferred by general drone pilots.
» READ MORE: Is FPV SkyDive Free to Play?
There’s a gap in the FPV marketplace, affected by the current lack of popularity.
That’s another reason why not many people are getting into FPV. If you want to buy an FPV drone and you live in the US, that’s the biggest marketplace, and you are in luck.
But except for the UK, Germany, and a few more countries where there is Amazon or a few specific FPV websites, it is hard to come by what you need.
Not to mention, you may need to buy parts, ESC, FC, motors, batteries, and other stuff to match your build, repair, or upgrade. And those are not easy to be found.
If you are looking for a new laptop, you will have 40 different websites you can buy from. But if you are looking for a specific FPV motor, most likely, you may have to order it internationally.
That’s why, because those are not hot-sold items, it is difficult to come by and for distributors to stock these FPV drones, accessories, and parts.
How will FPV look like five years from now?
In the past couple of years, the FPV world has had the most significant technological advancement ever: Digital transmission was introduced and advanced to the point it competes with the latency of Analog transmission.
DJI totally changed the FPV industry, from the FPV digital transmission and fantastic FPV goggles to DJI FPV and Avata, as all happened in the past couple of years; who knows what the FPV will look like in five years?
The FPV drones will become more popular, that’s for sure. At the same time, more industries will be using FPV drones regularly, but there’ll be competition for such jobs.
We should expect new digital transmission systems and goggles with larger screens, lower latency, higher quality than ever, and extraordinary transmission range.
This should happen in the following years, the same as the current FPV system advanced in the past few years.
The digital transmission will likely overtake the analog one, from latency, video quality, range, and even price will decrease in time.
In terms of drones and FPVs, everything will advance beyond our current imagination.
But at the same time, there’ll be drawbacks: more laws and regulations regarding drone usage that will affect FPV drones will push pilots away.
From the possibility of DJI and Autel being banned in the US to more and more restrictions, nothing political regarding drones will get more accessible in the near future.
Unfortunately, this is the reality we have to live in.
» READ MORE: 27 FPV Tips to Know Before Flying FPV Drones