Camera Drone Chases F1 Champion Max Verstappen

Red Bull Racing has recently released a captivating video showcasing what they claim to be the world’s fastest camera drone. The drone was seen chasing Red Bull Racing’s own Max Verstappen as he drove the RB20 F1 car around Silverstone’s Grand Prix Circuit. The Dutch Drone Gods, the company behind this impressive feat, have designed a custom-built drone specifically for this challenge, capable of keeping up with the car at speeds exceeding 300 kilometers per hour.

It took over a year of collaboration between Red Bull and the Dutch Drone Gods to create a drone that could accelerate two times faster than an F1 car. With a top speed of over 350 kilometers per hour, this drone can reach 300 kilometers per hour in just four seconds. The development process was expedited with the assistance of Red Bull Advanced Technologies, a high-performance engineering arm of the Oracle Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team. The drone was tested alongside the RB8 and RB19 cars driven by Liam Lawson and David Coulthard.

Impressively, the custom drone used by the Dutch Drone Gods has a battery life of only three minutes. This is understandable considering its rotors spin at an astonishing 42,000 revolutions per minute. The drone’s unique design resembles a missile more than a traditional drone, reflecting the intense speed and agility required to keep up with an F1 car.

The journey to achieve this groundbreaking technology began in early 2023 when Red Bull approached the Dutch Drone Gods with a challenge: to track an F1 car at full speed for an entire lap. At that time, FPV drones could only reach speeds of around 180 kilometers per hour, but not for sustained periods. Undeterred, the Dutch Drone Gods worked tirelessly for eight months to find the perfect balance between electronics, canopy designs, weight, speed, flight length, and distance.

In early September 2023, on the very first lap of testing, pilot Ralph Hogenbirk successfully tracked the RB19 F1 car along the track, completing the entire lap at full speed. The drone reached an impressive speed of 310 kilometers per hour on Wellington Straight and the Hangar Straight. Following this initial success, the team; pilot Ralph Hogenbirk, engineering Thomas de Koster, drone tech and engineer Bas van T Hul and Relay drone pilot Rene Sebastian pilot made further design changes and upgrades. The team, who is not just skilled in speed but adds a beauty and creativity to their shots, worked with Red Bull Advanced Technologies lending their expertise in manufacturing the structural components, including glass fiber canopies, internal structures, and carbon arms.

While it is unlikely that this technology will be used during an actual F1 race due to safety implications, it is fascinating to consider the potential applications of such advanced drone technology. Red Bull’s marketing department deserves credit for consistently coming up with interesting and unique videos that capture the imagination of viewers.

In a video Dutch Drone Gods have published their YouTube channel you can see three views of the action: The operator controls, the end result camera, and the FPV view the pilot and developer Ralph Hogenbirk was seeing:

Even if you have seen enough F1 chasing, the Dutch Drone YouTube Channel is well worth a visit to see some of the best and creative FPV drone flying in the world.

With the Red Bull media claiming this was the worlds Fastest Camera Drone, it is worth noting that Luke Maximo Bell, an accomplished drone builder, had previously built the fastest camera drone on Earth. He released his video five months before Red Bull’s endeavour was published. So this might be the start of a beautiful and friendly competition! The world of drone technology continues to push boundaries, and it will be exciting to see how this technology evolves in the future.

The collaboration between Red Bull Racing and the Dutch Drone Gods has resulted in the creation of an exceptional camera drone capable of chasing an F1 car at incredible speeds. This achievement showcases the advances in drone technology and highlights the innovative spirit that drives the drone community. Whatever comes next will have to top this so it will be beautiful, awesome and spectacular!

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