Drones can be categorized into Classes. By racing in a specific class,
differences in design, weight, and configuration can allow for a more competitive
and fair race.

Note – As technology and usage advances, these classes may be updated / revised as needed. Please bookmark this page to see the latest version!

Unlimited / Open Class

The Unlimited / Open class is designed for basic groupings during open meets. The class definitions have no restrictions aside from frame size and battery configuration.

ID General name Description Battery type
N Nano Less than 25 grams 1S
I Micro 25-75 grams 1S
M Mini 250mm, ~500 grams – Most common racer type 3S
L Large 300-250mm, 750grams or more 3S
X Extra Any frame size over 350mm or 750grams Any

In general, most races are being done with Class I and Class M racers

So You Want To Host a Race

So you’re thinking of hosting your own race. Great! There’s some basic guidelines to make sure your pilots will have fun, the safety of your attendees (both pilots and spectators) will be guaranteed, and everyone will go home happy.

Course design

First thing you’ll need is a race course. Designing a course should be done carefully, taking into account the available open space (or, in the case of an ‘in the woods’ or cluttered space, how much of that space you want to dedicate for racing), how easy it is to retrieve lost drones, etc.

Some good guidelines:

  • All courses should be be cleared of potentially damageable items
  • No spectators, animals, or pilots should be on the course during racing
  • Course size recommendations (This is entire length, start to start)
  • Class I – 100 meters
  • Class M – 200 meters
  • All pilots check in and register their craft with the referees. A basic safety check is performed
    • All components secured to the frame (motors, FC, ESC’s, etc). No dangling or loose pieces
    • Batteries are secured with velcro or similar, and will not easily slide out or shift
    • All wires are managed via zip ties or similar, and will not interfere with rotors
  • Determine a way to avoid FPV channel collisions (colored cards clipped to receivers is a common practice)
  • At the discretion of the site owner / race manager, insurance or a waiver may be required from all pilots.

Race time!

  • Spotters should monitor the entire course to assure the space is safe to operate in. Spotters should be able to quickly and easily relay to the Race Organizer if the race needs to be stopped (Radio communications, air hornes, whistles, etc). If a spotter calls a halt to the race, all pilots must stop and land immediately.
  • Some well established signalling mechanism should be used by the referees to call a halt. A handheld airhorn, radios with a specific “HOLD” message, etc.
  • Pilots must be aware of race referee with them in the pits and be able to perceive, understand, and respond to conditions reported by the referee.

8 thoughts on “Classes”

  1. Hello, I am new to drone racing, and am curious if the xCraft Rogue is a legal drone for racing. If you could help me out, that would be great.

    1. Hi Bas, thanks for dropping in. Because Drone Racing is a relatively new sport, there’s no ‘wide ranging rules’ for what goes into each category, though the USDRA has their own rules, the IDRA and other organizations has theirs. With a rear booster propeller, I’m not sure if that would disqualify it from racing – it would completely depend on the division and classes you’re in. I would talk with any race organizers you’re considering flying with and check to see if it’s a valid craft. Note that most ‘pickup’ races such as those run by MultiGP are open to just about anything, so surely you’ll be able to fly and race – it’s just the higher level competitions that might be a bit tricky. Also, remember that a huge percentage of what makes a pilot successful is in skill, not jus the quad (or in this case, quint? :). A great pilot will outfly a faster quad flown by a lesser skilled pilot.

  2. I have been seeing quite a few 250 builds that are using 4s batteries. How firm is the 3s battery rule for MClass racers?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar