The global racing drones market size was valued at USD 411.8 million in 2019 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 22.1% during the forecast period. Racing drones (often called high-speed or FPV drones) are used by pilots of drone racing events wherein several participants compete in a racing sport match. It is rapidly becoming a popular sport throughout the world. This is a sport wherein human pilots fly and control their drones with high speed in an arena filled with obstacles under complex environment. Government of many countries are allowing them flying for sport events is one of the factors generating the demand & awareness for such racing events across different regions. For instance, MultiGP and DRL (Drone Racing League) are some of the organizations which organizes such racing events across the world. MultiGP alone has completely organized more than 12,000 racing events across the world till, 2019.
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Growing adoption across the world, increasing production, introduction of high-speed drones, growing expenditure in research and development of flying technologies, introduction of racing sport leagues across different regions, increasing awareness of reducing harmful environmental emissions from sport vehicles, and increasing number of racing events are some of the key factors driving growth of racing drones market globally. In addition, there are some factors restraining the market such as, requirement of highly skilled pilots to operate them in the racing tournaments and complexity in assembly of ARF parts for beginners.
However, there are some government drone racing associations such as IDRA (International Drone Racing Association, Inc.) which governs and sanctions all the racing events occurring internationally. Although, many countries have their own government associations such as USDRA (US Drone Racing Association) and JDRA (Japan Drone Racing Association).
The market is primarily segmented on the basis of Aircraft Type, By Application, By Component, and By Region.
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Among aircraft type, the market is segmented into RTF (Ready-to-Fly) and ARF (Almost-Ready-to-Fly). According to Polaris Market Research, in 2019, ARF was estimated to be the largest market followed by RTF. RTF are the most widely preferred drones by skilled pilots due its customizable feature wherein they can modify the machine with their expertise in order to achieve higher speed & efficiency in the racing tournaments. This, in turn is driving the global demand for ARF.
Furthermore, ARF is expected to be the fastest growing segment in global racing drone market. In addition, increasing number of racing events such as Drone Champions League, Drone Racing League, MultiGP, and Drone World Champioship wherein, pilots of different countries compete together, acting as another major factor supporting growth of ARF drones market globally.
Among application type, the market is segmented into rotorcross, drag racing, and time trial. Rotorcross dominated the market in 2019 and is expected to retain its dominance over the forecast period as well followed by time trial and drag racing. ARF drones are majorly used in rotorcross racing events in order to fulfil the event’s requirements such as weight and motor capacity, size, and speed which requires customization to attain the requirements of tournaments. Time trial was estimated to be the second most dominant application in 2019.
Among component, the market is segmented into airframe, motors, camera/sensors, propellers, and others which comprises of components such as battery, connectors, transmitters, controllers, etc. In 2019, Airframe was estimated to be most dominant and also it is expected to be most dominant segment during the forecast period of 2020-2026. Airframe is the base component to which all other components are attached together to complete the assembly of FPV drone.
The increasing demand for FPV (First Person View) ARF is rapidly creating the demand and production of high-speed FPV drones as many pilots are participating in the racing events across different regions around the world. Furthermore, motors are expected to be the fastest growing component among all the components during the forecast period owing to its high demand by pilots and beginners in order to increase speed of propellers of a drone to gain high-speed.
North America was estimated to be the most dominant region in 2019 and is expected to be the largest region during the forecast period of 2020-2026. U.S. is growth engine of this region as it accounted for more than 85% share in the North American market and more than 30% share in the global market in 2019. The reason behind its dominance is presence of one of the largest racing event organizations ’MultiGP’ which has currently more than 20,000 registered pilots and 500 active drone racing chapters worldwide, mostly in the USA.
Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region during the forecast period for this industry globally. The growth of this region is fueled by the countries such as China Japan, and South Korea. China is the most dominant country in this region as it hosting the 2019 FAI World Drone Racing Championship (WDRC) for the third time since past three years. In addition, these racing events are becoming attraction in the media and entertainment industry also, as most of the television sports channels are collaborating with organizers for providing online video streaming platforms to fulfil the demand generated by increasing fan base in the country.
With the presence limited players globally, the racing drones market is moderately consolidated with a market share of more than 45% by top 5 players in 2019, according to Polaris Market Research. The vendors in this market are continuously trying to build innovative product in order to fulfil the market’s demands and increasing awareness towards these racing events by making attractive designs along with higher speed and stronger ranges. Companies such as Airjugar Technology Co. Ltd., Autel Robotics, DJI, eachine, Guangzhou Walkera Technology CO. LTD, Hubsan, ImmersionRC Limited, mjxrc.net, Parrot Drones SAS, RotorX, Spin Master (Air Hogs), Skyrocket LLC (Sky Viper), UVify Inc., and YUNEEC are some of the major players in this market.