Not all of us are blessed with time and space to set up a drone racing course every time we go out to practice. Some of us have limited practice obstacles such as gates and flags, while some of us lack time and space to build a course. The “four corners” FPV practice course can be set up quickly and can be adjusted for almost any obstacle at a drone race which maximizes time.
Disclaimer: This article was written solely by a member of the FPV Community. Views and advice in this article are that of the author and does not reflect the opinion or views of GetFPV.
Materials for Building the Four Corners Practice Track
- Minimum 2 gates, ideally 6 gates (Buy Here)
- Flags so the gates and flags add up to 6 (so if you have 2 gates 4 flags are ideal)
- Gates too expensive, build your own. Follow this video by UAVFUTURES
By utilizing natural surroundings such as trees and soccer goals, the number of gates + flags can be lower than 6.
Building the Practice Track
Take four gates or flags and set them in a square. All the gates should be facing the same way as the photo below. There are no exact measurements for this since you can make the track tight or wide. The rule of thumb is if you keep crashing around the square, make the square wider. Too easy? Then make the square tighter.
One thing to keep in mind, if you have a place to fly where there are two soccer fields side by side and there are no nets on the goals the soccer goals can be the square and fewer gates can be used.
Choose an element that you want to practice such as a corkscrew or hard 180-degree turns. The middle can be almost any element as long as it fits inside the square. For the beginner, that element can be a single gate! After choosing the element, build the element in the middle of the square. If I was to build a corkscrew it would look like the photo below. Where the outside four gates were what was placed in step one and the middle two gates are for the corkscrew.
Flying the Four Corners Practice Track
Fly through one of the corner gates so that you are facing the element in the middle, which in this case is the corkscrew. To do that, you can do an over-under, an under-over, or just simply go through the gate and turn back around.
Do the element in the middle and then after finishing the element, go to the second corner of your selection and repeat step one.
Repeat step 2 again and then choose a different corner to go to. Make sure to complete every corner before repeating a different corner. To make this more like a race track, repeat the corner in the same exact order every lap. The photo below shows what the track could look like, where the element is the corkscrew.
Variations to the Four Corners Practice Track
As said, the element that is being practiced in the middle can be changed for different purposes. The corkscrew in this article can be changed into a 180 turn, a ladder, and even a dive gate. However, there are also many other ways to change this track into a different track.
The “Z” variation
Instead of doing a corner and then doing the element in the middle, go into a corner making a sweeping turn to an adjacent corner into the element. Repeat on the other side making it a “Z” shape. An example can be found in this video.
Current DRL Pilot Alex Vanover recommends doing many track elements separately in this video. This simple racecourse allows you to practice one element, but into a more interesting track which can make a fun practice more fun. This track practices both right and left sides of the element, and gives repetition which is what is needed for a pilot to get better. This is mindful practice which is one of the maxims in this article.
By flying this tracks and its many variations, it will make you a better overall drone racer, but if you still want to get even better read this article about Drone Racing Lines.