there’s a drone flying and then there’s flying a drone. While the former always involves gentle climbs and careful descents, the latter can involve breathtaking speeds, sudden turns, and, if you are still learning the ropes, lots of accidents.
These faster, more sophisticated flights are often performed by FPV (first person view) drones. For those who don’t know, FPV flights involve strapping on a headset for an immersive, real-time view of the drone’s flight via its front-facing camera. FPV flights typically use smaller, faster, more versatile drones than your popular DJI Mavic machine, with pilots often building their own equipment to suit their particular flying style.
Curious to see what the best FPV pilots can accomplish, we scoured the web for footage of great flights in a variety of scenarios.
So keep a soft pillow on the floor for your jaw as the efforts posted below are nothing short of amazing. Combining incredible speed, great maneuverability and breathtaking accuracy, these FPV drone videos will not fail to impress.
acrobatics in an abandoned building
Drone Pilot: Mr Steel
Flight: Sit back and enjoy this high-speed tour of an abandoned, graffiti-covered building, including a few detours along the way. Mr Steele shows a wide range of dazzling skills and somehow keeps his machine from hitting the wall.
Jaw-drop move: At the 1:57 mark, Mr. Steele takes his drone skyward before launching it straight down through a hole in the ceiling.
medieval castle maneuvers
Drone Pilot: benoit fink
Flight: Finck won a GoPro award for this wonderful cinematic effort, which captures the serene beauty of Mont-Saint-Michel, an island in Normandy, France, featuring a 16th-century castle. Highly polished, the sequence includes plenty of impressive drone moves as well as a suitably brilliant soundtrack that matches the action perfectly.
Jaw-drop move: At the 1:32 mark, Finck swoops down from a great height before coming around and flying – with great accuracy – through a small opening.
diving in burj khalifa
Drone Pilot: johnny fpv
Flight: In another sleek production, Johnny FPV takes his FPV drone on an outdoor tour of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The flight of the drone is certainly as spectacular as the setting, with the experienced pilot pushing his flying machine to the very limits.
Jaw-drop move: At the 39-second mark, Johnny manages to brush off how the FPV appears to be fringed at high speed against the shiny exterior of the building.
bowling alley ballet
Drone Pilot: Jay Christensen
Flight: Filmed at the Bryant Lake Bowl and Theater in Minneapolis, this FPV drone video was making international headlines when it was released in 2021. Meticulously choreographed with specially crafted audio tracks added later, Drone Flight takes us on a tour of the bowling alley on an exclusive. night.
Jaw-drop move: There are many wonderful moments in this brilliantly shot video, but we’re going for 23 seconds, where Christensen performs a tricky maneuver, propelling his CineWoop drone from the bowling lane to the machinery behind him.
Skimming Peaks in Madeira
Drone Pilot: Alice Van Jason
Flight: Forget taking wide shots from above. Here, Van Jason takes us on a high-speed exploration of the gorgeous landscape of Madeira – an island off the northwestern tip of Africa – over cliffs, through ravines and across the ocean.
Jaw-drop move: For us, it’s at the 13-second mark, where Van Jason brushes the edge of the rocks before turning abruptly down into a narrow opening. We don’t know how much the footage has been stretched or not, but it’s a neat maneuver nonetheless, and it looks great here.
chasing a roller coaster
Drone Pilot: Viggo Kochi
Flight: Coach uses a GoPro action camera attached to a custom-built drone that also houses a Foxier Falker First Person View camera. At one point the coach-tracked roller coaster ride hits 62mph (100kph), the ace pilot is able to take it easy while keeping close to the coaster’s cars through all of its twists and loops.
Jaw-drop move: At the 32-second mark, Coach swiftly spins his drone before weaving though a pair of roller coaster’s auxiliary pylons. It’s a lightning-quick trick; Blink a wink and you will be missed.
a beach cruise in the sky
Drone Pilot: Robert Mackintosh
Flight: For something different, enjoy this Venice Beach flyover, which was shot early in the morning. It’s not the high tempo or crazy acrobatics that mark it out, but rather the precise moves and cinematic production. The Macintosh filmed it flying forward (as opposed to going the other way and being behind the camera) and later reversed the film before adding sound effects and some stabilization. and yes, like this video Confirms, he did indeed fly his small drone through that little hoop.
Jaw-drop move: No doubt – hoop shot! Even with the FPV goggles on, it’s not easy, as you only get to see the narrow opening when you’re close.
catch a drift
Drone Pilot: johnny fpv
Flight: Johnny FPV’s second appearance in this compilation is a classic example of how drone footage can add another exciting layer to motor sports, keeping viewers close to the track with a realistic view of the action. We just hope drivers don’t find it too distracting when the drone swoops right in front of the windshield!
Jaw-drop move: At the 2:28 mark, Johnny tracks a car before the FPV takes off and on top of the car before settling behind him.
crashing a house party
Drone Pilot: Robert Mackintosh
Flight: It may be highly constructed and meticulously choreographed, but it is nothing far from Macintosh’s incredible efforts in this commercial for the music distribution firm AWAL, culminating in his second appearance on the compilation.
Jaw-drop move: It arrives quickly, after only six seconds, the drone passes through the car window and exits through the open door. Before drones, Hollywood directors would have pulled off a few video tricks to make something like this happen, but now they need to call on the services of a very talented drone pilot.
zipping through the woods
Drone Pilot: wren weichman
Flight: ok, it’s not the most Amazing FPV drone flight you’ve ever seen, but its raw nature and abrupt ending make it perfect to close the compilation. Flyed by Los Angeles-based YouTuber and visual effects artist Wren Weichman using DJI’s FPV drone, the flight takes us on a fast and rather mesmerizing ride through an area full of trees, machine weaving and dodging. She goes. Pushing the drone into fast and sometimes difficult places, it’s not surprising that the pilot eventually runs out of luck. There’s more information about catastrophic drone flight in this Nerdshala article.
Jaw-drop move: It should be at the 1:04 mark, when Weichmann accidentally drops the drone directly into a tree. Drones worked later as well. And the tree was fine too.