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FPV Drone Chases Downhill Racer – Insane Footage from Red Bull Race in Chile

FPV Drone Chases Downhill Racer – Insane Footage from Red Bull Race in Chile

Every year, Red Bull hosts a unique race in Valparaíso, Chile: the Cerro Abajo. Top mountain bikers race downhill through the city using narrow stairs, ramps, even an entire house is used as a jaw-dropping tunnel plus ramp. But how to capture the action up close? Well, the guys at Dutch Drone Gods grabbed their FPV gear, pulled a few tricks and got to work. The result is both breathtaking and quite educational.

The aim of the following video was to capture the action involved when a racer dashes through the city of Valparaíso. The helmet cam is one thing, but following a real mountain biker through the narrow streets and down narrow staircases is quite another.

Tomáš Slavik is an experienced Urban Downhill bike racer, and he’s the one the FPV drone followed in one take from top to bottom of the city.

FPV Drone Chasing with Tomáš Slavik

Tracking something moving very fast with an FPV drone is nothing new, we’ve seen it before. The same goes with long one-take videos of FPV Drones. But tracking someone across an all-out racetrack that runs through an entire city is a challenge of its own. The Dutch Drone Gods team had to set up some directional antennas along the racetrack and deploy a second, larger drone carrying a video relay system for -hopefully- seamless video transmission to the pilot’s goggles (hint: it didn’t always work).

FPV Drone Video Feed
Glitchy video feed from the drone. Image credit: Red Bull

The problem: once the pilot loses the video transmission, he’s flying blind while the FPV drone is still going very fast. And of course, the city of Valparaíso has many narrow spots, overhead power lines, trees and all sorts of other obstacles. Perfect for drone flights….or maybe not.

FPV Drone race track
The racetrack – FPV drone shot in one go. Image credit: Red Bull

In the end, they only had a couple of practice runs to get the FPV shot they wanted, and the result is a real nail-biter, I must say. The seamless drone flight truly captures the speed and tightness of the course. Amazingly well done!

Links: Red Bull Cerro Abajo

What do you think? Would you 1) race down that track or 2) film somebody doing it using an FPV drone? Tell us in the comments below!

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