Photographer Sets World Record for Fastest Drone Flight at 298 MPH

A photographer and content creator has set the world record for the fastest drone flight after his custom-made aircraft achieved a staggering 298.47 miles per hour (480.2 kilometers per hour).

Guinness confirmed the record noting that Luke Maximo Bell and his father Mike achieved the “fastest ground speed by a battery-powered remote-controlled (RC) quadcopter.”

Luke, who has previously turned his GoPro into a tennis ball, describes it as the most “frustrating and difficult project” he has ever worked on after months of working on prototypes that frequently caught fire.

Failures and Fires

From the very first battery tests for the drone that Luke calls Peregrine 2, there were small fires as it struggled to cope with the massive amount of current which caused it to heat up to over 266 degrees Fahrenheit (130 degrees Celsius). The motor wires also burst into flames during full load testing causing Luke and Mike to use thicker ones so they didn’t fail.

A man outdoors lights a small, bright flame on a yellow object placed on dry grass, using a lighter in his hand. he is wearing shorts and sneakers.
There were many fires during the process of making the world’s fastest drone.

To make a drone fly at incredible speeds through the air, the aerodynamic design must be optimal: So Bell and his father tested various designs by holding the craft out of a car window to see how it handles airflow.

After 3D-printing the final model and assembling all the parts, Luke took it for a maiden flight which immediately resulted in yet another fire. This setback made Bell almost quit the project but he decided to remake all the parts and try again — which also ended in fire.

This second catastrophe prompted Luke and his Dad to “completely redesign the whole drone body.” It meant weeks of work as the new prototype was once again tested, 3D-printed, and bolted together.

A man stands in a field wearing fpv (first-person view) goggles and holding a green and yellow toy airplane, with a light cloud of smoke visible near the plane’s rear.
Contemplating his life choices.

After “literal months of prototyping trial and error” Bell went to a gliding club to do a high-speed run which was successful but the drone was not world record fast. This meant yet more improvements to the drone including more powerful motors and other tweaks to achieve maximum speed.

Finally, it was time for the world record attempt which requires “multiple independent witnesses” and two 100-meter (328-foot) speedruns that are performed in opposite directions to “negate the effects of wind.”

“Three months of hard work, failures, and engineering would ultimately come down to a few seconds of highspeed flying,” Luke says in the above video.

Setting the Record for the Fastest Drone

PetaPixel has been speaking to Bell for months as he waited for Guinness to verify his world record but Luke and Mike are now officially the record holders for the world’s fastest drone after clocking an incredible speed of 298.74 miles per hour (480.23 kilometers per hour).

“It’s so exciting,” Bell says on his YouTube page. “It’s been such a long work in progress that to get that results and to get that confirmation just means a lot to me and my Dad.”

A man with curly hair wearing a headset and holding a remote control sits in the foreground with focused expression. in the blurred background, people gather in a rustic outdoor setting at dusk.
Setting the record on the FPV drone.

The Peregrine 2 did four runs with the fastest two clocking an average record speed of 298.47 miles per hour or 480.2 kilometers per hour.

“It’s so close to that 300 miles per hour mark but I guess that’s for the next record breaker to get — whether that’s us or somebody else,” he adds.

The World’s Fastest Camera Drone

Bell’s Peregrine 2 “accidentally” became the world’s fastest camera drone after attaching a small camera to the drone and flying it at speeds over 400 kilometers per hour.

“On top of that, it was handling fairly smooth cornering at speeds of 300 kilometers per hour. No other drone can do this and we accidentally created the fastest camera drone in the world,” Bell says.

“With some adjustments to improve stability, the potential shots this drone could capture is huge.”

That means it is faster than the camera drone that tried to keep up with Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen while also beating the previous record for the world’s fastest drone set at a speed of 224 miles per hour (360 kilometers per hour) by Ryan Lademann.

Image credits: Luke Maximo Bell.