Most of us know drones as a hobby and a great way to pass the time, but an entirely new industry surrounding drones is beginning to emerge. Drone racing is becoming the latest and greatest thing to turn into an industry and it’s gaining ground quite quickly.
Drone racing as a sport is the next fix for adrenaline junkies looking to tear it up. The Drone Racing League and the Drone Sports Association both have some major ambitions where this exciting new industry is concerned. They made deals with ESPN for signed broadcasting and have attracted some large sponsors for the purpose of gaining ground in hosting championships for big prize money.
The Drone Sports Association hosts the World Drone Racing Championships and the U.S. National Drone Racing Championships, where people compete with their drones by the handful. The Drone Racing League also has a couple of big things going on where drone racing is concerned.
For one, they have gained more than $21 million in sponsor funding and have signed deals with 7Sports, Sky, ESPN, to name a few. Bud Light has grabbed the spotlight for being the title sponsor for the 2017 Bud Light Drone Racing League Tryouts, which aim to find the best First Person View pilot around.
The winner of the Tryout will not only win a sponsorship with Bud Light, but will also gain a professional contract that includes up to $75,000, as well.
The founder of the Drone Racing League, Nick Horbaczewski, commented, “There is something that is truly thrilling about watching all of these incredibly skilled pilots work their aircraft through complex courses at tremendous speeds. If one of the drones should happen to crash, they don’t get back into the air, they actually crash and explode into a thousand pieces,”.
Nick Horbaczewski has described drone racing as a sort of mix between esports and Formula One, noting that the high speeds and complexity of maneuvering drones through the courses and each challenge is definitely something that will excite the masses.
The Drone Racing League looks for track areas that are basically abandoned. Football stadiums, office buildings, old paper mills, and even abandoned malls. All of the drones that are used during the races are built and supplied by the Drone Racing League themselves to ensure that everyone has a fair chance at flying and winning.
The pilots, however, look like they are missing the show completely. They fly with First Person View goggles on and watch the entire race through the eyes of their drone. This is how the racing drones are piloted, interestingly enough.
The pilots are using a transmitter or controller and their thumbs to pilot the drone around, but the real work is done by using their brains to really get into it and fly. This is all good for the pilots but not for the spectators, however.
Because drone racing is practically an “in the seat” type of event, spectators watching can be a challenge. No one else is watching the drone’s flight through the FPV goggles, which makes it hard to keep up with which drone is where and what they’re doing, which brings the next problem.
Because they are going at such high speeds and zipping around all over the place, and possibly crashing and exploding, watching can be difficult. Although, the Drone Racing League has fitted a solution to these very problems.
The Drone Racing League uses larger drones in size that are decorated with LED lights in multiple colors, as well as a cable system and a camera to capture all of the action and ensure that no one misses a thing.
In short, drone racing is definitely the next enormous spot. Drone racing as a sport is both exciting and a huge adrenaline rush for the pilots and everyone else involved.
Jack is a true drone passionate and he focused his education on this amazing field. Thus, he graduated the Drone/UAV Pilot Training Certificate program and now he’s a member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. His main purpose right now is to find and develop new features and help others discover the wonderful experience of flying a drone. For this, he is the main editor and content creator at MyDroneLab Blog where you can find everything you want to know about drones.