The last year has seen drone racing go mainstream and with the release of our carbon kit just around the corner, we are taking a look into the sports rise in popularity. So when did it begin and why is it taking off so spectacularly? (no pun intended).
It would be hard to specify one individual who is responsible for the creation of Drone Racing but you could be forgiven in saying that Scot Refsland can be seen as a ‘father’ figure of the sport. In 2014, he created a Berkley based group of drone hobbyists - that in one year grew from 10 to a staggering 700 people. While a number of drone hobbyist groups existed before this, Refsland's concentration on FPV flight set it apart from other the communities.
The Drone Nationals hosted in 2015 marked a watershed in the drone racing community, as 120 pilots came together under the hot Californian sun to race their quads. Chad Nowak, an Australian drone-racing pioneer known as FinalGlideAUS, won every event: the race, freestyle and team competitions. This event showed the public the potential of drone racing as a spectator sport. From there we have only seen the sport grow, with huge events like the Dubai Grand Prix grabbing headlines.
The popularity of drone racing can also be attributed to advances in FPV systems. Fatshark currently lead the pack with their Attitude, Dominator and Teleporter FPV headsets. They allow pilots to fly as if they are in the cockpit of the drone, allowing you to (in the words of Marquee Cornblatt - the director of the ASL) "forget your true body, your true form, and believe you are in that cockpit of that drone at 60, 70 miles per hour and crashing without having bodily harm to yourself."
Credits can be also given to the Drone Racing League (founded in 2016) for their efforts to lead the future of drone racing. Their high production racing videos brought drone racing to the internet, while their use of unique locations and bright LED's has given Drone Racing its staple aesthetic and this clearly caught the eye of ESPN and Sky, who have penned a contract to broadcast their races to millions of viewers.
Since its inception in 2014 drone racing has become extremely popular, but it still remains expensive for the average consumer. On average a full drone racing package, even as a self build can cost upwards of $1000 (£800).
We want to open this new sport up for avid drone enthusiasts and for the past year have been working on a new, Micro, Carbon Fibre Racing Kit that includes all the components needed to get started, at a price anyone can afford.
The future of drone racing looks very promising indeed, one of which will bring FPV Racing to the masses.
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