U.S. Drone Racing Honors its First National Champion
You may imagine that flying a drone is purely a leisure activity–spent capturing beautiful landscapes on film or inspecting some inaccessible natural wonder. In many cases it is, but as was seen at the recent U.S. National Drone Racing Championships, it can also be a downright fierce race to the finish played out in miniature scale. The drone championships—the first of their kind–were held at the California State Fair on July 16 and 17, and saw 100 competing drone pilots test their skills across three challenging events. It included an individual time trial and a team time trial through tight obstacles, as well as a freestyle stunt competition. After two days of flying, Australian Chad Nowak was crowned champion in all three, taking home a good haul of the $25,000 offered in cash and prizes. Nowak didn’t just perform well in the events, he absolutely aced them. The Australian, flying under the name FinalGlideAUS, finished his semifinal individual event with a time 20 seconds faster than the second place competitor. His stunning run during the freestyle event was recorded below: RELATED: Yes, Honey Bee Brains Can Now Pilot Drones
These aren’t your garden-variety drone quad-copters either. Rather, these drones can climb, dive, barrel-roll, and zip at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. It makes for a jaw-dropping experience for viewers, and an incredibly immersive experience for pilots, which fly using first-person view goggles that feed video streams back from the onboard drone cameras.
It's dizzying to say the least. Try to keep up!
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