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Get to know future sports: drone racing

Drone Racing is a new high speed competitive racing sport, presented last week by FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) at SportAccord Convention. Skilled pilots fly quad-copter drones through three-dimensional courses at speeds up to 120mph. The drones are custom built for speed, agility, and performance, and pilots steer from the point of view of the drone by wearing First Person View (FPV) goggles that display a live image transmitted by an on-board camera. Combining technology, innovation, physics, coordination, and precision, the experience for both pilots and fans is about as intense and immersive as it gets.

The FAI is responsible for sanctioning air sports competition internationally and, most recently, signed a memorandum of understanding with Freedom Drone Sports, a commercial company based in Australia that focuses on developing drone sports, training, education and safety regulation in Australia and globally. The agreement marks a new step in the development of drone racing as a sport around the world, in a responsible and safe way. That includes licensing pilots, developing rules of racing, certification of drones, track design, social responsibility, gender equality and accredited training of all parties including officials.

President of the FAI, Frits Brink, said: “I am very happy to welcome our new collaboration with Freedom Drone Sports. Drone racing is a fast developing new air sports discipline, and the FAI is very pleased to be working together with new partners in this way. I look forward to seeing the first races and competitions, and watching the sport develop.”

As part of the signed memorandum, the FAI undertakes all necessary actions to recognise Freedom Class Giant Drone Sports as a dedicated air sports discipline. Both the FAI and Freedom Drone Sports will cooperate on working together to help establish the new discipline.

Freedom Drone Sports will help to develop a structured environment that will allow the new discipline to flourish from the grass roots up, while the FAI will sanction competitions in the new class. Both will focus on ultimately developing an FAI sanctioned World Championship Series.

Both parties will also work together to support each other in general drone development. This will include the presence of Freedom Drone Sports at the 1st FAI International Drone Conference and Expo taking place within the EPFL Drone Days 2017 (1-3 September 2017 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)), and the FAI’s support in regulatory matters at an international level.

FAI and Freedom Drones Sports

About FAI
FAI, the World Air Sports Federation is the world governing body for air sports and for certifying world aviation and space records. The FAI was founded in 1905 and is a non-governmental and non-profit-making organisation recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

FAI activities include Aerobatics, Aeromodelling, Airships, Amateur-Built and Experimental Aircraft, Balloons, Drones, Gliding, Hang Gliding, Helicopters, Manpowered Flying, Microlights, Parachuting, Paragliding, Paramotors, Power Flying and all other Aeronautic and Astronautic sporting activities.

Related News: Learn more about the drone industry in the canton of Vaud here.