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FAI World Drone Racing Championships: One month to go

There is just one month to go before the first FAI World Drone Racing Championships kicks-off in Shenzhen, China.

Some 115 of the world’s best drone-racing pilots from 32 nations will converge on the tech city of Shenzhen in southern China for four days of high-calibre racing, 1-4 November 2018.

Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded for first, second and third places in four classifications:

  • General Individual
  • Women
  • Juniors
  • National Teams

Qualification and Elimination rounds will play out over the long weekend before the high-tension Finals.

The venue is the futuristic-looking Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre.

In FAI Drone Racing up to six radio-controlled, multi-rotor model aircraft fight it out to be the fastest around a closed circuit. Pilots must navigate a series of gates and obstacles – whoever is fastest, wins. Races typically take three minutes.

Drones, which weigh less than 500g and are battery-powered, are equipped with an onboard video camera that transmits real-time video images to the headset worn by the pilots. The pilot sees what the drone sees.

Preparations are well underway in Shenzhen for the competition, which is the highest profile competition in the emerging world of drone racing.

The unique race track is set to wow pilots and spectators alike – lit up with LED lights at night it has been specially designed to test the skills of the very best drone pilots in the world.

It is not only honour and pride that is at stake either. A total prize pot of $220,000 is up for grabs, with the winner set to walk away with $24,000.

Alongside the competition, an aviation carnival will showcase drone-racing products, gaming activities and aviation.

Event management and the scoring system will be supplied by FAI Global Technical Partner Noosphere.

The event is hosted by the Bureau of Sports, Culture and Tourism of Municipality of Shenzhen and KAISA Culture Sports & Tourism Group. The Aero Sports Federation of China (ASFC) is the National Airsport Control in China.

About FAI drone racing

*In FAI drone racing, several (up to six) radio controlled multi-rotor model aircraft fight it out to be the fastest around a closed circuit.

*The drones used are multi-rotor craft that weigh no more than 1kg and are equipped with on-board video cameras that transmit real-time video images to the googles worn by the pilots, allowing him to control the tiny aircraft around the circuit.

*The circuit include gates and other obstacles around which pilots must navigate to reach the finish line in the fastest time.

*The events can take place inside or outside.

*Each race generally takes about three minutes.

*The winners of each race go on to face one another in successive races culminating in a final round that determines the overall champion.

FAI World Drone Racing Championships rules

*The FAI World Drone Racing Championships 2018 will involve three stages:

  • Qualification: to define the placing for the first round of the elimination stage.
  • Elimination: involving successive rounds up to semi-finals.
  • Final: to determine the Individual World Champion and Vice-Champion.

*National teams must consist of:

  • A team manager.
  • Between three and five competitors, with teams of five including at least one junior (age limit 18 years in the year 2018) and at least one female.
  • Helpers (one permitted for each competitor).

*Individual competitors may be also invited to participate by FAI. Aero Sports Federation of China (ASFC) got also three wild-cards for extra individual competitors from China.

* Each competitor and team manager of any national team must possess a valid FAI Sporting Licence.

*The event will be run by:

  • A contest director and a FAI contest director assistant.
  • A starter and two assistants.
  • A FAI Jury of three persons from different countries.
  • Drone racing judges for the races (one for each pilot flying in the race) from different countries.
  • Other local officials.


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