Drones Compete in the National Championship Air Races in Reno

Now there is a real battle of the drones and is surely going to be the best air show ever, with drones for the first time competing in the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada.

An AP report by Martin Griffith that appears on Review Journal says: More than 200,000 people are expected to attend the annual air races, which ends a five-day run Sunday. The three-day drone competition, called the Small UAS Challenge, ends Sunday, as well. It features a variety of small, unmanned aerial systems, and tests different skills.

Organizers said the event is a fun way to educate and let people see what this new technology can do. The competition test skills and demonstrates a variety of small drones. “So we have a three event challenge we’re doing, we have an obstacle course their flying around, they have a speed course they’re going to run around, and then a weight lifting competition,” said David Thirtyacre. The Drone Zone Competition is under a net, so it is considered a structure, an FAA requirement. Organizers also said they hope the Drone Zone becomes a new annual event at the Air Races.

According to the original AP report, nearly 120 pilots are competing in six classes of aircraft in the National Championship Air Races. During the races, pilots fly wingtip-to-wingtip, as low as 50 feet off the sagebrush, on an oval path around pylons, with distances and speeds depending on the class of aircraft. Read more here:

It will be recalled that Nevada is one of the 6 sites chosen by the FAA to serve as a national testing site for drone technology. Nevada officials hope the fledgling industry can be a boon to the economy.

Hopefully, this one-of-a kind event will conclude on a happy note without any tragic incident happening, as it did earlier in the week when a pilot trying to qualify for the races was killed when his aircraft crashed. Likewise, as the organizers and competitors hope, this event can change people’s negative perception of drones.

The most unique air event and aviation experience in the world is ongoing from September 10 -14.

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