Last weekend, the National Museum of the United States Air Force hosted the fourth annual mini drone race. The event saw 64 pilots race their mini drones through the museum's hangars. Half of the pilots competed on Friday, and the other half on Saturday, with the top 32 racers competing on Sunday for a prize.
The mini FPV drones flew through octagon-shaped goalposts placed in and around the museum's aircraft at speeds of up to 40 to 45 miles per hour. Visitors could watch the races happen with their own eyes and from the drone's “eyes” projected onto a giant screen.
The mini drones, which can fit in the palm of your hand, were equipped with small cameras, allowing the audience to see the race from the drone's perspective.
Exciting mini drone race at the museum
Each race was broken up into groups of 16, with races happening throughout both days. This year, the mini drones flew through a unique design, racing in and out of the C-124, a giant cargo aircraft nicknamed “Old Shaky.”
Kele Stanley, the race organizer, said that the race was centered around the C-124 in the museum's second hangar, with a pretzel-style track that went in and around the aircraft three times.
The pilots wore headsets that allowed them to see what the drones see, but it can be disorienting for them at first. Stanley reportedly said, “A lot of people will wind up dizzy at first.”
Pilots had to purchase a ticket, and the event sold out in 20 minutes. Stanley said this year's tickets sold out a bit slower than the previous year.
The mini drone race has become a popular event at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. It gives people a chance to see a unique and exciting show and shows how skilled the drone pilots are.
Photos courtesy of Garrett Reese & WYSO
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