Tag Archives: drone racing

Drone Nationals results (and photos) — as seen on ESPN this weekend

The U.S. has a new top drone racing pilot.

Zachry “A_Nub” Thayer of Laguna Niguel, Calif., won the 2016 U.S. National Drone Racing Championships at Governors Island, New York this weekend.

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All photos courtesy of the Drone Sports Association

The competition  featured 150 drone pilots in the world. Over the last year, 1400 pilots attempted to qualify at 20 regional qualifiers across the country.

Here are the full Drone Nationals results:

  1. Zachry “A_Nub” Thayer
  2. Paul “Bulbufet” Nurkkala
  3. Christopher “M3” Wang

And for the first time ever, ESPN aired drone racing on its ESPN3 live-stream. Continue reading Drone Nationals results (and photos) — as seen on ESPN this weekend

Drone Nationals air on ESPN this weekend

It’s the second annual Drone Nationals this weekend in New York City, and it’s shaping up to be America’s largest drone race yet, especially given the fact that they have snagged a spot on ESPN.

ESPN3 will air the race on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern time—the first time America’s largest sports network will cover the sport.

Tune in here.

It’s called the 2016 U.S. National Drone Racing Championships, and this weekend, 100 pilots will gather to race at speeds of more than 60 miles an hour.  Continue reading Drone Nationals air on ESPN this weekend

Blade Nano QX2 review: a great introduction to drone racing

Looking to get into drone racing? The Blade Nano QX2 is a must-have. I’ve always been curious about drone racing ever since I first learned about it a few years ago. But I never knew how to get started. My buddy and star drone racer Zoe Stumbaugh told me to get into it. I’ve watched Aerial Sports League host races and have wanted to get into it.

That all changed once I got my hands on Horizon Hobby’s Blade Nano QX2 FPV drone. For under $450 plus a few minutes of setup time, you could be well on your way to becoming the next great drone racer.

blade nano qx2 drone racing gear horizon hobby
Everything you need to get started in FPV racing drones is right here, and costs less than $500.

Here’s what you need: Continue reading Blade Nano QX2 review: a great introduction to drone racing

Drones at Maker Faire 2016: photos, videos and more

2016 was the year of the drone at the Bay Area Maker Faire.

From the moment you walked in there was a huge drone tent filled with Aerial Sports League’s drone racing. In the back, there was a huge caged stage surrounding by fans watching drone combat.

With drone combat, two drones fight head to head in an arena with a goal of  knocking the opponent’s drone to the floor while avoiding your own drone hitting the floor.  Drones are creative engineered for defense and offensive, with cages around them for protection, or air shooters to blast nets at opposing drones.

I met old friends and new, including Zoe Stumbaugh, who is one of the world’s top FPV drone racers.

Drone racing is exploding worldwide, with drone racing coming to New York City in the Liberty Cup and the International Drone Racing Association airing on ESPN. But there is nothing like watching it live.

I snagged some images at Maker Faire to share with those of you who couldn’t be there. Happy flying!

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Drones are coming to ESPN

This is an excerpt of a story originally written for MarketWatch.com.

What do you get when you mix Formula One auto racing with competitive video gaming with flying robots? A spot on ESPN.

The International Drone Racing Association on Thursday announced it has signed a multiyear deal with ESPN to air drone racing across the network. Drone racing features a series of elaborate courses—like abandoned malls, NFL stadiums and subway tunnels—with miniature drones racing at speeds greater than 80 miles an hour and controlled from afar by pilots wearing “first-person view” goggles that show a live video feed from the drone’s “cockpit.”

The first IDRA race, which will send drones through Governors Island in New York City, will air live on ESPN3 on Aug. 5-7. Another race will be held in October. Both events will be followed by a on-hour TV special on ESPN.

“To go from a first-ever, U.S. national drone race to partnering with ESPN for international distribution in eight months is truly a sign of great things ahead,” Dr. Scot Refsland, Chairman of the IDRA, said in a news release.

Drone racing has been slowly rising in popularity, with IDRA claiming a presence in 35 countries. Another group, the Drone Racing League, announced in January that it raised $8 million in funding, including investment from Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’s venture-capital firm RSE Ventures. Other investors included Hearst Ventures, CAA Ventures and Muse lead singer Matthew Bellamy, according to a Jan. 21 SEC filing.

Shares of ESPN parent company Walt Disney Co. DIS, -0.85%  are down 5.3% year to date while the S&P 500 is up 0.9% in that time frame.