Purdue Armory Hosts First Intercollegiate Drone Race in the US
Last Saturday, the very first intercollegiate drone race in the US was held inside the Purdue Armory in West Lafayette, Indiana. The event was organized by the Purdue Drone Club — one of the largest drone clubs in the US.
Pilots of all skill levels competed for the fastest time around the indoor course. Spectators at the event were treated to a large video screen which provided live race coverage. Pilots and spectators were also given access to computer FPV simulators which allowed them to practice their flying skills.
According to Purdue Drone Club founder Tyler Landers, as reported by WLFI.com:
The crashes are usually pretty interesting. It’s also really cool to see people come out and enjoying the sport. For most people, it’s kind of just magic. Being able to explain how things work and seeing it in person will inspire more people to maybe join the hobby or do something similar.
The club hopes to host another racing event some time in March this year. It is also planning to host the first national drone tournament between US colleges later in May. Drone racing, or FPV racing as some call it, is seeing encouraging growth in North America with various leagues such as the DRL (Drone Racing League) garnering lucrative sponsorship deals from brands such as Bud Light and Mountain Dew.
Local amateur clubs such as the Purdue Drone Club have helped spur the sport to new heights and are a stepping stone for aspiring pilots who hope to one day turn professional and graduate into the big league.