What happens when you combine rainy spring Boston weather, a lot of hard work by organizers, and a nifty indoor industrial space? Why, you get Drone Day Boston, a part hobbyist, part social, part racing event held yesterday at the Boston Design Center this past Saturday, May 7th.
About 140 drone enthusiasts came to the one day event to geek and schmooze over technology, latest trends, take classes on safety, and talk about the latest in gear, events, and what’s happening in the world of drones and drone racing.
One of the biggest draws was the indoor race course managed by BMRC and others. The indoor space was small but the 22 participating pilots made the best of the twisting figure 8 course, running a series of heats and races. The challenge of the tight course made crashes even more of the norm than usual, with many races ending in under 10 seconds as tiny craft get tangled up in the safety netting or have trouble negotiating the mid-course tunnel. This was definitely not a course for full sized 250mm quads! 120mm and 180mm frames ruled the day.
Indoor racing shares many of the challenges other races have, in particular “how can the spectators enjoy the experience as much as the pilots?” – For this event, the organizers set up several large screen TVs showing the video feed from the drones – in essence ‘shoulder surfing’ the pilots, allowing the spectators to see exactly what the pilots were seeing. It gave a great experience to people seeing racing for the first time.
Have to give a big shout out to the event organizer Sean Tierney who wrangled the vendors, the space, and all the details necessary to make the event come together successfully.
While we were out at NAFPV2015, we had the fun of having our Mobius Actioncam fall off the drone in mid-flight. Fortunately, it landed near some of the other pilots, and they returned it to us. Thanks guys!
Last week the USDRA was happy to attend the North American FPV Meet in Stephentown, New York. I have to tip my hat to the NEFPV team for putting on a great event. The timeslots were managed well, the tag system for making sure FPV video channels were not being trodden upon, and the wonderful site and course made those days in the hills enjoyable, nighttime and day.
Did we have rain? Sure! But that just upped the silliness. Were there some destroyed rigs? Absolutely (including one dramatic LiPo fire!). Was there great racing? Definitely!
Looking forward to flying with these guys more in the months ahead!
We’ll be live-tweeting on @usdroneracing throughout the weekend as the USDRA goes to the NAFPV2015 event in Stephentown, New York. Make sure you follow us on Twitter for all the best pics, videos, and chatter from the big event!
Check out Mochaboy’s video giving a heads up for for how the event will be running…
If you’re in the New England area, or don’t mind travelling, you should totally make the trek to the great North American FPV Meet in Stephentown, NY, August 13th through 16th.
The USDRA will be there, look for the hot green T-shirts! We’ll be getting into some awesome racing actionn, but also looking forward to some great talks on race organization, communication, and planning, in addition to the high speed fun.
The USDRA crack staff has been hard at work designing our next race course, and we’ve decided to follow a trend among several clubs – a figure-8 variation, with an over/under gate in the center. This is a tighter course than our last event, bringing the pilots closer to their drones and focusing on maneuverability and gate handling.
We will include the option of an ‘extended’ course with a long south leg, depending on interest.