Drones

Drone pilots battle it out in Star Wars-inspired race through French forest

Drone pilots battle it out in ...
Like a scene out of Star Wars, French drone enthusiasts raced their vehicles through the forest in a test of their piloting ability
Like a scene out of Star Wars, French drone enthusiasts raced their vehicles through the forest in a test of their piloting ability
View 17 Images
24 competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course
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24 competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course
The field was made up of quadcopters and multicopters customized for an optimal balance of speed and agility
2/17
The field was made up of quadcopters and multicopters customized for an optimal balance of speed and agility
24 competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course
3/17
24 competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course
The field was made up of quadcopters and multicopters customized for an optimal balance of speed and agility
4/17
The field was made up of quadcopters and multicopters customized for an optimal balance of speed and agility
24 competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course
5/17
24 competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course
The field was made up of quadcopters and multicopters customized for an optimal balance of speed and agility
6/17
The field was made up of quadcopters and multicopters customized for an optimal balance of speed and agility
Having to contend with natural obstacles such as as the trees, rival drones, low-hanging branches and sharp contrasts in lighting, the racers darted through the forest at speeds as high as 50 km/h (31 mph)
7/17
Having to contend with natural obstacles such as as the trees, rival drones, low-hanging branches and sharp contrasts in lighting, the racers darted through the forest at speeds as high as 50 km/h (31 mph)
24 competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course
8/17
24 competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course
The field was made up of quadcopters and multicopters customized for an optimal balance of speed and agility
9/17
The field was made up of quadcopters and multicopters customized for an optimal balance of speed and agility
Like a scene out of Star Wars, French drone enthusiasts raced their vehicles through the forest in a test of their piloting ability
10/17
Like a scene out of Star Wars, French drone enthusiasts raced their vehicles through the forest in a test of their piloting ability
24 competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course
11/17
24 competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course
Competing in groups of four, the pilots viewed all the action through pairs of goggles, which were fed a stream from micro-cameras built into the front of the drones
12/17
Competing in groups of four, the pilots viewed all the action through pairs of goggles, which were fed a stream from micro-cameras built into the front of the drones
Having to contend with natural obstacles such as as the trees, rival drones, low-hanging branches and sharp contrasts in lighting, the racers darted through the forest at speeds as high as 50 km/h (31 mph)
13/17
Having to contend with natural obstacles such as as the trees, rival drones, low-hanging branches and sharp contrasts in lighting, the racers darted through the forest at speeds as high as 50 km/h (31 mph)
24 competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course
14/17
24 competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course
Competing in groups of four, the pilots viewed all the action through pairs of goggles, which were fed a stream from micro-cameras built into the front of the drones
15/17
Competing in groups of four, the pilots viewed all the action through pairs of goggles, which were fed a stream from micro-cameras built into the front of the drones
Having to contend with natural obstacles such as as the trees, rival drones, low-hanging branches and sharp contrasts in lighting, the racers darted through the forest at speeds as high as 50 km/h (31 mph)
16/17
Having to contend with natural obstacles such as as the trees, rival drones, low-hanging branches and sharp contrasts in lighting, the racers darted through the forest at speeds as high as 50 km/h (31 mph)
24 competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course
17/17
24 competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course

Here's one for Star Wars diehards. A group of drone pilots have taken their vehicles to a dense forest in the French Alps, weaving in and out of trees in a spectacle that paid homage to the high-stakes pod races of Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.

It is the first of such events held by the Airgonay drone club, but its president Herve Pellarin hopes its success can inspire like-minded drone enthusiasts around the globe to put their skills to the test.

Twenty-four competitors raced their drones through the 150 m (492 ft) course, the field made up of quadcopters and multicopters customized for an optimal balance of speed and agility. Having to contend with obstacles such as trees, rival drones, low-hanging branches and sharp contrasts in lighting, the racers darted through the forest at speeds as high as 50 km/h (31 mph).

Competing in groups of four, the pilots viewed all the action through goggles, which were fed a stream from micro-cameras built into the front of the drones. The race required them to complete three laps, something Pellarin described as quite an achievement given the inherent difficulties in flying drones through thick forest at high speeds.

He says the club will look to grow the event next year by attracting international drone pilots and live streaming all the action from the race.

You can check out the drone races in the video below.

FPV Racing drone racing star wars style Pod racing are back!

6 comments
Joel Detrow
That is the coolest thing I've seen all week!
Facebook User
Great stuff. Come on Red Bull, get your wallet out
UltraBadger
Pod races? Surely this more closely evokes the speeder bike chase in Return of the Jedi?
Michael Wilson
drone = rc quad copter. though this is pretty darn sweet.
John in Brisbane
Awesome! It is truly a golden era for nerds!
Martin Yale
Looks like fun - may be interesting to add in some valleys, tunnels etc with some fancy transmittors