What is drone racing?
Drone Racing is a new high speed competitive racing sport. Skilled pilots fly quad-copter drones through three-dimensional courses at speeds up to 160 km/h. The drones are custom built for speed, agility, and performance. Pilots steer from the point of view of the drone by wearing First Person View (FPV) goggles that display a live image transmitted by an onboard camera. Flying a drone competitively at high speed in FPV is an intense, immersive experience.
How is it to race a drone?
Most camera drones use onboard sensors to continually stabilize flight and keep the craft balanced. These components by definition prevent the drone from rolling or flipping too aggressively. Racing drones require aggressive maneuverability, so they function in an unassisted mode known as rate mode. This makes them incredibly fast and agile - but also more difficult to control. While it can take months of practice to master, rate mode allows skilled pilots complete freedom to perform aerobatic moves and tricks.
Who can participate in the Swiss Drone Racing League?
Anyone who fulfills the requirements of the regulations and has completed and signed the waiver (for minors by legal representative).
Regardless of age, gender etc.
How is a race of the Swiss Drone League going?
Every day of competition starts with a briefing, in which the pilots are informed about the schedule of the day. Particularities like FPV-Frequencies, weather-forecast or ruleschanges (due to weather or technical problems) will be announced here. Afterwards there will be an inspection of the track.
The qualifiers take place in groups of four. The pilots start successively with a delay of a few seconds and try to achieve the best possible lap time. A good time in the qualification yields benefits for the knockout-rounds, because the best placing pilots in the qualification will meet again at the earliest in the quarter finals. There will be at least three qualifying rounds but depending on the event there may be even more.
3. Knockout rounds:
The knockout rounds start, when the qualifier is over and all racers have been sorted into groups. In this phase the 32 best pilots will start in groups of four at the same time. Lap times will still be measured during the knockout rounds, although they are only used as a tie-breaker. In cases multiple pilots crash, this tie-breaker rules are applied. The double-knockout rule set applies. The two pilots which cross the finish line first advance to the next round while the other two pilots fall into the “losers-line” They still have a chance to get to the finals but have to survive two additional rounds. This is according to the Swiss Drone League Official Rules 2019. They still have a chance to reach the finals, but they have to survive two extra rounds. If a pilot can’t advance for the second time, he will be eliminated from the tournament. In the second-to-last round two pilots in the "losers-line" still have a chance to get in the finals.