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Micro Drone Race to take place at National Museum USAF on Feb 29

  • Published
  • By Rob Bardua
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force visitors will have the opportunity to see fast flying micro machines as 40 pilots maneuver their drones over, under, around and through the C-124 and F-82 aircraft during a micro drone race that will take place in the museum’s second building on Feb. 29.

Registered drone pilots will begin practicing at 9 a.m. and then race in a series of 2-minute heats with four drones in each heat from approximately 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Spectators will be able to watch the race along the course, as well as from a large screen that will show the drones’ perspective as they are racing.

Among the drone pilots registered to participate include 2019 Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) Drone Racing Championship pilot Kevin “KMead” Mead; 2019 Mid-America Throwdown Champion John “John-E-Fly” Chapman; 2018 Drone Racing League Allianz World Champion Paul "Nurk" Nurkkala; YouTube channel “Flite Test” personality Matt “Sidewinder” Nowakowski; and Team Canada pilot and FAI Drone Racing Championship participant Derek Clee.

From 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., visitors will also be able to experience flying a drone with computer-based simulators from the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), the museum’s Education Division, and the Drone Racing League (DRL) - a global, professional drone racing circuit for elite pilots with custom built racing drones traveling from 0 - 90 mph in under a second. Visitors can then fly an actual drone in two designated areas courtesy of AFRL and the museum’s Education Division.

A map of the event area is available at: https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Portals/7/Course%20Map_1.pdf

In addition, AFRL’s “SkyVision” air traffic control center for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) will be parked near the museum’s entrance doors and will showcase its innovative capability that enables drones to be flown in the beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) mode. Developed in a cooperative effort between AFRL and the State of Ohio, this first-of-its-kind system provides drone pilots with knowledge of where other aircraft are flying in nearby airspace so they can perform the “see and avoid” function required of all pilots by the FAA without the use of ground-based visual observers or chase aircraft.

Note: Federal endorsement is not implied. Also, the drone pilots in this race have pre-registered to participate (registration has closed). The flying of small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) on museum grounds is strictly prohibited. This includes drones and model remote control aircraft. Unauthorized sUAS flights are immediately reported to security forces. Only pre-approved drones participating in this event are permitted to fly inside the museum’s second building.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year more than 800,000 visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.                                                                 

NOTE TO PUBLIC: For more information, contact the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at (937) 255-3286.
NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, contact Rob Bardua at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1386.