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Wed, Dec 06, 2017

University Of Alaska Fairbanks Hosts First Drone Race

Competition Held In The School's Hockey Arena

The University of Alaska Fairbanks held its first drone race Sunday in the Patty Center ice arena.  The event was held under the auspices of the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration, in association with the FAA’s Center of Excellence for UAS Research.

The Daily News Miner reports that about 100 people were on hand for the FPV event. The drones, which have a maximum speed of about 30 miles per hour, were controlled by pilots sitting in the penalty box of the arena. The aircraft flew through multi-colored hoops both on the ice and suspended from the ceiling of the facility.

The pilots were part of the Fairbanks FPV drone racing group, and it was the first time a hobby racing group partnered with the UAF official drone research program and had access to such a large venue for a rce.

According to a university news release prior to the event, the course, and the race, are part of several projects that ACUASI is working on to teach the public about unmanned aircraft and aviation. The event began with qualifying races, which determined the participants’ starting positions in the championship race.

The race was conducted using "Tiny Whoops" drones. A practice course was set up in the basement of the Mather Library, in the Akasofu Building at UAF.

ACUASI pilots Nick Adkins said that the race was something new, and it is not known where it might lead. "maybe a Nanook racing team,” he said, referencing UAF’s polar bear mascot.

(Image provided with UAF news release showing the practice course)

FMI: uaf.edu, Original report

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