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Australia’s underground drone racing world [VIDEO]

Guerilla races are attracting up to 30 competitors at make-shift courses in abandoned warehouses, at go-cart tracks and around farms.


August 25, 2015
by PLANT Staff

MELBOURNE, Australia — There’s a growing underworld in Australia where enthusiastic drone hobbyists meet up in rundown warehouses to fly their tricked-out drones.

Most of these super-cool flying machines are purpose built quadcopters and their pilots wear specialized goggles that allow them to race their vehicles in “first person view.” Most of the drones are fitted with flashy LED lights and other snappy accessories.

The vehicles race around the urban courses, including go-cart tracks, farms and warehouses, at speeds of up to 60 km/h. They usually include about 30 competitors and take place over six hours – five hours to practice and learn the intricacies of the track and then an hour-long race.

As the hobby has gained traction, a company called QAROP has actually introduced the first legal drone racing league within the country, organizing meet-ups and race days.

QAROP is hopeful that as the industry contains to gain traction, the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) will update its outdated aviation laws to attract even more racers and bring more people out to watch the events. The rules haven’t been updated in almost 20 years and were originally created for the model plane industry.

Currently, the rules prevent users flying drones higher than 400 feet, over crowded areas, within 30 metres of people and at night.

Check out the awesome POV video below to get an idea just how nimble these little vehicles are and how talented their pilots grow to be.

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