Team BlackSheep’s Vendetta is a fast racing drone with a high learning curve

by Stefan Etienne

Drone racing as a sport is taking off, with teams, sponsors and television networks all getting in on the action of this developing scene. There’s a professional drone racing league, live streaming and even drone-racing simulators, where drone-pilot hopefuls can try emulating the real thing.

But what if you want to actually take to the skies with a racing drone? Team BlackSheep’s drone kit, called the Vendetta, is a first-person-view drone that just might be one of your best options.

Price as reviewed: $899 for kit, $499 drone-only at TBS 

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The Drone Racing League and Toy State Announce Multi-Year, Racing Toy-Drone Partnership

The Drone Racing League (DRL), the premier drone racing circuit for elite FPV pilots around the world, announced a three-year licensing deal with Toy State, a toy industry leader and innovator for more than 30 years. The deal centers on the first and only co-branded, racing toy drone from Toy State’s upcoming drone line, Nikko Air.

Nikko Air DRL Drones will be available in stores in the fall of 2017, hitting retail shelves on the heels of DRL’s second season, which will air this coming summer. Toy State is committed to a co-branded multi-media marketing campaign to launch this new line that will run both in the United States and throughout key European markets.

“We’re incredibly excited to develop the Nikko Air DRL Drones with Toy State and inspire the next generation of elite drone pilots,” said DRL CEO/Founder, Nicholas Horbaczewski. “Nikko is the most respected name in RC vehicles and partnering with them as they introduce this new line of flying RC toys into the market is a natural fit for us. Young fans watching DRL on ESPN and Sky Sports who want to be like their favorite DRL pilots will have an unprecedented opportunity next year to experience the thrill at home.” Continue reading “The Drone Racing League and Toy State Announce Multi-Year, Racing Toy-Drone Partnership”

Will drone racing become the next big thing in sports?

Either reflecting the pace of technological development, or perhaps reflective of the need to find content for the mass of television channels, drone racing looks set to become a new sport with the establishment of a televised league.

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ESPN to air drone racing, which looks like an absolutely insane sport

For those looking for something to watch after Thursday Night Football comes a new sport airing on ESPN: Drone racing.

Drone Racing Takes Flight With Olympic-Size Ambitions

By Paul Blake

Almost 3,000 miles from home and standing on an island that was once the site of a military installation, Ken Loo stared intently into a set of goggles, his fingers twitching over controls as he reacted to the scratchy drone video beaming directly into his eyes.

Hurtling through the air overhead at speeds as high as 60 miles per hour, his and other drones transmitted the images to pilots who were competing in the U.S. National Drone Racing Championships last weekend on New York’s Governors Island.

Behind safety netting, a small audience gathered to sip beer and watch the devices fly around the course, weaving in and out of obstacles. Some put on orange spectator goggles, which allowed them to toggle between feeds from the drones’ onboard cameras.

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Scoring Autographs, Handmade Antennae at the Drone Nationals

By Jeremy Wyckoff

I had a tough decision this past Saturday: Head out to the field to spend the day flying with my friend Bob, “BaveronaFVP” Averona , or attend the U.S. National Drone Racing Championships (Drone Nationals) on Governor’s Island—the first nationally televised drone racing event in history.

I’ve been to drone events like this, with amazing tracks setup for top pilots and race teams. But I find I spend the day separated from the real action, and am left wanting to go home and fly FPV (first-person view) drones myself.

Sponsored by ESPN, the Drone Nationals was different—fun for non-hobbyists, as well as those pilots who aren’t quite as skilled as this level (read: just one-quarter as fast). For just $10, I snagged a trackside ticket, with access to the pits, trackside viewing, drone racing computer simulators, free and discounted swag and equipment. But more importantly? I got up close with the organizers, the pioneering technology companies behind drone racing, and the pilots I follow so I can progress with my own racing skills.

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These men turn your dead pets into drones

“Everything is better when it flies.”
Yep, there is really a company who will take your deceased pets and turn them into drones.

One of the men behind Copter Company, Bart Jansen, explains that the idea came when he decided to turn his beloved cat Orville into a drone after he was run over by a car.

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Drone Racers Feel the Need for Speed

Ralph Gardner Jr. gets a chance to fly a drone ahead of the The Liberty Cup at the Liberty Science Center

Drone designer Andy Shen, left, Liberty Cup director Randy Scott Slavin and racer Steve Zoumas fly drones using goggles that connect to cameras on the aircraft.
Drone designer Andy Shen, left, Liberty Cup director Randy Scott Slavin and racer Steve Zoumas fly drones using goggles that connect to cameras on the aircraft.PHOTO: RALPH GARDNER JR./THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The Liberty Cup to be held Wednesday at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City is billed as “the first-ever drone race set against the NYC skyline.”

My romantic vision of the event—which was canceled over the weekend due to weather, except for some preliminary races—was that competitors’ aerial drones would race over to Manhattan, circle One World Trade Center twice, buzz the SeaGlass Carousel in the Battery, and see who made it back to the Garden State first.

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