The FAI Drone Racing World Cup 2018 Takes off This April

The biggest drone racing contest on Earth runs from April to October and takes place all over the planet.

byMarco Margaritoff| PUBLISHED Mar 29, 2018 11:46 AM
The FAI Drone Racing World Cup 2018 Takes off This April

The FAI Drone Racing World Cup is the biggest drone racing competition on Earth. With 24 drone contests already confirmed by the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique International) for this third annual World Cup, the first events will take place in Bali, Indonesia April 6, with the final events of this year being hosted in Macedonia in mid-October. 

According to the FAI press release, attendance and popularity have increased significantly from the initial World Cup in 2016, which was comprised of 16 contests. Last year, those numbers rose to 16, with this year sporting an impressive 24 contests. These events, or contests, as the FAI calls them, are drone races sanctioned by the FAI that take place all over the world. Participants fly multi-rotor UAVs sporting at least three propellers, and weighing no more than a kilogram in total. 

According to the FAI, the number of points administered to a participant depends upon the number of total participants taking part each year. The calendar of registered races tells us that this year the FAI will bring the competition to Indonesia, China, Poland, South Korea, Portugal, France, Brazil, Germany, Slovakia, Macedonia, Australia, Finland, Spain, Russia, and Latvia. That’s a pretty impressive line-up, and heartening evidence of the popularity of this modern eSport. It’s great to see that it’s not only the Drone Racing League pushing the envelope here, but other, competing organizations that keep the momentum going, as well. 

FAI President Frits Brink would certainly agree, and seems enthused at the growing popularity of the organization he spearheads. “Last year’s FAI Drone Racing World Cup was already a big event, attracting more than 400 participants from a total of 37 different countries,” said Brink. “With eight more contests on the calendar, the 2018 edition is on track to be even more successful. I look forward to enjoying all the action from the competition alongside drone racing fans around the world.” 

For those particularly serious about drone racing, and adept at piloting these UAVs around tight corners and narrow spaces while overtaking competitors, the FAI Drone Racing World Cup seems like a goal to strive toward. Last year’s champion, Swiss drone pilot Dario Neuenschwander, certainly considers his participation memorable. “I really enjoyed traveling around the world meeting great pilots during the FAI Drone Racing World Cup. It was an amazing experience,” said Neuenschwander. For the rest of us, being an audience member doesn’t sound too shabby, either. Let’s hope the FAI Air Sports Channel keeps uploading the kind of exciting aerial content they’re known for, while this year’s World Cup plays out.