This is the first even international drone competition to take place anywhere in the world, so of course it had to be in Dubai!
At first you had to apply to be compete in the competition, after which judges selected 60 of the best pilots in the world to fight it out for prize money worth $1million. Not only this but the flights and accommodation were also completely payed for.
There was a lot of hype surrounding the event as there were very few details on logistics and how the course would be set up. In addition there was a number of requirements for all the competent to fill such as they had to have space available on the top of their quads for a HD downlink as well as use TBS Crossfire for control (which we thought was a good decision as it is probably the most solid radio link out there). However with all the requirements out the way it was down to the competition!
The track itself was fast sloping course with loads of time to reach high speeds and less technical sharp turns. However there was one feature that caught people out, which was when you had to pass through a gate that was located over 10m above the height of the normal course, many pilots simply could not climb in time. The format of the race was also slightly different as you had to complete at least 1 pit stop, so some teams opted to race fast with 2 pit stops while others flew slowly and only took 1. In the end BanniUK of Tornado X Blades took the gold medal with fast and accurate flying and surprisingly he took 2 pit stops.
The Freestyle was a much simpler affair, you had to pick a song and fly to it to the best of your ability. It was judged by 3d heli pilots, which I suppose made it more favoured to extreme manoeuvres than smooth, precise flying. The winner was a 14 year old from Korea, who interesting flew LOS instead of FPV like all of the other pilots. His flight was extremely snappy and rigid. Mr Steele came in second place with a beautiful flight combining smooth Skitzo style with amazing stick manoeuvres.
Another interesting award was given to SiganDrone for the most innovative design. We agree with this decision as we at Drone Insider love Francis’ unique design and congratulate him for his win here.
In conclusion it was a great event, especially if you won! However a little extra planning would’ve helped to bring the prix to another level. We hope that the Drone Worlds in October learn from the mistakes made here and make their event even better.