January 25-28, 2017
Sebring Regional Airport (SEF)
The U.S. Sport Aviation Expo debuted unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs … aka drones) at last year’s event. “This year we have upped the Ante. AirOps Inc. and CineVista Media have joined up with Sebring, and we’ve added the first known large scale MultiGP sanctioned Drone Race at an aviation event (FAA approval pending),” enthused Expo Director, Beverly Glarner.
“This is an unprecedented Drone Race for two reasons: It’s at an actual airport and the audience is in the round—sitting in a huge net in the middle of the track. This has never been accomplished before,” said Rhett Jarrett, Drone Zone Co-Chair. “Racing drones will fly all around and directly over the spectator’s heads with the original and unique track design. At the same time, live camera views will be viewable on monitors for the spectators, along with scoring and a professionally produced live broadcast. A few monitors will have multi-view configurations showing all eight racing drone views at the same time. Very exciting!”
The amount of media and technology being utilized is enormous. The large 14’x7’ projection screens and 65” flat panels will help everyone in the zone keep up with the event happenings. In addition, the racecourse will utilize real aircraft as race gates to keep the racing drones on course.
Drone exhibits will be inside a hangar flanking a 60-foot wide by 40-foot long by 30-foot high indoors flight demonstration cage. “The 100,000 square foot racing area is a spectacular addition for drone enthusiasts,” remarked Michael den Hartog, Drone Zone Chairman. The race will be hosted by Urban Drones, sanctioned by MultiGP, directed by Joe Scully, broadcasted by FPVLive.tv and raced among the top pilots in the world. The prize purse is estimated at over $20,000, with the grand prize at $10,000 cash, based on entry fees received. Racing Practice rounds will start on Wednesday; qualifiers will be on Friday, with Finals on Saturday.
Daily flight demonstrations will take place indoors at 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and hands on “Fly-A-Drone” workshops will be on the hour, every hour. Expo will be demonstrating both the professional, and recreational sides of the drone world. Drone experts from all over the U.S. will be presenting forums on many aspects of drone ownership, Part107, 333, 336 safe effective operations and business management.