Drone races give Toledo's earthbound pilots a jolt of adrenaline

Drone races give Toledo's earthbound pilots a jolt of adrenaline
Drone racing at Weak Signals Expo (Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's becoming a popular sport with plenty of loops, twists, turns and dives.

Players say it's literally taking off.

We're talking about drone racing.

You'll find it this weekend at the Weak Signals R-C Convention at the SeaGate Convention Centre in downtown Toledo.

The pilots fly the mini-drones through a series of gates.

Speeds top out at fifty miles an hour.

First one to cross the finish line wins.

"It's an adrenaline rush," said pilot Kele Stanley.

But here's the tricky part.

Pilots operate the drones with a joy stick and wear goggles.

On board the drone is a live feed that is fed back to the pilot to his goggles.

He uses the joy stick to maneuver the direction, angle, pitch, yaw and speed of the drone's flight.

"You have to immerse yourself. You can't think outside the plane. You got to put yourself in the plane," said pilot Scott Hardesty.

All the time a computer is talking to the pilots, telling them their position along the course.

The pressure mounts as the finish line approaches.

"Oh it's definitely the racing of the future for sure. You get all the exhilaration and adrenaline rush and when you crash you don't die," said pilot Rick Kulis.

And will allow drone racing to live on satisfying one's need for speed with this high flying action.

Drone-racing continues on Sunday.

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