Skydive Dubai will host the inaugural World Drone Prix on March 11 and 12 at the Palm Drop Zone (DZ), where teams will compete for a total of $1 million dollars in prize money.
Palm DZ tandem skydiving operations will continue and customers who have bookings should still come to the drop zone. However, the timings have been adjusted to accommodate the competition. The Palm remains a tandem only operation with the hours from March 9 – 12 being 9am to 4pm. Due to construction on the landing area licensed skydivers are still currently unable to jump. The confirmation date for the opening of the drop zone for fun jumping will be sent out first from our licensed skydivers email newsletter.
Drone racing has become popular in recent years due to its fast-paced and challenging nature. The World Drone Prix, through the use of a visor system for drone pilots and a physical track with a pit stop, closes the gap between the physical and the virtual making it a cross between a video game and Formula 1.
Four pilots will fly drones around a specially designed three-dimensional aerial track, known as the ‘Rollercoaster’, the first and only track of its kind. They must stay within its 5-metre diameter, straying no more than 5 metres vertically from the track itself. An advanced deferential GPS tracking system will ensure that the drones are flown within the track limits, and time penalties will be added for any indiscretions.
Lights on the ‘Rollercoaster’ will track the drones in first and last place, ensuring the spectator is always aware of pole position, while a real-time visor system is used so the pilots can navigate through an on-board camera attached to the drone.
Each team will consist of a pilot, navigator, pit-stop personnel and a technician. The race will total 12 laps, slightly more than the drones’ battery-life, so every pilot will have to make a Formula-1 style pit-stop to ‘refuel’ at least once. There are also prescribed manoeuvres such as taking the red line, a more difficult but shorter alternative route from one point of the main track to another, which also must be completed at least once during the race.
32 teams will begin the competition on March 11, with 16 securing a place for the following day. The field will be whittled down to 8 teams for the semi-finals and then 4 for the World Drone Prix’s grand final, with the winning team taking home an impressive $250,000 dollars.
A concurrent freestyle competition will also award a top prize of $50,000 dollars. Speaking at Skydive Dubai’s Palm DZ during the World Air Games in December to Time Out Dubai, Minister of Cabinet Affairs Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi announced that the occasion will be the “biggest race of its kind”, and that they are “pushing the boundary of drone technology until it becomes the reality of transport in the future”.
For ticketing and more information visit http://www.worlddroneprix.com/
A live feed for the main event will be available from http //www.worlddroneprix.live
#WDP16 on social media.
For first time visitors, the Palm DZ is located between Dubai Marina and JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence). The entrance is from Al Sufouh road, before the turn for Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort And Spa. The DZ is also well signposted around the Dubai Marina area. Click here for the location map.
For every tandem booking made at Skydive Dubai, receive 20% off on a ride to and from the Palm DZ when using the KOI Ride APP. Click here for more details about this.
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