Drone Racing Training Part 2

Training Tips From Top MultiGP Pilots

There are many components that go into being a champion. Motors, ESCs, frames, flight controllers, and batteries are not the only choices that you face. How you train is also an important step on your road to the Winner’s Circle. Your skills as a pilot are the foundation to your success on the MultiGP Circuit. Races are won before the starting buzzer; races are won by finding that calm center in the middle of chaos. Training, drills, and practice – both on and off the course – are what prepare you for the race. Just like any professional sports participant, a drone racers’ skill must be honed before they ever rotor up.

How do the top pilots in the world get prepared for competition? What drills and exercises, both physical and mental, do they practice to give them the edge on the course?

We asked some of the best pilots in the world what they do to prepare. Here is what they had to say:

Abel Almaguer

Abel “Navihawk” Almaguer – ”Training is key. Without training you will not get better. When you are out during training sessions, make a point on not missing gates. Treat it as a real race. If you build good habits during practice it will help you during races. Having to go back for missed gates really slows you down.”

Zachry “A-Nub” Thayer – “My tip would to be always self-critical/analytical, review footage from the day, look for weak spots, where did you bobble, where did you blow out a corner, what did you struggle with, was the tune good, nit picking every detail, and then focus on fixing those issues the next session. Rinse and repeat.”

Nick “WillardFPV” Willard – “Well I’ve never practiced racing…. I think the only thing I ever do is make sure to go out and have fun while always pushing my abilities. I think its much more beneficial to push yourself flying overall and to focus on being a better pilot overall than a racer. A good pilot is a good pilot.”

Jason “VanGo” Glaze – ”One thing I do for practice since I fly I lot at my house (limited space) is fly as fast as I can as low as I can using trees as obstacles for chicanes. This helps me warm up my left hand (throttle) movement. Once I’m warm I will start using small gates at faster and faster paces. This also saves me a lot of time because gates can be hard on gear. Going through them once warmed up reduces the damage and time spent repairing. Spending more time flying, even at a slower pace, is more beneficial to me than hunting down parts and repairing gear.”

Jordan “JET” Temkin – “Build two or more identical quads. Having consistency in practice as well as racing is very important. You don’t want to rely on your ‘better quad’ and then fly a backup during a race. You should always be competing at the best of your abilities. Having two identical quads will reduce those extra variables.

Also, slower is a lot of time faster. A proper race line is ‘enter slow, exit fast.'”

Mackenna “McFly” McClure – ”When I get to the field I usually fly my first two batteries to get used to the sticks and the next 5-10 batteries are used to practice maneuvers that I feel are things I need to work on like right hand carousels, keeping low and controlled throttle arounds turns at high speed, split s drop ins and other things you’re starting to see on racing courses. Practice at the beginning and then just have fun flying because time on the sticks either way is going to improve your confidence which in turn improves your flying ability.”

Paul “Bulbufet” Nurkkala – ”My biggest tip for learning how to race FPV is that racing itself is a mental game. No matter how much you practice, no matter how talented of a pilot, the hardest part is winning against yourself. Your brain is your biggest enemy. Your brain wants you to go faster, shake your hands, and miss gates; it’s practicing resolve and “knowing yourself” that will enable you to overcome this internal dialogue. Thus, push your limits in practice and learn how to fly your own race, so that when you get to the race line, you are calm, centered and just happy to be there. Racing itself is a culmination of practicing, building, repairing, charging, composing, spending, and getting frustrated; everything is working against you to say “you’re going to screw it up after all this hard work.” If you can figure out how to tell your brain to shut up and let you fly, you’ll do better than you could ever expect. Push your limits in practice; fly your own race in competition.”

Joel Brown – “First thing I like to do is “warm up my fingies” never jump on a race track without warming up your fingers first. You’ll soon crash and just be upset. Set aside time to fly each day. Even if it’s two packs at lunch, muscle memory is key to drone racing. Don’t get discouraged when you crash or when you have trouble building. The beauty of this hobby is that everyone is eager to lend a helping hand. Soon enough you’ll have the knowledge needed to stay in the air!

Have fun!! Remember why you started this journey… to have FUN!! If it’s too stressful and the fun is gone… take a few weeks off to remember why you started flying FPV.”

Bapu Madhu – “Skill/Drill: Always push yourself to do better or fly harder on your weekend practice/fun races, never at the actual event. In other words, when you get to an actual race event, big or small, NEVER fly beyond your comfort zone. Consistency is the most important factor in races, finishing races should be the number one priority. I see many experienced pilots crashing out on races at big events mainly because they are trying to push beyond their comfort level or they are trying to fly faster than when they fly during their weekend practices. Consistency is more important that that miracle fast lap IMO!”

Bapu also told me that he has been coaching his wife as an FPV pilot, and he has been passing these ideas on to her. She just started flying five months ago, and with Bapu’s help she took 3rd place last weekend at a MultiGP race event.

Cody “Code Red” Matson – “Staying consistent with your components and knowing your machine is the best thing you can do. I feel like I just throw myself at trees focus on reacting smoothly. Flow like water.”

Robert “Captain Uno” Pringle – “It takes multiple tactics and strategies coming together to give yourself a chance to win. Have some determination.  Stick time is key to get as much practice as possible – real time or simulator…doesn’t matter.  Practice every move that occurs in a race. Repetition is the mother of all skill! Have fun.”

Tyler Brennan

Tyler Brennan – “No matter where you are, setup a course. Don’t always need cones or gates, but setup a course and fly it.”

Chris “Hasak” Haskins – “Consistency is king in drone racing. Completing laps is the only way to perform well, and not put yourself in a position where you must get a first place for the next three heats, trust me I know. If you find a portion of a track that you often get “wonky”, take a couple batteries and slow it down. Do it smooth as possible then crank it up a little bit the next heat. You will feel like you are moving slower but your lap time will be a pleasant surprise. If you have good training partners and starting to get fried at the end of a practice session from all-out battle, ask the whole group to take a pack or two at 60% speed and then get back at the hard-core practice. It feels like a bit of a “reset” and typically more of your group will finish with even faster lap times.”

Zoe “3D FPV” Stumbaugh – “Flying FPV is largely a mind game – and come race day nerves can be the deciding factor between winning and losing. Before every practice session I ground myself when I put the goggles on, closing my eyes when they’re finally comfortable – taking a deep breath and opening my eyes, ready and focused on the flight ahead.

Getting in the habit of centering yourself during practice will help calm the nerves when the pressure is on at a competition.”

AJ “awkBOTS” Goin – “I guess it’s training for adaptability.  I personally feel adaptability and consistency is the most important at a larger scale event. I typically do not set up specific warm up methods or drills until I have flown 5-6 batteries.  I try and take advantage of my first three batteries by going relatively slow the first battery, learning the track and slowly picking up speed as I learn the flow.  I focus on smoothness and making lines tighter and faster, all while making sure to choose the “safe” lines. After I have my first 5 or 6 batteries in (simulating a typical race) then I will generally just free fly and look for new lines, and try and work on a specific thing that I have had issues with, slalom, long sweeping corners, etc. until I run out of lipos. Fun is always the focus!”

 

The common thread between these champions is their mental game. All of them understand that training and drills, whether mentally or physically, are the foundation to their success. The more you can make your piloting become second nature, the better you will do as an FPV racer. Another important component of your training is also keeping your perspective. Understand and remember that if you are not having fun, you are doing something wrong. Putting yourself in the proper mindset is just as important as charging your batteries. 

Make these skills, drills, and mental exercises part of your training routine and you are sure to see a difference in your piloting ability. Races are won in your head before they are won on the course. Get out there and practice; 2017 is sure to be an amazing race season!

Have something to contribute? Contact Boss Hat (shawn@multigp.com) with your skills, drills, tips, and tricks.

MultiGP National Championship 2016 A-Nub and NTYFURY

About MultiGP:

MultiGP is the premier drone racing league which hosts frequent competitive gatherings and casual events within its network of hundreds MultiGP Chapters and thousands of pilots world-wide. MultiGP nurtures its Chapters by providing tools, guidance and community to make drone racing fun, organized and rewarding for pilots, Chapter Organizers and spectators.  Programming such as the Championship, Regional Series, Universal Time Trial Tracks and Chapter Tiers are designed to allow the drone racing community to compete in an easily accessible yet structured format with the goal of progressing the sport. MultiGP is the Academy of Model Aeronautics Special Interest Group for First Person View (FPV) Racing.   For more information, go to www.MultiGP.com

To learn more about MultiGP drone racing, and how you can get involved, join us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/MultiGPCommunity/ and on Twitter – @Multi_GP

MultiGP Regional Series Underway

MultiGP Chapters around the nation are throttling up for the 2016 MultiGP Championship to be held at the Academy of Model Aeronautics headquarters in Muncie, Indiana this September.  View the schedule of events, results, how to qualify and more by visiting the “2016 Championship” menu at the top of the page.

The MultiGP Championship is the nation’s largest and most authentic drone racing series designed to find the best pilots based on racing skill alone.  Pilots have to earn their invitation by advancing through a format designed to foster competition and comradery.

We wish each and every pilot the best of luck as we continue our search for the most skilled pilots in the nation.

AMA Names MultiGP as SIG

<p class=”responsiveNews”>The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led by its Executive Council, has officially welcomed its newest Special Interest Group (SIG), MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First&ndash;Person View (FPV) racing community.</p>
<p class=”responsiveNews”>FPV racing has exploded in popularity in the last few years. Many AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots have joined the community because of their interest in FPV. With the help of goggles or a screen, FPV pilots get a view from the cockpit instead of the ground while watching the aircraft fly. A live video feed from a camera mounted on the model provides the view. It&rsquo;s something new and exciting for model aviation enthusiasts.</p>
<p class=”responsiveNews”>MultiGP was founded by Chris Thomas to unite fellow FPV racing enthusiasts in an easy-to-use social platform, in which they can host competition-based tournaments, free-fly gatherings, and casual events. MultiGP&rsquo;s team has developed a platform to produce worldwide FPV racing events with high pilot satisfaction because the system takes much of the burden off of the event organizer. The MultiGP racing league promotes and helps grow the FPV racing community, adding new members daily.</p>
<p class=”responsiveNews”>Obtaining an AMA membership and adhering to the AMA&rsquo;s guidelines for utilizing FPV systems is required for competitive flying members. AMA members can input their membership number into the MultiGP system, which automatically tracks their membership status.</p>
<p class=”responsiveNews”>Becoming an official SIG of the AMA will cement the relationship between the two organizations and provide members with the best experience when they decide to start flying models or progress in FPV flying.</p>
<p class=”responsiveNews”>&ldquo;The AMA is proud to work with MultiGP. FPV racing is a fun and exciting type of model flying activity and one that can enhance our community and the hobby,&rdquo; said Bob Brown, president of AMA.</p>
<p class=”responsiveNews”>MultiGP joins 23 other SIGs recognized by the AMA. Each represents a different discipline of the model-flying community. As an official SIG, MultiGP has agreed to manage the communications, development, competition, and continued safety efforts of the FPV racing community. Learn more about MultiGP by visiting&nbsp;<a class=”trackingLink” href=”http://www.prweb.net/Redirect.aspx?id=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5tdWx0aWdwLmNvbQ==” rel=”nofollow”>http://www.multigp.com</a>.</p>
<p class=”responsiveNews”>The Academy of Model Aeronautics, founded in 1936, continues to be devoted to national airspace safety. It serves as the nation&rsquo;s collective voice for approximately 187,000 modelers in 2,400 clubs in the United States and Puerto Rico. Headquartered in Muncie, Indiana, AMA is a membership organization representing those who fly model aircraft for recreation and educational purposes. For more information, visit&nbsp;<a class=”trackingLink” href=”http://www.prweb.net/Redirect.aspx?id=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2RlbGFpcmNyYWZ0Lm9yZw==” rel=”nofollow”>http://www.modelaircraft.org</a>.</p>
<p class=”responsiveNews”>MultiGP is the premier FPV Radio Control racing league, which hosts frequent competition-based tournaments, free-fly gatherings, and casual events for more than 4,000 registered pilots in more than 175 MultiGP chapters worldwide. Proprietary event management assets and systems provide chapters organizers with an effective process to make events fun and rewarding. For more information, visit&nbsp;<a class=”trackingLink” href=”http://www.prweb.net/Redirect.aspx?id=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5tdWx0aWdwLmNvbQ==” rel=”nofollow”>http://www.multigp.com</a>.</p>

MultiGP Partners with DR1 Racing

<p>The&nbsp;<em>DR1 Invitational presented by Mountain Dew&nbsp;</em>will showcase&nbsp;12 of the top drone racing pilots in the world as they compete for the title at the iconic&nbsp;<span class=”xn-person”>Sepulveda Dam</span>&nbsp;in&nbsp;<span class=”xn-location”>Los Angeles</span>&nbsp;this summer. Pilots, who control drones from the top of the dam, will face down a gauntlet of environmental and man-made obstacles as they fly their drones at speeds of more than 80 MPH while spectators watch on from above. Over the course of two days, the race will be broken up into heats, qualifiers and finals. MultiGP Drone Racing League, the front-runner in drone race organization and sanctioning,&nbsp;was selected to manage the racing series.</p>
<p>Additional PepsiCo brands supporting the&nbsp;<em>DR1 Invitational</em>&nbsp;<em>presented by Mountain Dew</em>&nbsp;include Amp Energy<strong><sup>&reg;</sup></strong>&nbsp;and Doritos<strong><sup>&reg;</sup></strong>.</p>
<p>”We have seen the popularity of drone racing grow exponentially this past year, and we are excited to bring our own style and format to the sport,” said&nbsp;<span class=”xn-person”>Brad Foxhoven</span>, founder of DR1 Racing and &nbsp;producer of the&nbsp;<em>DR1 Invitational presented by Mountain Dew</em>. “Part of our excitement centers around the ‘firsts’ that we are bringing to the sport, including a TV broadcast partner, worldwide live streaming through Twitch and the support of several global brands.”</p>
<p>More information on the Invitational and DR1 can be found at DR1Racing.tv.</p>
<p><strong>DR1 on Twitch<br /></strong>DR1 also launched a channel on the streaming platform Twitch at Twitch.tv/DR1Racing. The DR1 channel will live stream the races globally, giving fans a first-person view from the drones traveling at high speeds through a myriad of obstacles. The DR1 Twitch channel is also currently live streaming two nights per week with a variety of content supporting DR1 and the drone-racing lifestyle and culture.</p>
<p>”Drone racing is super fun to watch and it’s growing like crazy,” said&nbsp;<span class=”xn-person”>Jimmy Whisenhunt</span>, partnerships manager, media organizations, Twitch. “Because DR1 will be the first truly live drone racing event broadcast on Twitch, it taps into the DNA of our platform and should be quite the viewing experience.”</p>
<p><strong>”Do The DEW” Takes on Drone Hunting in New Global Campaign<br /></strong>Combining motocross, hunting and drone racing, Mountain Dew creates an exhilarating never-before-seen sport &ndash; “Drone Hunting” &ndash; that now exists within a new global TV and digital commercial. The action-charged spot introduces the world to a sport that can only be the product of the limitless possibilities of DEW Nation’s imagination. Watch “Drone Hunting”&nbsp;<a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zryW3mGUsa0″ target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>here</a>.</p>
<p>This year’s “Do The DEW” creative is running in multiple countries across four continents, and debuts today digitally and in June on broadcast in the U.S., headlining a year-long brand campaign that will reach DEW Nation by way of TV, digital, social media, radio, print and out-of-home channels.</p>
<p>Directed by&nbsp;<span class=”xn-person”>Rupert Wyatt</span>&nbsp;and filmed in the forests of&nbsp;<span class=”xn-location”>Casablanca</span>,&nbsp;<span class=”xn-location”>Chile</span>, “Drone Hunting” is a mind-bending reverie, created for the members of DEW Nation who continuously seek opportunities and excitement where others don’t.</p>

Debut of La Forge Domination

<p>The 2016 MultiGP Drone Racing Championship debuted a world-first FPV night game, La Forge Domination. Shea Ivey, designer of the La Forge module, presented to pilots his latest creation – a team based, night-time FPV game based on capturing control points. LED &ldquo;flags&rdquo; must be captured by flying in proximity for a few seconds to &ldquo;capture&rdquo; that point and change the color to your team&rsquo;s color.</p>
<p>The sytem works based off the RSSI of the various VTX signals it detects around it. As your drone gets close to it, the LED colors gradually change to your team’s color. This gives the opposing team time to recognize you are trying to capture it and defend their capture point. As more defenders arrive to keep the enemy from capturing their point, the color stops changing and reverses back to their color. The game was very well recieved among pilots, with one team handily sweeping other teams once they started to nail the pirouette technique around the capture points.</p>
<p>The game hardware currently supports 3 modes: Team, Free-for-All and Race. The first two modes are the game modes and the last one is a mode specifically for racing. Race mode will change the color of LEDs placed on or around racing gates. This should add for a very nice visual effect when a racer makes the gates and improve the overall watchability of drone racing. Shea Ivey is still working on improvements and reports that the La Forge Domination hardware will be mass produced via a partnership with <a href=”Http://ubuyadrone.com” target=”_blank”>UBAD</a> and available soon.<br /><br /></p>
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<h4>Photos of La Forge Domination</h4>
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<div class=”col-xs-12 col-md-3″><a href=”http://s3.amazonaws.com/multigp/gallery/4/2016-multigp-drone-racing-nationals17.jpg.jpg”> <img src=”http://s3.amazonaws.com/multigp/gallery/4/2016-multigp-drone-racing-nationals17.jpg_medium.jpg” alt=”” /> </a></div>
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<div class=”col-xs-12 col-md-3″><a href=”http://s3.amazonaws.com/multigp/gallery/4/2016-multigp-drone-racing-nationals15.jpg.jpg”> <img src=”http://s3.amazonaws.com/multigp/gallery/4/2016-multigp-drone-racing-nationals15.jpg_medium.jpg” alt=”” /> </a></div>
<div class=”col-xs-12 col-md-3″><a href=”http://s3.amazonaws.com/multigp/gallery/4/2016-multigp-drone-racing-nationals12.jpg.jpg”> <img src=”http://s3.amazonaws.com/multigp/gallery/4/2016-multigp-drone-racing-nationals12.jpg_medium.jpg” alt=”” /> </a></div>
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<h4>Videos of La Forge Domination</h4>
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QRGOhio – 09/25/16 Race Results

MultiGP Drone Race Report
Quad Racing Group of Ohio Final Race of The Summer Season

Article: Ben See
Photos: Lisa Zoldak

Quad Racing Group Ohio - 09/25/16 - Drone Racing Image 1

The Quad Racing Group of Ohio (QRGO) held their final points race of the summer season on Sunday, September 25th at Wingfoot State Park in NE Ohio. A total of 6 points races were held at Wingfoot State Park this year. QRGO ran a Novice and Race class this season. Many of the novice drone racing pilots jumped to the race class as their skills progressed throughout the season. QRGO was honored to have the youngest pilot among their ranks who would chase his passion of FPV flight and the spirit of competition. Charlie “Titan” Pirnat is 12 years old and the son of Chuck “Histo” Pirnat. The QRGO family was extremely happy and proud for this young man.

The competition was fierce as the first five pilots on the season points in the race class were within striking distance of each other. As each Heat Points were posted to the MultiGP website, the pilots were refreshing their mobile devices to check the standings and coming up with strategies for how hard to push in the upcoming rounds.

Quad Racing Group Ohio - 09/25/16 - Drone Racing Image 2

QRGO ran 8 races on Sunday, 2 of them were practice and not scored. 6 races that counted towards the total score of the FPV pilots. After all races were completed it was found that some tie breaking race offs were required. Chuck “Histo” Pirnat and Andy “Drewracer32” Stankiewicz battled it out for sole third place winner of the day. Histo was able to pull out a win in this race off. The second race off was to determine who would take 1st place and win the event for the day. Tied for 1st place with 50 points each was TJ “T-Bone” Williams and Ben”Dibs41” See. They gave it their all and in the end the battery that lasted the longest was T-Bone’s!

It was then discovered that the Season Points Races was also tied. Both Andy “DrewRacer32” Stankiewicz and Ben ”Dibs41” See had 223 points for the season. A race off for season points was required. Ben and Andy both just completed a heads up race off just minutes before. Armed with fresh props and batteries they lined up to battle it out for 2nd place overall for the 2016 QRGO Point Series. On the tones both Andy and Ben were on each other with only a fraction of a second separating them. Mid race DrewRacer had the lead and would never give it up. Dibs41 was only half a second behind most of the entire race. In the end the victory went to DrewRacer.

Quad Racing Group Ohio - 09/25/16 - Drone Racing Image 3

September 25th, 2016 Fast Laps:

(Race Class)

T-Bone———————20.352

Histo———————–21.937

DrewRacer32————22.175

Dibs41——————–22.882

Shredder—————-23.176

Seeker——————-23.223

Quad Racing Group Ohio - 09/25/16 - Drone Racing Image 4

(Novice Class)

BigRedSpider—————–24.133

Titan—————————-27.275 (He is 12 years old!)

Final Season Top 5 Points Tally as follows:

(Race Class)

T-Bone——————- 244Points

DrewRacer32———- 224 Points

Dibs41——————-223 Points

The Shredder———-203 Points

Seeker——————173 Points

(Novice Class)

BigRedSpider———–218 Points

CaptainUno————-216 Points

Slick———————95 Points

JP_FPV——————-71 Points

K1NG——————–64 Points

Quad Racing Group Ohio - 09/25/16 - Drone Racing Image 5

QRGO is a Tier 2 MultiGP Chapter whom is very active among the FPV Racing community both locally and abroad. Members of this chapter participated in events both in Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York this 2016 MultiGP Season. One of the QRGO members (TJ “T-Bone” Williams) honed his skills enough to make it to the MultiGP Championships at the AMA Headquarters in Muncie, Indiana.Under the guidance of Race Director Paul Adkins and staff, QRGO was invited to run the races at the 2016 Buddy RC Flight Bash in Columbus, Ohio. This event was a great success! Over 107 races were held during this weekend event.QRGO was also the hosting club for the 2016 MultiGP 3C Regional Qualifiers in Carrolton, Ohio as well as the MultiGP 3C Regional Finals in Columbus, Ohio.

QRGO is looking forward to an eventful 2017 Racing Season!

Quad Racing Group Ohio - 09/25/16 - Drone Racing Image 6

MultiGP and Mini Quad Test Bench

MultiGP and Mini Quad Test Bench Announce Collaboration

When it comes to drone racing, pilots are looking for the fastest, most reliable equipment to propel them to victory. One of the biggest decisions an FPV pilot makes are the propellers, motors, and speed controllers that they use. This is the ”power-train” for our multirotors, and this is where the right choices can be the difference between the podium, and a DNF (Did Not Finish). Hard data is often hard to locate when it comes to the performance of these crucial components. Ryan Harrell, who runs Mini Quad Test Bench (MQTB), has been compiling data independently for over a dozen motor and ESC companies into a comprehensive database.

Mini Quad Test Bench

MultiGP is proud to announce that we will be working in conjunction with MQTB to use this valuable data toward some more practical applications. Ryan will be providing MultiGP with more accurate data on aircraft and component performance, which will arm our pilots with the information needed to make the wisest decisions when it comes to their equipment. To help make this possible, MultiGP has also donated some much needed equipment to MQTB, to help Ryan provide more raw data on the performance of drone racing components. Ryan also announced that MQTB is now an official MultiGP sponsor.

 

About MultiGP:

MultiGP is the premier drone racing league which hosts frequent competitive gatherings and casual events within its network of over 375 MultiGP Chapters and 10,000 pilots world-wide. MultiGP nurtures its Chapters by providing tools, guidance and community to make drone racing fun, organized and rewarding for pilots, Chapter Organizers and spectators. Programming such as the Championship, Regional Series, Universal Time Trial Tracks and Chapter Tiers are designed to allow the drone racing community to compete in an easily accessible yet structured format with the goal of progressing the sport. MultiGP is the Academy of Model Aeronautics Special Interest Group for First Person View (FPV) Racing. For more information, go to www.MultiGP.com

To learn more about MultiGP drone racing, and how you can get involved, join us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/MultiGPCommunity/ and on Twitter – @Multi_GP

MultiGP Releases UTT #4

MultiGP Releases UTT #4
High Voltage

MultiGP Universal Time Trial Tracks allow FPV drone racing pilots to compete against each other across the world by providing standardized local courses partnered with a global leader-board. Pilots attend their local MultiGP Chapter to participate and receive official results which are then entered into the MultiGP leader-board by their Chapter Organizer. The three current tracks, UTT #1, Tsunami (UTT #2), and Bessel Run (UTT #3), have been widely popular among the MultiGP pilots. Yesterday, MultiGP unlocked UTT #4, High Voltage.

MultiGP proudly released their 4th Universal Time Trial (UTT) track this week. Named “High Voltage”, this track will challenge the most seasoned MultiGP pilots. “Will You Sustain the Current Required to Conquer High Voltage?” is the challenge set out by MultiGP for its willing pilots with this new addition to the UTT collection. Resembling a bow-tie, this track will tie your fingers in knots, if you are not too careful! Pilots will find themselves flying OVER gate #2 as they pilot from gate #4 to gate #5.

For a full Rules and Specifications sheet in .PDF format, Click Here.

MultiGP Drone Racing UTT #4 High Voltage

About MultiGP:

MultiGP is the premier drone racing league which hosts frequent competitive gatherings and casual events within its network of over 375 MultiGP Chapters and 11,000 pilots world-wide. MultiGP nurtures its Chapters by providing tools, guidance and community to make drone racing fun, organized and rewarding for pilots, Chapter Organizers and spectators. Programming such as the Championship, Regional Series, Universal Time Trial Tracks and Chapter Tiers are designed to allow the drone racing community to compete in an easily accessible yet structured format with the goal of progressing the sport. MultiGP is the Academy of Model Aeronautics Special Interest Group for First Person View (FPV) Racing. For more information, go to www.MultiGP.com

 

 To learn more about MultiGP drone racing, and how you can get involved, join us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/MultiGPCommunity/ and on Twitter – @Multi_GP

#MultiGP11K

#MultiGP11K – MultiGP Drone Racing Group Reaches 11,000 Pilot Milestone

MultiGP Drone Racing - 2016 National Championship

See MultiGP Racing At Night

NATIONAL: The largest drone racing league in the world reached a major milestone recently. Last month MultiGP registered its 11,000th pilot, an amazing accomplishment from a racing league less than two years old. “MultiGP is proud of our programming which is designed to unite the drone racing community with events that generate competition and lasting friendships,” says Michael Gianoutsos, Chief Marketing Officer of MultiGP. With close to 400 chapters nationwide, and 800 chapters worldwide, MultiGP is not only the largest drone racing group, but one of the largest grassroots racing organizations in the world. Local MultiGP race chapters often hold “Fun Flys”, where they welcome the general public to come out and experience First Person View (FPV) drone racing for themselves. Many pilots carry a spare set of FPV goggles, so a spectator can “ride along” with the pilot as they speed through gates and obstacles.

“It is very exciting to help grow a new sport”, said Chris Thomas (@Multi_GP), President and
CEO of MultiGP. “Now our next milestone will be 4000 drone races.”

On any given weekend, drone pilots from every state in the nation assemble to challenge each other to see who is the fastest pilot around. Points are tallied and tabulated throughout the year, letting pilots know where they stand in the ranks, leading up to the National Championships. This year’s National Championship was recently held in Muncie, In., at the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) headquarters. Over 140 pilots turned out making it the largest First Person View (FPV) drone race to date. MultiGP’s success is in its volunteer chapter organizers; the events are run professionally and safely by members of the drone racing community who give their time to organize events and races.

MultiGP Drone Racing 2016 National Championship

  • Over 5,000 pilots nationwide; over 11,000 pilots worldwide
  • MultiGP race chapters are divided into 6 Regions, with 15 Regional Divisions
  • Almost 400 Multi GP race chapters nationwide, 800 chapters worldwide
  • Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) membership required to compete
  • Standardized Universal Time Trial (UTT) tracks allows pilots to compete against other pilots from around the world
  • MultiGP constantly welcomes the general public to visit a race, and join a local chapter

About MultiGP Drone Racing:

MultiGP is the premier drone racing league which hosts frequent competitive gatherings and casual events within its network of over 375 MultiGP Chapters and 10,000 pilots world-wide. MultiGP nurtures its Chapters by providing tools, guidance and community to make drone racing fun, organized and rewarding for pilots, Chapter Organizers and spectators. Programming such as the Championship, Regional Series, Universal Time Trial Tracks and Chapter Tiers are designed to allow the drone racing community to compete in an easily accessible yet structured format with the goal of progressing the sport. MultiGP is the Academy of Model Aeronautics Special Interest Group for First Person View (FPV) Racing. For more information, go to www.MultiGP.com

 To learn more about MultiGP drone racing, and how you can get involved, join us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/MultiGPCommunity/ and on Twitter – @Multi_GP

 

Click Here for a copy of this Press Release in .PDF format

Drone Racing Training Part 1

Drills, Recommendations, and Exercises for Improving Piloting Skills

Part 1: The Basics

It’s not the motors, it’s not the battery, it’s not the flight controller that wins the race. It is the pilot. The best pilots in the league are not the best because of their equipment. These “Top Guns” of the drone racing world are on top because they understand that at the end of the day it is their time invested in practicing, their reflexes, and their mindset when in the pilot’s chair that puts them on the podium. Running drills, and working on your technique makes you faster. Here are a few recommendations, tips, and drills that will improve your abilities as a pilot. The best part is that all it costs is your time!


#1 – Double check ALL your equipment

MultiGP 2016 National Championship Gear Photo

Seems simple, but it is often overlooked. Go through a “checklist” for all your gear (craft, batteries, transmitter, goggles, charger). Make sure that all your gear is set up properly. Every pilot of a full-sized aircraft goes through a checklist before every flight, so should we.

 

Craft:             

  • Inspect frame for damage
  • All components secured solidly
  • All fasteners tightened properly
  • Motors spin freely when turned (no dirt, no grinding noise, no bearing slop)
  • Props are in good condition (no bent blades, no cracked hubs)

 

Batteries:        

  • Physically inspect batteries for damage (nicked wires, broken plugs, cell swelling)
  • Check voltage and balance (it’s a good idea to label your batteries to track performance)
  • Verify voltage after charging (with a multi-meter or cell tester)      
  • Verify cell balance after charging (with a multi-meter or cell tester)

 

Transmitter:    

  • Inspect transmitter for loose switches
  • Inspect gimbals for smooth movement (no sticking, no grinding)
  • Check voltage of battery
  • Check trims and make sure they are set properly (all should be centered)
  • Connect flight controller to GUI and verify all endpoints and centers

                       

Goggles:         

  • Inspect goggles for physical damage (antennas, wires, etc.)
  • Check voltage of battery
  • Clean lenses and screens
  • Make sure straps are properly adjusted
  • Power up goggles and craft, check video feed (re-focus FPV camera if necessary)

Charger:         

  • Inspect charger for physical damage (broken plugs, loose wires, etc.)
  • Inspect balance charging board for damage (broken plugs, loose wires, etc.)
  • Verify (multi-meter or cell tester) charger is fully charging and balancing batteries

These may seem a little simplistic, but ask yourself if any of these items mentioned above have kept you from flying. Success in drone racing means having your equipment functioning properly. If you know all your equipment is working as intended you can focus your practice time on flying, not fixing.


#2 – Study the technique of other pilots

MultiGP 2016 National Championship Pilots Flying

Study the tapes! Go to the replay! There are volumes of videos online from the top pilots in the world. Think of these as the “training tapes” that football teams watch to gain advantage on their competitors. Watch how the pilots negotiate the course; study how they take turns (position going into the turn, height going in and out of the turn, lining up multiple gates, etc.). It is these techniques that shave time off your laps. The better you understand these flying techniques, the easier it will be to go into the field and practice them.


#3 – Drill, baby, drill!

MultiGP 2016 National Championship drone takeoff

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? PRACTICE! What separates a good pilot from a great pilot?  It is stick time, pure and simple. The more batteries you burn, the better pilot you will be. Some pilots are burning 100 batteries a week in practice. This is the biggest, most important part of becoming a better pilot. But this does not mean “just flying around the field”. Practice drills: set up gates to practice specific techniques (tight turns, slaloms, straightaways to turns, etc.). Set up “figure 8” training drills to practice rapid changes of direction. Focus on negotiating the training course smoothly, then concentrate on building up speed. You can’t be fast without being in control. “Slow is smooth; smooth is fast”. The more you run drills, the smoother and faster you will be. Drill techniques until they become second nature; the less you think about your flying, the faster you become.


4# – Challenge Yourself

MultiGP 2016 National Championship Sky Bridge Sunset

Do not hesitate to fly with pilots that are better than you. First, this will force you fly faster, it will push your piloting skills to their limits. You can also ask them about their technique (“Why did you throttle up going into that turn?”), which help you get a better understanding for negotiating obstacles. Most pilots LOVE talking about their technique. Listen to what they are saying, and take mental notes. Take advantage of the hundreds of batteries these guys have flown; learn from their experience. We do not excel if we do not challenge ourselves.


5# Hand Strength

MultiGP 2016 National Championship Reach

Our wrists, hands, and fingers are our “connection” to our drones. The stronger your hands are, the less fatigue you will feel. When we are flying FPV, our hands and wrists will start to tire after only 30 minutes. Once your hands start to fatigue, your reaction time will decrease. Slower reaction time means missing gates, it means crashing, it means DNF (Did Not Finish). This can be counteracted by strengthening our hands and wrists with a few simple exercises:

Tennis Ball Squeeze – Perform the following exercises ten times for each set, preferably three times a day. As you build up strength you can increase the repetitions. Begin this exercise by holding a tennis ball in the palm of your hand. Squeeze the tennis ball as hard as you can without causing yourself pain. Hold that squeeze for 5 seconds. Repeat this exercise ten times.

Thumb Opposition – Begin this exercise by putting your thumb and index finger up together. Squeeze your thumb and index finger together as hard as possible without causing yourself pain and hold the squeeze for five seconds. Then move on to the middle finger and thumb and repeat the exercise. Move on to each finger, so the thumb squeezes together with each of them. Repeat the whole exercise three times, so each finger gets three repetitions.

Finger Abduction – Place your hand palm-up, as if you were asking someone for money. Squeeze all the fingers together and the thumb also should be aligned with fingers, squeezing in on them. While keeping your fingers as straight as possible, squeeze your fingers and thumb together as hard as you can. Hold for five seconds and repeat ten times.

Finger and Wrist Stretches –

  1. Stand up and extend your right arm in front of you, with the palm of your hand facing down. Using your left hand, pull back each finger and hold it, one by one, until you’ve stretched each finger. Make sure not to pull back too hard because this could damage your wrist. But it should be enough to feel the stretch in your wrist.
  2. Once you’ve done each finger individually, stretch back all of them at once. This should help you stretch open your palm. Hold it for a few seconds and repeat the exercise a few times.
  3. Now that you’ve extended your fingers, it’s time to do your thumb. Pull back on your thumb and stretch it towards your wrist. Next, pull forward and down on your thumb. Again, this will stretch your wrist in the opposite direction. Finish these finger exercises by making a tight fist and slowly opening it, stretching all your fingers out as far as they can go.
  4. Put your palms together with the fingers facing upwards as if you were in a praying stance. Press the palms together strongly while holding your fingers straight. Keeping the base of your palms together, slowly lower your hands until your arms are like one long horizontal line. Try and take your palms down even further, with your fingers and base of the palms still held together. Go down as far as you can and hold it. You should feel the stretch in your wrists and the insides of your fingers. Hold for a few seconds and then repeat.

Make these exercises a part of your training routine. These strengthening drills are as important as flying drills; the stronger your hands, the more precisely you can fly.


#6 – Eye – Hand Coordination

MultiGP 2016 National Championship Pilot Seated

The path is simple; your eyes see, the mind thinks, and your hands react. The faster your body can complete this process, the quicker and more reactive your piloting will become. There are quite a few “Real World” activities we can participate in to increase our eye-hand coordination. Baseball, batting cages, tennis (or any racket sport), even the paddle-ball from our childhood, are great ways to increase eye-hand coordination. The other great benefit is that these activities also help strengthen our hands and wrists (#5 – Hand Strength), as well as give some much-needed exercise for the rest of our body. Unity of mind and body is a cornerstone for racing success.


#7 – It’s a Mental Game

MultiGP 2016 National Championship NYTFURY

Flying is as much in your head as it is in your hands. If your mental concentration is not at its peak, you will not perform at your best. Focus on your flying, don’t let the troubles of life inhibit your ability. Purge your mind of your “real world” troubles – thinking about your rent, car payment, girlfriend, etc. will only split your focus, and slow your lap times. For those four minutes, you are flying, there is nothing but you, and your craft. It’s hard to fly at 80 miles an hour when you are thinking about work.

Being able to put on your “game face” when flying will make good pilots become great pilots. Think about “Ice Man” from Top Gun. He was good because he was “cool as ice” when he was flying. The less you get “rattled” when racing, the faster you can be. Stay positive, even when you crash. Your “Mental Game” is just as important as your “Physical Game”.

Most importantly, do not get angry or frustrated; anger is the mind killer. Once you lose your cool, you have lost the race. Frustration and anger are very taxing on our “CPU”. The more your mind is focused on being angry, the less you are focused on flying. Drone racing is a sport of milliseconds, so stay focused on your piloting. If you find yourself losing control of your temper, it is time to step away for a little while. Regain your composure, and your lap times will decrease.


#8 – Rained Out – Keep Practicing!

MultiGP 2016 National Championship Flightline Sign

Into everyone’s life a little rain must fall. When it does you can keep honing your skills off the track. FPV flight simulators (like Liftoff and FPV Freerider) are great training tools. While the physics are not 100% like “real world”, they are close enough to help you build your muscle memory. The different “flying fields” that these simulators allow you to navigate contain many of the “real world” twists and turns you will see on MultiGP courses. In fact, you can even find the MultiGP Universal Time Trial Tracks and the championship courses within some of the simulators. This gives you the ability to practice these maneuvers (sharp turns, slalom runs, etc.) repeatedly, helping you build the muscle memory to make flying more subconscious. The less you actually “think” about flying, the better you will fly. That is why drills and practicing maneuvers repeatedly builds a pilot’s skill on the sticks.

Use your DVR as a valuable training tool, both for reviewing your flights to look for ways to improve and as a sort of “Guitar Hero” for FPV. Something that was noticed at the Regional Finals this year was that during bouts of bad weather, pilots were watching their practice runs that they had recorded (DVR) on their goggles. Some of the pilots were even holding their transmitters and “flying along” with their footage; they were practicing the stick movements necessary to negotiate the track. This sort of exercise also helps you work on the timing of the track and the timing of the different obstacles (like how to fly the Sky Bridge). Knowing when to start a turn is just as important as how the turn is done.

Practicing these drills and exercises will increase your piloting abilities. Remember that drone racing is the perfect symbiotic relationship between pilot and craft; the more comprehensive your training is directly relating to how we progress as pilots.

The next part of this series will be an “open” article of tips and techniques from top pilots throughout the MultiGP community. Part 2: Pilot Technique will be continually updated with tips, techniques, and drills that have launched the top pilots in our sport to podium positions. Be sure to check back often to stay up to date on the best techniques from the best pilots in our sport.

Have something to contribute? Contact Boss Hat (shawn@multigp.com) with your skills, drills, tips, and tricks for Part 2: Pilot Technique


About MultiGP:

MultiGP is the premier drone racing league which hosts frequent competitive gatherings and casual events within its network of over 375 MultiGP Chapters and 10,000 pilots world-wide. MultiGP nurtures its Chapters by providing tools, guidance and community to make drone racing fun, organized and rewarding for pilots, Chapter Organizers and spectators.  Programming such as the Championship, Regional Series, Universal Time Trial Tracks and Chapter Tiers are designed to allow the drone racing community to compete in an easily accessible yet structured format with the goal of progressing the sport. MultiGP is the Academy of Model Aeronautics Special Interest Group for First Person View (FPV) Racing.   For more information, go to www.MultiGP.com

To learn more about MultiGP drone racing, and how you can get involved, join us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/MultiGPCommunity/ and on Twitter – @Multi_GP