English 15-Year Old Wins Dubai’s World Drone Prix

By admin | Events

Apr 17

Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has given the $1 million Drones for Good Award over the last two years.

Jon Gambrell reports that Dubai recently held the World Drone Prix. The first place winner was a team led by a 15-year old pilot from England.

Luke Bannister of Somerset led a team with 43 members called Tornado X-Blades Banni UK in the World Drone Prix. Luke’s team won first place. Gambrell reveals that Luke’s team won “$250,000 purse, part of $1 million in prizes handed out in the inaugural edition of this race as a Cabinet-level minister announced the start of the World Future Sports Games in December 2017.” The manager of Luke’s team stated the team would share the prize money.

The pilots at the World Drone Prix wear white racing jump suits similar to Formula One. Gambrell discloses that four pilots at a time sit in seats wearing goggles that allow them to watch the feed from a camera on their drone. Further, the drones race behind the pilots on a course with the skyscrapers of the Dubai Marina behind them. Gambrell reveals that the drones require at least one pit stop where the crew leans down to change out batteries. There are some pilots that dare to take short cuts and then watch their drone crash into the ground or into each other.

Mohammed al-Gergawi, the United Arab Emirates’ minister for Cabinet affairs said, “We are trying to bring the future closer to us.” Gambrell states that Dubai has embraced drones. Gambrell further says, “Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has given the $1 million Drones for Good Award over the last two years.”

Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building and home to the airline, Emirates. In 2014, a window-washer was caught 10 stories up after his scaffolding was stuck. They used a drone to calm the window-washer. They also use drones to inspect buildings. However, Gambrell reports that drone pilots have caused problems with Dubai International Airport. Drone users have flown into the airport’s airspace and caused flights to halt. In February, all drone users have been required to register their drones with UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority.

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