Drone Champions AG unveils world’s first manned aerobatic drone

• Liechtenstein-based founder of Drone Champions League has developed a manned drone that can execute maneuvers like rolls and loops
• Initial tests have successfully been completed in Germany and Croatia
• Vision is to race manned drones in the future
• Potential pilots can start training now on DCL – The Game

Monday 17 February, 2020 – Vaduz, LIECHTENSTEIN –  Drone Champions AG, creators of the Drone Champions League and DCL – The Game, have announced their newest innovation: the first-ever manned drone capable of aerobatic maneuvers such as rolls and loops. The “Big Drone” is the brainchild of Drone Champions founder Herbert Weirather, who personally assisted in the testing process, sitting in the single-seat machine as it was piloted via RC controller by former Drone Champions League contender and multi-discipline champion Mirko Cesena in Vrsar, Croatia.

“We have developed and built the first-ever manned aerobatic drone with the vision to create a brand-new future racing experience and to recruit drone pilots through DCL – The Game,” explained Weirather, who is also CEO of the Drone Champions League. “Everyone should have the opportunity to fly, and DCL – The Game provides a starting point.”

Blurring the lines between virtual and reality, the Drone Champions League is an innovative race series that since 2016 has drawn the world’s best pilots of small racing drones (quadcopters), which reach over 160 km/h in head-to-head battles. The recognized World Championship of professional drone racing teams, the DCL holds Drone Grand Prix races at spectacular global stops, and offers everyone the chance to realize the dream of becoming a pro pilot by playing DCL – The Game.

Just released on February 18, 2020, DCL – The Game delivers a high-speed flight experience right at home, and gamers can face off against pilots from every corner of the globe in multi-player modes for up to 30 people. In addition to training and playing on DCL – The Game, users can qualify for real-life drone racing events like the Drone Champions League by playing in the DCL Draft Selection. Weirather sees DCL – The Game serving a similar function for the Big Drone contests that he envisions as a future facet of aerial motorsport.

After months of development, in early February Drone Champions AG initiated testing of the Big Drone at an indoor facility in Germany before taking it to Vrsar for its maiden outdoor flights, where aerobatic maneuvers were successfully executed. On hand to witness the historic milestone were members of Flite Test, which produces expert content specifically to serve the RC community.

“I feel like this experience is honestly a new chapter for multi-rotors. To be able to have kids go into the hobby and aspire for bigger things is always a goal of Flite Test. To see them now aspire to actually fly a manned multi-rotor is absolutely incredible” exclaimed Josh Bixler from Flite Test.

Next, Drone Champions AG will use the test data to continue refinement of the Big Drone. Meanwhile, aspiring pilots can play DCL – The Game to build their skills for competition in the DCL tracks of today and the Big Drone battles of the future.

DCL – The Game is available from February 18 in retail, on PlayStation4, XBoxOne and Steam. For more information, including how to participate in Qualifying for the 2020 DCL Draft Selection: www.dcl.aero/game

For media inquiries: Jemma Campbell / jcampbell@dronechampions.org




Drone Champions League Calendar 2020

1-3 May:                   Draft Selection, London, UK

TBA                          Drone Grand Prix Vaduz, Liechtenstein

7-8 August:               Drone Grand Prix Moscow, Russia

21-22 August:            Drone Grand Prix Simatai, China

2-3 October:             Drone Grand Prix Lake Zurich, Switzerland


About the Drone Champions League

The Drone Champions League (DCL) is the recognized championship for professional drone racing teams: an innovative race series that blurs the lines between virtual and reality to serve up a new era of sports entertainment. Since 2016 the DCL has drawn the world’s best drone pilots, who qualify for each race in DCL – The Game and then go on to compete on eight international teams in some of the world’s most spectacular real-life settings, from buzzing global capitals to surreal natural wonders.

Each DCL race is broadcast live, worldwide on TV and also online. From the Great Wall of China to the Champs-Elysées – where 180,000 spectators lined the boulevard – the LED-lit racing drones dart through the custom tracks head-to-head, flashing by fans at speeds of more than 160 km/h as the pilots fly them using virtual reality goggles. First to the finish wins, and with margins breathtakingly tight, contact happens. The daring maneuvers of bold pilots can boost drones to victory or send them tumbling.

DCL – The Game offers complete engagement with the sport and a high-speed experience in your own home. Players of all experience levels fly 24 drone racing tracks, including 1:1 virtual replicas of the original DCL tracks, with contenders in the highest mode battling for places in the actual DCL Draft Selection, allowing players from the game to be recruited into the real-life series.

DCL partners include Red Bull, Breitling, MyWorld and IQONIQ. For more information: www.dcl.aero

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