Air Races Drone Challenge Winners Announced

Reno Drone ChallengeWith the latest in unmanned flying technology, attendees at this year’s National Championship Air Races at Reno partook in the Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Challenge (sUAS).

The 2015 sUAS Challenge, held between September 16th and 20th, featured an obstacle and speed course for drones and was held at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s aviation exhibit.

The Embry-Riddle Experience was sponsored by the University of Nevada, Reno’s Nevada Advanced Autonomous Systems Innovation Center in partnership with NASA. It included two separate competitions inside a netted enclosure. There was an “Open Class” where competitors raced their own drones and the “International Race of Champions” (IROC) race where participants raced identical Embry-Riddle-provided drones.

“We had some great competitions this week with two of the IROC championships coming down to the seventh and final side-by-side race. Ben Mackles dominated the competition but had to battle Sam Hince for the championship all week. We also had spectacular demos from our friends at ‘The Game of Drones’ and Hobbico’s Josh Schiff showcasing the latest in sUAS technology,” said Embry-Riddle Worldwide Assistant Professor David Thirtyacre, who oversees the unmanned demonstrations and challenges for the Embry-Riddle Experience.

IROC Class Winners:

– Thursday, Sept. 17: Todd Richman, 51, Reno, NV

– Friday, Sept. 18: Steven Lutsch, 23, Reno, NV

– Saturday, Sept. 19: Ben Mackles, 13, San Francisco, CA

– Sunday, Sept. 20: Ben Mackles, 13, San Francisco, CA

Open Class Obstacle Course Winner: Sam Hince, 16, Sonora, CA

Open Class Speed Course Winner: Ben Mackles, 13, San Francisco, CA

Open Class Combined Champion: Ben Mackles, 13, San Francisco, CA

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