Two University of Central Florida engineering students have launched a drone racing league, with the goal being to eventually host intercollegiate competitions in the region.
Derek Saltzman and Mason Mincey’s first competition was scheduled for Saturday, with the plan being to pit teams of local pilots against one another at RCACF Tangerine Field in Apopka, which frequently hosts radio-controlled airplane exhibits and events.
“We see drone racing as an industry with a lot of components of other industries that really took off with the public, like e-sports, NASCAR and Formula One,” said Saltzman, who serves as the CEO of the startup SOAR Aerospace, in a news release. “In the years to come, we hope to see drones attracting that same type of attention and popularity, but we’re taking it one step at a time, starting with this first race.”
Saltzman and Mincey will graduate from UCF next year, when they hope to pursue the league as a full-time gig.
The idea for the league came after Saltzman accidentally discovered a durable carbon fiber that he built into a business building frames for drone racers.
He said interest in those frames convinced him and Mincey that they should start the league.
Written by Marco Santana for the Orlando Sentinel