Q. What types of races does X Class Drone Racing do?
A: There are two types of X Class Drone Racing (XCDR) races: circuit races and open races.
Circuit races are held at auto racing "short tracks" with race fans in the stands. Circuit races require pilots to certified by X Class Drone Racing. Read below about our requirements for certification.
Open races are held at drone-racing fields with AMA sanctions and are open to anyone with a regulation drone and an AMA membership. Open races are where many pilots have gained the skills to become circuit racers.
Q. What are your requirements to fly in X Class Drone Racing events?
A. Open races:
- All pilots must hold hold active, full membership in the Academy of Model Aeronautics. Anyone with AMA membership can register and compete with a XCDR-compliant drone.
Requires X Class Drone Racing approval and has stringent conditions.
- The sticks-in-hand pilot must possess a valid 107 sUAS airman's license and adhere to FAA regulations for flying (not just a member of your team acting as PIC).
- No more than three (3) people per team (including pilot and VO) allowed in the pilot race zone without XCDR prior approval.
- Pilot teams must provide their own visual observer. None are available to "borrow" during the race.
- Pilots must have attended track practices with XCDR and be signed off by XCDR staff to ensure they are qualified.
- Aircraft must meet additional requirements for lighting and visibility.
Q. I want to race at the track! How to I get in those races?
A. Because the circuit races have an audience, we are laser focused on pilot skill and safety. Only XCDR-approved pilots are allowed entry into the circuit races.
To get approval, build a rig and contact us. Then enter the upcoming open races to develop your big-drone skills. Get your 107 sUAS airman's license, get your designated visual observer, and contact us about getting your drone up to circuit race standards and practicing at the track.
Q. When is your next race? Will you have a race near me?
A. In 2018 X Class is holding drone races at flying fields and auto racing speedways across California. Please check out our schedule for the current list of events!
For expansion to the rest of the US and beyond, 2019 will be the year to watch. In the meantime, you are free to organize your own local X Class hobbyist races. Contact us to let us know if you're organizing. We've got the tracks waiting for us, so we'll be expanding first into areas that have the biggest X Class pilot communities to work with.
Q. What are your requirements for X Class drones?
A. For 2018, X Class will require multi-rotor aircraft measured 800-1200mm at the widest point. Further class specifications are available on our Rules & Standards page.
Q. Who are you? Why are you doing this?
A. Our team consists of passionate FPV pilots and enthusiasts who want to keep pushing the boundaries of drone racing, and we believe for spectators, bigger is the only way to go. Our goal is to bring giant drone racing to the world of race fans!
Q. How much does it cost to build an X Class drone?
A. An X Class rig can be built for anything from around $400 to $1800. A low-end rig will not be able to keep up with a high-end monster, but can work great for getting new pilots into the class. Right now the selection of components is still limited, but more and more manufacturers are coming out with X Class parts every month!
Q. Over a thousand bucks for a racing drone!? Are you high?!
A. While costs are always higher when you're leading the innovation, as more X Class products roll out the costs will come down. Also, the intent of X Class Drone Racing is to move the sport further from an individual-based to more a team-focused competition. Not only does that allow different members to specialize in different aspects of piloting, drone design and engineering, it can also allow you to spread the cost. Finally, our Circuit races at auto racing speedways should bring in new sponsorship opportunities to help pilots defray the costs.
Q. How fast do X Class drones go?
A. Top speeds of at least 100mph were clocked in the first season. There have been other reports of X Class drones going faster, but even the pilots admit that the methods used were a bit hinky. These speeds are increasing almost weekly as new products come to market specifically designed for X Class Drone Racing.
A. Do X Class drones crash?
A. Yes. Yes, they do. And it's glorious to see on video, and even better in person.
Q. What's the best esc/flight controller/frame/motor?
A. As with just about anything that requires an opinion, the answer depends on whom you ask. The best way to get information is to ask those who've already built and raced their frames. You can find most everyone in X Class racing on the X Class Facebook Group or through X Class Drone Racing's Facebook page.
Q. Are there other X Class racers in my area?
A. X Class pilots are popping up all over! If you send us a message via our contact page, we'll put people in the same area in contact as we get new information about races, leagues, and teams. We're not only a source for races, we're a great source for information and making connections with other X Class enthusiasts.
Q. My company would like to sponsor a team/race. Who should I contact?
A. Message us through our contact page and we'll have a sponsorship coordinator contact you.