Workshop to Grow Drone Racing Community

Workshop to Grow Drone Racing Community

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 09:02
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CNY Drones, in partnership with sister organization, the Academy of Model Aeronautics University Model Aviation Student Club #15104 (SUNY AMA), is accepting applications for an exclusive drone racer program on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Utica Campus. Project Drone Racer, a 6-hour, single-day drone building session, intends to grow recreational drone enthusiasts as drone racers and freestylers. The training will provide newcomers with the ability to build and repair their own racing drones while introducing them to a local support network of fellow pilots. CNY Drones’ recreational drone community presents year-round STEM-focused drone programs from interactive demonstrations to a task-centered team challenge to tech meets and races. CNY Drones and SUNY AMA joined forces in 2017 to promote both student interest and adult interaction with their younger counterparts interested in drone technology.

Project Drone Racer is a highly selective program, limited to 6 builders who are willing to invest in equipment and devote a Saturday to learning the building and testing process. Applications are available to those 12 and up with a serious interest and the means to purchase the needed supplies independently. Program fee is $180 and is required upon program acceptance. Fee does not include equipment. Participants will be chosen based on a phone interview. Participants will be supplied with a recommended parts list and tips on ordering their equipment. Participants must bring their own new parts and pre-approved tools and equipment to the event. A mentor will be assigned to guide each individual build process, providing one-on-one support during the session. After the session, participants will have access to a network of area drone pilots for further advice and flying opportunities. The program targets those who may have already started building or flying on their own, as well as those who want assistance in getting started. Experience is helpful, but not necessary. Mentors are available for pre-application advice with no obligation.   

“Drone racing continues to grow Worldwide, attracting students and adults of all ages through its fast-paced action,” according to Paul Brown, CNY Drones Lead Mentor and MultiGP Chapter Race Director. “With race related events, our goal is to provide unique venues and opportunities that connect with those with a passion for the technology. Project Drone Racer is the first of its kind in the Utica/Rome area.”

SUNY AMA has been working alongside CNY Drones year-round for 2 years. Nearly 50 SUNY students have learned to build indoor racing drones, and 4 SUNY student clubs have worked together to assist in presenting the CNY Drones Team Drone Challenge, an annual competition that has grown to include both high school and college student levels. Community partnerships and annual sponsorships, give the volunteer-run groups an opportunity to provide inspiring drone programs that connect students, technologists and educators and help funnel interest into the regional tech education and employment pipeline.  

CNY Drones operates an informational hub website and provides programs as an AMA Model Aviation Student Club and a MultiGP Racing Chapter for recreational drone owners in Central New York. CNY Drones is supported by donors and program fees under the fiscal agency of the Griffiss Institute in Rome, a 501c3.

Those with questions regarding the application for Project Drone Racer can visit: or contact CNY Drones Lead Mentor & MultiGP Chapter Race Director, Paul Brown,