FAI Aeromodelling Commission (CIAM)

29 Mar 2018

Five minutes with FAI Drone Racing World Cup 2017 winner Dario Neuenschwander

Swiss drone racing pilot Dario Neuenschwander beat off fierce competition from more than 400 rivals to win the FAI Drone Racing World Cup 2017 with an overall score of 142 points. But while reaching the top level in most air sports takes years, if not decades, of dedication, Neuenschwander scored his historic victory after drone racing for just two short years.

How did he do it? Let’s find out…

Hi Dario, tell us a bit more about yourself.

Hi! I’m 29, and I live in the Swiss town of Würenlos. I work in the research and development department at a pressure and flow sensor manufacturer, developing new technologies.  

How did you get into drone racing?

I started drone racing after watching clips of the sport on YouTube about two years ago. I was easy for me to get into drone racing as I have been involved in aeromodelling since 2008.

How do you train for drone racing competitions?

I do not always train in the same way – it’s always different. But I try to practise every weekend on Saturdays and Sundays. I also try to train during the week before big competitions, but that can be quite complicated when you have a full-time job!

How long have you been racing competitively?

My first race was the Swiss Rotor Sports Association Championship in October 2016.

What do you love most about drone racing?

For me, the best things about drone racing competitively are all the travelling and the getting to know new people. During the FAI Drone Racing World Cup 2017, I really enjoyed taking trips around the world and meeting all the great pilots who took part in the competition. It was an amazing experience.

What is your advice for drone pilots who dream of becoming drone racing champion?

Training is vital: there’s nothing that can improve your performance in the same way. So train, train, train would be my advices to all beginners. Once you get started, having the right sponsors is also important. My sponsors FuriousFPV and Xnovamotors supported me from the beginning with high performance equipment. Without their help, I would not have won the World Cup last year!

Do you plan to defend your World Cup title in 2018?

I would love to defend my title in 2018, but I am not sure my work will let me have the time off. I’ll have to do my best to convince them!

Are you excited about the 1st FAI World Drone Racing Championships taking place in Shenzhen later this year?

I am really looking forward to the 1st FAI World Drone Racing Championships in Shenzhen. It’s the main event and I think it’s going to be epic!

Photo credit: FAI/Marcus King