21 Oct 2018

Flying the World Drone Racing Championships track online

Elouan Jorrand from France has developed an online simulation of the drone racing track that will be used at the first FAI World Drone Racing Championships in Shenzhen, China, 1-4 November 2018. We asked him all about it…

Elouan, where do you live?

Grenoble, France.

And how old are you? 

I’m 15.

When did you get into drone racing?

About one-and-a-half years ago. I never did Aeromodelling. Before drone racing I was into computer gaming.

Tell us about the simulation. How does it work?

So, I have developed a drone simulator, which has the FAI World Drone Racing Championships track in it. I made it so that pilots can train on it before the real race.

The target audience is principally pilots, to learn how to pilot a drone. It’s also for race pilots who will be going to the WRDC, so they can train on it.

What do you need to fly the simulator?

You need a controller, the same controller you use to fly a drone. And you need a computer. Then if you want you can use the goggles too, to feel like you are piloting for real.

What have people said about it?

I have had some good feedback and some negative feedback. The simulation has just gone live, so it’s all new. Positive feedback is that the quad, the drone, reacts like it is real, in the same time as a real drone does.

Negative feedback is that it is hard to run the simulator on a basic computer, and there can be some improvement in the overall design.

I've been working on it for one week, so I am improving it every day. With each update it gets better.

How much time have you spent on it?

I started the development seven months ago. And I work on it between two to four hours a day.

That's a lot!

Yes! I do it for the passion. I love drone racing.

You must also love computers?

Yes, I started 3D modelling when I was six, and programming when I was 10. I taught myself from the internet.

What do you study at school?

I'm doing home-schooling, which is why I can spend so much time developing the simulator.

What do you like about this track?

When I saw it I was reminded of the track in Dubai in 2016. The flow of the track is like the skeleton of a snake, and the first track like this was the one in Dubai.

Are you looking forward to flying the track in real life?

I will love it! I like the look of the track at night time, when it is lit up. It’s new for us, it will be something special.

Make your pitch - why should pilots buy it?

It's not expensive, and it will help you learn the track. You can train a lot with it.

Do you have any tips on how to fly the track?

I think the best is to try not to drift, because this will lose you a lot of time. So be close to the inside of the turn. 

This is the hardest part in drone racing, but in this track it's especially hard because there are big turns but you can't make a short turn on it because there are a lot of flags. 

What are you most looking forward to about Shenzhen?

Seeing the track in reality, and meeting all the other pilots.

Will France do well?

I think we have a good chance!

Good luck, and see you in Shenzhen.

See you in Shenzhen!