Reno, Nev. – With help from partner Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide, the STIHL National Championship Air Races will be home to the first-ever Small UAS Challenge during this September’s 51st event. The challenge, which is free to enter and takes place Sept. 12 – 14, will test a number of skills and demonstrate a variety of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS). The Small UAS Challenge is just the latest in a number of new and returning entertainment that is planned for this year’s Reno Air Races, which take place Sept. 10 – 14, joining previously announced acts like Melissa Pemberton, one of the world’s top female aerobatic pilots, the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, the L-39 Patriot Jet Team, the return of the ‘Car Drop,’ and more.
“To have a worldwide leader in aeronautics like Embry-Riddle hold such a unique and fun event like the Small UAS Challenge at the Air Races is a thrill for us and is something that our fans won’t be able to see anywhere else in the world,” said Mike Major, chairman of the Reno Air Racing Association (RARA). “Unmanned aircraft have received a lot of attention in the news, especially in Nevada, and this is a one-of-a-kind chance for people to get up close and personal with this technology in a fun and challenging environment.”
As one of the world’s foremost institutes for aviation and aeronautical education, Embry-Riddle – Worldwide created the Small UAS Challenge as a way to “promote and recognize the emerging UAS industry.” The competition, which is free and open to private and commercial participants, will feature an obstacle course, time trial and a dead lift, testing speed, agility and strength. Eligible aircraft must be able to perform a vertical takeoff and landing and can be no larger than 36 inches and 10 pounds. The number of participants is limited, and early registration is encouraged. All participants will receive free admission to the STIHL National Championship Air Races.
“We look forward to presenting this challenge during the STIHL National Championship Air Races,” said David Thirtyacre, assistant professor of aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Worldwide. “As a leader in aviation and aeronautical education, Embry-Riddle Worldwide recognizes the importance of the UAS industry in both the state of Nevada and throughout the country.”
To register for the Small UAS Challenge: