Drone zone: Group flies competitive copter races across Mid-South

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A new competition is growing in the sports world, and Memphis is getting in on the action.

Drone racing puts the player virtually inside the drone, which can then fly up to 100 mph. The Mid-South was without a connection to competitive drone racing, until 901FPV.

David Myers, member of 901FPV and a teacher at St. Louis Catholic School, said the group introduces the virtual sports to people unfamiliar with drone racing.

“It’s something you just have to experience to understand,” Myers said. “It’s incredible to see in person. It’s a spectacular thing to see some of these pilots maneuvering these obstacles.”

The FPV in 901FPV stands for first-person view, as players put on a virtual reality headset, putting their eyes at the front of the drone, then steer the drones through courses, sometimes reaching 100 mph.

“Just put on a set of our goggles,” Myers said. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done, the experience of being to control something that’s in the air, and it goes where you want it to go. It’s really fast.”

Myers said anyone interested is welcome to be part of 901FPV. There are simulators to try out drone racing without actually purchasing a drone, which can get expensive.

“It’s a nice little community,” Myers said. “We are competitive, but we have non-competitive races, just kind of fun fly days and do whatever we can.”

People who want to try out drone racing can reach out to 901FPV on Facebook to learn how to start with the group. All the races are open to the public for anyone who wants to watch the FPV drones in action.

The group’s next race will be Jan. 25 at the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis.

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