In August 2016 the very first Scottish FPV Nationals took place in a field near Dundee. The purpose in creating this event was to find a Scottish Champion and a Scottish national team of six pilots that could represent Scotland in the Euro Cup in October 2016.

 Video by LA Media ‘2016 Scottish FPV Open Championship’

Within the FPV world, The Euro Cup is an important global event as it is a qualifier for the World Championship event, which will take place in Hawaii this year.

Winners get huge cash prizes and gain recognition and prestige within the drone world for their team. When LA Media discovered this was happening we happily volunteered our production services to help raise awareness of this newly budding sport in Scotland.

Prior to this Scottish Championship taking place, any Scottish FPV pilot who wanted to take part, would have had to go south of the border in order to compete for a place in the British FPV team and if successful, then move on into the global racing scene as a member of that British team. While this has been all well and good recently, it was felt by many Scottish FPV pilots that Scotland should create it own opportunities for Scottish pilots to get into the FPV global racing scene.

One of the most accepted paths to achieving this was through the creation of a Scottish FPV Team that would represent Scotland in national competitions. The FPV scene in England is already well developed with lucrative sponsorship deals and is dominated by professional pilots. Therefore, every year it is the same individuals who rule the scene.

While there is already a club level of competition going on in Scotland the number of pilots involved is small. In order to encourage new flyers, club flyers and hobbyists to take part, it was felt that an Open Scottish National event was required to help do this.

 

Scottish FPV Drone Racing

Image by LA Media ‘FPV Drone Racing at 2016 Scottish FPV Championships’ 

 

Enter ERSA

To this end, a web community of FPV pilots called FPV Scotland approached ERSA, the European Rotor Sports Association and they asked ERSA to recognise Scotland as an independent nation in order to allow Scotland to send a Scottish National team to their next event The Euro Cup.

Happily, ERSA granted this recognition and FPV Scotland then followed this up by organising the first Scottish FPV Open Championship in order to find the Scottish FPV pilots to make the team with.

 

Scotland in the Euro Cup in October 2016

The Euro Cup is an important global event in the FPV global racing world as it is also a qualifier for the World Championship event that is taking place in Hawaii this year.

To have a Scottish national team take part in the Euro Cup is a big step for FPV in Scotland as it is a level of competition of which most Scottish pilots have no experience. By taking part in the Euro Cup, a massive level of experience and learning will be gained by the Scottish pilots involved and through

To have a Scottish national team take part in the Euro Cup is a big step for FPV in Scotland as it is a level of competition of which most Scottish pilots have no experience.

By taking part in the Euro Cup, a massive level of experience and learning will be gained by the Scottish pilots involved and through

It is also an opportunity to raise a positive Scottish awareness of drones in general by the proper marketing of the new National Team.

 

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Image by LA Media ‘FPV Drone Racing at 2016 Scottish FPV Championships’ 

Why is it important?

Drones have already developed into a massive global industry on many levels and the development of the industrial growth surrounding drones can be seen particularly in China, USA, Korea and in England.

It is an industry founded on a global demand for all things associated with drones and their expanding use in everyday life helps keeps that market demand high.

The consumer drone market is just starting to hit its stride – largely due to advances made by market leader DJI. These updates make drones more reliable and easier to use for photography and video.

Scottish FPV Drone Racing

Image by LA Media ‘FPV Drone Racing at 2016 Scottish FPV Championships’ 

The most rapid commercial market growth has come from the small RPAS sector – consumers, hobbyists but mostly leisure flyers.

According to The Royal Aeronautical Society this is one trend that is set to continue because “the amount of investment is less, the technology is more versatile, more readily available, accessible, and easier to use” than existing methods.

The EU Commission, Lords Select Committee in their report on ‘Civil use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in the EU’, found that a new drone leisure sector was emerging due to the decreasing size, cost and versatility.

Drones have officially become mainstream, now they are being used by the general public as their ‘personal camera’, offering new types of ‘holiday snap’.

Moreover, Sky has recently announced that it is investing $1m (£760,000) in the US-based Drone Racing League, and will begin broadcasting its events from next month. The first live races outside the US, including one in London, are due to take place next year.

Scottish FPV Drone Racing

Image by LA Media ‘FPV Drone Racing at 2016 Scottish FPV Championships’ 

 

Why now? 

The technology surrounding drones and the applications of drones are changing almost on a daily basis and this speed of development allows for almost any country interested in promoting an industry founded on drones to create one supplying marketable product to a hungry global market.

There is virtually nothing in Scotland to exploit this growing marketplace. This does not mean, however, that the skills and people are not there to do so.

What is required is the stimulus of political and financial support to develop the industrial research and a range of products to meet the needs of drones while at the same time creating a manufacturing proposition that could meet demand across the field of drones.

FPV racing is already established as an interest around the globe and would be a great starting point for launching interest and industry in Scotland as the marketing potential of having a first ever Scottish National FPV Team are clearly there.

It is a strategy that could help develop the sport in Scotland and allow opportunities that would go a long way towards helping to develop a public profile and therefore a media interest around a Scottish Team and potentially grow the number of people who might take up FPV racing.

LA Media is proud to be a supporter of Scottish FPV Racing and we can’t wait to see how this sport develops!

To see the first Scottish FPV Open Nationals click here.

To support the Scottish team click here.

 

Thank you for reading!

 

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