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2017 BFPVRA British Championship

by Eric Li-Koo

We have been busy organising the various aspects of the 2017 Championship and there is still plenty left to do.

The venue has been booked and confirmed, and sponsors have been signing up to support the event through trade stands, track elements, food vendors and the usual marketing opportunities.

Invitations were sent out earlier today (check your inboxes!) to the top 60 qualifiers, and as soon as we get responses from those who do not want to compete, we’ll offer the places to the next pilots in the list.

Even if you don’t make it to the top 60, you’re welcome to come and watch. We will also be running an indoor Tiny Whoop mini-competition and the team from 3D Champs will be running a 3D heli fun fly there, making the weekend a full-on rotor-fest.

Hope to see you there!

Northern Drone Racing League

by Eric Li-Koo
Northern Drone Racing League

BFPVRA recognises that running races is not easy, and we applaud the efforts of all clubs who contribute their time and effort to make races happen. In particular, we would like to acknowledge 5 of our affiliated clubs in the north of England who have joined forces to form the Northern Drone Racing League.

These clubs have agreed a relaxed version of the BFPVRA rules for their league that should make racing more accessible to club racers whilst still being fair and consistent. They will be running a series of events starting with the season opener at Wild Grove Farm in Pudsey, West Yorkshire on May 28 – check out the iFPV calendar for their other events here.

In recognition for the time and effort they have put in to organise this league, which is definitely something we would like to encourage as a way to grow the sport organically, we have reserved 3 places at this year’s British Championship for the overall winners. We hope this encourages more clubs to do the same and that we can combine what we learn from NDRL with an even more structured approach to regional racing next year!

Thanks again to Blackburn & District model aircraft club (BDMAC), Drone Racing Events, Drinkwater Park Raceway, Hull FPV and West Yorkshire FPV for pushing our sport forward!

In other news…

by Eric Li-Koo

A number of the core committee have had to stand down for personal reasons. We have temporarily back-filled these roles with volunteers from the current extended committee. The committee is now as follows (NC = no change)

Chairman: Thomas Greer (NC)
Treasurer: Richard Rowland
Secretary: Eric Li-Koo (NC)
Membership Secretary: Craig Leong
PR officer: Andrew Hyams

As per the other post, there are still a number of open positions to be filled if you would like to contribute towards the running of the association.

Lastly, the forum has been getting almost no useful traffic, so we have taken the decision to shut it down. If there’s anything in particular that you would like to keep then please grab it now, otherwise it will be decommissioned when we next get round to it.

The Facebook page will be our main point of contact from now onwards.

We need your help!

by Eric Li-Koo

As the official FPV racing association for UK racers, we have to wear many hats (please see our about page for our complete mission statement) but doing so requires many heads.

We achieved a great many things in 2016 but we have much to improve upon for 2017 and beyond. We are now asking for your assistance, so that we can continue to be all that we can be for the UK FPV community.

First and foremost, we urge pilots to show your support for the sport and for what we are trying to achieve by renewing your memberships for 2017. We invested massively in equipment last year, all of which is now available to affiliated clubs for running their own events.

Secondly, we recognise that we need more volunteers to help us with our duties in order to fulfil the ambitions of the association, to the extent that we are now looking for volunteers to help us with:

  • Events liaison – liaising with event organisers, supporting them with planning events and maintaining the events calendar
  • Equipment manager – responding to equipment requests, managing the equipment itself
  • Club liaison – supporting and encouraging the growth of new clubs, maintaining the club map

We are also always in need of contributions to the website, and ambassadors for our sport who can attend local events and represent the safe, clean, fun side of drones.

Some of these roles can be held by more than one person, to spread the workload. If you’re interested in giving something back to the sport and the community then please get in touch by replying here or via secretary@bfpvra.org. Don’t forget to state which role you would like to help with!

Thanks,

The BFPVRA committee.

EASA ‘Prototype’ Commission Regulation on Unmanned Aircraft Operations

by Eric Li-Koo

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have noticed the headlines about EASA’s intentions to regulate the use of drones, and the subsequent petitions, video responses and open letters that warn us of the consequences of inaction, which have ranged from “end of the road for our sport/hobby” to “death of the UK and European drone industry”!

The BFPVRA has been liaising with the BMFA on this, who has in turn been working with the CAA and EAS since before the prototype regulations were proposed in August. We suggested that we put out an official announcement to clarify what the prototype rules mean to us as modellers, what has been done to address our concerns (especially around the contentious Article 15) and what the official recommendation to our members should be.

In summary:

  • Dave Phipps (BMFA Chief Executive) has been working on this for the past year and is continuing to do so, but if you want to contribute then please email UASPrototypeRule@easa.europa.eu directly with your concerns.
  • Writing to MPs and MEPs is somewhat premature at this stage (unless they sit on the TRAN committee, and those who do have already got the message). Likewise with the various petitions.
  • Raising awareness of the issue is important, but please stay civil and avoid inflammatory language as we want to be taken seriously!

It’s almost time to crown the 2016 British Champion!

by Eric Li-Koo

The weekend is rapidly approaching and although the spectre of the British weather is still looming, we are hopeful that we will have enough pockets of dry daylight to put on a good event for you all. The sponsors for the event have now been finalised and we are pleased to announce that they are:

SILVER SPONSOR
Fossils Stuffhttp://www.fossilsstuff.com/

BRONZE SPONSORS
Dronezonehttp://www.popham-airfield.co.uk/
Gensacehttp://www.gensace.com/

PRIZE SPONSOR
Gemfanhttp://www.gemfanhobby.com/En

VENDORS
i-Dronehttp://www.i-drone.co.uk/
MAKEITBUILDIThttp://makeitbuildit.co.uk/
RadioChttp://www.radioc.co.uk/

We wholeheartedly thank all of our generous sponsors for supporting this prestigious event, and we look forward to seeing you all at Ragley Hall this weekend.

Lastly, all pilots should now have received their pilot packs. Please do read this thoroughly and let us know if you have any further questions. Any answers to commonly asked questions will be posted here for the benefit of everybody: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zFxdi06HFmomXB-827HZedhJX4j1JvkCERRiWTdN6M8

What exactly does the association do?

by Eric Li-Koo

We are rapidly nearing the end of the racing season, with British Championships just around the corner and some of our country’s top pilots preparing to show off their skills to their international counterparts at Euros and Worlds, so we thought it would be a good idea to update everybody on what we do and where your membership fees go.

Everything we do contributes towards the objectives that are enshrined in our constitution, and we strive to uphold the principles as written in our mission statement, but we are often asked for a more in-depth description of what we do, so here goes:

Queen’s Cup frequency scheme

by Eric Li-Koo
For any competitors who have been asking what frequency scheme and power output they will need for Queen’s Cup, we will be running Raceband at 25mW MAXIMUM.
Equipment will be checked during registration on the day.
The full set of construction rules will be in the Pilot Pack, which will be published after registration closes on Friday.

New Affiliated Club: Rotor Racing

by Eric Li-Koo

RotorRacingWe’re pleased to announce that Rotor-Racing is now an affiliated club of the BFPVRA!

They’re based around West London area (they call Little Harlington MFC their home), and have organised a raft of well known events.

It’s great to have them on board. As an affiliated club, they are now eligible to run Qualifying Events for the British Championship series. More importantly, they are always happy to help other affiliated clubs with their experience and expertise so get signed up and get in on some action!

“Rotor-Racing is proud to affiliate with the BFPVRA in support of their vision for the sport of FPV/drone racing. We recognise that we both share similar values; to discover and develop the sport at all levels from grassroots to international competition. We believe that with support and representation from the association, the future looks fast, fun and exciting for all of our pilots!” – Craig Leong, Rotor-Racing.

You can find out more about them over at http://rotor-racing.com