This was drone racing’s year to go big: with million-dollar prize purses, ESPN deals and even a holiday season toy commercial.
But industry drama aside, we saw some of the best flying yet – and that’s why we love the sport.
Here are 11 of Third Law Sports’ favorite moments from the year. All on one page, because we don’t know how to make slideshows.
11. What it feels like to fly
New Zealand pilot X Copter gives us a splendid example of breath-catching sudden elevation, a simple but pure moment that reminds you why humans invented FPV.
10. NOW SHOW ME EXPLOSIONS
Okay, drop the pretension. The artistes behind this Ford commercial know what we really want — drones smashing into stuff.
9. Stadiums are for us now
So how about some actual racing? The team at Drone Racing League made some of the biggest strides toward turning the sport into something the average spectator can enjoy.
8. Pardon our enthusiasm
7. All nimbly bimbly
Minchan Kim, qualifying for the freestyle event at the World Drone Prix (where he took first in the event).
6. But don’t piss him off
And here Kim shows us why humans invented netting.
5. FPV racing isn’t just a sport, it will be a platform
Once we get affordable digital FPV, how long before the Star Wars AR mod?
4. Grab some air, melt some face
Office workers! Johnny FPV isn’t part of your system! He’s going to throw it to the GROOUUNDD.
2. Pro drone racing, now at Target!
“Oh hey I didn’t see you there want to race?”
Seriously, we count Johnny FPV’s starring turn in a national toy commercial as a big moment for the sport – there is now a clear, aspirational, low-barrier route for kids to start flying quadcopters in 2017.
1. Come at me.
Finally, if this whole FPV racing thing doesn’t work out in 2017, we can all pivot to the cat toys business. Lot of money in cat toys.
Did we miss a diamond? Share your favorite gifs in the comments!