Close up shot of the custom-built drone made by Senior David Pham. Photo by Vinh Nguyen.By Theo Vuong, Staff Writer
Every Wednesday in room B8 during lunch at Fountain Valley High School (FVHS), the Drone Racing Club meets to explore the technology behind drones and of course, race them.
President and senior David Pham started the club due to his interest in drones and more specifically, racing drones.
Pham said, “I saw a video online where a few guys set up an obstacle course inside a warehouse. They shut off the lights, then a bunch of LED structures lit up and illuminated the course. They had on the eyewear to help them control their drones, which I also thought was cool. I was amazed at how fast everyone was going because while the speed was intense, they still had absolute control over their drones.”
Recently, drone racing has grown in popularity as the technology behind them improved. Today, drones can achieve breakneck speeds, yet still manage to maneuver through tight turns and loop-de-loops. Cameras and wearable eyeglasses that allow the “pilot” to view things from the drone’s perspective, combined with the drone’s potential have led some enthusiasts to push the limits of their machines. Drone racing leagues have popped up in response, offering prizes such as money to the fastest and most skillful racers. Pham’s club aims to bring this aspect of drones to the students at FVHS.
“People are more familiar with the video drones that are used in vlogs and more basic radio controlled (RC) machinery. I want to bring the racing drone, the more exciting side in my opinion, to the school,” said Pham.
During meetings, more experienced members teach newcomers how to construct drones and conduct repairs if needed. The latest technological advancements are also discussed, allowing members to improve their existing drones and increase their speed if they wish.
However, usage of drones and other RC devices are prohibited on campus. Most of the club’s events and races occur at local parks, where the skies are free and members can race to their hearts’ content.
If you wish to soar to new heights as well, stop by the meetings in room B8 or be on the lookout for any upcoming events on Facebook.