Last weekend we had the pleasure of co-sponsoring the Drone Cage at the Arlington Fly-In. This was very special for many reasons. First of all, it was the first year the Fly-In hosted drones. They got us all the permits we needed (the Fly-In IS at an airport, after all), built us a semi-permanent large cage, and welcomed us with open arms. Many people there were excited and nervous about drones, and this gave us the opportunity to discuss the benefits of drones and the different types of drones with attendees of the show, people who already had an interest in airspace and aviation. It was also our very first learn to fly event, and we taught over 100 people how to fly micro drones over the course of the event.
We had an Intro to Drones booth (seen above under the white tent to the right), which is where people came to ask all kinds of questions. I’ll be adding more soon based on the questions we heard, but here on our FAQ page you can read some of the questions we heard over and over again.
Under the yellow tent with the mesh we taught folks how to fly micro drones with FPV. Generally we allowed one 1S battery per person, but some folks did not want that long and just wanted to see what it was like to control a drone. We taught folks of all ages and it was such a fun experience.
From there we sent them over to the green tent where we had two simulator stations set up and a pilot pit. We generally had one of our amazing pilots flying some sort of drone through the cage, and we had a small race course set up there. We had a few goggles lying around for folks to put on and see what pilots saw through their FPV goggles, and people just loved watching the 5″ drones zipping around the cage.
At the end of our area under the left white tent seen above was Blue Skies Drones. He brought a bunch of beautiful commercial drones and one amazing agricultural drone. Underneath the blue tent we had all brought our own personal drone collections, and we were displaying drones from Tiny Whoops to custom built octocopters to long range TBS Discovery drones. We easily had 50 drones of different types out for display at the height of our show and it was amazing to showcase and be surrounded by all these different types of drones and show people how varied and exciting this technology can be.
We also had the great joy of working with the crew from FireFly Drones as spotters for their drone show both Friday and Saturday nights. They were absolutely lovely and we learned so much about their drones from them. It was an inspiring experience to be even a small part of and we recommend checking out their growing company.
We worked with the folks from our home chapter FPV Racing Seattle, and were sponsored by local e-tailer ProgressiveRC, who assisted us in attaining all of our gear at affordable prices (we had to purchase many goggles, radios, and micro drone parts, along with charging setups and batteries). We’re proud to be associated with these organizations.
More than anything, this was exciting for me as the founder of DiD. It was a testament to how this technology can bring people together. Showcasing the tech to people from all walks of life and watching these two communities come together peacefully (we were stationed across the path from the FAA tent!) was just… well, beautiful.
Below are some more pictures from the event. If you’re interested in hosting a learn to fly please reach out to us.