FAI Aeromodelling Commission (CIAM)

Drone Sport

Fast movement of digital revolution in every aspect of our life bring to air sport athletes new huge field to grow their activities: FPV racing.
Drone Racing is exciting for the the competitors and very attractive both for public and medias.


CIAM Flyer (01-2017) - Formula 1 was Yesterday Today is all about Drone Racing

This is fast developing into the latest craze. Flying small radiocontrolled multicopters via video goggles for a first-person view is becoming increasingly popular.

What it’s all about

FPV (First Person View) device are nothing new. FPV races are based on a completely different concept. A racer should always be a multicopter with at least three motors and should weigh no more than 1 kg including batteries. An optimised weightpower ratio makes for agile and dynamic racers' movements in the air. Power plus manoeuvrability, a major consideration when designing a multi-copter for racing while it should also be crushproof and able to take a fair amount of punishment.

Download the full content of the latest CIAM Flyer (01-2017) - Formula 1 was Yesterday Today is all about Drone Racing  in PDF format

F9 - Drone Sport CIAM Subcommittee 

The 2014 CIAM Plenary Meeting decided to establish a UAV Working Group to prepare a report to evaluate the impact for CIAM activities of the current available technology especially regarding the sporting activity and events.

On the basis of this report, the 2015 CIAM Plenary Meeting decided to establish an Organising Committee for International Events for Drones. According to its mission, this group has proposed rules for a new provisional class " Radio Control Multi-rotor FPV Racing" (class F3U) and to introduce for this class a World Cup to be effective for 2016.

Those proposals have been approved officially by the 2016 CIAM Plenary Meeting which also decided to create a Subcommittee for FPV Racing and Similar Activities with immediate implementation.

2018 CIAM Plenary Meeting decided to establish a new Category especially dedicated to Drones. So from January 1st, 2019, all the drones related matters will be under the F9 - Drone Sport.

> F9 Drone Sport Subcommittee composition

The main goals for 2016 - 2017 of the CIAM Subcommittee for FPV Racing and similar activities are:

  • Implement the Common FAI Strategy for Drones approved by the FAI Executive board the 12 June in Heraklion.
  • Encourage organisation of drone racing FAI International Events (World Cup and Non World Cup) in many countries as possible.
  • Adapt if necessary the F9U rules and propose possible new classes considering safety aspects and interest for public and medias.

F9U class (Radio Control Multi-rotor FPV Racing) - Rules

> F9U rules (Volume F9 Radio Control FPV Racing Model Aircraft)

Multi-rotor Drone Racing consists of successive races with several radio controlled model aircraft (generally 4) flying together on a racing circuit which can be outside or indoor.

Each model aircraft is operated by an FPV pilot assisted by an helper.

The FPV pilot is equipped with a headset goggle (or with a screen) to pilot the model from the video picture of the on board camera transmitted in real time.

A FPV Racing contest is usually organised in three stages:

  • Qualification stage to define the placing for the first round of the elimination stage.
  • Elimination stage with successive rounds up to semi-finals.
  • Final with the best placed FPV pilots in semi-finals.

The class F9U is based on electric powered multi-rotor (model aircraft equipped 3 power driven propeller devices at least) of a maximum total flight weight of 1 kg.

An event can be run on a 1 or 2 days format (including practice sessions) depending of the number of competitors.

Drone Racing contest site

Outdoor field or indoor place (sports hall, aviation hangar,...) if possible equipped if possible with grandstands for the public. For the racing circuit, a minimum developed size of 250 m within a 180 m x 100 m rectangle is recommended on an outdoor field. A minimum developed size of 80 m is recommended for an indoor circuit. The circuit must contain air gates to cross with in addition possibility of obstacles (natural or artificial) to be crossed or avoided.

Technical equipment for a Drone Racing contest

  • Video transmission system for the on board cameras.
  • Radio frequency monitoring system (scanner/spectrum analyser).
  • Screen(s) to display for the spectators the on board cameras videos and the results.
  • Event management software (registration, schedule, draws, results and placing).

Depending on national safety regulations, a lightweight protective net might be required to separate the spectators from the circuit.

Officials for a Drone Racing contest

The running of a F9U contest requires the following officials:

  • Contest director.
  • Circle marshal.
  • Judges (4, 6 or 8 depending of the number of model aircraft flying together in a race).
  • Timekeepers (4, 6 or 8 depending of the number of model aircraft flying together in a race)
  • Local officials (2) in charge of the score sheet gathering and of results accounting.

Note: The judges can also assume the processing of the multi-rotor model aircraft to be done before the start of the competition.

A FAI Jury (3 persons) must also be nominated in order to guarantee safety and running of the competition according to the rules. The Jury is also in charge to manage protests when required.