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The Future of Racing: Beyond Wheels and Into the Skies

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How flying cars and jet suit racing are redefining the boundaries of sports.

In a world obsessed with speed, the race track has long been a battleground for the most audacious of dreamers. 

It’s where innovation meets adrenaline, where the sound of engines and the screech of tires on asphalt have defined generations of speed fans. 

But as we stand on the brink of a new era, the race track is no longer confined to the limitations of the ground. We are entering an age where the sky becomes the ultimate racing frontier, and the boundaries of sports are being redefined right before our eyes.

Believe it or not — we already have a virtual reality gates for the flying cars. 

Growing up, I was mesmerised by speed. The faster, the better. Cars, bikes, rollerblades — if it could move, I wanted to see how fast it could go. Yet, even in my wildest dreams, flying cars were a fantasy reserved for superheroes and sci-fi movies. 

Little did I know, the future of racing was quietly brewing, not in the pages of comic books, but within the labs and minds of engineers and visionaries around the world.

And I was a part of it. — Lexie Janson, a flying car racing pilot

Lexie Janson (racing pilot) and her flying car.

When Dreams Take Flight

The pursuit of flying cars has long captured the human imagination. It’s a symbol of our desire to break free, to defy the very laws of nature that have bound us. But what once seemed like a distant dream is now palpably close. 

Companies around the globe are developing flying cars, not just as luxurious gimmicks, but as the next big thing in personal transport and, more importantly, in racing.

Imagine cities hosting grand prix events not on closed circuits, but above them, with flying cars racing between skyscrapers, iconic landmarks, and down the riverbeds. 

And of course — crashing, which is a way less desirable part of it. 

Maybe let’s skip landmarks and historically important spots. 

The skillset for pilots in this new era goes beyond steering and braking. It is a mix of jet fighter pilot and Formula 1 driver. It’s about surviving the G-forces, creating a strategy for 3D circumstances and quick reaction times (especially if another pilot comes from above or below). 

Jet suit racing (Iron Man!?)

If flying cars promise to redefine racing on a macro scale, jet suit racing touches upon the individual’s quest for speed (and nerdy dreams of becoming an Iron Man)

Picture this: racers dressed in jet suits, lifting off from the ground, powered by the sheer force of technology strapped to their backs and hands. This sport requires an extreme core balance and body control strength. One missed move may mean crashing or spinning uncontrollably. 

“Oh, this is still an imagination,” you may say. But it’s not. It’s real:

CHeck out our vlog from the Gravity.co test flight vlog

In February 2024, Dubai, UAE — Gravity.co has conducted the first jetsuit race in the world. In this historical event 8 pilots have been fighting for the title of the first champion. The event had it all: crash into the water, disqualification, a pilot “losing it” and extreme circumstances. 

The final race lasted 90 seconds.

Its winner — Issa Kalfon has left his name on the pages of history for ever. An ex-gymnast claims that his past career path was one of the deciding factors in his training and win. Because machina sports are not just about the machines. It’s about human and the machine. 

Jet suit racing isn’t just about who crosses the finish line first; it’s a testament to human ambition and ingenuity. Each race pushes the boundaries of what’s possible, challenging pilots to outmanoeuvre their opponents while maintaining control over their high-powered suits. 

It’s exciting, nerve-wracking and extreme.

But Gravity.co is not only about racing. Their jetsuit is also created to help medics get to their patients in less favourable spots, transportation and military use. 

Gravity.co Dubai Race promotional picture

FPV Drone Racing — Esports and athletes

But not all the new sports require athletes to get into any type of a suit. FPV Drone racing is a discipline that connects esports with athletic abilities. 

As esports players get their time in the gym for reaction times, cardio, and general health — FPV Pilots need to do the same to withstand the stress and pressure during their races. 

It’s not all about the drones that one can buy in the store. It’s mostly self-built racing drones that can fly with a speed of 200km/h. 

FPV Racing Drone during MultiGP Sharjah event (owned photo)

During an FPV Race 4–8 pilots fly the FPV Drones through an obstacle track. Pilots see what their drones see in real time through FPV Goggles, and control them via an RC controller. 

Pilots often experience midair collisions, crashes, and exciting chases throughgout the race. But is it a spectator sport? Yes! In the recent event MultiGP Sharjah — FPV Drone Racing has reached a brand new level of spectator-friendly event. The audience could see what the pilots saw on the screens, but also “line of sight”. And the view? Easy to understand, and pretty exciting. If you are interested in more visuals — check out our vlog.

Long-exposure picture of the race in Sharjah (owned)

The Evolution of the Spectator

The sports as we know them haven’t changed much in the last decades, as the human bodies have limited capabilities. This is why machina sports are popping here and there showing that human and the machine mean even more excitement and a new, fresh outlook on sports and athletes. 

As racing seems to take to the skies, so too must our conception of spectatorship evolve. Traditional racetracks may transform into multi-dimensional arenas, offering views from below, above, and all around.

Can you imagine!?

Lexie Janson and her flying car (licensed photo)

Fans might follow races through augmented reality interfaces, experiencing the flight from the perspective of their favourite pilots. With the virtual reality tracks — the world becomes a stage, turning spectators into an integral part of the racing narrative.

And I guess we are all here for it. 

Embracing the Future

The migration of racing from wheels to the skies is more than an evolution in sports; it’s reimagining of human potential. 

Picture cyborgs…

In this era of air racing, every pilot’s journey, every race, every breathtaking moment reminds us of our collective drive to break barriers and explore new horizons.

As a child, I could only dream of such marvels. Yet, as we stand on the cliff of this thrilling future, it’s clear that those dreams weren’t just flights of fancy (pun intended). 

They were visions of what was to come. 

The future of racing is here, and it’s inviting us to look upwards, to the skies where the next chapter of human achievement is waiting to unfold (and entertain).


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From Passion to Full Time career — how Thomas Bitmatta changed his life — and so can you

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Changing Passion in a lucrative career

Thumbnail from YouTube interview with Thomas

There’s a moment in life when you stand at the edge of a decision. 

Before you, lies the comfortable, the known. Behind you, the whisper of what could be beckons — a call to adventure that won’t silence. For Thomas Bitmatta, known in the drone racing skies as BMS Thomas, that moment wasn’t just a fleeting thought. It was a crossroads. And his choice? To leap.

Thomas’s story isn’t one of overnight success or serendipitous luck. 

No. 

It’s a narrative hewn from the bedrock of passion, a relentless pursuit of mastery in the fast world of FPV (First-Person View) drone racing. In the grand scheme of life’s pursuits, Thomas chose a path less taken, and it has made all the difference.

The Ascent Begins

Imagine, for a moment, a hobby. 

Now watch as that hobby turns into an obsession, that obsession into a calling. This is the genesis of BMS Thomas’s journey from an intrigued enthusiast dabbling in drone flights to becoming a beloved icon in the global drone racing community.

“Today, I bring you the story of a dreamer who dared to chase his dreams across the skies.”

Thomas’s story began quietly in Australia, sparked by a simple YouTube video. 

Fast forward through years of tinkering, learning, and countless flights, and you find the moment where hobby crossed into destiny. Thomas didn’t just enter the world of drone racing; he redefined his life’s trajectory with a racing drone’s throttle.

Racing Against the Wind

In conversation, Thomas shared insights of his early days, reminiscing about the makeshift races in Melbourne, the allure of the Japan drone league, and his subsequent ascension to international fame. Each race, each flight was more than competition; it was a chapter in his ongoing tale of self-discovery and perseverance.

“It’s more than just flying,” Thomas reflected. “It’s about pushing boundaries, both the drones and my own.”

His journey highlights not merely the evolution of a racer but the transformation of a life through passion. Amidst talks of tracks, technicalities, and tournaments, there’s a subtle yet profound message: dedication, coupled with a love for one’s craft, can elevate the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Navigating Through Turbulence

Yet, the path was not free of challenges. In his chase for passion, Thomas navigated through rough moments — balancing the demands of competitive racing with the rigours of building a career. Sponsorships didn’t come easy, nor did the recognition. It demanded more than skill; it required visibility, influence, and a deep-seated belief in the value of his pursuit.

“And then, something clicked. The right place, the right time, and suddenly, the support came.”

Thomas’s narrative serves as a beacon for anyone standing on the brink of pursuing their dream. It’s a testament to the truth that success, in any field, is a concoction of passion, persistence, and a willingness to forge ahead despite the odds.

Can you do it as well?

Today, BMS Thomas continues to race, not just as a competitor but as an inspiration. His journey tells us that to follow one’s passion is not to walk a path free of obstacles, but to navigate through storms, propelled by the heart.

“If there’s anything my journey has taught me,” Thomas said, “it’s that dreams are not just fleeting whims. They are the seeds of our future.”

See, life, much like drone racing, is not about the fear of falling. It’s about the thrill of flight, the pursuit of passions, and the unwavering courage to chase the horizon, no matter where it leads.

And so, to anyone teetering on the edge of decision, remember BMS Thomas. Remember that when passion takes flight, the sky’s not the limit — it’s just the beginning.

Watch the full interview with Thomas here

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What Makes Killian Rousseau Such a Dominant Drone Pilot?

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Drone Racing Pilot

Killian Rousseau, hailing from France, has been ripping up drone racing competitions since he was just 14 years old. The French ace pilot became the 2018 FAI Drone Racing World Cup champion as a teenager!

In 2023, Rousseau once again won the FAI Drone Racing World Cup. The young pilot was in a close back-and-forth battle with Pawel Laszczak. In all six races, Rousseau managed to climb onto the podium, racking up three wins, two silvers, and a bronze. This level of consistency ensured he added another title to his already impressive collection.

In a recent interview, the world champion shared his secrets and what it takes to become a professional pilot.

Rousseau Trains Everday!

The French pilot has put all other things on the back burner and has committed 100% of his efforts towards racing. He spends every day on the simulator fine-tuning his motor skills and perfecting his strategy. Then, every two days, he pilots actual drones.

Rousseau is extremely keen to defend his world title. He’ll be traveling and competing full-time throughout the season. He’s keen to avenge his poor performance at the last World Championships, where he finished 18th.

Another event you’re likely to see Rousseau compete in is The World Games in 2025 in Chengdu. He considers this event to be particularly tough and an honor to be invited. Rousseau is hoping to repeat his 2022 World Games performance, in which he took gold.

French Pilot Looks for New Ways to Make Money From Drone Racing

Rousseau has recently finished studying commerce and can now dedicate even more time to drone racing, which is a scary thought for his opponents. Traveling to different competitions and daily training takes up a huge amount of the 20-year-old’s time.

As prize pools for drone racing are still modest, Rousseau has decided to boost his income by starting his own drone filming company. However, his first love and main focus remains drone racing.

The French drone maestro can’t get enough of the feeling of beating other talented pilots on beautiful tracks around the world. Even though traveling can get tiring, he loves exploring new places with his fellow pilots.

Simulator and Never Quit Attitude Is Key to Rousseau’s Success

Rousseau first started drone racing when he was just 12 years old, back in 2017. Since then, he hasn’t taken any time off. He’s incredibly diligent when it comes to training and is constantly looking over his shoulder at the next generation of pilots.

He says the race meta is changing radically from year to year, so it’s a never-ending battle to stay ahead of other competitors. He has to dedicate a huge amount of time to practice.

Rousseau credits purchasing a simulator with allowing him to continue to improve. He spends hours everyday, often practing into the early morning, pumping out lap after lap. F1 champion Max Verstappen is also known for his love of simulators.

Before and after every race, Rousseau will hop on the simular and race over and over again. He’s gained so much experience over the years that racing has become second nature to him. He demands perfection from himself, repeatedly tweaking his strategy and chasing consistency.

Rousseau Shares Advice for Up-and-coming Drone Pilots

Even though Rousseau has managed to become a full-time professional drone pilot, he doesn’t recommend others to follow his path. He believes young pilots should still focus on school and work and make sure they’re racing because they love the sport instead of trying to make a career.

Rousseau said what helped him the most was meeting experienced drone pilots and flying with them. He also emphasized the importance of competing as much as possible. Finally, he said there are a lot of ups and downs in drone racing, so it’s incredibly important that you never quit until you finally succeed.

The 2024 FAI World Drone Championships will take place in China from Thursday, October 31, to Sunday, November 3, 2024. The event will be held in Hangzhou at the Shangcheng District Sports Center. Tune in to see if Rousseau can take out defending champion MinChan Kim. It’s set to be a battle between the two ace pilots!

Read more: FPV Drone Racing Explained

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From Classroom to Pro Drone Racing Pilot

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PawelosFPV origin story


In an age where conventional education is often challenged by the fast pace of technological advancement, the tale of Pawel Lasszczak, known in the FPV (First Person View) drone racing community as PawelosFPV, is a testament to the power of hands-on learning experiences. 

While traditional classroom settings and textbook learning remain the base of our educational systems. The innovative, project-based learning approaches that are increasingly proving to shape the minds and futures of children and teenagers more effectively. 

For real though: Who’s shocked?

This blend of creativity, curiosity, and practical application not only ignites passions, but also paves the way for remarkable achievements.

“A Genius Hour” That Sparked a Revolution

It all began in a classroom with a concept as simple as it was brilliant — Genius Hour. This initiative granted students an hour each week to explore a project of their choosing. Anything that fueled their interests and stretched their imagination beyond the standard curriculum.

For Pawel, what started as a quest for an engaging project during this Genius Hour quickly evolved into a journey that would see him fly to incredible heights — quite literally.

Stumbling upon FPV drones on YouTube during his project research, Pawel was instantly captivated by the perspectives this hobby offered. The mix of technology, speed, and skill presented a challenge he couldn’t resist. 

Trial and error

However, following up with the process wasn’t a straightforward path; it was filled with trial and error (many, many errors). A testament to the real-world nature of hands-on learning. From reversing propellers that dug his drone into the ground, Pawel’s initiation into drone flying was both grounding and ambitious.

But isn’t this how we learn? 

Despite the setbacks, his determination only grew, driven by a desire to decode the mechanics and master flying. This journey from novice to mastery was also a crucial lesson in resilience, innovation, and the continuous pursuit of knowledge . A lesson that traditional textbooks could never impart with such impact.

Rising to the Top: From Local FPV Races to the Drone Racing League

It was obvious he’d get into it.

Pawel’s entry into the competitive world of drone racing started with local FPV races and small gatherings of hobbyists. Little did he know that this would lay the foundation for his racing career. He was hooked from the start, the competitive spirit and community fueling his passion further. It wasn’t long before his skill and dedication catapulted him to the front of the FPV scene, eventually earning him a coveted spot in the Drone Racing League (DRL) — a dream platform for any FPV racer.

His success story is more than just personal achievement; it’s a beacon for the FPV community and beyond. It showcases the potential that lies in marrying passion with education, and how nurturing individual interests can lead to groundbreaking success in fields that once seemed niche or inaccessible.

Crafting a Future with STEM and Hands-On Learning

Pawel’s journey from a school project to becoming one of the world’s foremost FPV drone racing pilots is a powerful narrative that challenges and inspires. It serves as a clarion call for the incorporation of more STEM and hands-on programs in schools. 

These programs are not just supplementary; they are essential in preparing students for a future that is increasingly reliant on technology and innovation. Much more than books and “imagine that” will ever be able to (speaking from experience).

In a world where the landscape of careers and skills is constantly shifting, the story of Pawel emphasises the need for educational systems to evolve.

And to do it RIGHT NOW.

We must foster environments where creativity meets technology, where students are encouraged to explore, experiment, and engage with their passions. Only then can we unlock the full potential of the next generation, ensuring a future that is bright with innovation and boundless possibilities.

Before they start fearing that AI will take over. 

As Pawel continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of drone racing, he stands as a shining example of how hands-on learning and personal passion. A proof that they can elevate one’s aspirations from the ground to the skies. 

It’s a lesson for educators, policymakers, and students alike: the future belongs to those who dare to dream, explore, and most importantly, do.

If you want to listen to the full interview and see Pawel in action: check out video


Thank you for reading!

Check out FuturePlay here

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