Pacific Drone Challenge
The Challenge. Be the first to fly 4500 miles unmanned non-stop from Japan to California.
Two teams are competing iRobotics the founding Japanese team and Sabrewing Aircraft Company the American founding team.
As with any race to be the first to do something. There is no official start date.
I guess you can say the race has already started. The two competitors have been working on the drones for some time preparing their respective craft for the challenge.
The winner will be determined when one of the teams completes the Pacific crossing trip.
The race is open to any “legitimate” team, there is no restriction on who can enter.
As of this writing there are no prizes to be given other than the historical honor and recognition of being the first to fly an unmanned, un-refueled, non-stop, drone flight from Japan to California.
From September 30, 2017 press release describing the race.
“Pacific Drone Challenge” will pit the technology of an American team – Sabrewing Aircraft Company in the Silicon Valley against the capabilities of a Japanese team – iRobotics of Shinjuku, Japan. Both teams will compete to see who can make the crossing from Japan to the Silicon Valley first.
“We’ve been working on a heavy-lift, mid-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for several years,” stated Ed De Reyes, the Chief Operating Officer of Sabrewing Aircraft. “This race gives us the ability to demonstrate our system…and to make some history as well,” he stated.
De Reyes continued, “We are flying 4500 miles (8300 km), over open-ocean, without a pilot on board, for 45 to 50 hours. We are flying that distance for that amount of time on a fraction of the size and weight of other similar aircraft, and at a fraction of the cost.”
You may be asking yourself?
Why Japan and the United States?
The initial challenge of the race was iRobotics of Japan to challenge anyone to race. The first challenger to accept was Sabrewing Aircraft Company of Sunnyvale California. This is how the start and finish of the race was decided.
iRobotics a Japanese drone start-up is throwing out a challenge to all comers for a drone race from Tokyo to San Francisco.
The iRobotics Pacific Drone Challenge entry concept
Information on the ideas behind the Pacific Drone Challenge from iRobotics
Sabrewing Aircraft Company Accepts Challenge
Sabrewing Aircraft Company statement on accepting iRobotics Pacific Drone Challenge
The Challenger, The Sabrewing Aircraft Company SWA-3 RAPIER UAS
More information and specifications about the Sabrewing Aircraft Company SWA-3 RAPIER UAS
How can I watch the Pacific Drone Challenge?
Each team will have to provide it’s own media coverage as they choose.
Currently Sabrewing has planned on providing a live weekly YouTube channel that will provide progress updates and information on its entry.
For more information on the Pacific Drone Challenge Japan to California here is the FAQ page from the Pacific Drone Challenge website
“Pacific Drone Challenge(TM)” and “4500 Miles. Unmanned. Non-Stop(TM)” are trademarks of the Pacific Drone Challenge and used by permission. Website, images, text, and Trademarks copyright 2017.