Fifth former Luke Bannister from Canford School in Wimborne has become the official World Champion of FPV Racing following success at the World Drone Prix 2016 in Dubai this week.
Luke was one of 13 top pilots selected from Europe who travelled to Dubai as the Tornado X-Blades team. Tornado X-Blades was made possible by major sponsorship from Tornado – an energy drink producer and smaller sponsorship from individuals and companies pulled together by Richard de Aragues, Executive Film Producer, and Nigel Tomlinson, president of ERSA (European Rotor Sports Association). The team was supported by 30 others, including co-pilots, technical engineers, team managers, a team coach, coordinator, event organiser and film crew.
In order to become champion Luke faced a challenging FPV course of glowing fluorescent lights guiding the way around the 591-metre track against 80 expert pilots from around the globe.
Leading his team to victory netted a winning prize of $250,000 which will be divided between the 43 team members.
Luke is a founding member of the Canford School Drone Flying Club which was established two years ago. The club meets regularly to film both general aerial shots of the school and also specific events. At Christmas the latest production was featured on the school electronic Christmas card.
Headmaster Ben Vessey commented: “We are all very proud of Luke’s achievements. He has been a valuable member of our school drone club and has worked very hard to develop his flying to championship level. It always gives me tremendous pleasure to see our pupils flourish and develop both in and out the classroom. We all wish Luke every continued success in this growing sport.”