(Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90)

(Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90)

By Brian Blum - August 21, 2019

One of the most out-of-the-box approaches proposed to stop the thousands of Gaza “fire kites” – the incendiary devices that have been sent over the border from the Gaza Strip into Israel on kites and balloons, setting fire to thousands of acres and landing occasionally in kindergarten playgrounds – was to shoot the kites out of the sky using remotely operated “racing drones.”

Drone racing has become a popular niche sport around the world. Participants build extremely fast and agile multi-rotor drones and race them against each other around a course. Serious drone pilots use FPV (first-person view) goggles to experience what the drone is seeing rather using a monitor and a joystick.

When a small team of drone enthusiasts gathered last year on the Gaza border, they demonstrated that they could effectively neutralize the fire-kite threat. But there are not enough skilled racing-drone pilots in the country for the army to recruit.

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