Frequently Asked Questions

  1. ?

    What is it?
    It's a challenge to see who can fly from Japan to the United States first - non-stop, un-refueled and of course, unmanned.
  2. ?

    Why fly from Japan to the United States?
    To make history. Just as Charles Lindbergh's flew from New York to Paris in 1927 to demonstrate airplanes could fly non-stop across the Atlantic, the Pacific Drone Challenge™ will demonstrate the capabilities of unmanned aircraft to fly in similar circumstances: weather, distance, endurance and navigation. The initial challenge was issued by iRobotics of Japan; the first challenger to accept the challenge was Sabrewing Aircraft Company of Sunnyvale, California. Based on that, the race set its start and finish points.
  3. ?

    When is it supposed to happen?
    There is no deadline; the winner is the team that takes off from Japan and flies to the Silicon Valley first.
  4. ?

    Can anyone enter?
    Any "legitimate" team can enter; there is no restriction on who can enter the race.
  5. ?

    What Are The Rules?
    1) A team must fly from Japan to the United States - unmanned, unrefueled and non-stop. 2) A team's entry must bear a certificate of airworthiness from the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and the US FAA. 3) A team's entry must fly in accordance with the IFR standards of both the JCAB and FAA during the race 4) A team's entry must carry equipment to fly in Class A airspace as mandated by both the JCAB and FAA 5) A team's pilots must be licensed to fly by both Japan and the United States authorities 6) Each team must carry insurance for their entry.
  6. ?

    Are there any prizes associated with it?
    None yet. The teams and their sponsors are doing it for historical reasons, but if you know of someone who'd be interested in sponsoring a prize, we'd be happy to speak to you about it.
  7. ?

    Why the copyrights for the Challenge and the slogan?
    We copyrighted the Challenge and slogan to prevent someone else from copyrighting it and then charging the contestants for the use of the name and slogan. There is no charge to use it and anyone is free to use it as long as they provide the trademark attribution in their use.
  8. ?

    How can I find out more?
    There is a "Contact Us" form on the home page. Please fill it in and hit "send" to contact us. We promise not to spam you, and you can opt-in to our newsletter there if you'd like. We aren't in the business of collecting email addresses, so we will not use your email to send you any information without your permission.
  9. ?

    Will the event be televised?
    Each team is responsible for televising its own event. Sabrewing will be providing a live, weekly YouTube channel that will provide progress updates and information on its Challenge entry. If you sign up for the newsletter, you'll get more information about the teams and information on how to get updates.