Virginia Tech Drone Team prepares for race Saturday

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - The screws are tight, the field is prepped and the controls are set.
Another drone takes flight in Virginia Tech's drone park.

WDBJ7 photo

"The first two racing drones that I made were, uh, a little bad we'll say, a lot of hot glue and cheap parts," said Alex Scheck, a team member of Virginia Tech's drone racing team.

The team got its start in 2016 but the drone park, where the team now practices, has only been on Virginia Tech's campus for a little over a year.

Alex Scheck has come a long way in three years. The goal is to fly handmade drones fast and not to crash into other drones, or obstacles that the team sets up. The drones gain speeds of up to 90 miles per hour. And team members feel that speed from first-person view, or FPV.

"And we're doing that through a set of goggles so you fly as if you're sitting on the drone itself," said Nicholas Zielinski, the team captain.

"When I came to campus freshman year, I had never touched a drone before."

But earlier this year, Zielinski placed top 300 in the world for a global drone competition.

Every day, Zielinski and Scheck learn something new. Saturday the team will show off its skills in a race at the drone park. The event is open to anyone in the community to come watch, or even participate in. You just have to have your own drone.

"It's a really tight knit community and we just want see as many people get involved as we can get," said Zielinksi.

The event Saturday is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Drone Park on campus.