In 2007 Ernest Duarte (E.J.) found a forum about multirotor aircraft while looking for some information about is traditional radio controlled Helicopter. In this forum there were 3 other people talking about building a controller using fixed pitch props and using brushless electric motors to stabilize a 4 motor helicopter. After about a year E.J. built and tested his first copter. After a few years of tinkering with multirotor flight he started a company named Thrust-UAV in 2012 which became a legal entity in 2013. During this time he designed and manufactured multirotor helicopters and sold on online line stores like Ebay, Amazon and directly from his own website Thrust-UAV.com.
In early 2013 he attended his first small FPV competition in Tempe Arizona with 6 others from around the US. And this is when he realized that the racing was going to grow and become something huge. He then started to become part of many social media groups and help get the word out about racing these small copters first person. Within the first year of attending a drone FPV race, E.J. traveled to Texas, California and Florida to compete in drone competitions. During this time he met with many other people that wanted to help promote racing.
In 2014 E.J. starting to develop a smaller compact drone. He then manufactured and sold a couple lighter faster drones that could be raced. This early success developing his own drones lead to E.J. turned his focus to racing and development of better racing platforms than were available on the market. As demand grew for his drones, E.J. started to sponsor other up and coming racing pilots as he wanted to help others grow his brand and didn’t have as much time to compete.
In 2015 E.J. focused on growing his business but he still managed to compete in races throughout the US at locations like Ohio, Utah, Idaho, California. In the beginning of 2016 he sold his company to PCS Edventures. With the support of PCS , Thrust UAV has been able to build more complex drones and grow the brand as the top drone company in the FPV racing market.
Pilot name: Amped Out
Position: Racer, Founder of Thrust UAV and Director of R&D Team