TriCopter for Ag Survey Work

My new TriCopter made its first long-duration test flight today, fully autonomous.  Using APM2.8, ArduCopter 3.2.1, APM Planner2 on linux.  It flew the same 15 minute mission repeatedly until the battery got low.  After letting the battery recover for a half hour after completing the 3rd repeat of the mission, it was at 3.68vpc.

The aircraft is 850mm wheelbase, Turnigy 3508-640's with 1455's on the wings and 1355 on the tail.  The battery is a Turnigy MultiStar 10A, 10C with about 100 flights on it (not a new battery).  ESC's are Turnigy MultiStar 30A opto's.  It is all-aluminum airframe, takeoff weight carrying a GoPro on a Walkera G2D plastic gimbal is 1,716 grams.  Also carries a Lumenier CMOS-700 FPV camera and 600mW 5.8GHz transmitter.

It achieved 52min, 17sec flight time takeoff to landing.  Mission speed was set for 9.0 m/s using spline turns.  At that speed and pitch attitude the small airfoils on the wings create enough lift so it cruises at about 34% throttle.

Flight Test Conditions:

Ambient Air Temp: 42deg F

Wind: 12 kts gusting to 15 from the NW

Altitude: 1,266ft MSL

Altimeter: 29.65in Hg


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