IRIS flight time with stock 3DR battery

I just came across this video on Youtube from DJI where they demonstrate their claim of a 25 minute flight time for the Phantom 2 vision with a demo flight:

So far I have not been able to get my IRIS close to the 15 minutes that 3DR advertises. Even without any camera or front mount. Only way to do so is to really badly damage the battery. 

It would be interesting if 3DR could produce a similar demo video to the one above and show us how to get to the 15 minutes. Just like with DJI, the flight should be over with the battery failsafe kicking in. 


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  • All the IRIS / F450 comparisons...

    The IRIS is a heavy bird. : Empty (w/o) GoPro / Gimbal battery. 1060g compared to 850g F450/PIXHAWK (Assembly incl. telemetry) .

    If you are putting 210g on top of the F450, flight times are about the same. And yes, I own both setups .

    Btw. a 40C battery is overkill for both of them...waste of weight. 20C batteries are good enough. An honest 10C rating would do as well.

    • My F450/Pixhawk needs to go on a diet!  It weighs 1024g, and that's without the 3dr radio that i've had to send back.  It does have the long legs on, which can't weigh very much as they're so flimsy, a teensy for telemetry and a raspberry+sbec slung underneath, but I'm surprised they would add 170g.

    • It does. My 850g F450 is a standard buildt with printed legs as well....(the ESC I am using are Flyduino 20A though about same weight as E300 ESC) Maybe your scale is not working properly. I am using a calibrated 2000g scale with an estimated error of +/-1g .


    • Nice, I like the wire braiding! Did you find it was hard to put the braiding on?

    • Thx, Jethro. Let me put it this way. I wasted about two meters, till I found out that its better to put a small piece of shrinking tube on, before even cutting. This prevents braiding damages (It goes apart) when your are pushing it to get it wider in order to get the plugs (connectors) through.Meanwhile I am able to get about any connector through very slim braiding, even the very long DF13 simply with an 90° angle. First attempts were to put a temporary shrink tube on the connector with a bit of silicone spray for a better slip.

  • I don't think the comparison is fair when the proprietary battery system for the DJI P2 is $159. I get 16.3 minutes on the Iris on a $37 Zippy 5000 (no gimbal or legs) with a 10.6 vdc failsafe. The Phantom 2 is a 5200mah. Some users are claiming foul on the advertised Phantom times anyway.

    I do however feel deceived by 3DR on the flight times. I incorrectly assumed that the 10 to 15 minutes advertised was with and without gimbal/legs. The reality is 10 minutes with zero payload. The advertisement is 50% greater than reality! 

    Wonder how the Iris would do with the E300 motors and props or the 3DR 880kv motors?


  • I get nearly 25 mins (23 mins in my first test) hovering in loiter in a medium breeze out of a F450 frame with E300 propulsion system (pretty much identical to the phantom 2 vision), with a 5000mah 3S zippy lipo.    This is with the same flight gubbins as the iris (pixhawk, 3dr radios, 3dr gps/mag) and I would imagine the f450 frame is at least as heavy if not more so than the iris.  The big difference appears to be that DJI have done a lot of work to optimise the propulsion system (props, motors, esc).  It would be interesting to see if flight times can be improved by changing the props or motors (rather than the battery which most people seem to focus on).

    • Hi Dom, 

      I'm using F450 ARF with stock motors and props and APM 2.6... With 40C 3S 2200mAh i get only 5 minutes without legs and gimbal... It is normal? Is 3S 4500 mAh give me 10 min flight time with gopro and gimbal or it is impossible?

    • Dorn's post above pretty much proves what it takes to get over 20 minutes. If they are the same weight with the same electronics he is getting 23 minutes compared to my 16 minutes with the same exact battery. The only difference is the propulsion system i.e. ESC's, motors and props.

      Seems pretty straightforward. Dorn, what is the overall diameter of your motors? The specs on the web site only show the stator diameter. I want to see if they would fit into the recessed motor compartment of the Iris frame. 

      I'm guessing my Iris ESC's would work with those motors? It would be nice to try just the motors and props and then change out the ESCs.

    • I think we are touching on a very good point here: It appears that there is a lot to be desired when it comes to optimizing the IRIS hardware for efficiency.
      And seeing someone reach about 50% more flying time with a similar but optimized setup adds up quite a bit to my disappointment for IRIS as a RTF system.

      It might be an interesting project to swap out parts on IRIS for better ones and push up the flight-time. But then I think it would make more sense to start with a F450 (or alike) in the first place and not go for a RTF model that is supposedly able to give me a great multi rotor flying experience out of the box.

      On that promise IRIS is failing miserably. And the flight time with the stock battery is IMHO adding to that disappointment quite a bit. Although worse is probably that I have spent more time chasing down hardware bugs (design issues) and fixing them, than I have been flying.
      I'm not sure if I want to pile up more time for optimizing that air frame. Starting from scratch with a better system might make more sense at this point.
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