Remember back, way back in autopilot years probably about 20. The year 2009 and the first round of our gentlemens (ladies are allowed just none have ever entered) competition the T3 challenge.

Back then just flying way points was hard and all this gear was expensive. Ardupilots were made at Sparkfun in batches that ran out quick.

Lets try it again I suspect this time the challenge would really be flying it faster than somebody FPV racing.

Read about the first time here for hints and tips. 

As tech has moved on all aircraft types welcome lets make it not above 50m and 5 laps. All of course autonomous. Extra marks if that is from take off to landing.I will count the time from take off to landing so screaming dives to the start will not help. KMLs as evidence please!

UPDATE: Rovers (and boats) are also allowed! There will be a special rover/boat class, and you only have to beat other vehicles in that class. The course for such ground/water vehicles is 100m x 100m. 

I will accept FPV times for the sake of science and should they be much much quicker it will give the pure FPV crowd something to brag about.

An Easystar (yes before HK copied it) made one lap in less than a minute in 2009 so 5 in 5 minutes should be more than possible. 

As ever the time frame is flexible but why don't we all meet back here on August the 1st and find out who won!

Please add your entries and adventures below. Points are always awarded for silliness, just as long as its safe!

Views: 9167

Comment by Gary Mortimer on June 23, 2015 at 12:59am

Not the 1st of August yet ausdroid ! If experience is anything to go by we get late entries. Stunning flight from down there. I wonder why there are almost two butterfly patterns in those fixed wing attempts. Was the wind in a similar quarter for both? Shorter wings bigger motor....... 

Comment by ausdroid on June 23, 2015 at 3:01pm


There are several reasons for teh butterfly pattern;

1) The mission was programmed by the guy with the PhD in Aeronautical Engineering....not the guy with the PhD in Robotics. Just saying....

2) We were using mission planner and have yet to work out how to do splines. Next attempt will be with Tower and hopefully splines.

We went out again with a hotter motor and a "hand built" prop on the weekend. The ESC burnt out halfway through the first lap. PhD in Aeronautical Engineering.......Just saying....

We will be back out in a few days 

Comment by Dawid Preller on June 23, 2015 at 5:19pm

Hahaha! Yes I did the walk of shame because my prop produced too much thrust and the ESC could not handle it!! It was right on the limit in the ground tests and I though that it would unload much more in the air...but it did not..

Gary, there was some wind in that attempt but the butterfly pattern is mainly due to the plane trying to get back on path between the waypoints, the fixed wing crowd will have to be creative! I cant wait to see what everyone will try. Like Chris, we are going to crank the bank and pitch limits to the max.

Comment by Dawid Preller on July 2, 2015 at 3:46am

Well, after a few failed attempts, we have a good one!

Full auto mission in 269 seconds (KML).

We are using a Pixhawk with Ardupilot, and must say a big thank you for all the developers and contributors, it is an excellent package!

Really starting to understand the flight dynamics of the little Eaglet and we are pushing it a little bit more every time we go angle limit is now at 70 deg. and the average airspeed for this run was around 25m/s (~56 mph).

Trying to keep the weight down (for future high G turns) so the power system is sized to be at or close to the limit. Motor is a hobbyking D2826/6 2200kv, ESC is 45A and battery is 2800mAh zippy 3s. Prop is a modified graupner 9x5. With this setup the Eaglet is very easy to hand launch for auto take off and still has some juice left after the mission.

Having way too much fun doing this!

Less than a month to go is everyone else going with this????????

Comment by Gary Mortimer on July 7, 2015 at 1:22am

Not sure to add or subtract points for that flag ;-) 70 degrees angle of bank, that's insane. Well done for such spirited entries.

Comment by Linus on July 7, 2015 at 2:50am

Just a note and for the Entertainment..

I Failed the second time. Again because of bad space weather.
The experience included a 1 hour search/walk of shame and climbing a tree.. beware!

All safety features including glitch detection/autoland worked perfectly well and prevented a flyaway :)
Good Job developers!

Vehicle and Pilot in good shape again.
Will see if time/weather permits another try.


Comment by Grant Morphett on July 7, 2015 at 5:15am

So, does it have to be an aircraft type?  Or can us gravitationally bound enthusiasts enter?

Thanks, Grant.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on July 7, 2015 at 7:26am

Grant: A rover entry would be awesome. By the power vested in me by being the prize-giver (prize TBD), I hereby create a special category for ground rovers, which will only have to beat other rovers. (Gary: I'll edit the original post to include this). 

Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on July 7, 2015 at 9:27am

Hi Chris,

Yes, we rover enthusiast would like to get in on the competition also, though as you have said, a 200m X 200m course might be hard to come by.

I think that a friend of mine runs his rover on a very large soccer field and I will ask him to pace it off for me.



Comment by Grant Morphett on July 7, 2015 at 2:36pm

That's awesome Chris - thanks!  I'm sure the Rover group (best people in the world) will be thrilled once they hear about this!

I have the same issue as Tom and I'm going to struggle to find a large ground area 200m x 200m.  I did a bunch of google map searching last night in my geographically area and nothing popped up.  We might need to think about tweaking it to 100m x 100m for the Rover challenge?  That would be achievable.

However, I was actually thinking of entering with a boat which goes much faster then my Rovers and to be honest beating the aircraft.  All that takeoff, landing messing around is going to slow you down.  My reading is the timing is from standing start to fully stopped finish?

And Tom - I think your boat goes faster then mine!

Thanks, Grant.


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