100km+ in the X-UAV Mini Talon

PerthUAV, like our friends over at WestCoast UAV, have been steadily gearing up for the upcoming 2016 Medical Express challenge. The competition is just two weeks away(!) though already it has been quite a journey... Along the way, we have hit a few milestones (and had our share of failures) many of which, we have been documenting on our facebook page. Over the weekend we cracked the big 100km so I thought I'd share it with everyone here too.

Flight details:

  • Flight time: 2 hrs 17 mins
  • Total flying distance: 115 km
  • Link to flight summary: https://www.exmaps.com/653155
  • Link to flight log: GoogleDrive (boring and very large [~200MB] due to us logging most variables)


In the end, despite having capacity left in our batteries, we had to land due to diminishing light. Conditions were not perfect; we had an average wind of 8m/s (15 knots), we were not flying with the ideal propeller (see below) and we had to navigate a tighter mission than desired for the majority of the flight to maintain separation to other people using the field.

  • Airframe: Mini Talon
  • Motor: SunnySky X2216 2216 1250KV
  • Prop: Aeronaut folding propeller 10x6" (10x8" is better) 
  • ESC:Turnigy dlux 40A (2~6S)
  • Batteries: 4S 6600mAh Multistar (X2), BATT_CAPACITY set to 10000(mAh)
  • FC: Pixhawk (APM:Plane 3.7)
  • Target airspeed : 17 m/s

On board the aircraft, we had a companion computer (Pi Zero) that provided a C2 link over 3G and was taking pictures when triggered but I will save this (and our SiK radio relay setup) f3689700058?profile=original3689700189?profile=originalor another comms specific post!

Finally, we'd just to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all those who have contributed to the ArduPilot project, from developers to documenters and donors. None of what we have been able achieve would be possible without Ardupilot.

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  • Hi Nick,

    The problem I have is an "Overshoot" in altitude during a decent. So going from a waypoint with an altitude of e.g. 10m to an waypoint with an alititude of 5m the mini-UAV goes as low as 3m after which it levels to 5m. It is an lineair system, when the decent step is bigger also the overshoot is larger, so 40m --> 10m results in a temporary altitude of 50cm. I tried playing with sereral TECS parameters TECS_SPDWEIGHT, TECS_PTCH_DAMP, TECS_TIME_CONST. My current AUW is ~1100g using a 3S 2200mAh battery, no camera. I hope to experiment with long distance flight as you doing, but first I must resolve this before installing much larger batteries. (I posted my questions in the Plane -tuning forum, but got no response.)
    As preparation to a long distance flight I improved the range of the 436MHz telemetry and 1296MHz video to much more than 30Km
  • Thx Ben.

    It's one of our first and a more "expendable" test airframe, hence the fairly casual range testing (and one that has been flying "incident" free to date). It's also not competition spec, or even running the same propulsion setup. Our quad plane setups are fairly similar in amp draw due to airfoil section quad spars and motor mounts, all of which only adds another 300g of weight overall to make it a VTOL platform. 

    If possible, we're trying to run one aircraft only for the comp, however we will dynamically add aircraft to the mission as required on comms loss etc. Each of the 3 frames we'll take with (+spares) will be configured identically as QP's and can change roles in flight. This provides us with some flexibility depending on what unexpected failure occurs in mission.

  • 100KM

    Well done PerthUAV - always good to see more of the Talon series of airframes doing well. Will this one get converted to quad-plane also or is it fly as support?

    See you at the comp!

  • Great job Nick!!!

    How about posting this accomplishment on discuss.ardupilot.org as well?

  • Thanks for the comment Maarten. Happy to provide the parameters (they are mostly default to be honest!) though what issues are you having specifically? 

  • Hi Nick,

    A very nice achievement, well done. This proves the Mini Talon is a great plane and indeed Arduplilot is instrumental.
    I'm also bussy with the Mini Talon, although yet still my lighter (only 3S 2200mAh) but I have problems in setting up the TECS. Can you please share your parameters ?
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