Announcing T3-2, Round Two: the autotakeoff and landing round

It's time for the second round of the second season of the Trust Time Trial (T3) competion! This round is an autotakeoff and landing round, with 3D waypoints. Like the last round, there are two divisions: plane and copters. 

Your mission in this round is to complete the course diagrammed above. Your UAV must autonomously do the following:

  1. Autotakeoff. NO MANUAL CONTROL. This must be fully autonomous launch, with the RC transmitter on the ground. For aircraft we will accept rise-off-ground, catapult or hand-launch (but remember, no transmitter!). For copters, it must rise-off-ground. Just flick your RC transmitter's mode toggle switch and put that bad boy on the ground while you watch the show. 
  2. Hit the above eight waypoints, which are in increasing and then decreasing height (the target altitude is given after each waypoint number). They are all 100m apart, for both planes and copters. The exact position of WP8 (or however more waypoints you need to end the mission) is not important--it is just whatever you need to set up your landing pattern properly. 
  3. Autoland, as close to your launch position as possible. Again, no transmitters!

To enter, post the following in the comments below:

  • KML track and screenshot of your track in Google Earth, with launch and final rest positions marked.
  • A description of your vehicle and autopilot. 
  • Because this is a hands-free round, we want videos of the whole thing! Upload them to YouTube and embed the video in your entry.

Gary Mortimer, as always, will be the judge. In this case it will be scored primarily on "style": he will use qualitative rather than purely quantitative measures to reward clean patterns, tight altitude control and the closeness of the landings to the takeoff points. Note: experience has shown he can be influenced by creativity and fun, so make those videos count! 

There will be three winners in each category (planes and copters), with the #1s getting a $100 gift certificate at the DIY Drones store and #2 and #3 getting $25 each.

All entrants who successfully compete the course with a copter, regardless of place in the judging, will receive a flying robot merit badge!

This is a pretty tough challenge and the weather is still dicey in the Northern Hemisphere, so you get two months for this one. Deadline is Sunday, March 4th, at midnight PST. 

Views: 8050

Comment by William Premerlani on February 2, 2012 at 6:53pm

Hi Phil,

Thank you for posting, especially for making the video, and for helping us testing the MatrixPilot LOGO flight scripting language during autonomous takeoff.

The control options are set up for autonomous hand launches, it turned your launch from a runway into a "nose dragger", as you pointed out in the video. Still, it made for an interesting takeoff. I wonder if Gary will give you any extra points for it.

Best regards,

Bill Premerlani

Comment by Gary Mortimer on February 7, 2012 at 1:06pm

Points are always available for peril!

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on February 8, 2012 at 7:01pm

So, are minor players on the Dev Team like me ineligible?

Comment by igal on February 9, 2012 at 9:31am

Hand lanching is for the weak arduinos .
Real man taking off from ground .


Comment by Pete Hollands on March 3, 2012 at 2:04am

Hi Folks, well I suppose its time to keep this competition moving along with more entries ....

The plane is an Alpha Axion 135 Brushless flying a UDB4 with MatrixPilot from trunk (revision 1262).

Ublox GPS running at 2Hz, and a magnetometer from the DIY Drones store embedded out in the left wing.

Flight Video taken from my hat is here.

Flight VIdeo taken from on board the plane is here.

(Further screencast of flight analysis of the flight here.)

Here is the Google Earth KMZ file.

The logo flight plan is here.

Thanks to DIY Drones community for putting on this event. And Thanks as always to Bill premerlani and all the members of the UAV DevBoard community for their advice and help.

Best wishes, Pete

Comment by Riccardo Kuebler on March 3, 2012 at 2:18am

Hi Pete,

congratulations for a great entry !

Best regards,


Comment by Riccardo Kuebler on March 3, 2012 at 2:32am


Points are always available for peril!

I think you earned some, watching the on board video and seeing how close your plane went to the trees, isn't it Gary ?

Best regards,


Comment by Gary Mortimer on March 3, 2012 at 2:34am

Strikes me that the UAVDB gang are the ones firmly at the cutting edge of things and willing to risk their gear to try stuff out. Pie and pints on me all around if I ever catch up with you. Only one per entrant, terms and conditions apply.

@igal wheels are a drag at our size of airframes.

The record breaking Zephyr (14 days in the air, made with real ale and chips) is hand launched because any one of the team can detect an issue with the airframe and call a halt and if the field is big enough they can always turn and run into a changing wind.

@Robert any one can enter, even Chris ;-)

@Phil, I think extra points are also available for people that have checklists on their airframes. That makes lots of sense and should be rewarded!

Comment by Pete Hollands on March 3, 2012 at 2:36am

Ahh yes Ric. Good Point, Points for Peril ....

Deliberate cross wind take off and landing with wind blowing from left to right !

Launch plane angled with right bank to make plane have to correct for launchers ineptitude !

Launch with trees just to the right of the flight path ... just to add some additional entertainement. :-)

Comment by Gary Mortimer on March 3, 2012 at 2:47am

Points may be deducted for people that wear cameras on their hats though. That's just silly.


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