Autonomous 52km/32mi Cross Country Flight

Mission accomplished!

The objective was to fly 43km cross country (take off in one location and land in another) and prove that this kind of long range endurance / autonomous flight / chase car was possible.

The first take off was pretty rough, the cold reduced the bungee's pulling power and impaired my ability to feel the bungee's tension. It skidded on the ground and nearly destroyed the prop.

After reattaching the prop, I took it off and tested it manual mode. It passed my stress test, so I set it on it's mission.

It flew perfectly the entire trip, and covered 52km. We landed it in a remote field a few miles south of Joplin, Missouri.

See you next week!


Flight Stats:
Ground Covered: 52.2km/32.4mi
Duration: 37.5 min
Watt Hours: 89.4 (8.1Ah at 11.1v)
Avg Amp Draw: 12.9A
Avg Ground Speed: 83.6kph/52.0mph
Efficiency: 584m/Wh or 6.5km/Ah or 154mah/Km
Max altitude AGL: 122m
Max ground speed: 61mph
Max distance from ground station: 311m/0.2mi

Safety note: I maintained line of sight during this flight, and had my controller close by to take manual control as needed. The altitude read over 120m, but elevation increased during flight. True AGL for the flight is 100-120m. I avoided all airports and populated areas.

Raptor 140b Stats:
Weight: 1780g
Max Flight Time: 50min
Max Range: 50km
Stall Speed: 30kph
Cruise Speed: 100kph
Max Speed: 135kph
Radio Range: 1.5km
Energy Carried: 111wh (10,000mAh at 11.1v)
Drive Power: 850w

The equipment used---
Raptor 140 airplane:

Radio Tx: ParkeFlyer Turnigy 9x Tx:
Telemtry: 915mhz 100mW 3DR
Laptop: Compaq Presario CG57
GPS Dongle:

Flight Controller: APM2.6
Reciever: 6ch FlySky
Telemtry: 915mhz 100mW 3DR
Battery: (2) 5.0Ah 20C Turnigy Lipo:
ESC: 60A Brushless
Motor: 3542 1450kv brushless
Prop: 10x7 Carbon Fiber Folding
Servos: 11g digital
Onboard camera:

Learn More:
Raptor Details:
USA Trip Details:

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Skype: MyGeekShow

Filmed, Edited, Produced and Published by Trent in Arkansas, USA

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  • Hey! I just need to say:


    I love it!

  •  Trent ,Congrats on the flight ! I have been following MyGeek Show from my beginning at DIY and have watched you grow sharing your failures and successes with us to where you are today You are an Inspiration to us all.

  • John: Thank you! I'm excited to keep making and sharing progress on the trip. Thank you for your support!

    Paul: That is awesome! Thank you for your interest/support! It takes a special kind of person to stay up till 2AM to watch an RC airplane fly around : ) Thank you for all the ideas, the emergency landing practice/drills is a great idea! Let me know how the kit fares the long journey, and I'm 100% here for you if you need any help setting it up.

    Swift: Thanks! I'm 100% into the safe and legal stuff, I really, really hope this USA trip can be a message to everyone out there that this kind of thing can be fun, safe, and exciting. 

  • I stayed up and watched also (2am-3am NZ), and agree with the comments here. Was fun to watch. Both the event, and actually getting caught up in your (And Nick') excitement.

    Integration of some other views live would have been fun (Trent I flicked you an email with ideas also)

    I'd love to see an episode dedicated to emergency landings (controled and fully autonomous). I posted more in your "What do you want to see" Geek show .com forum thread.

    Looking forward to my Raptor kit arrival to NZ!

    Good stuff as always


  • Nicely done, Trent. I am probably not the only one who is looking forward to hearing about your next mission!

  • Thank you Hugues! I've been inspired by all of you here as well...

  • MR60

    Congratulations ! and very inspiring for my first steps in Arduplane...

  • Rana: Thanks!

    Gary: I totally agree... doing it safely will really be the only way to do this. Build the hobby!

    Chuck: Me too... I've been working on it for 20+ hours a week since 2011, its going to be an awesome journey, or should I say its BEEN an awesome journey! Let me know if I can help with your 140 build!

  • Trent - I am really looking forward to your cross country trip.  I follow the mygeekshow site and I have my Raptor 140 Kit here to get put together soon, I have to finish up a few other projects - in honor of what you are doing I will break into my first fixed wing APM board test / flights with the Raptor.  Anyway once you have some times and locations nailed down for you trip would love to find out your schedule.  You may want to refresh everyone with the Raptor build page - I bet you would find some people that would acquire some extra batteries, props and maybe some back-up servos/esc/motor to contribute

  • Great job Trent and your careful handling of this in a safe and legal manner is an inspiration to us all.

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