FPV Tricopter films jumping alligators

It was such a cool place to fly FPV. My favorite flight was probably when I got to chase the airboat.

I knew tigers were big but until you meet one face to face you can’t really imagine how massive and powerful they really are. Luckily this tiger was super well trained and were more like a big cat than a fierce killer. 

The alligators really wanted to eat the Tricopter and jumped all over the place. I had to be really careful as not to get video of the digestion system of an alligator when flying around.

If someone told me a couple of years ago that I was going to fly a triangle of wood with a camera strapped to it, filming tigers and alligators, I would have laughed. I’m so glad that I had the luck to get to do this.


This video is made from 7 different flights.

In this video the Tricopter is equipped with hacker motors instead of the usual AXN2213 motors. The reason behind this is that the AXN motors were killed in the crash into saltwater during the video “Cancún”. I personally prefer the AXN motors to the Hacker on the Tricopter.

During some flights the Tricopter was equipped with two GoPros. One facing forward, the other facing downwards.

I still use the original frame from the first Tricopter build.

Although it looks like I’m hitting the airboat driver in the video, I’m not that close. I cut the throttle and let the Tricopter take the hit instead of our airboat driver. The airboat driver asked afterwards why I crashed instead of flying passed him. He didn’t feel that is was as close as I did apparently.

Although the crash looks pretty hard, nothing broke. I flew another 2 flights that day.

The tiger loved the Tricopter which actually made it harder to film as it constantly wanted to get underneath the Tricopter and out of frame.



Airframe: Tricopter


Stabilization unit: KK

RC TX: Hitec Aurora 9 2.4GHz AFHSS

RC RX: Hitec Optima 9

Camera: GoPro Hero HD set at 720p 60FPS

Video TX: 1.3GHz 300mW, Cloverleaf antenna
Video RX: 2 x 1.3GHz Lawmate

Video RX 1 antenna: Skewplanar wheel

Video RX 1 antenna: Helical

Diversity controller: Eagletree Eagle Eyes


More info on www.RCExplorer.se

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  • Nice stuff.
  • This is one of the more interesting and delightful videos I've seen on here.  I think you did a great job on this production.  Oh, and also, I saw a very familiar looking antenna on that tri-copter (which I've discussed in another thread).  Thanks for sharing... this was truly worth watching!
  • Very Cool :)
  • David, you are a LEGEND!. Good flying , simple equipment, and loads of enthusiasm added to a really excellent eye for a good shot makes your shoots the benchmark we all aim for!


    Well done!!!!  WOW , take a bow.




  • Nice Work.....
  • David you have outdone yourself once again, which I would think is getting harder and harder to do!

    This is exactly what great FPV should look like. I admire your work because you always behave professionally and fly safe (well, mostly ;) Actually that looked like it was more dangerous for your tri than your subjects!

    Keep up the good work! I love your attitude and your approach, don't change - just keep getting better.

  • @Dimitar: I'm using Final cut pro X


    @Paul: I was sitting by the side on the ground. It was so dry in the everglades that it was no problem. Yes that is a cloverleaf ;)


    @Randy: Nope, I'm back in Sweden.


    Thanks for the nice comments guys :)

  • An airboat with a 6-cylinder Lycoming - that must really shift!


    Very impressive video!

  • Are you still in Florida?
  • ionut take a look at David's excellent website : http://www.rcexplorer.se/projects/tricopter/tricopter.html



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