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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  • How did you build your tricopter?Can you send some links?I plan to build to something simple
  • Are the alligators from the AMA?
  • Very cool video! That's some pretty amazing flying right there! Where were you sitting while chasing the airboat? On the boat? That mist have been very disorienting.


    Also is that a cloverleaf antenna I see?

  • Great video! I'm glad you took some time to talk about it a bit more instead of just posting the video. It's like a smaller budget Planet Earth :).
  • Now your talking. This video is inspiring.

    It takes time, efforts and timing to make such video.

    Trusting all your DIY tallent, intuition and your hardware leads to such result.

    Bravo! from the Swapper development team.

  • Moderator
    Simply COOL... Great work!
  • Impressive David :-) Words are just worthless - all the people I send the link today liked it a lot. What software are you using for video edit?
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