Melbourne UAV is out of the Outback Challenge

Hi Guys,
Unfortunately down here in Melbourne Australia we have had a very wet winter, which has made it virtually impossible for us to fly our X8 UAV in preparation for the 2012 Outback UAV Challenge. We fly on a private farm about an hour from Melbourne which for months has had either had water laying on the ground or been too muddy to get our cars in.
What this means for us is we didn't get enough Autonomous hours logged for our Deliverable 3 to stay in the competition. It's disappointing because we were pretty confident that this was going to be the year! :)   (Third time lucky and all)
The main purpose of this post was to say a big thanks to all our sponsors and people that have helped us along the way.
And a special big thanks to for their greatly appreciated support with the
Awesome X8 airframe. Please have a look at the link as it is a great airframe for UAV / FPV use!
We would also like to thank all the people that took the time to tweet and leave messages through
It's always amazed me how so many people have taken an interest in a few mates having fun just entering a competition.
Best of luck to all the teams that have put in the hard work to get there on the day and I'm guessing the ground will be littered with bottles around Joe this year! It's shaping up to be a great event!

Views: 2757

Comment by Gary Mortimer on August 15, 2012 at 9:31am


Comment by Wouter van Verre on August 15, 2012 at 9:33am

Ow :( That's a real shame! Maybe you'll have better luck next year!

Comment by Carl La France on August 15, 2012 at 3:36pm

Sad to hear you didn't make the competition the air craft certainly looks capable Is it possible they would let you fly any way? not for a trophy or such but just before or after the competition to see how you would have  fared? and maby get some pointers for next time? Good luck

Comment by Wanabigaplane on August 15, 2012 at 4:22pm

What a shame.

Surely you have enough runs on the board with this and similar enough aircraft to enter your D3!

Still, we have found how difficult it all is. We have been flying in such winds and cold that Joe would not have got out of bed to go bushwalking in!

You definitely need more than one aircraft.

Will you be attending Kingaroy?

I would love to see the X8, and the set up you have developed.

Jack. CanberraUAV.

Comment by Andrew Tridgell on August 15, 2012 at 4:24pm

Hi Carl,

I doubt the organisers will let non-competing teams fly. The time constraints for the competition are quite tight, and I think they will want all the time available for the competing teams.

Hopefully Scott will have better weather preparing for the 2014 competition! If someone does manage to 'rescue' Joe this year then it will be interesting to see if the competition is changed for next time.

Cheers, Tridge

Comment by Scott James on August 15, 2012 at 6:49pm

Thanks for the kind words guys. We will be staying home this year as it's a long way to Kingaroy just to go and watch. Hopefully there will be a 2014 event but it is not confirmed. I would imagine that it would cost a fortune to hold the OBC and sponsorships are not easy to get.....

My biggest hot tip for the new teams still involved this year is make sure your data kinks can do at least 5 times the distance you need for the OBC as they don't call it the Kingaroy triangle for nothing! Ignore this if you are on 3G :)  Cheers!

Comment by PeteD on August 15, 2012 at 7:18pm

By how many hours were you short? Were you barred from competing by the organizers because you didn't meet this requirement or was it your decision not to submit D3 because you don't think it will be accepted on grounds of not having enough hours.

Personally, assuming the latter, I would submit anyway and highlight the fact that you have competed in previous years and have autonomous flight time and experience logged from back then.

I don't think it would be the intention of the organizers for the minimum autonomous flight hours rule to exclude teams that have a real chance of success, who have competed in previous years and have persisted through to D3 on this occasion.

Comment by Duran - ALTI on August 15, 2012 at 11:07pm

sorry to hear. Regaring FPV Flying, we ordered a X8 wing on the 1st of June, and still nothing... I've tried what I can to get in contact with them, or to find out where the wing is but no help or idea at all. I spent 92USD on shipping alone....

Comment by Jonas Bohlin on August 16, 2012 at 12:10am

Sorry to hear about the competition.

Soon (25/8-1/9) there is a conference "XXII International Society for Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing Congress" in Melbourne. Which is one of the largest conferences for Remote sensing with some 5000 attendees and there will be some 15 presentations about aerial mapping from small UAV:s. 

Are you attending, I would like to see your X8 since I plan to get one myself as a compliment to my Arducopter?

Comment by Not Sure on August 16, 2012 at 5:15am
quote "are they the only guys being eliminated for not enough hours?or was it "the politics of committee' *( seen their rig crapped their drawers and got the team eliminated on a frivolous "technicality"?)"

What exactly are you trying to say in the above statement? I'm curious... especially when you don't sit on the committee or are involved in the organisation of the competition? The officals of the OBC have bent over backwards to help teams compete and go the extra mile towards promoting unmanned aviation operating alongside an open airstrip with manned traffic.

It's a pity Scott, I'll hopefully see you next time at Kingaroy, the past few years at the competition have been fun, especially at the old caravan park and karalee etc


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