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!
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  • Regarding X8 you like, do you use a landing gear on it? It it even suitable for use with gear ? I it does not have rudder, that would make it difficult to do good landings during crosswind.
  • Hello. yes i am from SA, but was never informed of this problem, and had to pay more shipping to SA, was never told it would take 4mounths... I have also tried the tracking number many times here in SA and with China Post but it still states that the package is in china. How can you help ?

  • Moderator

    Duran DeV

    You must be from SA. There are some big problems sending this bird to south Africa. Please try contact your Mail system with the tracking number provided from It might be stock in customs without any info to you.

    Please send a mail to fpvflying a gmail com and I will solve this matter ASAP.

  • Hi Jonas,

    I did not know about that event.
     Sound's interesting.....

  • Hi Guys,
    I have to clarify that the decisions to pull out was completely ours and that the judges have gone out of their way to help us and all teams not only this year, but every year we have been involved in the competition.
    I'm sure that if we approached them coming up to the D3 deadline the would have offered us options to stay involved. (due to our known UAV experience in the competition over the years)
    The truth is that we would not have been well enough prepared for the competition (to our standards) to be 100% confident in our attempt.
    We do not want to waist anybody's time (Judges, Event organisers and our own) by turning up 80% ready.
    They don't call this competition a Challenge for nothing, it is really really hard and only those with countless hours of dedication to the event will have a chance of saving Joe.
    I am going to miss the fun at the Caravan park and the awesome steaks at the Karalee! :)
    You never know.........2014....Hmmmmmmm
  • 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
  • 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?

  • 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....

  • 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.

  • 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!

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