T3 Back to the Future


Remember back, way back in autopilot years probably about 20. The year 2009 and the first round of our gentlemens (ladies are allowed just none have ever entered) competition the T3 challenge.

Back then just flying way points was hard and all this gear was expensive. Ardupilots were made at Sparkfun in batches that ran out quick.


Lets try it again I suspect this time the challenge would really be flying it faster than somebody FPV racing.

Read about the first time here for hints and tips. 

As tech has moved on all aircraft types welcome lets make it not above 50m and 5 laps. All of course autonomous. Extra marks if that is from take off to landing.I will count the time from take off to landing so screaming dives to the start will not help. KMLs as evidence please!

UPDATE: Rovers (and boats) are also allowed! There will be a special rover/boat class, and you only have to beat other vehicles in that class. The course for such ground/water vehicles is 100m x 100m. 

I will accept FPV times for the sake of science and should they be much much quicker it will give the pure FPV crowd something to brag about.

An Easystar (yes before HK copied it) made one lap in less than a minute in 2009 so 5 in 5 minutes should be more than possible. 

As ever the time frame is flexible but why don't we all meet back here on August the 1st and find out who won!

Please add your entries and adventures below. Points are always awarded for silliness, just as long as its safe!


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  • It's on like Donkey Kong!

  • Developer

    I'll be putting my little IRIS through the course packed with a 4S battery!  54km/h hold me back!

    Let's say I'll be setting a baseline...

  • T3

    Actually we have a Goblin 770 and a Trex800...but no autopilot integration on those.

  • I have a Goblin 380 that can do 133 km/h, and that's just getting warmed up. :)

  • T3

    Unfortunately the MaxiJoker is RIP (resting in pieces). That thing was faster than stuff we have now on account of the aerodynamic canopy, short flight time, and no payload. In other words, not useful. I'm not sure if the tilt rotor will be done in time but it should be pretty fast.

  • Awresome!

    So the course is 965m... let's call it 1km.  So the winning entry last time was 73 km/h from a flying start.

    That's actually still a respectable time.  Including corners and everything?  Actually I wouldn't have guessed an Easy Star could actually do that.

  • This looks like fun! I'll have to see if my Pixhawk ZMR250 quad is up to the challenge!

  • T3

    What a fabulous competition this was. Best of luck to all those who participate :)

  • Very cool to see how far we've come and I cant wait to see how much times have improved!

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