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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  • 3D Robotics

    Read the instructions??? Who has time for that?

    (blush) Will redo with the required 5 :)

  • Developer

    Looking good, 14m/s (53km/h or 33mph).  But I think the rules are that you need to fly the pattern 5 times?

  • 3D Robotics

    I did this with the new Solo, which is pretty blazing fast for a copter: 93 seconds! Here's my log (third run).  Those are pretty straight tracks for a 15knot wind


  • Yes, it's amazing how well the tracks line up, it's hard to see there are 5 there.  The straighter tracks are from the beginning and ending, as it was flying straight waypoints instead of splines.The smoother figure 8's are 5 splines stacked up on top of eachother.  Wind was minimal, which helped.

  • Moderator

    Flipping heck that's amazing when you consider the tracks the first time this was run. 

  • Ok, I have an entry.  Sort of.  I think it cut the corners a little bit.

    I sent the Iris up first to get a feel for it.  Set the WP Speed at 15m/s.  That's about all she's got Keptin!  Throttle was running about 80-100%, pitched forward 30 degrees. I did have the draggy tall legs on it.

    Took 418 seconds legs up to legs down.


  • Moderator

    Well um yes Jared

  • T3

    F3D is amazing. Imagine trying to tune gains at 200 mph, 60 seconds at a time. 

  • T3

    An entry and an exit in 24 hours!

  • Moderator

    Blimey an entry within 24 hours that is point worthy in itself!

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