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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Comment by Gary Mortimer on May 27, 2015 at 9:27pm

Yes you would Stephan, the important thing to remember is that I make it up as I go along! In the past one entrant scored highly because they went out into the snow to enter a round. How nice to see so many original entrants chipping in. The amount of push for code change created by those that braved their platforms should not be underestimated. These brave folks have really helped make APM what it is today. 

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on May 27, 2015 at 11:25pm

Yay! I'm totally doing that this weekend with Solo. 

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on May 28, 2015 at 4:33am

I guess the goal would be to catch up to manual F5D flights when it comes to speed and turn radius.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on May 28, 2015 at 4:45am

Its a pity you have to fly by yourself Chris oh no thats... I always thought F5D would be the perfect size for a race series of our own. We could copy that course next perhaps....

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on May 28, 2015 at 5:12am

@JAB, that's nuts.  Are those like DLG's with motors?

Why do they have so much wing if they fly so fast?

Comment by Gary Mortimer on May 28, 2015 at 6:00am

These are the specs Rob


This class is a racing event for electric model aircrafts only. The race consists of 10 laps around a triangle measuring 400 m in circumference. The best competitors fly their model aircraft over a distance of more than 4 km in just 70 seconds or less !

Model Aircraft specifications:

  • Minimum weight ready to fly: 1’000 g
  • Maximum surface loading: 65 g/dm2
  • Battery Type: Lithium Polymer
  • Minimum weight of battery pack: 200 g
  • Maximum weight of battery pack: 400 g
  • Limitation of energy by an electronic limiter that stops the motor: max. 1'000 Watt-min

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on May 28, 2015 at 6:45am

@Rob, it has to do with trying to get laminar flow and still have enough lift to fly and make the turns. Speed stalls during turns are also a common problem they have to account for.

And btw. the F3D class is even more extreme then F5D. They do the 4km (10 lap) track in down to 60 seconds.

Comment by Randy on May 28, 2015 at 6:59am

I thought I might get the first entry in but sadly my IRIS had a traumatic encouter with a tree.  I didn't think they were 30m tall.. most weren't.. but one was.  Anyway, it's made a recovery and another attempt will come this weekend.

Comment by John Arne Birkeland on May 28, 2015 at 7:06am

Any chance your copter is named George?

Comment by Gary Mortimer on May 28, 2015 at 7:10am

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


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