T3 Wimbledon Drone Delivery Challenge (NBNG)


For some spurious story board reason that I have not padded out properly Wimbledon has ball delivery issues!

The T3 task this time is to deliver as many tennis balls as possible using only one 5000 maH battery, to both power the plane and autopilot. Fly between two virtual Wimbledon tennis courts. Take off from Number one and Land and deliver to number two. Then fly back to number one to pick up more balls. Repeat until the battery is flat.


The courts are roughly 20 X 40 m.

Number one and two courts are 300 metres apart.

You will have to soar over centre court, the roof of centre court is 16m above the playing surface so your craft better achieve at least 30m altitude to avoid flags and furniture in its transit between the courts. You could choose to fly around centre court but your KML must show that you virtually missed it!

For the sake of this exercise I will ignore the sides of 1 & 2 courts.

As ever 3DR will provide prizes TBA.

This challenge is open to fixed wing and rotary entries. Take off and landings must happen within the 20 X 40m court.

Autonomous take off and landings will score higher but are not essential. The transit must be autonomous.

No doubt folks will find very light tennis balls but they should be at least 6.7cm wide. 

Honesty is key in the T3 and sillyness often brings points. This might be a great competition to try and fly with other DIYD members. I feel bonus points for every team in those groups coming on. A well documented attempt is also looked upon favorably. 

Lets make the closing date December 30th 2014. There should be enough spring and autumn weather for each hemisphere.

This idea is loosely based on the BMFA heavy lift challenge, it gets pretty serious.

Now bring on the questions, I am bound to have forgotten something.

There are plenty of cargo planes out there to build


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  • I suggest a new name for this challenge: the NBNG challenge.

    NBNG ? No Balls, No Glory !!!

    Ok, ok, I am away.


  • Moderator

    Well lets see what actually happens entries wise David, I would hate to limit some platforms other than helicopters there will be a crossover point with fixed wing where lifting the battery and getting in and out of the take off and landing area with a load will be a challenge.

    Perhaps we should have two classes, (prizes) one for fixed wing and one for rotary.

  • Developer

    OMG: this 5000mAh battery looks ot be the biggest one I can find.... it's a  12S1P 1.7Kg 5000mAh battery rated at 44V, with a peak current capability of 650Amps.   What can you power with this baby..? 
    Dear Gary:    may I propose a 4S or 6S limit on batteries? 

  • This T3 seems to favor copters and helis :-(

    I´d like to go fixed wing but to be able to compete (when I take the Hobbyking Beerlift challenge as a reference would take a huge effort in building a suitable plane... I have actually been involved in such activity, so I know how much work it is (

    I´m not sure if splitting the competition makes sense?

    And please allow air-drop for fixed-wing :-) (Of course only balls on "the court" count)

  • I don't think you have to do the round trip, one way would be fine.

  • T3

    Luckily I have an easy source of tennis balls: there is a set of tennis courts on my campus which borders a wooded area, and nobody ever retrieves lost balls from the woods because it is too much trouble.  There are years worth of them back there.  Will probably sling a garbage bag of them under my octo: with a single 5000mAh I should be able to make the round trip flight once carrying a heavy load.

  • Moderator

    I've done underslung loads with tricopters and was amazed it worked, would the heli be that bad? The KMAX seems ok with it ;-) I look forward to seeing your flights. There is also this method for delivery which I would allow but 75 balls would take a while.

  • No way I'm doing underslung.  Controllability would be a problem.

    I probably won't use a cube.  3 high, 3 wide, 6 long.  20x20x40, 54 balls, 3.2kg, should be pretty trivial for the heli. I'll start with that.

    I'll either use balls, or a setup that would be totally plausible that it could carry balls.  No handicap needed.

    Heck, maybe just buy 3 of these, strap them on the bottom, and return them when done. ;)

  • Moderator

    I had not considered underslung loads from conventional heli's. In my head I had folks stuffing 5 or 10 into a fuse. You would be OK with the box, I am wondering if there should be a very slight weight handicap though as the box will be much easier to handle than 75 balls, much much.

    You might just have laid down the gauntlet with the number 75.

    Go and find a big enough space and it would be very cool.

  • Bonus points for tennis racket equipped quadcopters knocking the balls back to the launching point. :)

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