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 http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1124466

Views: 6628

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on July 7, 2014 at 6:12am

Ah, excellent!  Just the type of competition that suits me! :)  I've got machines ready and waiting to go.


1) 5000mAH... how many volts?

2) I assume we can carry more than 1 ball per trip?

3) Can we air-drop?

4) One 5000mAH battery, What if we are using a 2S 5000 battery for avionics, but the aircraft is otherwise powered by gas?  :D  Your rules only mention a battery limit.

5) The 300m thing is a bit tricky, logistically.  Can I use my club field, land and takeoff from separate ends of the field, and fly a horseshoe pattern with the same distance flight path and clearing center field?  This would allow me to enter, otherwise I probably can't.

Comment by naish on July 7, 2014 at 6:15am

So a 5000mha battery for servos and autopilot, then a 30cc fuel injected engine with 7L fuel on a plane... I think I could fly all day long! ; ) would't be better to specify a max number of W instead of mha? I can have a plane with up to 14s 5000mha or a 3s with 5000mha... and there is a big difference!

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on July 7, 2014 at 6:21am

I'd love to see a gas powered airplane get in and out of those landing zones! :)

Comment by UAV_Enthusiast on July 7, 2014 at 6:44am

I agree with the flight distance issues. If we were to fly a minimum of 300m in any pattern at altitude to meet the distance requirements would this count? I am envisioning setting up the 20x40 area and have that as kind of the designated ingress and egress areas and the field around it being open to the 300m distance portion.

Also are we to collect the balls autonomously? :) If not, how many points for a fully autonomous retrieval and deployment system?

Comment by UAV_Enthusiast on July 7, 2014 at 6:46am

A gas powered plane could do it...you would essentially be creating the JSF. That would be awesome to see in an RC model.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on July 7, 2014 at 6:53am

Yes, or maybe a really well designed STOL.  Maybe the Nampilot could do it?  Either way, I didn't say it was impossible, I'd just love to see it!

Actually, I'd ask Gary to open up a second class for this.  Open-powered, with points going not for distance flown on a battery, but how many balls you can carry at once, while still getting in and out of the landing zone!  Very different challenge.  And you'd have to clear Centre Court, so the glidepath would be sharper than 10:1, making it an interesting but do-able challenge.

Tennis balls are an interesting challenge since they are so low density, volume becomes a problem as much as weight.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on July 7, 2014 at 8:32am

Ok I have modded the top slightly I intended this to be an electric power challenge. 

I will accept entries with a 300m flight path in between the take off and landing point.

No air drops. Amazon won't be doing that so neither will we. This challenge must be impossibly simple really after all there are no addresses involved.

If you really can't find the space I will also accept an A to A flight from a single strip but you will have to fly at least 300m before landing and get above 30m. You will then have to fly a similar empty run to make up for the run everyone else is making back.

@Rob you spotted the volume gotcha!

I don't actually think the distance flown will be the winner, I think a purpose built simple platform made from dollar foam with loads of balls onboard will win.

As I mentioned in the notes this would be a great event for folks to come together and fly at a suitable location in mini competitions. Once again proof of high japes and foolery often scores highly regardless of the actual challenge.

@Bojan if you can lob a platform 300 m and 30m up several times like that then go for it. This is the page with the rules. They will change slightly for a bit now and then be locked off once the muttering stops ;-)

@UAVEnthusiast if you can auto gather the balls that would most certainly be looked upon favorably.


Tortoise and hare is my thinking but the swing wing ultra plane might just cut the mustard.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on July 7, 2014 at 8:34am

Some more inspiration

Comment by Stephen Zidek on July 7, 2014 at 9:41am

Interesting!  I may enter this one.  What is the scoring metric, number of balls delivered?

Comment by Gary Mortimer on July 7, 2014 at 9:57am

Number of balls delivered and fun had


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