Day 2 of UAV Challenge Week 2018


A windy overnight “flying” incident (left), the team currently known as {insert_team_name_here} take to the field (right).

We all had a huge day out at Dalby Model Aero Club today. There was wind, rain, lightning and some great flying by our high-school teams. We always knew that Day 2 would be a complicated day. The day was planned as the flying day for the Airborne Delivery Challenge and the scrutineering day for the Medical Express Challenge.

Teams and organisers arrived to find that the overnight wind had done a bit of damage to the small tents we use to shield the competitors and judges. The wind conditions were above the limit set out in the Airborne Delivery rules and so the high-school teams had to wait until mid-morning when the wind finally dropped and they could fly.


MUROC Titans doing their pre-flight checks (left), Precision Air with super star Outback Joe (right).

First up were {insert_team_name_here}, High Flyers and Dickson sUAVé. All of them did a great job considering the long wind delay. It was great to see some auto dropping of the Impact Monitor to Outback Joe. MUROC Titans were up next but their flight was interrupted by rain and the competition was paused for nearly three hours while the Dalby region got a well-needed soaking (7mm). The Titans started again after the delay and managed three drops using a novel winch-like delivery mechanism. The team from Aragon High School in California came out next, followed by Precision Air from Noosa District High School. And then the wind returned. We called it a day and will be back to fly the remaining six teams first thing in the morning (Southwest Aircorp, Team Hybrid, Millennium Falcons, PHS Falcons, Sky High and Blue Birds).


Team Dhaksha from India (left) and the judges interviewing High Flyers – Academic Scientific Association team (right)

In the Medical Express Challenge, the teams arrived and set up their aircraft ready for scrutineering and their interview with the judges. We have eleven teams competing this year and all have now arrived. The scrutineers and judges had a very long but productive day checking the UAVs and quizzing the teams to ensure that everything is ready to go for the flights over the next few days. This is the first year that the UAV Challenge Medical Express event is operating officially as a Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) operation.

The running order for the Medical Express teams is:

Monash UAS
High Flyers
Canberra UAV
West Coast UAV
MelAvio Avionics Club
Forward Robotics
MAVlab TUDelft
Griffin UAV
Team Dhaksha

Tomorrow we hope that the weather will be far kinder and we will complete the Airborne Delivery Challenge and start the competition flights for Medical Express. It is going to be another busy day for Outback Joe.

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