Interest in Resurrecting the IRIS or SOLO (RTF ArduPilot)?

Hi there!

Forgive me if this is in the wrong section. My name is Caleb Bergquist and I run a website called

A lot of the customers I interact with have zero interest in building an ardupilot capable drone, but have an extreme interest in a finished ardupilot drone’s capabilities.

It appears that there is not an RTF ArduPilot drone on the market that isn’t targeted at businesses, with price tags in the $3,000 to $20,000 range, so individuals are forced to build a drone from scratch if they want an ArduPilot drone at an affordable price. But as I said, a ton of my customers aren’t interested in building a drone, but are super interested in developing on the ArduPilot software stack.

So here is the point of my making this post.

Is there still community interest in an RTF ArduPilot drone in the price range of $800 - $1,200, like the IRIS and SOLO?

I’m not too versed into the history of the IRIS, but it appears the 3DR SOLO’s death was mainly a consequence of bad business decisions of 3DR, rather than the demand not being there.

What do you think? Does the ardupilot community need an affordable RTF ArduPilot drone again?

If the interest is there, I’d love to potentially get a Kickstarter going and offer this back to the community.

Would love to hear your thoughts :slight_smile:

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Probably everyone is in a different place on this, but a well engineered, well thought out kit with clear instructions could be interesting to me. I’ve eyeballed the super cheap f450 clone kits on amazon/ebay, but I know those are bargain basement parts (some ship with the old old apm2) and I imagine you just get bag’s o random parts and bits and zero help. I built the rcexplorer mini-tri copter a few years ago and really appreciated all the thought and care that went into that … it was close to a work of art all things considered. I enjoy a bit of assembly … came in handy when I landed hard and broke an arm … it was much less intimidating to pull it apart and replace it since I already knew how it went together.
So in my mind, a kit with an option to buy it fully assembled (and test flown?) is a great idea, but the details stack up and make it harder than it looks at first, and many of the things I though were great ideas never caught on, so don’t take my advice too far, I’m just n=1 and already have too many projects on the work bench.

I find the holybro X500 kit very well built. We can buy it fully assembled and tested for a reasonable price in Europe. just my 2c


Agree with @amilcarlucas, something like the Holybro offering is good enough. Kickstarter (and the like) and Drones has been one Dumpster Fire after another…