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Lake Panoramas

Posted by on Jul 20, 2018

Test Flights Complete With 20 problem-free flights between us (all in wide open fields in the middle of nowhere) there is now a good a level of trust building between me and my new flyer, so I am more  confident taking it where there are (a few more) people. Gotta watch out for defensive birds too, who can take a multirotor down if they take exception to it and attack. Fortunately today’s birds were quite chilled out and I wasn’t worried, having established in my pre-flight scout that there were no big raptors, or swallows about (the 2 main avian UAV aggressors). There is a lot to love about...

Testing the Typhoon H

Posted by on Jul 10, 2018

Here are my thoughts on the first sessions with the Typhoon H. Hopefully not only is this a record of the flights for me but might be useful to other pilots about to fly the H for the first time. Large open space with nobody in it… (OK, 2 people and a dog in it, but even so…) When you get a new flying machine, and have done all its updates and hardware checks, the only thing remaining to be done is to get out there, fly it and learn its systems and responses. Being a pilot of some reasonable experience I know that this is best done far...

Back from the Brink…

Posted by on Jul 7, 2018

Long time no fly ! Aerocam has been grounded for the last 3 years, mainly because of ‘trust issues’. After the 3rd crash caused by DJI flight controllers and no pilot error, I was at the point where I simply could not and would not trust that company again. Their lack of concern or willingness to admit to or address a problem that has plagued their flight controllers since the first one they ever built has left DJI’s reputation in tatters for me. They might be the biggest in the world, but they are flawed and have let me down 3 times too many. Discovery Pro I loved that...

Airwheel 600 – A Year-in Review

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015

Who’s counting the hours ? I am. Thought it was about time I did another Airwheel blog as I have finally crossed the ‘600 hours on it’ mark, a relatively landmark moment, because it means that my time on the machine has cost just £1 an hour and every hour I spend on it now just makes that even cheaper and better value for money. It has to be said I am truly impressed with the reliability and the lack of ongoing costs in the year and a bit since I’ve had mine. Indeed, my Airwheel X5 has moved me over 3500 miles, saved me an incredible amount on petrol, and...

A New Era of Flight Control

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015

Goodbye DJI Having had my second flyaway, and as usual no response from DJI, my trust in them and their flight controllers is just not there anymore. So I won’t be using anything made by them again. Ok, maybe their high density plastic multirotor arms but nothing else. But what else is there, Flight Controller-wise ? Quite a bit of choice, as it goes… After some exhaustively lengthy research, I have narrowed my choice of flight controller for my TBS Discovery Pro rebuild to either a 3DRobotics Pixhawk, or an Eagletree Vector. I also looked at the APM 2.6, CC3D, Naze32, Hobbyking’s KK2.0,The Unmanned Tech All-in-One and a few...

Flyaway Disco

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015

The classic DJI flyaway Despite doing everything reasonable to avoid it, I am already a member of the esteemed DJI Flyaway club, but today I reconfirmed my membership by being the victim of a new mystery flyaway, which happened for no appreciable reason and without any sort of warning, following 2 minutes of perfectly normal flight control. Location is everything Ever since my first DJI flyaway, I have been extra cautious about where I fly, so as to minimize as much as possible the risk to people, animals and property if the worst should happen. Today I was up on the high hills of Ditcham, Hampshire in the setting sun,...

Treyford Rise

Posted by on Jun 28, 2015

Summer Solstice, almost… OK, 2 days late for the solstice, and 3 days short of the longest day of the year, but thought it was about time I went and got some sunset action while the daylight hours are so long. So as 9 pm approached the sun was heading behind some fairly epic clouds, and the skies were turning golden just as I was rolling along the road between Treyford and Didling (really ?) hoping to find somewhere good to launch from, ideally next to a fairly impressive bit of the South Downs. Luckily, half way along it I found a convenient layby, and a newly sown field with an...

150 Tiny Gardens

Posted by on Jun 17, 2015

Interesting Things on the Ground… Constantly on the look-out for new places to explore from the air, my various wanderings took me just up the road from home, where I discovered a vast empty field neighbouring a pretty large set of allotments. Intrigued to see what they would look like from above, I set about planning this flight session extremely carefully. No, I haven’t counted them. But there’s loads. It is my hope that the individual allotment owners (I couldn’t ask them all) won’t mind my brief sailplane around their growing efforts, and  might appreciate an unusual view of their produce. Safety first… There is more need for safety...

Petersfield Heath Summer 2015

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015

Rain stops, let’s go Hello archaeologists ! And Summer. Join me for an aerial view of some of Petersfield Heath, replete with burial mound dig sites, and a bit of lake action. There’s also a golf course over there somewhere. I say Summer, but not sun, as it had been raining all day (despite being the hottest day of the year) and this somewhat lucky flight is the result of me checking the weather every 10 minutes, and then running out with my RC gear to grab a skyfull in the single half hour in which rain had ceased. Eye on the sky… I can fly in rain, but choose...

Farewell Little Ladybird

Posted by on Jun 11, 2015

Microquad vs. Wind Popped out to my local practice field today for a little session with my favourite microquad, the tiny but relatively resilient Walkera Ladybird V2. I knew the wind was gusty, but the BBC told me it was around 14 mph so I resolved to keep it fairly low, and go for 3 short practice flights in manual mode. It would transpire that I had underestimated the power of thermals, because after 2 successful flights with no crashes I suddenly found my little microflyer lifted about 70 ft into the air on a passing thermal, and then an unusually consistent gust of wind grabbed it and took...

Old Litten Lane

Posted by on Jun 6, 2015

Spring into Summer From the ground at least, the weather looked perfect for a spot of flying half way through this week, and I thought it might be time to head up high to Stoner Hill, and see if I could capture the beautiful Spring greens along the ridge of the hill just outside Petersfield. I only had 3 charged battery packs with me, so I knew my time there would be brief, but it was enough to gain some reasonable height and check out the view both sides of the hill crest. Although there is a public footpath that runs through the fields and woods to the left...

Golden Heights

Posted by on May 21, 2015

Drive-by-flyings Today I was out looking for the few rapeseed fields that haven’t yet been harvested, and I must have driven for a good 40 minutes without finding a single suitable one, but as I turned back on to the A3, I wondered if there were any on the way up towards Butser Hill, which I would shortly be passing. A worthwhile digression as it turns out, because there’s at least 3 of them nearly at the crest of the hill, and one of the fields had helpful unrestricted access (yep, I could get through that gap). As it was the middle of a working day, there was almost...