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Posted by on Aug 28, 2018

Guildford Hill Glides

Guildford Hill Glides

Urban Sprawl Guildford was long overdue a visit from me, so pleased to be back on a sunny, windy afternoon to fly old aerial haunt The Mount, to the West of the town, and new fly site Pewley Down on the East, where we can get some pretty cool views of the town from way high, at a good safe distance, and do it all nice and legally. Not that this meant I was entirely safe, as it transpired… Location Location The first of today’s fly sites was an unknown quantity, but I had done my pre-flight research well, and had a very good idea of what was what before I arrived. There is already aerial video for this site, but only from a fixed wing model FPV feed, so thought I could do a bit better with a multirotor, 1080P and some bright sun. With hindsight, this would have been an extra good place to start doing 4K, but 1080 doesn’t look too awful as it goes –...

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Posted by on Aug 28, 2018

Hampshire High Rise

Hampshire High Rise

The Road to the Top I wasn’t planning on doing this flight, but my target fly site for this afternoon (a deserted building site) wasn’t looking very possible when I got there, so I found myself driving out of town and into the high hills of Hampshire looking somewhat opportunistically for somewhere new to fly… tried loads of places, but each location I explored had something about it that dissuaded me. Pylons, livestock, tree cover, access, rules etc, so on I went, again and again for about an hour and a half ! Scout Mode… Pretty much random chance intervened, and on the way generally back in a homeward direction I eventually I found myself near the top of the highest hill in Hampshire. Not wanting to fly the summit yet (conditions not perfect) I did think this evening would be a good chance to see how the Typhoon H gets on in far proximity to the mast on the hill, and in the rather high winds we can...

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Posted by on Aug 28, 2018

Rogate Green

Rogate Green

New Fly Site Always on the look out for new and interesting places to fly, I’m always up for a little local exploration on Google Maps, and today’s searching found a small little recreation field on the outskirts of Rogate, Hampshire. It looked good on the map, so I went off to scout the location, taking my flyer with me rather speculatively, but hopeful it wouldn’t be too busy when I got there on a late Saturday afternoon. To my surprise it was deserted, and on arrival I had the whole area, land and sky to myself ! All about the Topography… So what have we got ? A nice little flat green, with various interesting trees, equipment sheds and bits of garden machinery on the ground. A tennis court and bowling green. A neat little church and graveyard backing on to it. And excellent views of the village from on high. So got straight on with that, and had 2 very rewarding flights here… Video and Light This...

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Posted by on Aug 28, 2018

Sky Light

Sky Light

Power Down There has been a lot of rain recently, but I had battery packs that needed running down to storage charge, so I was very much looking for the gaps in it. Not brilliantly, as it turns out, as seen in this quick video, where I arrived at Iping / Elsted Common with a relatively bright sky, but by the time I had set up, a heavy cloud bank had moved in, was heading very much my way, and the quality of the light was quite muted and eerie. I decided to do my first flight while I thought the impending rain would hold off, and it did, until right as I was coming in to land. Got her down without problems, and just had time to shelter the craft under the landing pad before the heavens opened, and we had the lengthy shower the cloud was threatening… To fly or not to fly ? On another day I might have given up and gone home in the...

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Posted by on Aug 3, 2018

Canopy Glide

Canopy Glide

Up, up and away… I did that, and filmed it, but the bit I liked most was the journey ‘down, down, and back home’, where I had some battery pack to spare, so took a leisurely parade above the tree tops as I made my descent from a 400 ft pan, which the H handled flawlessly despite a constant stiff headwind. Nailed to the sky again, which is always nice. That Old Cricket Ground… As regular readers will know, Petersfield Heath Cricket Ground is my default practice ground, where I have town council permission to fly, except during matches, and the topography of the land makes it ideal for all sorts of multirotor tests. But although I did use the wide open space for some exciting auto-missions and orbit tests, today I wanted to explore the tree-line a bit more – not too close, but just a gentle forward tracking glide and a fairly steep angle down for the camera… as this is only flight 42 on the H...

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Posted by on Aug 1, 2018

Halls Hill

Halls Hill

Drive-By Flyings Today, me and today’s spotter, Special Assistant Andy were off to fly secret hidden towers, but our plans were thwarted because there were loads of sheep in the field we didn’t want to worry. So back in the car we got, and drove about a bit, mainly around the Buriton area, until we found ourselves at the Halls Hill Car Park, one of the many entrances to the South Downs Way. Handy car park next to a lot of public fields that we had entirely to ourselves for the whole session. Site Assessment Even though it’s mostly open fields and whatnot, there are enough hazards about, and the contour of the landscape itself makes this a Level 2 fly-site. So, careful not to directly overfly the one minor road, or the houses at the end of the field, and ever aware of the low-level power lines, and the slope of the land, we were good to go for two 15 minute flights. Could have gone longer on...

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Posted by on Jul 27, 2018

Harting Heights

Harting Heights

Freewheeling over Harting Down Another one of the places I am very pleased to have revisited is Harting Down, a very pleasant fly site, a largely unobstructed wide open field, only made Level 3 by the often turbulent and prodigious wind, and by the difficulty of recovery should things go wrong while you are over the edge into the valley beyond. But the careful pilot who goes on the right day, when the wind isn’t too bad gets rewarded by some epic views of the Hampshire countryside in the afternoon sun. Afternoon Artefacts I am beginning to see the wisdom of getting a neutral density filter set. As I venture out on flying missions in the day, as opposed to golden hour / sunsets, then I find myself having to set exposures very low (shutter speeds of up to 1/1000 needed today), which, given that I was filming at 60 FPS, is a long way from ideal. 1/120 would be the perfect setting for ultra smooth video there, and...

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Posted by on Jul 26, 2018

High Gold

High Gold

Return to Elsted I’ve missed this place in my time of no-flyings, so it’s nice to be back. I didn’t get here sooner only because I was working my way back up to it, after all this is what I’d call a level 3 fly-site – massive wide space, but lots of obstacles at a range of heights, and massive body of water nearby to not fall into. Also a minor road to avoid overflying, sometimes there is low air traffic, and usually walkers / dogs on the common, although unusually I didn’t see a single one today ! I was utterly alone with my Typhoon H and we had the skies to ourselves ! Technically Speaking I wouldn’t call today’s flights flawless – they started off that way, and kept going for a whole 20 minutes of flight. But during the last part of the second flight, I was hearing a rare but familiar short unusual motor buzz from the craft on reaction to input, there was a...

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Posted by on Jul 24, 2018

Water Works

Water Works

New Fly Site Alert Ever since curiosity got the better of me and I airwheeled my way down that lane down by Penns Place I have admired the view from the field that waits at the end of the road. We have a clear view all the way to Butser, but I couldn’t help noticing how perfect it would be for flying too. But I wasn’t flying at the time, so that plan was shelved for a while. But I am flying now :) There are a couple of houses there, but they are perfectly hidden by tree banks, so their privacy shouldn’t be affected by my presence. It is good in terms of space – there is certainly more than enough of that, very few obstacles (some powerlines, positions / heights noted), but it’s less ideal in terms of openness, being SO open that a fairly colossal amount of wind comes off the hills and sweeping into that field on most days. That keeps me away from here...

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Posted by on Jul 23, 2018

Petersfield Pans

Petersfield Pans

It’s not a good idea (or legal) to film in town centers, where there are a lot of people, but for a long time I have been looking into other ways to get decent shots of my home town without breaking any rules. It all comes down to finding launch sites that are in exactly the right place – right on the edge of town, and I have been looking for those a lot recently. As you’ll see, I found 2 suitable sites, where I could launch in green fields with good tree protection, and more than 50 m away from any building, and 150 m away from any building with people in. Hospital Recreation Field Not alot of room to play here, but we do meet the minimum requirements for distance from buildings at launch, and if we go pretty much straight up and down in a single line we are doing considerate flying, not overflying any building or structure, and generally keeping out of the way, and...

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Posted by on Jul 23, 2018

Turning Circles

Turning Circles

We’re down at Penns Place, today having a little fun on the ground before heading up high for the sunset… Finding Form Now that I am happy that the craft is relatively safe and stable in the air I can turn my attention more towards filming techniques, especially the unique and unusual perspectives offered by having total gimbal independence from the craft. So I start this video exploring the travelling pan, where our camera rotates at a constant rate while the craft moves in a straight line, and then later a much more variant flight path. This produces really nice, slightly dizzying epic sweeps of the surroundings, and the effect becomes much more pronounced if you add altitude change and reverse direction into the mix as well. Loving the results of that so far, I imagine I’ll do quite a lot of it wherever flying circumstances allow (can only happen where you have clear VLoS for the entire path, because you obviously can’t rely on a screen that isn’t...

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Posted by on Jul 23, 2018

New Fly Site – Rake Lane

New Fly Site – Rake Lane

The Lay of the Land… Special Assistant Andy told me about a cool little field he passes on the way from Milland to Petersfield, and having pre-flighted on google maps it did look ideal, in that it was vast, safe, miles from anywhere, and the landscape was very attractive, and contoured interestingly, and today it was particularly good because of all the black-wrapped hay bales everywhere. But we did get there quite late, so light was fading fast, and there wasn’t as much time as I would have liked to really use the space to our advantage, but the sunset was great, a nice ethereal spooky pink and purple one that made a nice end to the fun flyings in the field below. Can we fly here ? My main concern with any fly site is ‘Is it safe to fly?’, but there are other considerations too. It is very difficult to seek permission to fly at these sorts of places because it is almost never clear who owns...

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