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Posted by on Oct 4, 2018

Heath Lake South

Heath Lake South

Back from the brink… It’s good to be back on ‘Heath fly-site No.2 – I’ve been back here before since my return to the hobby, but we had video problems last time so I never published anything on that session. Indeed, there has been an unexpected gap in the flyings for about a month, because I had to send my camera back to Yuneec, and there was a lot of to and fro about what might or might not be wrong with it. They think there is nothing wrong, yet it continues to exhibit the ‘dimming flash’ problems in all 4K modes except one. Fortunately we have discovered that recording in a RAW colour profile seems to minimize the problem to the point where it is barely noticeable, so that’s something. Investigations continue as to why that’s not the case in any other colour mode at 4K. Spin Crazy     Since I have my camera back I have found some time to explore a very new exciting feature...

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Posted by on Oct 4, 2018

West Meon Valley

West Meon Valley

The best -laid plans… It was a perfect Saturday afternoon – minimal wind, lots of bright sun, and I was out on a flying mission, having been told by a friend about how excellent Old Winchester Hill was. It sounded like the perfect place to fly ! Imagine my disappointment when I got there, having driven for about an hour, only to discover their ‘No Drones’ signs. Very disappointing that once again the most picturesque areas of the countryside are off-limits to the people best equipped to promote them. I didn’t contribute to their parking fund, and left to see what the landscape was like a mile down the road from their nature reserve. Not as good as it turns out ! Found an empty field with a public footpath in it, but there was nothing interesting on the ground, so we had to get up nice and high to see the aerial goodness. Unfortunately OWH was largely obscured by its perimeter hills, but you can’t win ’em all…...

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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 20, 2018

Lake Panoramas

Lake Panoramas

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 that machine, and today’s performance was one of its best. Whether it was gracefully side-swiping the tree line, or remaining nailed to the sky at any height for my various slow pans, the Typhoon H proved itself more than adequate to the task, although to be fair it was a particularly calm evening and even at 400 ft winds were...

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Posted by on Jul 13, 2015

Flyaway Disco

Flyaway Disco

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, trying to get some stunning high aerial views of the interesting clouds and sweeping landscape. If we are going to crash, this is at least the perfect place to do it, miles away from anything that isn’t fields or trees. All systems ready ? This was the first flight of the day, and I had completed all the normal ground checks...

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