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Posted by on Jun 27, 2013 in Blog, Video

Drive-by Flyings – Guildford / Godalming

Go where the wind takes you.

Or more specifically, to Guildford, if you’re dropping a friend there. Having done that, I went in the pursuit of great heights, and interesting things to see on the ground.

One-shot wonder

I’ll be making just 3 flights today before I get rained off, but at least they’ll be at 3 sites we don’t see very often, and one of them is my parents’ immaculate and beautiful garden. So enjoy that.

First Flight: The Mount, Guildford

Little fluffy clouds hang over big sprawly Guildford.

Little fluffy clouds hang over big sprawly Guildford.

Much excites up at the highest place overlooking Guildford, as there was competition for the skies ! Just as I was about to take off I spotted another UAV, doing a straight rise and hover at the other end of the hillside.

I took off and flew over to investigate further, but as soon as I gained any sort of height, they had descended and gone. I went looking for them in the car briefly, but no joy – would have been nice to say hello and compare notes etc – that’s only the 2nd time in a year I’ve encountered anyone else flying a multi-rotor at the same time and place as me – they must be getting popular !

Here’s some pics I grabbed from there…

and here’s a video of that and the second flight of the day below…

Flight 2:The Busbridge Copse

Yes, our second flight of the day is in Godalming, and this time I’m in an interesting field close to where my parents live, in Busbridge.

Hidden in the trees there's some rather impressive buildings...

Hidden in the trees there’s some rather impressive buildings…

Interesting flying here too due to almost total absence of any sort of reliable GPS lock, and the high (consistent at least) winds made the Atti Mode I was forced to fly in a barrel of laughs as I selectively allowed myself to be swept away, then fought my way back, to complete a few low circuits and a high pan climb at the end. Good things to see here include the residential area off to the left, the junior forest on the right, and the epic spiritual retreat just beyond the tall treeline.

Engaged GPS lock just as I was about to get blown into one such tree (as I was distracted by someone’s dog as it tried to jump all over me) and to my relief it kicked in and had by then found enough of the satellites that had eluded it so effectively on the ground, to be able to lock it in place in the air, and save the day, until dogs were on leads and I could guide her back down, undistracted.

Here’s a couple of pics of that.

Flight 3: English Country Garden

I’m up in Busbridge to have a nice cup of tea with my parents, and while I was there I was, as usual, blown away by how lovely their beautifully tended garden is even though they tell me it is past its best. I don’t believe them. Look !

A lot of work's gone into that. I'm very pleased they let me fly about over it !

A lot of work’s gone into that. I’m very pleased they let me fly about over it !

Despite the wind being fairly epic, GPS being largely absent, and the sun being more reclusive than not, I resolved that I should definitely do at least one flight here, and the main video for this post is made up entirely of shots from this one flight.

Send in the Black Edition GoPro

As only a GP3 Black edition can do, and the primary reason I have that version, I was filming at 60FPS, and have slowed nearly all the footage down to half speed here, which does something to smooth out what was a very bumpy ride in rather strong winds, with gain settings somewhat higher than would be ideal for filming in order to be able to fight it effectively.

Still, if I hadn’t had the Aeroxcraft gimbal, none of the footage would have been usable, so I consider myself very lucky to get 4 minutes worth, even if some of it is a little bit shaky in places…

I only had the 3 flights before I was rained off, and a lot of that was battling furious wind, but I think the Aeroxcraft brushless gimbal has managed to save enough footage to make a couple of videos worthwhile.

The garden will be one. I’ll probably combine the Mount and Ladywell Copse.

See you wherever I turn up next…

JW