Farewell Little Ladybird
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 it toward the houses on the other side of the field.
Despite giving it full power in the opposite direction to try and bring it back to me, she couldn’t fight this particularly strong wind, and it continued on towards the buildings.
Incapable of damage
Although I wasn’t worried about causing damage to people or property (it only weighs 22 grams) I had no choice but to cut motor power altogether as it sailed towards the back gardens of the houses backing on to the playing field so that there was no risk of coming down in the road that I know lies beyond that. I could see that it hadn’t reached them when it fell, and was most likely in the large area of bushes separating them from the park.
And there she goes (blows)…
Having powered down, I got on my airwheel and headed over to where I thought it had ditched, but there was absolutely no sign of it in the thick bushes, and gently tweaking the throttle didn’t produce any sound I could hear, so I had no choice but to accept the loss, and airwheeled my way home…
Value for Money
I have had that micro-flyer for over a year and logged at least 150 safe flights with it, and used it to learn how to flip and manoeuvre in extremely confined spaces, so I don’t feel too hard done by that my £50 machine has probably gone forever. The bushes in which it fell were far too high and dense to attempt a rescue, especially given that I didn’t know its precise location.
Reward if Found
However, if anybody living in the houses that back on to the Avenue playing fields (especially those directly opposite the village hall) find it, there will be a small reward for its return. If you do happen to find a tiny grey ladybird-shaped quadrotor, please contact me using the form on this website.
Although my full-size flyers can fight wind and thermals up to 30 mph with no problem at all, it seems that the Ladybird 2 really can’t, and that was today’s lesson – don’t fly your micro-quads in any sort of serious wind unless you are prepared to keep it under 20 ft, and make sure you drop power as soon as a thermal takes it above that.
I’ll have to get another one of those…
’til next time