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Posted by on Jul 9, 2013 in Blog, Video

Sailplanes by Sunset

Cruising the Petersfield Skies…

08-07-2013-PFGC102

On a mission…

That’s technically cruising the heath, but I’m pretty sure I don’t mean that. I said there’d be an Abbey today, didn’t I ? I was wrong.

No, it’s too windy to risk being blown about into ancient stone walls, so off I headed, into the sunset, to more spacious locations, and this sunset was over Petersfield lake and heath, because I haven’t flown here properly with my new camera setup yet, and I know you all like a bit of lake action if there’s some going…

Taking the evening air…

Apart from the odd Chinook, I had the skies pretty much to myself, but the same can’t be said for the ground. Lots of people out for an evening stroll, and who can blame them ? Certainly not me. And most of the people I met today were great – (Hi Mick !), and even the ones with dogs were mostly aware, considerate, decent people, with well trained animals…

Taking in the lake from on high...

Taking in the lake from on high…

The Lunatic Fringe

Just occasionally, I meet people who are unaware, inconsiderate of other people, and whose animals are completely untrained, never on leads, and free to pursue my craft. Sods law dictates that this will most likely be when it needs to land, and experience shows that the more urgent the need to land is, the more mental the dogs will be, and the more determined they will be to get at my flyer.

Today’s unpleasant individual had 2 particularly cretinous animals that rampaged into the field, and they completely ignored my requests to place them on leads as I needed to land. They then got aggressive when it was pointed out what would have been obvious to 99% of people; that if a dog should touch a UAV while it is powered, it will cause itself horrific injury. And whilst I will do everything I possibly can to avoid that, I can’t be dealing with the sorts of people who prefer belligerence for the sake of it to preventing potential harm to their pet.

It was only my reserve battery power, some evasive flying from me, and some luck that prevented those dogs coming into contact with blades.

Anyone for…

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Sun-cast tree shadows…

Golf ? Yep – while I’m here, I can’t resist a quick high pass or 2 over the golf course next to the heath from which I am flying, which today I had checked was devoid of players and therefore high-flying balls…

I love the landscaping and it’s a good choice on the trees front too, so assuming I wouldn’t disturb anybody I thought it would be OK to let myself drift over there in the wind a few times… hopefully you’ll see the footage and agree with me.

I’d love to make a proper video of the greens, flown from on them – then the results would be truly stunning. I’ve tried to contact the manager a couple of times, but no joy so far. I must get up in the day more.

Air Streams

extreme-wind-alert

Well it’s not dull flying…

The wind during this evening’s flights included a medium constant warm air-stream layer of perhaps 20 mph, from 20ft – 200ft,  but also separate, sudden gusts of 50 mph, at any height, that were there one second and gone the next, making control of my flyer ‘exciting’, to say the least.

I watched in horror many a time as my foam skids caught the cross-wind, which rocked my craft to extremes I don’t see, or hope to see, very often. The Naza-M V2 upgrade Flight controller recovers very quickly, and almost always does recover, so it’s not imminent craft death when it happens, but it definitely makes your heart stand still.

The wind also makes life harder because you have to battle against it to get home safely, and you use much more power trying to fight and stay uniformly directional. Descents are terrible because you must decrease the RPM of the rotors, which makes them even more affected by the wind, susceptible to being sucked upwards, and less able to control forward direction if you find yourself opposing the wind direction, which is most of the time.

But this I did with some level of adequacy, and hopefully my footage will be worth it. No crashings, and just the one rather near miss, as you’ll see… that’s the first time I’ve had a piloting error for about 6 months. Noted.

Holding on to a Hero

Winds like this have dogged my flying since I started, so it gives me particular pleasure to note that once again the Aeroxcraft brushless gimbal makes it so that the only signs of the epic maelstrom in the sky is the movement in the trees and the odd micro-shake as the flyer gets really buffeted hard. Another unimaginably great performance from a gimbal that moves so fast you really don’t know it’s there most of the time. A++.

Likewise, my Hero 3 did a more than reasonable job in the low light, so that’s me happy.

All in the Edit…

It takes between 6 – 8 hours to edit each video I make, and then to extract all the photos and write the blog itself. I know – how do I do so many ? For anyone interested, the answer is not having children. But more technically speaking, I’m currently using Sony VMS 12, and applying a general color correct, and individual clip levels. Here’s the layout for this very video…

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Above and Beyond…

That’s who wrote today’s music – it’s an ambient mix I found of a track called ‘Home’. I also found the original, which is even bigger, and with a fierce 909  hard-house kick drum to move things along a bit… I’ll be exceptionally surprised if that doesn’t turn up in one of mine too. I’m a sucker for a slinky female vocal, and epic pads, so there it is. Slightly more intelligent lyrics than normally gets crooned over this sort of thing, so… you know. Bonus.

Enjoy the flights… I’m off to recharge for the next lot. That’s me and the batteries.

…and here’s another lot. Couple of 1920’s in there if you need a new desktop. Click for full view, obviously.

JW