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Posted by on Apr 23, 2013 in Blog, Video

Spring Golds

Back in the air…

Well since crash time last week, the requisite repairs are complete, a few changes have been made, and 3 test flight sessions and 2 test flight missions mark the end of the post-crash testing phase, but most of that is too dull to make videos about. This is the last test flight, which is on nice safe Elsted Heath.

Checking our starting voltages...

Checking our starting voltages…

Whilst this is regular ground for me, and therefore not particularly new or exciting if you watch a lot of my videos, it is one the few places that has a nice cushioned heath surface (heather, dead gorse, moss) and easy recovery in case we have a repeat of last week’s power fail action. Except when I’m flying over the trees, but we’ll let that pass. I didn’t fly anywhere near the quarry, so no cinematic excitement there, but the sun was doing some quite good ‘setting things’, and I needed to evaluate the video quality given that I’ve just changed the camera gimbal mount. Also, my FPV cam cable broke so I couldn’t do any field monitor framing, and was doing my best with LoS only.

Spring has sprung

Or has it ? Yes. Pretty much. Better late than never. Of course in this location, full as it is, of deciduous trees, we can barely tell, but a closer look at the ground reveals the beginnings of the gorse that will swamp this heath and get up to 10 ft high in less than 3 months time. Unless its starts snowing again. So let’s get in the air and watch the sun go down on a warm(ish) April evening.

My strimmer in the sky attracted the attention of curious nearby resident Mike during the session, who stayed for a flight or two, and (after making sure I wasn’t spying on his house!) seemed generally enthusiastic. I’ve stuck a couple of shots in the video just for you ;)

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…

So how are we doing ? There have been around and 20 individual test flights so far, and after a bit of gain adjustment and some experimentation with mounting GPS on the one of the arms without a mast, I am still in the air, and there has been no sign at all of the power fail that caused my last unintentional collision with the ground. I still suspect that power loom, so will have to get it out and thoroughly check with a continuity meter before I can start sending my craft out on danger missions again. But at least I can fly in a test capacity,which is better than not at all.

20 flights in, no problems to report... we'll see how long that lasts.

20 flights in, no problems to report… we’ll see how long that lasts.

The results are in

Flight-wise, everything’s fine – photographically everything’s not. I need to re-think the mount between the camera gimbal and the rail mount, because the current solution of 2 cable ties and some velcro isn’t really doing it, as the micro shakes all over this video would attest. This was another reason to fly here – I already have some really good video of this place so I’m not going to be too gutted if the footage comes out a bit duff when I test-fly new settings here.

I will re-think the XAircraft mount, or may even stop being lazy and make the tediously complicated ubec harness which would allow me to try the Aeroxcraft gimbal, which has a perfect mount to the Aeroxcraft rails (obviously).

For now, here’s some stills.

If you go down to to the woods today...

If you go down to to the woods today…

Golden hour and my favourite kind of trees. What's not to like ?

Golden hour and my favourite kind of trees. What’s not to like ?

A resurrected AC1 V4.2  in the sunset.

A resurrected AC1 V4.2 in the sunset.


Today’s video made substantially better because Trevor Morris is here (various bits), doing exactly the sort of soundtrack I would have written if I’d had time. Thank goodness he did. And he had an orchestra.

See you next time, when I’ll be back with a better camera mount and hopefully something more interesting to film.