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Posted by on Nov 17, 2018

Patchwork Gardens

Patchwork Gardens

Almost a Home Ground… Technically, this fly-site is the closest to my house of anywhere I fly, but despite one very successful flight here around 5 years ago with my Discovery Pro, I have been reticent to return because I don’t want to worry or harass the gardeners by flying there too often. The last thing I would want is for them to think I am spying on them, or up to anything nefarious, so I always go and talk to at least a few people of whoever is there and ask if they mind if do some aerial photography. Everyone has been very kind so far. Flight Planning Although I didn’t seem to need it last time I made my close-proximity flight, this time one of the resident gardeners advised that I should probably ask for permission to fully overfly the site, which I will do in due course, but in the meantime I do remain free to fly in the large public fields next door to 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 Jul 23, 2018

Petersfield Pans

Petersfield Pans

It’s not a good idea (or legal) to film in town centers, where there are a lot of people, but for a long time I have been looking into other ways to get decent shots of my home town without breaking any rules. It all comes down to finding launch sites that are in exactly the right place – right on the edge of town, and I have been looking for those a lot recently. As you’ll see, I found 2 suitable sites, where I could launch in green fields with good tree protection, and more than 50 m away from any building, and 150 m away from any building with people in. Hospital Recreation Field Not alot of room to play here, but we do meet the minimum requirements for distance from buildings at launch, and if we go pretty much straight up and down in a single line we are doing considerate flying, not overflying any building or structure, and generally keeping out of the way, and...

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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 Jun 15, 2015

Petersfield Heath Summer 2015

Petersfield Heath Summer 2015

Rain stops, let’s go Hello archaeologists ! And Summer. Join me for an aerial view of some of Petersfield Heath, replete with burial mound dig sites, and a bit of lake action. There’s also a golf course over there somewhere. I say Summer, but not sun, as it had been raining all day (despite being the hottest day of the year) and this somewhat lucky flight is the result of me checking the weather every 10 minutes, and then running out with my RC gear to grab a skyfull in the single half hour in which rain had ceased. Eye on the sky… I can fly in rain, but choose not to on the whole, as it’s not much fun flying in the wet, and it also makes battery pack connections more sparky and unpredictable. But dry sky was mine for the whole session, despite rather impending clouds, and I had 3 pretty much perfect flights, of around 9-10 mins each on my Turnigy 5 amp power packs. Kept the...

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Posted by on Apr 24, 2015

Spring Rise

Spring Rise

Long Time, no Fly… It has been a fair few months since my Airwheel arrived and almost completely subsumed my aerial photography / flying adventures, but now Spring has sprung it would be most remiss not to wind up the flying gear, and head out into all this beautiful evening sunshine. I’ve renewed my BMFA membership, completed the various tests and tightenings to make sure I still have a viable flying machine, and today is the first of 2015 that I’ve been able to head out and start the seasons outdoor test flights, before attempting more cinematic missions. Safety First And so to the local cricket ground, where I have permission to fly, and can safely complete my low level flight tests and ascertain which of my battery packs have survived the year. The good news was that 3 out of the 4 I tried still gave me a good 7-9 mins of flight time, but I had to bin one which had a dodgy cell that alarmed pretty much from...

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Posted by on Jan 19, 2015

Airwheel X5 Range Test

Airwheel X5 Range Test

How far can you go today ? Welcome to this little Airwheel X5 range test, where we will see how far my little Airwheel can go, in conditions it doesn’t like very much… that is very very cold, and quite a bit of mud round the lake sections. We’ll take a photo every second as we go, which means we can get through an hour’s ride, with 2 stops, in about 2 mins 30… On test from the start This particular airwheel has been monitored and logged from Hour 1, and this being hour 355, after 194 battery cell recharges, it’s a good test to see how well the battery does after the Airwheel has moved me nearly 2000 miles in its lifetime so far… They claim 12 km max range on the box, but we’re never gonna get that – lithium batteries hate the cold, I am caning it everywhere at maximum speed, uphill or down, and making it go through various stretches of difficult mud that use a...

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Posted by on Jan 18, 2015

Swan Dives, Episode 5

Swan Dives, Episode 5

Lakeside in slow motion It’s been a while since I was last feeding the swans, but earlier this week I was back, plentiful supplies of swan pellets in hand, and ready and armed with my GoPro 4, set to film at 120 frames / second, which will allow us to slow everything down to quarter speed for playback at 30 FPS. It’s also in its waterproof case, so we can freely dive underwater to get the view from below as about 10 swans and signets scrabble for my highly nutritious swanly treats. Attitude++ Whereas it is a good thing that the swans of Petersfield lake are used to me and my wheel, which allows me to get very close to them without getting into trouble, but it certainly doesn’t mean that either me or my camera are immune from inquisitive beaks, the controlling minds behind which seem largely unaware that it’s not a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you. Fortunately, they don’t really mean it, and none...

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Posted by on Jan 8, 2015

And that was Xmas 2K14…

And that was Xmas 2K14…

Long time, no blog… Yep – sorry ’bout that, Christmas gave me loads of time to make videos, less time to edit them and no time at all to blog about them. I’m only just beginning to return to normal schedules after all that and start the catch up missions that have to go on so that YouTubes and blogs align… So many lights For as long as I can remember, one of the best things about being alive has been all the lights. And the more twinkly and sparkly they are, the more I appreciate them. No shame in that, but for gods’ sake stay away from fruit machines… Anyway – in my quest to capture shiny things on camera Christmas has really really helped. Not only did it bring me a GoPro4 to replace its predecessor (lost at sea) and a decent new camera pole, but also the opportunity to go Aerogliding my way around almost perfectly deserted streets – just how I like them :) Who’s...

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Posted by on Dec 12, 2014

The Winter Helm

The Winter Helm

Winter was coming, now it’s here. I knew there would come a time where even my face-hugging black Ninja style hoodie would fail to keep the cold air rushing past me from chilling me to the core as I airwheeled town and countryside alike… It works fine all the time you’re standing still, but as soon as you start moving past 5 mph, the air starts getting in all the gaps, and if you go full SAS nose flap up as well, then your shades fog up faster than you can say ‘was that a pothole ?’ Nope, what we need is a full head helmet, of the sort a BMX motoX rider might get. That’ll keep my ears warm, shut out the rain, and provide a helpful camera mounting platform, and not look too embarrassing, all for about £32. Shox Value Not being able to summon £500 to throw at a proper stormtrooper helmet, I settled instead for the Shox sniper, which is astonishingly well made for the £32...

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Posted by on Dec 11, 2014

28 Fails, 9 Falls and a Win

28 Fails, 9 Falls and a Win

Crash Happy Hey Aerocammers. Aero J is has wheeld himself to the skate park, and parked up to film something else for a change. And that something is Tyler and his Skateboard, and his determination to nail one move that he can’t do yet but will be able to shortly. I’ve got my 60 frames a second out so we get it all in glorious slow mo. So enjoy him showing us why we shouldn’t give up, even when it really hurts trying… See you next time…...

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Posted by on Nov 18, 2014

Petersfield Xmas Lights 2K14

Petersfield Xmas Lights 2K14

The Dark Side Assumedly because it was the only day Darth Vader could spare, Petersfield kicked in its xmas lights in the middle of November this year, to the delight of anyone under 7. Aerocam was there in case anything good happened. I was quite pleased with the slightly unrelated decision to get a crew of fictional storm troopers and a dark lord in to switch on some xmas lights – if had been some low-rent celebrity I wouldn’t have even bothered turning up. Indeed it wasn’t sociability that led me there, but rather wanting to try out some new camera gear and techniques, and to record the xmas lights, which are normally quite good. There and back again As it was, I kept being ejected from previously agreed filming positions by various official types, so having nowhere ideal to film from, didn’t bother staying to capture the actual switch-on, or whatever went on on-stage before it, but instead returned very late that night to complete my video with...

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Posted by on Oct 20, 2014

Chasing Cars

Chasing Cars

Skate Park Surprise… While I was guitaring my way round the Skate Park the other day I noticed there was some RC car action going on as well, and having recently explored the bowl for the first time, I was keen to get in there with the racer, on my airwheel, equipped with a pedal cam, and try and increase my speed and height round the corners. Because the whole bowl is one perpetual corner, and I’m not very good at it yet, it was surprisingly hard to keep the car in camera shot, and for the first few minutes it properly ran rings round me. Raise game now please… However, after I found my perfect corner lean angles, and had managed to eliminate doing the extra tight corners at each end of the bowl with hip-shifts, preferring to stay totally in the whole-body-lean steering technique that only works if you do it fast enough. There is just about enough room to get away with it round PF Skate...

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Posted by on Oct 18, 2014

200 Airwheel Hours

200 Airwheel Hours

Challenge AeroJ… Yep, it’s my 200th hour of gliding about, and unlike my 100th hour celebrations, which involved various quantities of tea, hills and cake, this time I wanted to up the stakes a bit, and to incorporate some ‘skills’ into proceedings. So let’s do a lot of hard things at once. And I’ve certainly given myself stuff to work with. Firstly, it’s pouring with rain, which soaked me, my Airwheel X5 and my Ibanez electric, and this leaves the bowl, and the paths round it VERY precarious and slippy – there are Autumn leaves to contend with too; also slippy, some mud in the bowl, AND we’re trying to play a metal-tastic riff or 2 with some degree of accuracy and a nice clean end section, while we airwheel about in all of the above. Good luck with that… Gear lab Getting drenched in the weather today will be my Ibanez S370 and my Yamaha semi-acoustic, and I’m filming on a fully waterproof GoPro3+ Black Edition in Superview 48...

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Posted by on Oct 18, 2014

Roll Cage

Roll Cage

Smoothly does it… I like that Skate Park, and its massively grippy, ultra-smooth, easily air-wheelable concrete surfaces. It’s half way between my house and town, so I often pull in on my way through, and if there’s people there doing impressive stuff I usually feel the need to film it. More often I have it to myself so it was only a matter of time before I wondered how my Airwheel and I would fare in the bowl, so on Friday I got myself in it and found out. Watch the video above to see how that went… Nothing too Exciting Given that I didn’t have any extra padding with me; only my wrist braces, and as this was my first time in it, I restricted myself to going round the edges and diagonals at medium pace, finding out where I needed to lean and twist to get round the corners. Then it was matter of increasing the speed of that, something I probably managed by about 50% 20 minutes...

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Posted by on Oct 13, 2014

Rain Glides 2

Rain Glides 2

Skills Up. The second half of the week was as impendingly and sometimes actually rainy as the first, but I was out in it regardless taking advantage of Skate Parks all to myself to learn a bit of backwards airwheeling, which is harder than it looks, and to enjoy my various waterproofing and illumination devices which allow me to continue wheeling about regardless of the weather. So, the first video above, I’m Skate Parking it, doing the backwards air-learning thing, and generally having an excellent time exploring and trying to push past the limits that environment imposes. Obviously I can’t drop into the bowl, but I can go all round it and get my moves together on the long straight the other side of it, so I did that, using the wall on the left to start the backward moves while I learned how. Brolly’s up Finally got a decent ride in actual proper teeming rain on Friday, so that ride, out of town, and along my favourite cycle...

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Posted by on Oct 10, 2014

Rain Glides

Rain Glides

Wet-wheeling I rolled into town under impending skies, and it was just as I’d poured the first cup of Earl Grey of the day that the heavens opened and deluged me, my airwheel, and any cake I might have had about my person. I manfully continued my review of some apple shortbread, but ultimately the weather defeated me as I was unable to unsheathe the cakes for safety reasons. Nobody likes damp cake. But we can see the levels of rain I was dealing with, and later to be airwheeling through… Never mind. They can wait. I’m really here to do other stuff, and go riding in the rain, in town, and amongst people, so I get my daily ‘glide manoeuvres’ exercise in. I love airwheeling Petersfield TC – I feel I know its surfaces intimately well over a huge area, and now able to avoid the dodgy bits from memory alone the ride through town is never not hugely enjoyable whatever the weather is doing. And just as...

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Posted by on Oct 8, 2014

Ultrawheel Week

Ultrawheel Week

3 Airwheel Rides a day, every day. And at least 2 videos a day gives us… a lot of videos. Far too many to do as individual blogs. So here they all are in one big pile. That’s a good half hour you can kill without even leaving the page :) We start…down on the coast – the blog video above is a fast track and glide along the coast… Then, we’re back home for a… Petersfield Town Center Test Run and now it’s time to look at some airwheel accessories for Airwheeling in the rain and at night, among other things… Airwheel Accessories Episode 3 And now for something…else, it must be… Motion Stills A serene collection of my favourite views about town, and down on the Southsea coast… Then it was back to the lake for a final Swansong Feeding the birds and trying not to lose my fingers in the process… and finally – that’s it from me for the first 2 days of this week… See...

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Posted by on Oct 3, 2014

Glide Cam

Glide Cam

Low-cruiser… Well, testing is complete, and I can now report a way of getting very high quality footage from your Airwheel, more vibration-free even than a pole cam over smoother surfaces – the pedal mounted grab clip. I think I acquired mione from a skip, and it seems to be some sort of scaffolding attachment grip – and it certainly has got an industrial strength spring in it producing formidable gripping power ! Where people before me have got decent results using keychain cams or a Mobius, both these lack something in the quality department, so to be able to put a GoPro 3+ just above the pedals gives really nice viewpoint options, a much faster, smoother, sleeker ride all round. In some photos you see V1.0, with the lower extension on the handle very much a risk for ground scuffing and dangerous when you go round right hand bends, and some with v1.1, which fixes that by bending up the end of it so that a) it won’t...

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Posted by on Sep 29, 2014

Spellbound

Spellbound

Watership Down… Back to the lake then, for some more spellbinding moments of serene loveliness as the sun floats away for another day… and lucky you – you have this video and a small gallery of things to see, including some clouds, some water, and a pair of the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen. Time & Space There was a lot of proximity going on today, which was all very good. And the water was nice, and it wasn’t too cold, which meant I could stay lakeside for a good hour, so I parked my GoPro for the last bit of that, set it firing every 2 seconds, and captured the last of the dying light. Tomorrows cloudscape will be every 5 seconds, which should make stuff move a bit faster… See you soon, peoples…...

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