Warning: you should be VERY proficient at flying RC planes normally before attempting to fly an RC plane via FPV. If you are going to fly FPV quadcopters, you should be proficient at flying quads normally before attempting to fly a quad copter via FPV.
Now that the warning/disclaimer for new pilots is over, we can get started.
This is part 1 of a two-part series about whether you should choose a plane or quad copter for your first FPV aircraft. Note: The quadcopter that I’m going to make a build post is still being refined, so the post won’t be out for 2-3 weeks.
So, you’re a good UM RC plane or quadcopter pilot and want to get into FPV. But, should you go with a plane or quad for that first FPV flight? Read on to find out.
I flew “FPV” for the first time last December. It was with an AR Drone, which has an FPV camera and displays the video on an iDevice, but I really spent most of the time looking at the drone, sometimes looking at the screen. Then, the Friday after Christmas 2013, I got the Walkera Ladybird FPV, which I barely spent two seconds looking at the screen at a time while hovering.
So, none of those were real FPV. I just looked at my screen every once in a while to either try to fly FPV, or look at where I was from an areal perspective. That all changed at 9:00 AM EST on Christmas Day, 2014…
I received the NEW Blade Nano QX FPV. After charging the battery that came with it (and trying to find my other batteries), I took off. For the first few flights, I sat on the couch in the family room and hovered above family members in the living room. After a few flights, I was racing around the house in less than a minute each time. Then the camera sensor CAME OFF. I was trying to twist the lens to focus, but it wasn’t on straight, so I twisted the whole sensor off…
So I ordered another camera to put on my Champ. It arrived on the 5th of January, and I managed to put it into the air on January 7th. My experience probably isn’t fair because the camera that I put on the plane had a problem: everything was dark. I had to dive to see where I was in relation to the ground.
However, there was a difference even when I ignored the camera issue. The plane moved all the time, and it seemed quite fast. It seemed faster when I was looking through the camera and taking off and about to run into a mailbox than from a third person view.
I also got a bird’s eye view from way up in the sky surveying the neighborhood and diving down to try to see things… It was relaxing once I got up to altitude… sort of. Remember, I still couldn’t see well do to camera problems and the range on the Champ, which doesn’t use a full range receiver, is something that I didn’t want to test as I flew higher than I’ve ever flown around the neighborhood. A combination of these two things kept me diving, going back up, turning, diving, going back up, you get the idea.
Thanks for reading part 1. Stay tuned for part two next Sunday. Maybe I’ll even get it out at 5:00 AM! Just dreaming… (Really, I’m usually dreaming at 5 AM!)
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