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Flying in snow

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gotcher6, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. Gotcher6

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    Anyone have experience flying during a moderate or heavy snowfall? I'm pretty sure the prop wash would prevent much snow from accumulating on the vehicle. I wonder of there is a chance of snow/ice accumulating on the leading edges of the props resulting in loss of lift.
    Thanks
     
  2. CallMeAlan

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    I can imagine the inner edges of the props pushing snowflakes down into the tops of the motors, where they would rapidly melt and create expensive sizzles.
     
  3. 4wd

    4wd

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    It could be drawn inside and melt later if not during the flight?
    No doubt you might get away with it especially a short flight - and very cold weather could be better than borderline near freezing.
    Have seen video out there taken during moderate snow falling - it looked severely cold though, almost like Minnesota :lol:
     
  4. MrDrone27

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    That would make for an awesome video! I agree with the other comments, could be a risk for the motors. Wouldn't do a flight much longer than 10 minutes.. You should give it a shot :cool:
     
  5. N017RW

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    With exception and depending on the type of bearings, a BLDC outrunner is inherently water resistant of not water proof.
    This is not to say they should not be cleaned or maintained in some way after exposure.

    So the exposure to water from snow melt is likely more of a problem for other internal electronics depending on the severity of exposure. Again prompt and proper maintenance should follow any such activities.
     
  6. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Snow getting into your Phantom is only a problem after the whole things comes down like a rock once enough ice builds up on the props.
     
  7. MadMitch88

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    DJI better get their *** in gear and start designing waterproof-type Phantoms. There's just way too many customers who enjoy flying their birds around water, and folks like me who want to enjoy flying in the wintery snowfall that we put up with for about 5 months a year here in the Northeast.

    Sadly, DJI has enough market share right now that they are starting to act like an arrogant company such as Apple and Microsoft. They have the basic mantra of --- "Customers are too stupid to know what they want, so we will figure that out for them". Steve Jobs had that crappy attitude and unfortunately many startup companies think that's how you need to view customers once you gain some traction in your niche industry.

    I'm hoping the drone industry becomes more open-source and follows the same arc as the IBM-compatible PC industry of the 80s/90s and only then will it truly flourish. Can you imagine the bliss of being able to plug-n-play hundreds of different combinations of cameras, transmitters, gimbals, flight controllers, chassis, props, etc? HEAVEN !! :p
     
  8. EMCSQUAR

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  9. Happyflyer

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    Slick video. Looked like my front yard last winter, until you took off and then I could see how little snow you had. :D
     
  10. hjscm

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    i have done it a lot. but be careful, the first time i got one was christmas when the first phantom came out. opened it in the morning early and was excited to fly. it was getting ready to snow and extremely cold out. flew for about 2 minutes and it started to not be bale to stay in the air. landed it and found the props were iced over.
     
  11. IflyinWY

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    Did you let the machine chill down below freezing before getting snow on it? Not that I would have been smart enough to do that, but now I will. I think if the surface is already below the freezing point, the snow will not melt and stick and then freeze to your bird/props as the water will. There's my thought. Rain-X probably wouldn't be such a great idea, but maybe wax?

    Seriously, I have plans to fly well below zero with the FC40, as well as flying it when it is snowing. I'm typically flying at or above the max recommended wind speed. Nope, I'm not a stunt pilot or thrill seeker, although it is tons of fun.

    Anyone who would be willing to offer tips & tricks for flying in adverse weather would be my new hero. :D

    I'm thinking the bird needs to be cold (if there is visible moisture) to prevent icing, but the batteries kept warm regardless... yes/no?

    Not so seriously, but since I'm here.
    Has anyone put skis or snow shoes on their Phantom? :cool: I'll bet in Minnesota you folks could put skates on them and race them around the lake. I'd pay to see that :lol:

    Do you suppose the "powers that be" would approve of a "Winter Flying" section?
     
  12. Fyod

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    Glycerine?
    I've used it to keep rubber car door seals from sticking and the window from freezing to the seal.
     
  13. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    My only tip would be to do a lot reading on icing. It's complicated but you can at least identify when it's more likely.
     
  14. Melvin3300

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    This thread is my #1 thought: Just got my Phantom a couple of weeks ago, and I'm thoroughly addicted.

    Don't want to kill it by flying in wet/snowy conditions, but I'd also love to put it in the air when conditions allow.

    Couple of questions:

    Is it a good idea to spray the exposed motor windings with electrical contact cleaner once in a while (especially after a snow flight), or would that do more harm than good?

    Using a hair-dryer (on low heat) to dry off after seeing moisture on a flight- good idea, or not so much?

    thanks in advance, from a newbie :)
     
  15. Happyflyer

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    Welcome to the forum.
    I would stay out of that rain, snow, any water or moisture. Depends on where you are located on how long you may have to wait for better weather. Myself, I have another 2-1/2 months for better weather.
     
  16. 4wd

    4wd

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    I think anything sprayed on the motors could attract dust and cause problems.
    The motors themselves aren't likely to be bothered by dampness, it's the circuit boards inside which could be affected with possibly disastrous results.
    It's not unusual to get condensation forming on it just from being near fog or cloud - a small amount of dampness for a short while is not going to cause immediate failure, but get it dry again ASAP. Dry snow well below freezing not ideal but you would be OK for short flight most likely.
     
  17. IflyinWY

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    Welcome Melvin3300

    We should start with where you fly. Florida, the Mojave desert, a Brazilian rain forest?

    I've flown in heavy mist and light snow, but I live in Wyoming where things dry very quickly, even when it has rained.

    The hair dryer sounds like a good idea. A fan might work just as well.

    Google "condensation" if you're concerned about taking your bird from an air conditioned room to a hot humid air mass.

    Enjoy the show. :D
     
  18. fixmefixmyhead

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    Raja777m likes this.
  19. RoyVa

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    Their is one key word here to avoid. Electronics and water= short circuit. The key word is a "short"
    I would avoid a heavy or even moderate snowfall as snow turns to water and water can short out electronics. A shorted ESC can mean CRASH. Let your heart and pocket book be your guide. I wouldn't take my laptop out in the snow and work on it while snowing so why do your Phantom which is basically a flying computer with a camera. Respect it and it will respect you. I fly in the snow but after it has stopped snowing. I fly after a rain fall but not when GS raining. Guys, it's electronics ,THINK !
     
  20. packgreen49

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    How about temperature? Do you fly lower than freezing?