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Flying over sea to wind turbines

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by oatesy80, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. oatesy80

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    Ive got the p3p and wanting to take some pictures of a wind turbine farm which is 1.5km out at sea, is it possible to do this. I know it says on the dji website it can go up to 5km. Is this 5km to a point and back to home point with a fully charged battery. I know I need to consider wind speed too.
     
  2. flpholt

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    just watch your battery level make sure you have enough for return trip so it doesn't go plunk
     
  3. CCDD

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    should be no problem reaching that distance and them some, just make sure you don't have strong headwinds upon returning.
     
  4. oatesy80

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    OK thanks. Does it automatically come back to home point if the battery is low ie if it needs 20% to get back and it runs down to this it auto comes back.
     
  5. PrecisionAeroworks

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    Yes, this is exactly what "Smart RTH" is. It takes into account the distance and altitude of the aircraft from the home point. And it is generally considered to be a little conservative even.

    It DOES NOT take the wind direction into account, as previously alluded to in this thread. If the headwind is too strong on the return, it will absolutely go plunk (well, autoland) into the water if you rely solely on Smart RTH.
     
  6. oatesy80

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    OK great. Thanks a lot
     
  7. Tim in Florida

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    Crashed my P3P. I effed up and flew too far in high wind. On video.
     
  8. oatesy80

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    How far did you go Tim
     
  9. Wolfiesden

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    ABSOLUTELY pay attention to wind. If its an offshore wind (ie wind going from land to sea) I wouldn't do it. It would mean your P3 would be bucking a headwind on its return. And since its all water, there is NO landing thats a good one until it returns fully home. Dead battery means dead Phantom.

    If you have an area to practice in thats 1.5km over land, you could try a flight downwind (approximating the wind offshore) and then return back immediately and see how much reserve you have on landing. That will tell you whether you can safely get to the wind farm and back and how much time over target you have. And if it doesn't go well over land, at least you have a chance at recovering your bird should it not make it back home fighting the wind.
     
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  10. Tim in Florida

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    My MAX distance was 6,880 feet from home. Total flight mileage was 14,982 feet.

    wind at ground level was 7 mph. At 400 feet it was 23 mph. That's what got me.
     
  11. Meta4

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    1.5 km over the sea is no problem for a P3.
    Consider wind and allow for it in your flight time calculations.
    Always go on the conservative side when flying offshore - aim to be landed at 30%.

    That you ask about RTH indicates that you aren't familiar with it.
    RTH is one of the most important things to be comfortable with for flying a Phantom.
    I'd suggest going over the 3 pages on it in the manual and experimenting so you know how to activate RTH, how it works and how to cancel RTH and resume control.

    This is 2.7 km offshore and moving a little faster than a wind farm
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Wolfiesden

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    Generally, no its not a problem. However I presume they put the WIND farm in that location because it has WIND. That was my cautionary point. Sure, 1.5k won't be a problem for radio. Returning the 1.5k fighting a headwind just may well be the killer.

    Its not the distance I was cautioning about, 1.5k is nothing. I have already been >3km out and 6.7km flight distance but I wasn't fighting a strong headwind either. Its the headwind issue and not preserving enough battery to make it back that i was cautioning. If the bird goes into critical battery mode over water, things could get very ugly very fast.

    Since we don't know the location nor the weather wherever the OP wants to fly, we don't know if typical headwinds off shore are 5mph or 30mph (or more!). 5 and the phantom easily makes it home easily, 30 and it might not make the round trip. If its only making 5mph(35mph max, 30 headwind) ground speed then its going (if my math is right) to take 11min to travel the 1.5k and its gobbling battery at full throttle for 11min. That leaves a very very thin margin for error.

    Thats why I said TEST the flight downwind and back over land to SEE how the bird does in the conditions before risking a water trip. The phantom is an excellent drone. Its a very poor submarine. Not saying it can't make it. I am simply recommending caution and testing before attempting it.
     
  13. Baldo81

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    use windguru.cz to predict when is the best time to have tail wind to come back ;)
     
  14. ddh1313

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    If you are fighting head wind on the return flight don't be afraid to get low low low as they say.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  15. Air Ontario

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    Just look at the operating(rotating) wind turbines to get wind direction before flight. 1500 m is relatively close, may not need binos to determine how they are facing.

    FYI...some wind turbines have no gearbox and run with a 20 ft diameter ring of permanent magnets, instead of electromagnets.
    So just be aware whether they are running or not those can potentially be a huge magnetic influence.
     
  16. oatesy80

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    OK I'll do that. Was just a thought and maybe to much off a risk
     
  17. Wolfiesden

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    Every flight is a risk. The tiniest failure (mechanical, software or user) could bring the bird down. The best you can do is minimize that risk by knowing its limits (testing how far it will fly in what wind), knowing how to control it when things go poorly (practice atti mode) and practicing potentially risky flights under safer conditions.
     
    Tim in Florida likes this.