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Hand Launching

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jiva, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. jiva

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    Just thought I'd share this little tip I've been using... To some of you, this may be obvious, but if it's not, then maybe it'll help you...

    The tip is: Launch and land from your hand.

    When I first got my phantom, I had a few mishaps where I didn't take off fast enough, or the copter caught a little breeze on take off and did a face plant. In all of these cases, I was very annoyed, and in at least one case, where I was launching from rocks, it chewed up my blades badly. Then there's the matter of landing. It always seemed like it would come down, do a bit of a bump, and if I was lucky, I'd get it down without tipping over.

    Well, NO MORE.

    I got myself a lanyard so I could work the levers on my controller with only one hand, and now, I simply hold my phantom out in front of me, fire up the engines, and then increase throttle until it lifts gently from my hand. Then when I bring it back, I bring it over my head, then slowly lower it until it's hovering within reach, then I reach out and grab the landing gear and shut it down. It is, IMO, clearly the best way to take off and land.

    In addition to being safer and easier, it looks really cool to have it cruise in and gently return to your hand like pet hawk.
     
  2. Scottrod

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    Haha good analogy. I agree this is a good way to land. Never thought about using it for take off too. Knock on wood I haven't had any issues with high winds or it blowing over during take off. I usually punch it and take off rapidly but landing is for sure safer to just grab it. Especially if it's doing an auto land. It likes to bounce 3-4 times before coming to a stop.
     
  3. djayz

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    Yep I always hand catch land it and it works beautifully! I have landed it the traditional way only a couple of times when there was ZERO wind, in open field with completely flat surface (cricket ground pitch area) and it worked perfectly BUT I could see that a bit of wind or uneven surface and it would be problematic.

    Haven't done a hand takeoff yet but might give it a go. I find take offs far safer for the quad than landings (unless it's a really windy day during which I wouldn't fly anyway)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. PTCX

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    I have been launching from my hand and landing by grabbing the skids since very early in my time with the Phantom when flying in one of my regular spots I like to fly.Mostly only at that spot because there is deep grass,like a meter deep,and if I try either take off or landing from/on the ground the props just tangle up in the grass.
    I prefer to launch and land on the ground but if the terrain is too rough it is good to have practiced this technique.

    I have used some peculiar objects as launch and landing pads when the ground is not suitable.The roof of my 4x4,fence posts,tree stumps,boulders and the hard case I carry my stock Phantom in.Whatever works.
     
  5. WReimer

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    just bear in mind that hand launching and landing is not necessarily a transferrable skill if you move up in
    size/power. Even a marginally larger multi has significantly more power output, and although you can launch and land them one-handed, that momentary "loss of control" you've probably experienced with the Phantom that whacked your fingers pretty hard with the props, will very likely have a more serious effect with a larger Multi.

    When I first bought my Gaui 500X (my first multi) I hand launched it a number of times successfully. Then one day I launched with a gusty wind blowing; as soon as the craft left my hand, a wind gust caught it and gave it a hard left push...my gloved hand and fingers got in the way of the props...standard ones thankfully and not carbon fibre. Still, the impact was enough to cut through the leather glove on all four fingers, and lacerate two badly enough that I needed stitches. Those out runner motors are VERY powerful and deliver a ton of torque. They WILL cut you, sometimes very badly. I saw a guy take a hit on his legs (bare; he was wearing shorts) with a 500X at our flying field. We had to call an ambulance, he was cut up so badly

    If you're going to do it, wear a glove, preferably a thick leather one. Pay attention when you're doing it; if you're running carbon blades especially, you have 4 circular saw blades spinning very quickly in front of your face. If you don't think they can do horrific damage, you're delusional. Even the Phantom can cut you up badly if it hits you under full power.

    In my mind, launching & landing are two important elements of flight that everyone should learn to perform regardless of conditions. It's very unlikely that you'll ever see someone flying a .30 or.40 size helicopter hand launch or recover it. Obviously, they have a much larger rotor disk...they also have a much smaller landing gear, prone to tip overs much more than a Phantom, yet they launch and land on the skids, not the hand. This is a skill that's important to learn if you want to be safe when flying
     
  6. Scottrod

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    I really only use hand landing when the ground is uneven or a landing spot is not safe.
     
  7. Jebus

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    Silly question... I decided to try a hand launch the other day and once it was up in the air, I noticed the LED blinking yellow (in GPS mode). I brought it back in, unplugged the battery, plugged it back it, let it re-initialize and get home points and launched it by hand again and got the same thing. Repeated the process, but launched it off of my case like I normally do, and everything was fine.

    My question is what sequence are you guys doing to hand launch them? I had the Phantom sitting on my case, plugged in the battery and didn't move it until after it locked CL and homepoint. Then I picked it up, fired it up using CSC and launched. I'm thinking that when I moved it from the case, held it above my head and then started it, that messed with the calibration somehow? I thought I had read of people getting homelock and then moving the Phantom wherever without any problems. Maybe I had a different issue (I double-check that the S1 & S2 switches were both all the way up).

    I'll try it again next time out, but I thought I would check to see if I was doing something wrong...
     
  8. Seahorse

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    Just needs time to gain a lock. Hold it longer or just hover until you get green light before flying off....

    Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
     
  9. Suwaneeguy

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    Why not stand it on a box for a take off spot?
    When it does the initial nose dive, the blades should not be touching the ground at all.
    IMO, trying to grab the bird with props running is a dangerous idea.
    Those blades WILL chew into your hand royally. I know. It happened to me.
    As for when it lands, it may or may not land in the precise spot it launched from.
    In that case, be sure your launching pad has plenty of space around it that is on the same level.
     
  10. Jebus

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    It did have all green lights before I picked it up - although I can't say for certain, but I think they were still green before I fired up the props. I guess the only way to know for sure is to test again. But I was wondering if it messes with the compass or anything - obviously not if other people are doing it without any problems.

    Suwaneeguy... yes, I know that the props can hurt and are dangerous (obviously!). I usually launch off of a small, portable 'table' (TV tray), and decided to just launch off of my case now that the ground has dried. With the TV tray, it allows the Phantom to 'drop' a bit before getting completely airborne.

    One my first attempt launching from the case, the Phantom kind of 'dragged' across the case and caught a raised edge, tipping the Phantom - but it just barely avoided colliding with the ground. I did a few more launches with the case flipped over (smoother surface) and I found as long as I was pulling back on the right stick a bit, I could prevent the Phantom's initial 'nose dive' and it was just fine.

    I'd just like to know that if I ever need to, I could hand launch it without any issues.
     
  11. QYV

    QYV

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    my first few take offs were also a bit spotty, with it wanting to tip over, etc. I think that happens if you're too gentle. I've found that when I'm ready a bold committed high throttle take off until it's at least a few feet off the ground is much more steady and has less chance for any tip-over type problem.

    The only reason I wouldn't hand-launch is because these days I'm tapping the record button on my GoPro and stepping back as I spin up the props them immediately take off so if you're trying to hit record on a gopro it would be a bit more awkward.

    TONS of videos I've watched online the people catch the device instead of landing, which you don't want to do without a lanyard but yea it's handy for sure and you've got less chance of a bad landing... the first time I landed with prop guards attached I landed too hard a prop touched a guard and snapped the prop, so now I prefer to catch it :)
     
  12. Jebus

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    Yup... even if I wind the motors up a bit and then give it full throttle, I find that it doesn't lift straight up right away. Pulling back on the right stick seems to help quite a bit.
     
  13. meow man

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    I always hand launch and land, after I take off I hover then turn on the camera and record the visa versa.
     
  14. QYV

    QYV

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    I haven't had the balls to get that close to the rotors while in flight yet but I'm an idiot I'm sure I will at some point