Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

High wind flying

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by K9pilot, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. K9pilot

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1
    I took my Phantom out last Sunday for the rare warm (well, relatively for us @ 28F) AND nice winter day up here in North Maine. It turned out to be some high wind testing in the process. It was pretty windy when I started but once I got beyond the shelter of the trees and out on the frozen lake the wind really picked up. I was impressed with the Phantoms ability to stabilize in the high winds and still get some good video. The props were almost always in the shot due to the wind correction except when the wind was coming from behind the drone. When the gusts got above 30mph the drone was really getting pushed around, so I decided to call it quits and land. However, the wind was too high to safely put it on the ground (well, ice anyway) so I opted for the hand catch, putting the wind to the side of the drone so it was correcting side to side and not toward me during gusts. Overall I was really amazed with the Phantoms performance and it handled flying in the high winds quite well.
     
  2. general01

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    4
    Always exercise caution while flying in high winds though as you never know when the wind could shift

    It is impressive that the phantom still be stable in such winds
     
  3. Zinnware

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    8
  4. flyNfrank

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    916
    Location:
    Indy, USA
    I have flown in high winds a lot for the last 6 months, and nobody is going to fly into 30mph with a phantom. It is absolutely impossible to fly directly into that wind speed. And also, wind gust usually come from a different direction then what the sustained wind is blowing.
     
  5. K9pilot

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yep, once the winds got high enough that the drone wouldn't make much headway I called it. There was nothing down wind to hit and I still had the tree line I could move behind to shelter from the wind if I needed to. I also the ATTI card to play as well. The winds weren't shifting at all fortunately otherwise I'd never have tried it. Maine can be a challenging place to fly, manned or unmanned. I was just very impressed how well it handled it the winds all on it's own.
     
  6. K9pilot

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hmmm, ok, well, it was on a wide open frozen lake with no nearby upwind terrain to disturb the wind flow much so the winds tend to be very straight line, even the gusts. From the nearby weather station at that time: 18.4 mph Gust 34.5 mph

    The METAR from the airport 11 mi away:251753Z AUTO 26018G27KT 9SM CLR M06/M17 A2932 RMK AO2 PK WND 24027/1750 SLP937 60000 T10611167 11006 21061 51031=...or 20.7mph gusting to 31.05mph.

    What can I say, it flew, and quite well.
     
  7. general01

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    4
    All I can say is wow

    I have flown in wind but never got the nerve (or balls) to fly in winds like that(my max speed was 50 with a tailwind :))
     
  8. flyNfrank

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    916
    Location:
    Indy, USA
    The ATTI is what will save you from being blown away. But when you hit a wall that the quad can't fly against, it will begin to descend and will probably do so until hitting the ground. Then as soon as you release the forward lever on the controller the quad will begin to climb to the flying altitude you had it at before the wall of wind.
     
  9. flyNfrank

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    916
    Location:
    Indy, USA
    Maybe you should prove the wind blowing 30mph and fly in it and record as much as you can before crashing. I guarantee you haven't done it, because if you had you would not have posted. I know exactly what will happen, that's why I made the comment.
     
  10. flyNfrank

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    916
    Location:
    Indy, USA
    Flying full throttle with a 34.5mph should get you close to a 100mph. My fear would be the quad would get close to being out of range.
    You need to have something that will measure your wind speed right where you are flying at. It wont do much good when it is 11 miles away. I use a Davis Vantage Pro2 which I also have it linked to our local TV station and their weatherman uses it and others in the county for a reference sometimes.
     
  11. flyNfrank

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    916
    Location:
    Indy, USA
    So what happened while you were flying your quad into a 30mph headwind? How far did you get?
     
  12. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,774
    Likes Received:
    3,479
    From living aboard a yacht with wind instruments, I know that people usually over-estimate wind speeds.
    The Phantom is surprisingly capable in windy conditions
    I've been surprised to find my Phantom could handle stronger winds than I expected.
    In windy conditions you definitely want to test by going upwind first to see how it handles that.
    If it's not making much headway upwind or is having difficulty holding position you can still bring it down before it's blown away. Winds may be stronger up high - and the converse might be used to help bring it back down low if you get into trouble.
     
  13. K9pilot

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1
    Well, ok, between sailing, kiteboarding, and a career in aviation I'm pretty cognizant of the tendency to overestimate winds. I'm certainly as prone to it as anyone else, which is why I looked up the wind speeds after I was done flying to see what I was really dealing with. The nearby weather station I referenced is a little more than a mile away, the airport METAR I added for backup is 11 miles away. I could have added a dozen more reporting sites around me and they all were reporting similar conditions at that time. But yes FnF, you are correct, all winds are local. So without standing there with a calibrated wind gauge I can't know EXACTLY what the wind speed was in that very spot. However, since we have quite a few environmental, forestry, and aviation weather reporting stations all around me and they were all reporting very similar conditions, I'm fairly confident the wind report was close enough to still be suitably impressed with the phantoms performance. Maybe some time in the future I'll get a hand held wind gauge (I need one anyway) but for now that's all I have.

    The point of the original post was how impressed I was with the little drone's capabilities to stay put and maneuver in some very challenging conditions. I know from personal experience how hard it is to hover in winds like that and it did a phenomenal job correcting for the wind. There are a fair amount of negative experiences posted here, I just wanted to post something positive. For all their faults they are pretty darn neat pieces of technology. Now I wouldn't try landing or taking off from the ground in those conditions as it was pretty obvious you'd be asking for a prop strike but flying it was no problem. Yes, even in the highest gusts I was still able to move upwind, albeit much slower. However, just like a "real" aircraft, once the performance margin got small enough, I called it quits. If you push it to the point where you run out of pedal, cyclic, aileron, elevator, or rudder in a helicopter or airplane, something bad is about to happen so you should stop before you get there. Fortunately the Phantom doesn't have a tail rotor to worry about so loss of tail rotor effectiveness isn't a problem, but I did notice it would loose a foot or two during turns upwind to down wind and vice versa. It would also drop a bit momentarily while doing hovering "pedal" turns (yawing). It seemed to me this was more of a slight lag in correcting for the new apparent wind direction than any aerodynamic issue. The only other issue I saw was that you would need to plan your shots carefully if you were taking video or photos to keep the gear or props out of the picture. A direct tail wind was the only time this didn't happen.

    As for the performance capabilities of the drone you could drive a truck through my knowledge gaps on the phantom but there are a few things I can figure out. Ignoring some aerodynamic factors that don't really apply here, a given aircraft's top speed is generally determined by available power and it's climb performance is determined by excess power available. So, if an aircraft is at max power and max velocity then there is no excess power available to climb without turning some of those "thrusties" into "lifties", thereby slowing down. Conversely, if you want to go faster than your power available will allow then you would have to tap into some potential energy and trade altitude for airspeed. DJI lists the max flight speed as 15m/s or 33.55mph, and to be fair I'm not sure if this is a software limitation or actual power limitation but I'm not sure it matters. FnF I don't know what mods you may have or the conditions you tested it under (other than the tailwind), but based on your own data it appears to be capable of over 58mph (73.74mph-15mph tailwind=58.74mph). So any unknown mods aside, if the drone is truly limited to 33.55mph and/or not able to make headway in a 30+mph headwind then I'd have to guess you hit 73.74 mph with a 15mph tailwind while in a dive. However, if that was in level flight then it is certainly capable of higher speeds than listed and at 58mph should be able to make headway in a 30+mph headwind without any problem.

    Finally, I think you may have read my post incorrectly FnF as I never sent the drone down wind at full throttle so nothing was going to get to nearly 100mph. However, yes, the 58mph calculated from your information plus a 34mph gust would have come close at 92mph, and would have been out of the spec range of 2400' in less than 20 seconds. But since I never let it get more than roughly 500' away I wasn't going to find out.

    So can we zip up our pants and put away the rulers now? I'd really rather get back to how cool our phantoms are... :D
     
  14. DrJoe

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Messages:
    591
    Likes Received:
    96
    You can fly in 30 mph winds. If you do, make sure you have a pretty wide open area. Fly into the wind away from you. If you fly with the wind, you can easily get pretty far away, and not make much headway getting back. You can find yourself over some unforgiving terrain when that battery auto lands.

    I flew in a Nor'Easter trying to get a speed record. Upwind leg (against the wind) I was barely getting 3-4 mph of ground speed. With occasional gusts, it was moving very slow away from me, even in ATTI mode. Ah, but that downwind leg: I hit 62.38 verified by Flytrex.
     
  15. flyNfrank

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    916
    Location:
    Indy, USA
    Well fortunately. your theory based off my signature info, it doesn't work that away. I honestly do not know what mph my quad will fly on no wind in atti mode. I'm guessing 40mph? Now add 15mph wind to that does not mean it will then fly 55mph. I actually have no idea what the formula is to be able to reference what it should fly. But that would have to come from weight, power, and aerodynamic resistance. I like doing high speed flights with wind gust involved because of the Adrenalin Rush that comes from everything happening fast in a short time. And you never know when the wind gust you are waiting for is going to be the big, or not. The big gust only happen here 1 time per hour. And believe it or not, it is **** near almost like clock work. Meaning if you had a big gust at 20 minutes past the hour, it will be close to that same time a hour later. It's not always like that, but it does happen more times then not.

    Btw, I have been mostly wearing sweat pants for that past month. So I'm not sure who you saw with a zipper dropped and the pecker hangin'. :eek:
     
  16. flyNfrank

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    916
    Location:
    Indy, USA
    I have video of flying against the wind which is much less then 30mph and it shows the struggle.. But I figure it is just a waste of time showing it because there is noway to show the actual wind speed, or how long the gust maintained the same amount of strength throughout.

    I'm won't call anyone out on their "into the 30mph wind flight experience", but I will gladly point out those that give an actual recall from their experience based on what would mostly go on with the quad in that situation. I'm not going to argue with anyone saying it can be done yada yada yada.... The best thing to do is show us some video proof. I don't even need to see documented air speed. I'll go off of what the tree's and bushes ect, look like at the time you attempt the flight. Btw, these kind of things can also go on without name calling or getting out of line with being too rude.

    Byw, DrJoe....62.38mph can roughly be achieved with a 10-12mph tailwind in case you were wondering.
     
  17. justin00

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,143
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Australia
    Also wondered the same about your top speed Frank, like how you did it with only 15mph wind.
    In no wind, I can't get mine to go above ~35mph.. but your would of been going almost 60mph with no wind (60 + 15 = 75)
    Other day was flying in ~15-20mph wind and only got it upto 55 - 60mph... Which is still quick, but not quite as quick...

    Was it over a reaallly long duration and it just kept building up speed ? When I do some speed runs its never overly long duration.. I stop when it just won't build any more speed.

    Always amazes me when I read your sig :)

    *edit* btw not disputing your top speed or anything, just jelous / don't get how you did it is all!
    *edit 2* still readng the thread, only saw last post then posted up... yeah mine seems limited to around 35mph with no wind.
     
  18. flyNfrank

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    916
    Location:
    Indy, USA
    I'm pasting this from a response to someone that sent me a PM not long ago. It doesn't give a lot of details, but it may help to give you a better idea. Btw, I posted a video to the flight you mentioned below. In doing that I just realized I have forgotten to up my signature to my newest record which is 77.4 mph. I will now update my signature and add the new video I have showing that flight.

    [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5raz7FVAXA[/youtube]
     
  19. justin00

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,143
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks for the info. Nothing to ground breaking except having a bit of height to catch more wind then on ground level.
    Actually reading over ypur response a few times the flying straight is a good one to remember to..Spose every bit helps.

    Im still not following though.. lol.. Phantom only goes like ~35mph right? Thus 45 = 10mph wind, gust, whatever... 55mph = 20mph.. right?

    Am I missing some vital piece of the puzzle?
     
  20. flyNfrank

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    916
    Location:
    Indy, USA
    The only two things that make sense to me are..... The quads mass size equals wind restriction. And the other would be when the quad is in a pocket of air that is say traveling 20mph, there is a point that it creates weightlessness. That weightlessness could start out as if the quad only weighed one pound and as it picked up the speed the weight factor slowly become heavier? I do know that on each of my record flights the quad was still increasing it's speed at the point in which I let off the lever.