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Loveland Ski Area - 11,200 feet elevation

Discussion in 'Photos and Video' started by UAVInsurance, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. UAVInsurance

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    Breckenridge, Colorado
    Sorry, this is another unstabilized Phantom I video. On the other hand, it's taken at fairly high altitudes in variable to high wind conditions at about 11,000 feet in elevation. I'm also working on ski race training video up at about 11,800 to 12,000 feet on Loveland Pass, Colorado. Some links below.

    Was hoping to give it a go with my PV but it didn't make it past the first flight.

    Loveland Ski Club Race Room Base Area: http://youtu.be/elyCDXdA8Mw

    Basic Slalom Training: https://sprongo.com/playlist/69628

    Slalom Training - https://sprongo.com/playlist/67500
     
  2. JohnnyX

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    Terry, I'm looking to speak with someone who has flown quadcopters at a high base elevation, and Loveland certainly qualifies! Specifically, how was your flying affected in relationship to:
    * fly time
    * payload (gimbal & GoPro, ...)
    * affect on elevator speed, as well as other controller response
    * operation under winter temperatures
    * anything elce you have noticed.

    Thanks vary much for your responce, as I am in the market, and live at 7K'.
    If you are available to speak outside the forum, please let me know.
     
  3. UAVInsurance

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    Location:
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    My baseline is 8,000 feet because that's the lowest I've ever flown either of my phantoms.

    The number 1 rule is DO NOT DESCEND STRAIGHT DOWN IN A HOVER unless you do it VERY slowly. You must keep them moving into good air at these altitudes. If you must bring it down fast and straight, then leave a lot of room for it to recover before landing.

    Here was a Phantom 1 flight at 12,000 feet on the very top of Loveland Pass: http://youtu.be/dQGZ6-vkw4E

    I'll admit that when the aircraft got into the wind, I thought it was a gonner. The winds up there that day were gusting to about 50 MPH and as soon as it got around the top of the peak, it hauled butt for Denver. I had to put in full power and hold it to get it back and it took all it had to get back to the launch site. Once there, it was almost impossible to land. Where you see it going over the road and such was completely caused by wind and it really did take everything the poor little thing had to get back and on the ground. I finally got it close enough to just snatch the gear with my hand and pull it down.

    1.) My payload now is an anti-jello mount with an ion Airpro 2 WiFi. The anti jello mount was not on for the above flight.

    2.) Flight times on the Phantom 1 average about 6.5 minutes at 8,500 feet with aggressive flying and about 4 miles round trip was my furthest flight. All with carbon fiber props. Without the carbon fiber, I was getting about 4.5 minutes at 8,500 feet before the red light started flashing. Longest flight I've done went about 7 minutes with CF and pretty aggressive speeds and maneuvers. In the above video, the camera was running the whole flight and when I landed, the low battery had just started flashing. I winds, low temps and judicious use of power dropped the total possible flight time to about 5 minutes I'd say. I usually make sure it's close by at the first sign of low battery and keep a timer going.

    3.) At 11,200 in the ski race videos I posted, it gets a solid 6 minutes every flight. I do push it then because it's close by the whole time so if it gets to be worst case, I know it won't hit anyone on the closed course and I can hike to it. I've never failed to get it before auto land and there have been times with all lights and voltage alarm were going crazy by the time I brought it down.

    All of the above is very consistent across all temperature ranges down to about 5 degrees as long as I keep the batteries in my inside coat pocket. Without that, I give it 3 minutes tops. I would not hesitate to fly the Phantom 1 in virtually any reasonable conditions even light snow.

    FWIW, all of my ski training video is on closed courses with no public around aside from the athletes and coaches and I stay clear.

    The Phantom 2 was a whole different story up until recently. It's been a scary and inconsistent curve with that one.

    In this video, I was at about 8,000 feet and was getting 17 minutes on average with stock props. Temperature was about 25 degrees. http://vimeo.com/82701141 That's all excellent in my opinion.

    It took about 6 flights for me to get an uneventful flight in with the PV2. I was getting all kinds of battery errors and it would go into auto land after about 3 or 4 minutes. I took it up to Frisco, Colorado in Summit County (9,000 +-) and the thing went into auto land after about 2 minutes of flight with alarms and flashing lights all over the place. AND the stinking battery was still showing 67%. I had zero confidence in it. Anything below about 40 degrees just resulted in battery errors within 5 minutes or so accompanied by auto land which is not optimal.

    Now the newest firmware seems to have resolved those issues. I'm starting to trust it more and more and actually had it up to about 300 feet AGL and over a deep canyon at about 30 degree temps and and it flew back woohoo .... :) ....something I would have never tried before.

    I have ordered a set of Graupner CF props to see if I can get it up to 20 minutes which I think it should do. I'll let you know.

    Let me know any other questions.
     
  4. JohnnyX

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    Terry, Thank you very much for taking the time to share with me your experiences flying at altitude. Your feedback is helpful for my decision making process. All the best - keep things upright, and happy holidays. JC
    PS I use to shoot a share of ski racing - both professionally, and during my son's "J" years. I would have loved to have had a copter back then - if the technology had existed, LOL!
     
  5. UAVInsurance

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    Location:
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    My pleasure and please let me know any other questions.

    I have two kids racing now and having these things is a blast for sure.

    I can honestly say that I would not hesitate to get the Phantom again at these altitudes. Oh wait, I bought two so I guess I didn't hesitate..... :cool: I've ordered a 3DR Iris also and will let you know how that goes.