Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

New idea for Floats-for all Phantoms

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by havasuphoto, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. havasuphoto

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,284
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Lake Havasu, AZ
    I got 2 water bottles, drank the water, and decided that I could just use some Duct Tape, and tape them to the outside of the skids.
    The water bottles are extremely thin/light plastic. They measure 8" long X 2 3/8" around. In the pictures, I haven't taped them onto the aircraft yet-because I need to find something that weighs close to 3lbs, and do a "flotation/bouncy test" first.

    But-I decided to create a new thread, to separate this idea from the others. I will report back when the float test is complete. Then, it's on to flight testing, to see if there are any negative handling qualities.
    This will be on a 1270 gram Phantom 1.2.
    Pictures;
    .JPG[/attachment]
     

    Attached Files:

  2. mcmax20

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not bad idea but you might want to mount them under the landing gear (if it doesn't make it too top heavy!). This way they don't interfere as much with airflow from the props and also give a bit of lift to keep from dunking your GoPro & gimbal. You'll probably also want to put he caps towards the back so they don't show up in video.

    I'm wondering if it will interfere with your vTx antenna...
     
  3. havasuphoto

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,284
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Lake Havasu, AZ
    I plan on shooting in medium or narrow...my thoughts with the caps forward was for less drag. I thought about putting them on the bottoms of the skids-but I believe it would make the Phantom too top heavy if it landed in the water, and it would just roll over, upside down, with the slightest wave.
    With them on the sides, the Phantom will sit lower in the water, with less possibility of a roll-over(total loss). I know that this will ruin the Zen and Go Pro...but am trying to preserve what's inside the main body of the Phantom.
    It's a work in progress.....
    As far as interference with the VTX, the plastic is so thin, I doubt it will have any effect.


    FLOAT TEST COMPLETE-IT PASSED!!!

    I took a plastic box of nails, that weighed 4.2lbs, taped the bottles to the side of the box, and it floated. I could even push down, and still had buoyancy.
    I then removed the bottles, just to make sure the plastic box of nails didn't have any natural bouncy-it didn't.

    NOTE: This is still in the Alpha Phase of testing. You're mileage may vary. There is no guarantee that this will work-and if it does, the Phantom may still roll upside down in the water-which would be a total loss. But, you could still recover your aircraft.
    I'm seeking other "idea's".

    This just seemed the most logical, too me. The bottles weigh next to nothing. But remember-you have to use Duct Tape. It's water proof, and stays on, even when wet(I hope).
     
  4. syotr

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    896
    Likes Received:
    134
    I can tell you from my experience that this arrangement will be very tippy but will atleast keep your bird from completely sinking. The other problem will be wind and propwash from your motors. This will affect handling and flight time.
    I have tried several different types of floats and the most stable was 8 oz water bottles mounted under each motor.

    viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2745

    I was able to land and take off from water with this arrangement. The downside was that the bottles were visible to the camera. I later switched to smaller pill bottles and some foam between the landing struts.[​IMG]
     
  5. Big Ben

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you attach them to the sides there's a risk the compass sensor will go under water which you best should avoid. Since the front of a Phantom is usually heaviest due to the camera the wider bottoms of the bottles would best be at the front too giving max. buoyancy there.
     
  6. havasuphoto

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,284
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Lake Havasu, AZ
    Yea, I was just thinking of that-the center of gravity is forward.

    I did see the other post(s) about the bottles mounted to the engines. Was just looking for an alternative. I have a pool noodle also, but, I don't think that will provide enough bouncy, will need to be too long, and will weigh a bit more.

    I know you can't get the compass wet. The idea behind this is purely for recovery purposes only. I'm sure the compass will dry. and, I'm flying over fresh water(a Lake), to the water would be calm.

    I do worry about the aerodynamic effects though. I've test flown different float designs, in my other career as a Helicopter Pilot. And, depending on the model of aircraft, there is a Dihedral Roll characteristic when the aircraft is flown at speed, but out of trim. It will scare the crap out of you the first time it happens. Basically, the helicopter enters an UN-commanded roll, very quickly. And, the only recovery is to correct the yaw first, then pull out of the dive.
    It's possible in sidewards flight, that the Phantom could roll upside down.....and, if at too low an altitude, may not be recoverable.
     
  7. Big Ben

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    0
    Unless in Manual mode the Phantom is limited to a maximum tilt angle so I don't expect it will roll over.
     
  8. havasuphoto

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,284
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Lake Havasu, AZ
    I hope not. But, I've seen Phantoms hit tree's and stuff, and do a flip-then recover. That's why I got the idea that it might be possible.
    when the time comes for me to need this-I'll test it out low level over some "soft" grass for awhile, just to see how it handles.
     
  9. Woody

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    31
  10. havasuphoto

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,284
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Lake Havasu, AZ
    Yea-that's the Aqua-copter. They are water-proof. A friend of mine had one built, and it cost him $2200!!!(so he say's).
    BUT, the gimbal/go pro aren't water-proof.
    The Aqua Copter even floats-with a go pro in the housing attached. Pretty cool kit. But, the whole non-water proof gimbal kinda messes up this idea a bit.