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Professional Newbie looking for a few general flying questions answered

Discussion in 'Phantom 3 Help' started by elliot, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. elliot

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    Hi guys.

    I recently purchased a Phantom 3, and am fairly new to quadcopters and am hoping someone can answer some of these questions of about general flying please:

    1. Do you get better signal to the Phantom if you're standing with the controller at the top of a hill flying down, or at the bottom flying up the hill?
    2. Can you get longer flying distance from starting point if you fly higher? If so, what's a good height to generally stay at to keep a good signal?
    3. I presume you can lose signal if you fly above trees/buildings and then behind them? But how risky is it? Do you nearly always lose signal, or is it just not advised because it increases risk?
    4. The Phantom can fly to 500 meters high, but how risky is flying it so high? Do you need to do it on a day with almost no wind and even then it's risky due to thermals? What's the max you generally go?
    5. At what wind speeds is not advisable to fly the Phantom in? What's the max speed you guys fly yours at safely?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated :)
     
  2. N017RW

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    Location:
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    1. The Tx/Rx antennas are on the bottom of the quad so it's best to have the quad above the operator.
    2. Height does improve range but really only to the point that you're above local physical interference.
    Keeping a clear, unobstructed, path between you and the quad is essential especially at the high frequencies used for these aircraft.
    3. See #2 above.
    4. Aside from issues regarding entering controlled airspace and possible loss of sight or orientation, height alone is not risky. You do have unknown wind conditions aloft as you climb which may increase in speed and vary in direction.
    Loss of GPS (rare at heights) can result in the quad seemingly fly-away as you no longer have GPS to help maintain a fixed X-Y position. Many new pilots cannot deal with this initially.
    5. Personal preference - not much fun for me above 20 mph or so. YMMV. Be sure to factor return time will increase when flying back home against the wind.
     
  3. aburkefl

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    I see you've received some good answers already.
    thermals can sometimes be problematic for RC planes. Quads don't glide so well. If conditions are ripe enough that thermals could conceivably carry away your quad, you probably shouldn't be flying!

    The frequencies used for quads (and planes) are essentially line of sight (obstacles that get in the way can disturb or destroy the signals).

    The recommended altitude for quads is 400 feet and under. Even that low, your bird will look pretty tiny and the orientation (which way is the front) will be difficult.

    My "fleet" of quads has grown to four, but I'm still pretty much a newbie and my Phantom 3 is my first Phantom. Treat your bird with caution and care and before you know it, you'll discover you're getting comfortable with flying it.
     
  4. Buckaye

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    I agree - good answers...

    I don't like flying much above 250 ft or so because of how small the quad gets - however I don't get nervous about winds - it handles it like a champ.

    I'd say 20 MPH winds are about as exciting as I like to get - remember in strong winds when you are flying down wind you use less power - always leave yourself enough power to fight your way back up wind...
     
  5. aburkefl

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    I see you're in Orlando. I'm in Leesburg! In learning to fly RC planes, the name of the game was to fly upwind, particularly with gliders and powered gliders. Makes it a lot easier to get your craft back when the batt gets low!
     
  6. Buckaye

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    maybe we can get together sometime and fly - always fun to chat about the hobby
     
  7. aburkefl

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    I am very fortunate. There's a pretty large park (Venetian Gardens) literally just around the corner from my house. It's much better for quads than for planes - there are lots of tall, fluffy plane-eating trees! - that border a small clay road and the main street. My plane mentor flies there a lot - he's very good, very coordinated and excellent depth perception. He seldom ends up in the trees.

    There's about 30 acres of really open area and with the quad, it's easier to get above and stay above the trees. Landing a plane there is much more challenging than landing a quad!

    Drop me an email when it's convenient and we'll talk about flying or meeting somewhere for coffee, lunch, whatever some day. Email me at ABURKEFL AT GMAIL dot COM
     
  8. Stephan

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    Ask any sailor what difference 10m makes in terms of wind speed... Then consider 500m...

    If wind is ever going to be an issue, fly it at altitude upwind from you if possible so that you have a down wind return