Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

PHANTOM EMERGENCY FLOTATION FOR A DIME (redux)

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by CapnBob, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. CapnBob

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Please read, then watch videos...

    "They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. ~Carl Sagan

    I posted this nearly a year ago, and many laughed. To me, it was an invention of necessity. I lived aboard for 8 years, bought the P2V+, and wanted to get footage of the New England coast; much of it over water. I could not come to terms with the possibility of a $1500.00 drone marinating at the bottom of the ocean in the event of a mishap. I came up with this, and was finally vindicated when a buddy's drone augered in to the Atlantic recently. He got his drone back. I will not guarantee that it works for you, but any chance of saving the quad is better than no chance. Be sure to use the "HEAVY DUTY" Freezer storage bags with the double zipper. Also buy quality nylon zip-ties with 18 lb tensile strength. Do not use the cheap brittle plastic version. Two inflated 1 quart bags will support ~4.5 lb; my phantom tips the scales at 3.2 lbs, so there is >1 lb of reserve flotation. The pool test was done with 3.5 lbs of steel to simulate the phantom's weight; much more dense and compact than the bird, which is spread out over a much larger area. I forcibly threw the test sample as hard as I could into the pool. There was no breakage of zip ties, or bags popping or ripping. UHMW polyethylene and nylon are tough materials. In reality, the bird is hollow, and the weight is spread out over a much larger area, so the test was more severe than a real-world splashdown. I believe a phantom would actually float on it's own for a bit until she swallowed. Laugh if you want, but I won't fly over water without these.
    10¢ and 5 minutes of your time could save your bird.
    Snip and toss when you're done, and I'm your uncle.



    THE IMPLEMENTATION
    Video HERE:

    THE TEST
    Video HERE:
     

    Attached Files:

    #1 CapnBob, Jul 16, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  2. RoyVa

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    449
    Location:
    Virginia
    The ole saying applies.. What ever works for you! Good job.
     
    pomonabill220 and CapnBob like this.
  3. AlohaPhantom808

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2015
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Hawaii-California-NewYork
    i'm in CA at the moment but be flying a lot more over water when i get home to hawaii. have been thinking of various "options" that can work in a similar manner...nice thinking though!
     
    CapnBob likes this.
  4. Chuck Young

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    621
    Likes Received:
    192
    Didn't happen unless there are pictures, of the coast mostly. hehehe
     
  5. ScottyT

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I like it. Sure to be added resistance in a breeze, but an acceptable solution for many situations.
     
    CapnBob likes this.
  6. CapnBob

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    True, in a stiff breeze, they can be a bit of a sail, but their shape is inherently aerodynamic. They weigh next to nothing and, being attached only at the top, tend to wave about like a sheet on a clothesline. I typically won't fly over water under any but ideal conditions anyway. so it's not much of an issue. Who needs the deck stacked against them?

     
  7. BlackHawk388

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Point Washington, FL.
    Do you have any in flight video with these attached?

    It looks goofy as hell, but if it works and there's no interference with the in flight video, I may be interested in using your idea for a bit until I get a more streamlined solution.
     
  8. CapnBob

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    As I said, there are obviously no guarantees. If you use flimsy bags or zip ties, they may pop or break. I came up with this idea, but I have never crashed myself (touching wood..). There are 2 instances I know of where this technique floated the Phantom and allowed recovery. By the way, they only look goofy close up. You can hardly see them at altitude depending on weather.. . If they do show up a bit in the camera view, when tilted down, try attaching them higher up on the skids. One other thing, make sure they are inflated fully. The inflation is what pushes them to the side as opposed to hanging down. In this particular video the bird had them on, but I didn't venture out over the ocean. I chose it because I have the camera tilted down 90° in a few scenes.





     
    #8 CapnBob, Jul 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
    pomonabill220 and grrquadman like this.
  9. CapnBob

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    By "streamlined" I assume you mean more aesthetically pleasing. If you can get over the goofy look and focus on the function, I don't see how you can get better than this. Believe me. when I came up with it, I was horrified. In fact, It just plain works. I have not seen anything better, lighter, or cheaper. It's just ugly and stupid looking. I got over it. I was married twice.

     
    #9 CapnBob, Jul 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  10. CapnBob

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Check the video. Mostly the coast.

     
  11. CapnBob

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I don't fly over water all of the time, so I don't need a permanent solution that weighs the bird down over dry land. I pop these on when needed, snip and toss when I'm done. As I said, I have never needed them myself, but I have had two people shake my hand for saving their birds.

     
    ScottyT likes this.
  12. BlackHawk388

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Point Washington, FL.

    I spent over 20 years in Army Aviation. Our general rule of thumb was simple.

    If it's stupid, but works, it isn't stupid.

    Plain and simplistic usually works the best for the least amount of time and money invested. Like you, I don't fly over water very often.

    However, when I do, it's over salt water or brackish water. In my neck of Florida, there aren't any fresh water areas I frequent. Check out the Point Washington maps on Google. It's ALL salt or brackish water. No in between. So I want something that doesn't cost an arm and a leg while still allowing me to fly over these areas with at least a modicum of "recoverability" should I dunk this thing. I realize it won't be completely useful if that should happen but I am all about using parts and pieces for the next bird.

    I'm NOT making fun of your process here. I respect your ingenuity. It's an ugly *****. But I'm all about ugly as long as it's functional. I'll let you know when I use your ingeniously simple solution. It won't be long. I live in an area where wealthy people spend thousands of dollars on this hobby without a second thought. To them, losing a Quad is an inconvenience. To me, it's quite the investment. I don't have much money to throw away on this thing. Fixed income, retired/disabled military man. So if it works, I'm all about using it.

    Never meant to offend.
     
    pomonabill220 likes this.
  13. CapnBob

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Never took offense. ;-)
     
    BlackHawk388 likes this.
  14. BlackHawk388

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Point Washington, FL.
    Good. You best not have!!!

    ;)
     
  15. CapnBob

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Well, now I DO take offense when threatened... ;-)


     
  16. BlackHawk388

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Point Washington, FL.
    LOL! We would get along very well in real life!

    *****.
     
  17. CapnBob

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I am in exactly the same world. Fixed/Retired/Disabled/military.
    I spend more time modding, planning, and researching than I do Flying. I cannot afford another, so I must not lose this.



     
  18. Dirtbag62

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks i will when i get my new one in a couple of weeks i have a 46 post looking forward to some great photos
     
  19. oly0353

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Has anyone tried using those "noodles" floats people use no pools? Seems like one could cut one to fit the bottom part of the skid. Then cut a slot, snap over skid and tie wrap. May be a little top heavy in wavy water though.
     
  20. ScatSpeak

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2015
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    MO, USA
    Here's a guy who did just that!...


    I have to wonder though, wouldn't a couple of empty plastic water bottles serve the purpose and be slightly less ugly than the ziploc bags?... similar to this video example:



    I may have to try it.... or something like it..