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Phantom top (roof) altiude... a very ambitious project

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by Skydronik, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. Skydronik

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    On next January (2015), I'll be visiting the Mukumbari cable car (still under reconstruction works since 2008) located at the city of Merida, Venezuela.
    Being the longest and highest cable car in the world ( ! ), it runs from 1500 meters above the sea level (in the metropolitan area of Merida CIty) up to 4190 meters in Pico Espejo (close to Bolivar's Peek, higher in Venezuela, 4980 MASL), in a 8 mile, 45 minutes, 4 stages, 5 stations and very impressive trip.

    I'll take there my V3 P2V+, and some other handheld cameras/gimbals.

    The plan is to perform some promotional film/photograph landscapes (not seen by public in the last years) and current work status in the different stages/stations, making some aerial and ground (mountain) level videos/photos. Also, as the while site is route for treeking, mountain bike, peek climbing and expeditions, we'll be performing some drone-assisted SAR drills/experiments, in support to local rescue teams.

    Not having any height flight limits (actually legislation or restrictions about drones don't exist in Venezuela), and being out of the reach of FAA!!! () the only limits are stablished by physics/enviroment/wheater/security staff, owner crazyness, drone integrity and sadly, battery duration. Already got 4 batteries for the journey, and trying to get some more..... Any sponsors? )

    Has anyone experience flying at such altitudes? Are known some tech specs stating max (or recommended) flight altitudes? Any suggestions? Comments? Fears? Jokes?

    As it look too easy... I also plan to experiment in such extreme conditions by lifting up some very small payload in an attempt to help victims or hurt/lost people by droping small cargo over them (may be a walkie talkie / cell phone / gps / or very essential first aid kit. I have been succesfully using a Raspberry Pi (that has input/outputs) onboard to activate / control the dropoff. More details about this to come. Also here sponsors are being required.

    Any help/info would be highly appreciated.
     
  2. msinger

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    Keep in mind that the Phantom gets pretty hot when powered on and the props are off. It might not be an issue, but I thought it would be worth mentioning it.
     
  3. Skydronik

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    Hi msinger. Not sure about what you mean... Our handheld cameras are mostly standard DSLRs and our GoPros with Feiyu G3 / G4 gimbals.
     
  4. Prylar Bek

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    Assuming the same issues, laws of physics exist with our 'toys' that exist with 'real' helicopters, isn't there an issue with 'thin' air at alttitude?
     
  5. msinger

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    Skydronik, my mistake. I thought you were saying you were going to use the camera on your Phantom by holding it.
     
  6. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Phantoms have flown above 4000 metres.
    Possibly the highest was a P1 that went above 4900 m about a year ago.
    http://vimeo.com/79154036
    The pilot reported that above 5,200mtrs as wasn't enough air to get lift.
    At altitude the ability of your P2+ to carry and battery time will be diminished but the v3 should be a better craft than the P1.
     
  7. Skydronik

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    Interesting and encouraging!
     
  8. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Hmm ... reading the comments on that video, two pilots report problems lifting off at 3200 & 3400 metres.
    Now I'm wondering?????
     
  9. rbhamilton

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    So I'm trying to picture this and I keep coming up with disasters.

    Let's say you are way up in the air in a cable car and you launch your drone. If you are above it's height limit... what happens? Would it reset to zero at your current high height (probably) or would it figure out you were way up in the air and descend then park it's self in the air at that point? Or what if your cable car moves up above the height limit of the drone?

    Also if your cable car was moving and you were following along with the drone... when you reach the drone's horizontal limit for distance the drone would stop in it's tracks while your cable car continued on leaving it stranded.

    Probably best to remove horizontal and vertical limits.

    And what happens if the cable car moves and your drone loses GPS? It's going to do a return to home but you won't be there anymore. I know all about this from launching from a moving boat. Yikes.

    And finally, recovering the drone while you are in a cable car isn't going to be easy. Hope you practice lots and lots before you give this a try.

    Or are you just going to be on the ground the whole time? That's what I'd suggest.
     
  10. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Somehow I don't think he was planning to fly from a moving cable car.
    Just launching would be more than tricky - they probably don't allow the doors to open.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Skydronik

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    Right Meta4.

    Cable cars operating are mostly going to be filmed as they approach to/leave from ground stations, What rmhamilton suggests appears to be hard-to-do and certainly risky. May be drone is going to follow them for a while, inside the flying range from a station. In-cabin filming will be done with fixed/handheld cameras
     
  12. Skydronik

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  13. BogotaMatt

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    Newbie here, will introduce myself in the appropriate thread.
    I have flown a v2 Phantom Vision at 4300m, on a hot day in the Peruvian Andes. It succeeded in climbing at about 20m and kind of stayed there. It would however loose lots of altitude on turns. We got about 6 mins of flight time on a fresh battery. The drone behavior at this altitude is very undepredictable. It crashed about 10 times for no reason other than for the fun of it, it seems. It would just hold altitude and just start going down, catch some ground effect and bounce back up or sometimes just give up and crash.
    Thank god we were on some high grass fields and it pretty much went down every time at full power so it would be a smooth landing but I could never get a proper flight. It is a the very edge of the flight envelope and a couple of degrees of difference in air temperature also meant no take off at all with the poor bugger screaming bloody murder and not lifting at all... It got us our shots on very cold early morning, mission done, we're getting a v3 next week just in case we need to get back to those altitudes one day... But it's a plucky little bird this ! :lol:
     
  14. Couchie

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    The topic of a 'service ceiling' is danced around in this post back and forth. In the aviation world, particularly the twin engine prop world a pilot is concerned with the airplane's single engine service ceiling. This is the ceiling at which his aircraft can maintain altitude should one engine fail in flight. This 'ceiling' is based on the air density or better yet density altitude. I won't bore you with the details, but even our small craft will have a service ceiling and it will depend on altitude, the density of the air at the said altitude, temperature at altitude, among other factors. I'm only speaking physically with the machine itself, not radios.

    Should you venture above the craft's service ceiling, it won't just fall out of the sky. You may notice a sluggish response to inputs, the craft may sink back down to an altitude with more dense air and perform just fine again.

    All things that you should think about, and start out carefully to ensure you realize what your craft can handle.