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What's the coldest weather you've flown?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Sabino Diaz, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. Sabino Diaz

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    Hello! I live in northern Alberta Canada, and the weather it's crazy cold here, I used to build my own drones 4 years ago and the only thing besides getting your fingers a frost bite, the batteries where lasting 3 to 5 min less than on "normal" temperatures, but decided to try something with brand, I am pretty happy with my phantom 3P, is been 6 months now and I don't have anything to complain, but I'm afraid to take it out now that is -20C, I really can't wait to fly again! Any ideas? Have anyone tried flying in subzero temperatures? ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots1451235232.361332.jpg
     
  2. gordhunt

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    Be careful live here too and had props curve in the cold and the quad drop out of the sky with little warning

    Sent from my D6603 using Tapatalk
     
  3. Chuck Young

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    So right now here in Colorado it is -21 C, last night it was just shy of 30 below zero Celsius. I have been flying in the negative 10 to negative 20 Celsius. I typically keep the battery in my warm pocket or in a heated car or house. I am not inclined to fly it cold. Typically when I start the motors I have to wait about 5 minutes to let the IMU warm up. I am usually very careful to not whack the cold plastic, it is probably pretty brittle at 20 below. I usually wear finger gloves with mitten covers and thinsulate. I still usually pull the battery out on landing and use it to warm my fingers back up.
     
  4. RedHotPoker

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    Thankfully, the recent intelligent flight battery update will help us all out quite a bit, flying in below degrees temperatures...
    Also I just viewed this today, and think we might all learn something valuable & new... ;-)



    Enjoy.

    RedHotPoker
     
    #4 RedHotPoker, Dec 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  5. Matt W Ruff

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    One it doesn't get that cold here in Tennessee, that said I'm not into freezing so I have access to gym's that not quite as fun but it not bad.
     
  6. Mutterranch

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    -17F yesterday afternoon. The camera didn't like it much and my iPad powered off after 15 minutes in the cold.
     
  7. RedHotPoker

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    A few suggestions from the guys across the pond.

    Safety Tips for Flying in Cold Weather

    Flying DJI aircraft in winter can be fun, but bear in mind that as the temperature drops, so does the battery’s performance. It has come to DJI’s attention that several of our users have experienced issues when flying in cold weather. These issues include sudden drops in battery voltage, motor output overload and, in some cases, even crashing the aircraft. In response, we urge users to read the following tips to ensure flight safety when flying in cold weather.
    [​IMG]

    The Intelligent Flight Battery contains a Li-Po battery cell. The performance of the Li-Po battery cell is subject to ambient temperature, so the battery drains significantly faster at cold temperatures (15°C). When the Intelligent Flight Battery is placed in cold environments, the chemical reactions within the battery cell are subdued, leading to increased resistance and eventually a significant drop in battery voltage. The drop in battery voltage (below 3V per cell) contributes to two major risks. Firstly, the propulsion system on the aircraft can suffer from a lack of thrust due to the low voltage. Secondly, the battery will automatically shut off because the over-discharge protection will have taken effect. This is a known limitation to all Li-Po batteries; many mobile devices that use Li-Po batteries also have the same issue. Note that you might not be able to use your mobile device at coldtemperatures for the same reason.

    Aircraft such as the Inspire 1 and Inspire 1 Pro require more power to sustain flight and carry out maneuvers such as climbing at high speeds. At high altitudes where air pressure is low, the motors on the aircraft will rotate faster in order to produce enough lift. Consequently, even more power output is required and the battery voltage will be more likely to drop to an extremely low level, triggering over-discharge protection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that users charge the battery to 100% in order to prevent over-discharge protection from triggering.

    Follow the tips bellow when you are flying the aircraft:
    1. Fully charge the battery before each flight.
    2. Allow the battery to warm up to 25°C or more. It is recommended to use the Battery Heater to warm up the battery.
    3. Hover the aircraft for about a minute to allow the battery to warm up.


    RedHotPoker
     
  8. ParsnipHysorter

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    Seems to be a new thread on this topic every day. Its good to scan through the threads before starting a new one. Here is one from just today also: Cold weather | Page 2 | DJI Phantom Forum

    But in short about -25 C for me here in Alaska, no problems.
     
  9. KyleVic

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    Location:
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    The Phantom can hold its own in the cold, I flew near McKinley Park in Alaska in 25F (-4C) with extremely low cloud cover and a light drizzle of rain. Performed just fine biggest problem was my fingers getting sluggish on the sticks.
     
  10. Ken Hanks

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    Newbie here. Flown in -16C in Montana on Christmas. Yes, blades get brittle. Had a operator error and crashed into snow during landing. Broke one blade tip.
     
  11. Gregorio34

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    So.. is it ok if I fly -9 C for 3-4 minutes? I want to film some fireworks but I'm scared to take it out. :/
     
  12. Ken Hanks

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    What I've read, keep the batteries warm in your pocket till its time to fly. When your ready to fly, start up the drone and allow it to warm up. The idea is to allow the IMU to warm up and stabilize. Don't do any sudden maneuvers, the battery is more susceptible to a rapid power drain which the drone will think it needs to shut down to protect the battery. Oh, i flew my drone for 20 minutes at 18F or -7.7. Good luck.
     
  13. Chuck Young

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    So little bit ago I took @snerd s advice and came out of momma's basement, she lives in Kansas, and went outside. Holy crap were not in Kansas anymore Toto! It was a balmy -21˚ Celsius, yesterday it was nearing -30˚ C. Took the ole P3 out for a spin, 12 minutes camera on and she was giving me the first low battery warning(35%) as I shut her down. Looking at the HD video on the big screen now, spectacular. I will put up a link later when I have more bandwidth to upload it. My advice is keep the battery warm, don't bang the airframe around, come home early, and pre-plan bingo and and extrication route ahead of time in case of an unexpected shutdown. Fly and have fun!

    Btw. at the end the ground detector seemed to be having a bit of a problem in the powdery snow, kept bouncing up and down then set down and popped back up toward the end. I will investigate more. Could be the Carbon Fiber cross piece I built to protect the gimble but it and the prop guards come into play most every flight I have up here, after all Colorado is where the Big Boys play you know @snerd LOL!



    Edited to drop in the better video link.
     
    #13 Chuck Young, Dec 29, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  14. Rod Carnochan77

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    The video ?
     
  15. RedHotPoker

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    Huh? Just a short animation...
    Did you click, it was working fine for me... Still is. ;-)

    RedHotPoker