It seems like it took forever for Spring to get here this year in Michigan. I suppose it did give me more time to build and tinker with shit before immediately setting off to destroy it - so that's ok I suppose.
I'm starting an aerial mapping/surveying/site inspection with a friend and neighbor - we bought a couple of phantom 3 pros and have been upgrading and learning how to really use the 4k camera. It's crazy to think about the technology that's in my quad - let alone my long range, fixed wing 'workhorse' aircraft.
Here's my latest build - it's another F-18 Striker scratch build. I hand cut every part, made every last little control linkage - 100% hand made. It's laminated with .5mil super durable plastic that I used a
'covering iron' (looks like a small hot iron) to heat it up and activate the glue - then smooth it out. It turned out really great. I was concerned about the weight with my custom, tape striping job - for lack of a better description. It's made from 6mm thick grey depron foam that I then used yellow and black .2mil colored tape - then finally laminated over the whole thing, piece at a time for the most part.When you heat it up and it sticks to the foam, the foam melts a little bit too (not noticeably) but it makes it like a hard plastic shell. It's amazingly durable.
I had mechanical failure on my RangerEX and it ended up cratering in a field (luckily with minimal damage) the wing and elevator/rudder were 100% undamaged - and fuselage being hard ABS plastic injection molded didn't even get a scratch, just dirty which easily washed off. It's pretty awesome, I can't wait to make a small front yard acrobat flyer and wrap the whole thing in .5mil laminate - it will literally be unbreakable.
It only ended up weighing 1 LB on the dot. 16 oz flight weight with no battery. The same friend who I'm starting the new business with built a F18, same plans and everything - his ended up weighing a whopping 1.4 LB 20 oz and some change. He painted his (less durable and doesnt look all shiney) that's a 40% increase in weight from the same designs - I was able to use a 2650mah 3s pack and fly for 15 minutes at varied cruise, acrobat throttle - and about 7-8 minutes balls to the wall (about 90 mph) that's 7 or 8 minutes worth of white knuckle, holy shit fun!
Now for some nice pictures from the Phantom 3 Pro. The 4k resolution cameras are able to capture ultra high definition images that are able to be run through software (like Drone Deploy) and map out a full 3D rendered image from that composite. With the extend range antenna I installed - I can fly roughly 20,000ft away - LOS of course. The real reason I got the antenna was to improve the 720p video feed to my iPad Air2 - it also increases object penetration for flying in obstructed areas like forests or cities.
The wind has been crazy strong the last few weeks - so I haven't had the chance to fly much but I've been working on a million other things. These pics are from the last couple of weeks - I have a bunch of video as well but 4k, even when edited and compressed - are still huge file sizes, so I haven't really uploaded anything I can share but I'll work on that.
I haven't decided what I'm going to build next - but I'm leaning towards a 250mm-300mm race FPV quad. I was talking to a friend the other day about them - kinda got the bug, which coincidentally they kind of look like!
We'll see - I'm sure I'll post some pics when I finally decide
There was a million dollar race in Dubai last year. Crazy right? I'm game, lol... Maybe I'll teach my kids and start a racing team! haha.
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