Monday, February 6, 2012

Experience is the knowledge that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

This week was pretty quiet on the Lazair restoration front. Gabe spent a lot of time with Dale trying to come up with the perfect motor/battery/controller combination to fly with. I'm not going to let that cat out of the bag until we're closer to a final solution, but it's going well.

In preparation for a return to flying, I have been looking in to inexpensive practice options. Before I actually take to the skies, I'll be doing a few hours of flight review with a qualified instructor. Until then I need a way to fly that provides real world practice at a low cost.

PC simulation doesn't really do it for me. I don't know if it's the game-like aspect, or the interaction with a PC in general, but it's hard for me to take seriously. Also the lack of consequences for failure is a turn off.

Enter the previously unobtainable world of FPV RC flight. For those not aware, it is now possible for a pretty small cost of entry, to strap a camera to the nose of an RC plane, and go flying without leaving the ground. Sophisticated systems even track head movements and allow pan/tilt camera movement from in-cockpit.

Start with one of these: Turnigy 9ch Transmitter

Then add one of these: Floater-Jet EPO ARF

Mix with a dash of this: Fat Shark FPV System

Add a couple batteries and you're flyin'. I'll also be adding landing gear so I can do full taxi-take-off-fly-land simulation flights.

Gabe will have a second transmitter plugged in as a safety net in case the FPV camera cuts out or anything else odd goes wrong.

Here's a sample vid from Gabe's quad copter with FPV: Larkin Zero Footage

And a really pretty POV flight over a misty field: FPV w/ Head Tracking

My transmitter is in the mail on the way, and I already have the floater jet. I should have some video of my own trainer to post next week.

For the Lazair the next step is to acquire a "Soda Blaster" and finish cleaning and prepping the airframe. Then we'll paint the aluminum parts and start to re-assemble.

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