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Old Nov 13, 2012, 11:01 AM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
United States, NC, Garner
Joined Apr 2001
6,853 Posts
Yippee!
Spook Quad

A few weeks before Halloween, my friend sent me a YouTube video of a "Ghost Quad". It was a quadcopter dressed up as a ghost. It appears to have been a "Scream" mask with some long flowing robes and arms. I thought it was extremely cool and my friend asked if I could mock up something like that for his Halloween gathering for the kids. I collaborated with my creative wife and the Spook Quad was born.

The frame is a DJI F450 kit. Completely stock with the included motors, ESCs, and 10" props. Power was provided by a 3s 2600 mAh battery. The spook part was a $5 skull from Target. It was surprisingly lightweight which is why I chose it. It was attached to some floral foam and I hot-glued the entire thing to the top of the frame. The hood for the skull was fashioned out of an old t-shirt and the robe underneath was some black and grey gauze from Target. Total invested was less than $20. I wired up some red LEDs for the eyes but you really can't see them in the daylight.

It wouldn't fly at first because we had a lot more t-shirt on there and we tried to cover the arms as much as possible. The quad lifted off but barely flew. So the day we shot the video - which was Halloween of course (nothing like waiting until the last minute) - we had performed emergency surgery on our lunch hour. We removed a lot of the extra t-shirt as well as cinched it down to the frame better to clear the props. The result was the video below - it flew much better. I think that heavy t-shirt was weighing it down as well as blocking the thrust of the props. You can hear the occasional pop as a prop would strike the hood, but we further cinched down the t-shirt and we didn't have any problems when flying it for the kids that night. Molly the dog wasn't thrilled about it and certainly didn't like it being flown near her, but she insisted on being out there.

What was funny was that the kids weren't scared at all. We were hoping for screams of terror but what we got were exclamations of "Wow!" and "Cool!" and "Can I fly it?!" The kids loved it even if they weren't frightened so it was worth the effort. Tech notes for next year is to put white LEDs that will actually light up the head because you really couldn't see it unless I flew it under the street light.

Please enjoy a few pics of the build as well as the test flight video. Thanks again to my wife Jennifer for doing the heavy lifting on this project!

Spook quadcopter (0 min 52 sec)
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Old Dec 04, 2012, 08:08 AM
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T J Gilbert's Avatar
United States, MS, Ridgeland
Joined Feb 2009
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Very Nice!

I'm thinking about rigging a way to carry the stars and stripes aloft for the beginning of a fly-in or similar event.
This earlier post that inspired you is the one that got me thinking about it.
Do you see the loose fabric continually being blown down, away from the rotors?
Or are there vorticies that would make the fabric get sucked back up above and into the rotors?
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 08:18 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
United States, NC, Garner
Joined Apr 2001
6,853 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by T J Gilbert View Post
I'm thinking about rigging a way to carry the stars and stripes aloft for the beginning of a fly-in or similar event.
This earlier post that inspired you is the one that got me thinking about it.
Do you see the loose fabric continually being blown down, away from the rotors?
Or are there vorticies that would make the fabric get sucked back up above and into the rotors?
Thanks TJ! The popping you can hear in the video was the hood smacking the props. We cinched it down much better before flying for the kids that night and I didn't have any other issues. All of the loose material underneath the quad stayed out of the way via the prop wash but the takeoff was a little dicey because things did get blown up and around a bit by the vorticies. Once you get past that point it's not a problem.

I tried doing something similar... lifting a flag for our fly-in but I just couldn't get it to where I liked it. The flag kept twisting and of course I insisted on a 3 x 5 flag so it's not exactly light either...
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 06:18 AM
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T J Gilbert's Avatar
United States, MS, Ridgeland
Joined Feb 2009
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Come Spring...

I may still try it.
In the meantime winter has come to Mississippi...
31 degrees as I write this.
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