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View Poll Results: What type of glider provides the best experience
Pusher prop - The prop and nose hinder the otherwise excellent view 10 24.39%
Tractor prop - It's a glider. Fly it like you were actually inside the plane. 15 36.59%
Pusher prop with nose visible - It's great to have the nose in view, but the prop is irritating. 16 39.02%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Jan 04, 2010, 09:56 PM
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IBCrazy's Avatar
Amherst, VA
Joined Jun 2006
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Question
The best FPV glider experience

I have a general question regarding FPV with a powered glider. I am considering two designs for a 60-72" wingspane scratchbuild glider for FPV.

The two ideas I'm tossing around are:

1. A twin boom center pusher motor design - This would allow unhindered view in the front and allow a tilt (which I occasionally use). Unfortunately this would also increase drag and make it a bit harder to load into my tiny compact car. I have an OSD which puts a target on screen for centering the flight.

2. Conventional glider with tractor motor - This would be a more typical type of glider, although I'll probably have the wings swept forward to help control stalls and I will certainly have ailerons. This would not allow for the tilt and would place the prop right in the field of vision, but it would be folded up most of the time anyway.

So my question is, which would provide a better FPV experience? I have sucessfully built several gliders of both types before and they perform well. My question is does seeing the prop and the nose of the plane improve the flying experience or should I just put the camera right in the nose and relocate the motor like I usually do?
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Old Jan 04, 2010, 10:07 PM
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It's a matter of personal taste I think... All options will work well to an extent, it comes down to what you prefer. Watch some videos of different planes and see what you think you'd like best and go for it. Personally I've only flown a glider via FPV in the traditional tractor setup with a folding prop on the nose. The prop didn't bother me at all, and when I shut the motor off and started gliding, the prop was barely even visible.

My pan/tilt was mounted between the canopy and leading edge of the wing, so it was up high enough to still have plenty of view when looking down, especially on either side of the fuselage.

Tranquility (8 min 14 sec)
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Old Jan 04, 2010, 10:37 PM
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i personally dont mind the prop .. im a lover of aviation.. it makes the experience more real. since im doin this for me and no one is paying me to move my motor ill leave it where i like it.. ps it folds for a reason as well
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Old Jan 05, 2010, 12:33 AM
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Miami
Joined Apr 2005
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Its not a matter of just the video, its how the plane performs and flys. A tractor prop is much more efficient and nice flying than a pusher prop. A pusher has a LOT of drag, and forces the nose down with power, making the plane fly badly under power. You are also limited in the amount of power you can put into a pusher prop due to the nose being forced down.

A tractor with a folding prop is the most efficient, nicest flying setup. With the motor shut down, it glides faster and farther, and a folded prop while gliding is not an issue in the video.

Mike
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Old Jan 05, 2010, 01:19 AM
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Australia
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+1 for a folding prop - just make sure you use a ccd camera and not a cmos - cmos will make the prop look like a zebra
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Old Jan 05, 2010, 01:20 AM
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Eureka, CA
Joined Oct 2002
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Since you're building the plane, why not build the (camera)'s into the wing?
With todays' small, high performance cameras it should be easy.
The effect on balance is less than you might think.
If you pan the camera slightly away from the fuse you can get it out of the
view without having to go too far out on the wing.
Your point of view is determined by the optical flow of the image rather than the actual direction the camera points so it's not as disorientating as you might think.
If you build the camera into the leading edge you can have an unobstructed view.
If you put it towards the trailing edge, the wing makes a nifty sun visor.
-Dave
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Old Jan 05, 2010, 01:33 AM
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tractor. if you really build a GLIDER, you will find you will use the engine for 20 - 30 seconds per flight on above flight I used 3 bursts of 10-12 seconds of engine. the rest of the flight was done inside upwinds.
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Old Jan 05, 2010, 04:24 AM
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Here is my tractor, am yet to test a pusher!

FPV Easy Glider Pro Maiden (8 min 48 sec)
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Old Jan 05, 2010, 04:44 AM
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Romania, Dolj, Craiova
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chancesAU View Post
+1 for a folding prop - just make sure you use a ccd camera and not a cmos - cmos will make the prop look like a zebra
This take out of equation all HD cameras... unacceptable !
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Old Jan 05, 2010, 04:51 AM
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RENATOA: ... only during the time in which the propeller turns. I get 1hr+ flight times with a 150g HD camera (10% additional weight) to the glider without a single prop turn.

Remember, we are talking about a glider here. Look into how real gliders fly ... most of them don't even have an engine!
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Old Jan 05, 2010, 05:07 AM
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Dos Hermanas (Sevilla)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithLuneau View Post
It's a matter of personal taste I think... All options will work well to an extent, it comes down to what you prefer. Watch some videos of different planes and see what you think you'd like best and go for it. Personally I've only flown a glider via FPV in the traditional tractor setup with a folding prop on the nose. The prop didn't bother me at all, and when I shut the motor off and started gliding, the prop was barely even visible.

My pan/tilt was mounted between the canopy and leading edge of the wing, so it was up high enough to still have plenty of view when looking down, especially on either side of the fuselage.

http://www.vimeo.com/1459103
Hi Keith,
Nice video and music......but, the music is from "Lisa Gerrard" - Gladiator, not from Enya as you say at the end of the video..

Regards
Patrick
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Old Jan 05, 2010, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trappy View Post
RENATOA: ... only during the time in which the propeller turns. I get 1hr+ flight times with a 150g HD camera (10% additional weight) to the glider without a single prop turn.

Remember, we are talking about a glider here. Look into how real gliders fly ... most of them don't even have an engine!
Well, Austria is close, how about some master classes ?
Do you have kangaroos around your location ?
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Old Jan 05, 2010, 05:46 AM
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LOL, no kangaroos

seriously, its not that hard ... all you need to look out for is cumulus clouds (= thermal). For upwinds, just check the wind direction and find a mountain standing into the wind.

Both upwinds and thermals are easy to locate using GPS, a variometer will help you find the strongest parts and avoid getting "spit" out of the edges of the upwind and thermals. Its possible to learn this in 1-2 flights easily. My 6 year old nephew (who has never flown a plane in his life) was able to locate and center in a thermal all by himself - with the L1D, of course. We went to 1000m AGL before I took over Think losing video signal is scary? Then let a 6-year-old control your 3.2m glider ("can I do a loop?" - "do you know how to?" - "no, but can I try?" )
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Old Jan 05, 2010, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RENATOA View Post
This take out of equation all HD cameras... unacceptable !
Good point... it looks so ugly...
I always have thought for a proper HD aerial video it would need to be a custom airframe, those cheap HD cameras are much less then perfect... although I just bought one

Idealy you want a nice 1080p 3ccd SD sony/panasonic camera on the plane - panasonic hd sd9 was the last one I looked at, its about 280grams.
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Old Jan 05, 2010, 06:07 AM
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chancesAU: A decent HD camera will cost you tons. The problem isn't the crashing ... even a rough landing can damage the zoom gear and potentially destroy the camera. For planes, these rugged tiny HD cameras is probably the only viable option for now.

By the way, I found that even on a flying wing where the prop is out backwards, video quality is MUCH better when soaring/gliding. Designs like the "Solution" fly very calm, but anything not made specifically for AP/AV will shake around at least a bit when traveling with a propeller. Gliding produces very smooth videos, though.
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