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Old Jan 03, 2007, 11:01 PM
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PeteSchug's Avatar
Elmhurst, NY (Queens in NYC)
Joined Apr 2004
7,061 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4mla1fn
i'm a newbie; been flying for ~two months; hope to transition to fpv by summer. can you describe what was so much harder about flying fpv? i've been training using the aerofly sim. when i first started training, i found that if i switched to the inside-the-cockpit view, i could fly perfectly fine. zero crashes whereas when i switched back to the normal outside-the-plane view, it was ugly. (i'd even played with narrowing the cockpit field of view; no big difference in my flying. navigating, keeping altitude, nice controlled turns, perfect landings.) anyway, from this experience, and to the extent the sim captures the essential challenges of flying, i've expected that a main challenge to fpv would be mainly logistics; the tangle of devices, keeping track of where you are, how to find your way back; etc, but not the actually flying. i'm must be missing something so y'all please enlighten me.
Just make sure you have a pair of eyes outside of the goggles.

Even if you are in a very familiar area on your first flights you will tend to get pretty far away. My second flight was a field that I know very well, walked the whole thing a few times. Flew at both ends, flew heli's and gliders there and when I flew with the goggles I was very comfortable, but I got far enough away to worry my safety pilot. It didn't feel far, I could see fine and I knew where I was, but my plane was a speck to my spotter and I probably would not have been able to find it right away if I took the goggles off.

I had no problems, but I take my spotter's word for it, I was flying at the limit of his visual range. BTW, this on 50 mw.

In other words. Yeah, maybe I'd have had no problem, but if I did have a problem and I was alone I probably would not have been able to find the plane visually if I got any further. This was not in the boonies. It was a big athletic field in town and the area downwind was industrially zoned with cyclone fences etc. Not a friendly place to go down. Same distance at my club field would have me in the woods, but probably still on the property. Definitely far enough away for our field marshall (everyone draws that job once every season) to give me a warning etc.

The biggest early problem for me is the tendency to not be aware of how far I am. I don't think I am unusual.

BTW. My favorite sim for this sort of practice is Great Planes G2. It is way better, harder to land than the Ikarus one and I really dislike G3 since the planes land themselves. In G2 when you do the In The Cockpit view there is no cockpit. That makes judging height a little harder.

The bad thing about sims is that you are flying in a bounded area. You know when you are at the end of the flyable area and how to turn around etc. Not so in video pilotage.

It's not that it's difficult, it's just not what you expect and the big problem/worry for me is getting out of sight behind something and not knowing where I came down. I do know places I would like to fly that don't have those problems, but I don't get there that often. I once flew off a Vermont ski slope. It would be fantastic for video piloting but it is now overgrown with brush and small trees. I do have a ground based video of the place.

Pete
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Old Jan 03, 2007, 11:44 PM
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4mla1fn's Avatar
alexandria, va, USA
Joined Oct 2006
405 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteSchug
The biggest early problem for me is the tendency to not be aware of how far I am. I don't think I am unusual.
hi pete. thanks for the detailed explanation. it is really helpful. i can definitely appreciate how easy it would be to wander off or get disoriented. my plan/hope/aspiration is to use an osd-gps on my early flights that will display a heading-to-home and a distance-to-home (along with the usual stuff). i've always enjoyed building and/or coding these kinds of embedded apps, so that part will be fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteSchug
In G2 when you do the In The Cockpit view there is no cockpit. That makes judging height a little harder.
same thing in aerofly--no cockpit--so it at least captures that aspect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteSchug
The bad thing about sims is that you are flying in a bounded area. You know when you are at the end of the flyable area and how to turn around etc. Not so in video pilotage.
right! one set of google searches i have on the back burner is seeing if there's a way to fly over satellite images in aerofly or fms. i've also wondered if microsoft flight sim would work with my usb rc controller. there might even be ways to build and import plane models so i could fly my easystar in msfs over good scenery.

edit: i see msfs can use the usb rc controller. now, can you make plane models...
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Old Jan 04, 2007, 12:36 AM
Fly FPV, sleep; repeat
twinturbostang's Avatar
Germantown, MD
Joined Mar 2006
3,376 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4mla1fn
i've expected that a main challenge to fpv would be mainly logistics; the tangle of devices, keeping track of where you are, how to find your way back; etc, but not the actually flying.
Yep, you nailed it right there. Assuming you've had even a few minutes on a decent flight simulator like Microsoft Flight Sim. or Aerofly as you mentioned (in cockpit mode), then you will have no problems maintaining flight control of the plane. The big issue is maintaining where exactly you are. When you're flying your plane via normal line-of-sight, actually count or take a stop watch and measure how long in seconds it takes your plane to cover the span of your field. My guess is it's a matter of a few seconds (10-20 probably). So when you're flying FPV, you have to remember, if you don't turn every 10-20 seconds, you are flying outside of visual range. It's difficult to grasp how important this is at first when you first start flying FPV. You get overwhelmed by the feeling of being in the cockpit. And there's a huge sense of just wanting to keep on flying in any direction!

After this sensation has subsided enough for you to remember what you should be doing (turning back towards you!), you run into the other problem. You probably have never seen the field from this new perspective. And it is very easy to get lost! I have mentioned this before that Google Earth (or equivalent program) is an invaluable tool for us. Zoom in on your field and study it in great detail. Learn the location of all landmarks... trees, buildings, roads, etc. And then try to visualize what it might look like from the planes perspective. This will help you greatly.

Oh, there is one other problem. There is no sense of speed hardly (unless very close to land based objects), and altitude is difficult to judge precisely. The speed thing, well, you have to maintain enough airspeed to not stall obviously. So you have to use your judgment as far as what throttle position results in safe flying (based on previous line-of-sight flying). And the altitude... do your best to judge height, based on landmarks around you like trees or buildings. And it's best not to attempt FPV landings until you've done many successful FPV flights. The ground looks far away usually, but then it can very quickly get really close!
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Old Jan 04, 2007, 06:44 AM
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PeteSchug's Avatar
Elmhurst, NY (Queens in NYC)
Joined Apr 2004
7,061 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4mla1fn
hi pete. thanks for the detailed explanation. it is really helpful. i can definitely appreciate how easy it would be to wander off or get disoriented. my plan/hope/aspiration is to use an osd-gps on my early flights that will display a heading-to-home and a distance-to-home (along with the usual stuff). i've always enjoyed building and/or coding these kinds of embedded apps, so that part will be fun.

[snip]
When you do it post the info and problems you encountered on the way. I am almost certainly going to add OSD and GPS. Not that I want to go wandering over the countryside. In this part of the country you have both the problem of populated areas and woods etc to get you in trouble. You almost have to fly in a designated corridor. The idea of a heading for home sounds great.

One of the things I've wanted to do for well over thirty years is xmit telemetry data equivalent to needle, ball, airspeed, plus compass heading and altitude and make a cockpit display on a computer to see if I could fly by instruments only using just the most basic stuff.

In those days I envisioned using synch from a local TV station and the same station on the ground with my video replacing the station's video. In that way I thought I could make a vidicon based camera that would be light enough to fly! Can't say I had dull daydreams. I figured I would get some horizontal displacement of the signal when I got far away (camera and rx different distances from synch station) but it would probably have worked.

As you may guess I never quite got around to it.

Pete
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Old Jan 04, 2007, 08:35 AM
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AndrésMtnez's Avatar
Madrid, Spain
Joined Dec 2004
2,116 Posts
Hi

I think Pete and Twinturbostang have explained the main problems for a fpv newby perfectly


I´d emphasize this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinturbostang
[...] So when you're flying FPV, you have to remember, if you don't turn every 10-20 seconds, you are flying outside of visual range. It's difficult to grasp how important this is at first when you first start flying FPV. You get overwhelmed by the feeling of being in the cockpit. And there's a huge sense of just wanting to keep on flying in any direction!

Flying FPV is so cool that when you´re starting you WILL forget it sometime. Even if it´s only for some seconds can be enough to get lost.

The "turning every 10-20 seconds" is the best way to keep in visual range.


I´d add that the place where you fly REALLY MATTERS. If your usual field is in the middle of nowhere, look for a better place where you´d have more references. If all around the field is the same, you will have much more oportunities to get disoriented.


Andres
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Old Jan 04, 2007, 07:52 PM
Live FPV or Die
VRflyer's Avatar
Montreal,Canada
Joined Feb 2002
3,986 Posts
Hyperion Cap232

I fly since six years using only goggles, now it’s time for something harder to fly…


Planes:
Hyperion Cap232 25e
Motor: Hyperion Z3019-12
Controller: Hyperion TITAN 50A
Battery: Hyperion 3S 2500mAh Lifestorm 20C
Radio: FutabaT9C
Receiver: Futaba PCM R149DP or Berg 7P

Video:
“Ready to fly kit” 500mW from Range video
http://www.rangevideo.com/aerial_video.html
Headset: I-Glasses (very old model) or Future Hobbies FH520
http://www.futurehobbies.com/items_d...id=16&item=117
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Last edited by VRflyer; Jan 04, 2007 at 09:01 PM.
Old Jan 04, 2007, 08:42 PM
Live FPV or Die
VRflyer's Avatar
Montreal,Canada
Joined Feb 2002
3,986 Posts
An aerobatic plane is evidently harder to fly than my Easystar. I will lose near 50% of the front and side view while piloting, so this planes is not for debutant. I check in magazine since many years for good aerobatic planes for video piloting. Before Hyperion introduce their line of product, I never found one that meet my goal, it’s very hard to choose from picture without seeing the real planes.

First, the canopy must be crystal clear, and the one I got in my hands is very close to that. Inside my goggles I can’t notice any imperfection. For me canopy is important, I want to see some reflections, it’s more realistic. Also the Cap232 canopy has a bubble in his shape, so the camera can be install higher compare to others models. Also the wing is lower, so from the cockpit cam, I will better see the ground. The colour of the planes in front of the camera when it looks forward is dark, etc.

The power set that can be buy with the planes is already much more powerful than necessary because this plane is designed for 3D flight, so with the extra power, I can add some weight without worry, I have not intention to fly 3D, hum not at first… but with the extra power, I will do any aerobatic I want. I will try the OSD Vision to read altitude in real time, but I will wait a little bit before adding it.

I will use only one battery to power all the planes electronic and motor, a 3S 2500mAh. The BEC of the ESC is disabled, it cannot drive 6 mini-servos, I made my own 6V linear regulator (7808 and 470uF cap) to power the onboard radio receiver, all servos and telemetry. I use a second 5V regulator for the video tx and camera from http://www.dimensionengineering.com/AnyVoltMini.htm

I made many photos to explain the detail construction so take a look
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Last edited by VRflyer; Jan 04, 2007 at 09:20 PM.
Old Jan 05, 2007, 06:31 AM
Oxford Panic
AndyOne's Avatar
United Kingdom, Oxford
Joined Feb 2003
3,661 Posts
VRF,

Someone posted a video a while ago of FPV flight from a model like this which includes aerobatic manouvres, it'll be in the AP forum somewhere.

May be you should consider doing what the full-size boys do to help the restricted vision problem. If you look at any serious full-size aerobat you will see windows in the floor and the sides of the cockpit. If this was my project I would be tempted have the camera so it could tilt downwards and replace some of the covering with clear film.

Andy.
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Old Jan 05, 2007, 07:13 AM
Live FPV or Die
VRflyer's Avatar
Montreal,Canada
Joined Feb 2002
3,986 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyOne
VRF,

Someone posted a video a while ago of FPV flight from a model like this which includes aerobatic manouvres, it'll be in the AP forum somewhere.

May be you should consider doing what the full-size boys do to help the restricted vision problem. If you look at any serious full-size aerobat you will see windows in the floor and the sides of the cockpit. If this was my project I would be tempted have the camera so it could tilt downwards and replace some of the covering with clear film.

Andy.
Can you show me this video, did it fly the planes using goggles? I already made an aerobatic video using my Funtana, but I don't think it's the same, the camera was not in the cockpit.

Funtana video: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/340015...untana_planes/

I have several photos of CAP232, it's a serious planes, I never notice they put windows under the planes, anyway I don't think I will need one, aerobatic is very technical, by watching on the side, I will see the horizon, it's all I need to kept the planes straight.

Perhaps they add a windows in the floor of the edge540, because this planes should have a very poor ground view from the cockpit. The Cap232 is better design.
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Old Jan 05, 2007, 08:35 AM
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PeteSchug's Avatar
Elmhurst, NY (Queens in NYC)
Joined Apr 2004
7,061 Posts
Very impressive VR,

I was going to try my Funtana for video aerobatics, but I really don't like the plane that much. No matter how I balance it the thing seems to want to either dive a little or come in nose high when landing, as if there is a little angle at which it doesn't like to fly. Also, it uses a geared motor and the gears don't last very long. It is on the shelf right now.

I just finished the 1/7th scale Hobby Lobby Tiger Moth and I want to give that a try for some mild, non-precision aerobatics. I don't know how good the visibility will be, sitting in the rear cockpit, but it should be interesting.

Word on this plane is that you have to keep power on for landing or it falls out of the sky and it also has a reputation for nosing over while taxiing unless you go slow and hold full up elevator. Sounds like good practice for video pilotage even if I don't get off the ground!

There isn't much opportunity for me to fly until spring so all I can do is build and day dream.

I look forward to seeing a video taken from your Cap.

Pete
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Old Jan 05, 2007, 10:58 AM
Live FPV or Die
VRflyer's Avatar
Montreal,Canada
Joined Feb 2002
3,986 Posts
For me also is time for building, the weather is very bad this winter, lot of wind and rain. We are supposed to be under one or two feets of snow, but we still see the green grass, never seen January without snow in Montreal. +10C today, it should be -10C...
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Old Jan 05, 2007, 08:16 PM
Just trying to get a nut.
scrtsqrl's Avatar
United States, VA, McLean
Joined Oct 2006
6,479 Posts
Not My Plane

Check out this awesome Build Article . He does outstanding work.
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Old Jan 05, 2007, 08:49 PM
Oxford Panic
AndyOne's Avatar
United Kingdom, Oxford
Joined Feb 2003
3,661 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by VRflyer
Can you show me this video, did it fly the planes using goggles? I already made an aerobatic video using my Funtana, but I don't think it's the same, the camera was not in the cockpit.

Funtana video: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/340015...untana_planes/
...
That's the one I remember.

Andy.
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Old Jan 06, 2007, 09:09 AM
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typicalaimster's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined Jan 2005
5,378 Posts
Adding a sticky to this one. There are some great examples in here. Please continue to share them as your projects develop.
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