Visualizing one thousand flights - RC Groups
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Apr 19, 2011, 08:06 PM
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JonyEpsilon's Avatar

Visualizing one thousand flights

I like playing around with data, and thought I'd share some plots that I think are pretty cool.

The plots show approximately 1000 launches, logged since last October with an openaltimeter (, on a Blaster 2, an FW5, and a Twister II. The flight logs are chopped up to align the launches and they are all plotted on top of each other.

The first plot is 15 minutes long on the horizontal axis. You can see most flights amount to little (I tend to fly regardless of weather, so the majority of these flights are in the finest dank, foul English winter conditions). A few make it to glory!

The second plot is a zoom in, with the horizontal axis spanning five minutes.

I'm not sure the plots show anything particularly insightful or useful, but I though they were beautiful enough to share! They capture the elusive nature of British winter thermals I guess

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Apr 19, 2011, 08:18 PM
Come out swinging
sporter's Avatar

I think they show that the launch phase of the flight is the most consistent. Everything that happens after that is pretty random. But, in the 5min graph, I see some trend there in the middle...maybe the bulk of your flights are around the 2.5min mark.

Thanks for sharing

Apr 23, 2011, 06:07 PM
Registered User
Really nice ...
Apr 23, 2011, 09:58 PM
ground penetration specialist
Nathan Schmoekel's Avatar
Those are quite lovely.

You should sanction an "Open Altimeter art contest"

Let's really see who has the best looking DLG season
Apr 24, 2011, 06:12 AM
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That's really cool Jony! I can see an exhibition in Tate modern...

ps: are you coming to my braai today?
Apr 30, 2011, 12:06 AM
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peter_jensen's Avatar
Very nice, and thanks for sharing! I'd love to hear more about how you're creating the plots (Processing?) and whether you've made any attempts to optimize your dead air times by going for min sink.
May 01, 2011, 12:49 PM
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JonyEpsilon's Avatar
Originally Posted by peter_jensen
Very nice, and thanks for sharing! I'd love to hear more about how you're creating the plots (Processing?) and whether you've made any attempts to optimize your dead air times by going for min sink.
Hi Peter,

the plots are made with Mathematica, for no other reason that it's what I tend to use [I'm working on some 3D plots that I might use processing for.] The plots are just overlaid ListPlots in Mathematica, with partially translucent lines so that you can see where the flights build up. In the longer plot the opacity depends on flight length to make the longer flights stand out a bit more.

I haven't really done much in the way of systematically trimming for min sink, nor do I tend to fly much for min sink when I'm just flying (usually either chasing lift around or just mucking about!).

May 05, 2011, 07:49 AM
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peter_jensen's Avatar
Thanks! Now you just need to add a visualization so we can play with them interactively!

The reason I asked about optimizing for min sink is that it seems the easiest with only an altimeter. I guess the only times I've ever really desperately needed to fly it accurately were in the early morning first round of a contest with a 5x2min task.

Thanks again for sharing those!


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