Drones

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I've been interested in RC airplanes (and real, or rather, 1:1 scale airplanes) since I was a kid. When I was young a neighbor buddy of mine (I think it was Scott Burnside) got a cheap RC that we immediately crashed in a field, utterly destroying it - it was hard to fly and underpowered. Anyway, as quads got cheaper and more advanced, a good friend of mine (Kent Forsythe) was big into RC and kind of encouragedme to take the leap. So, I think it was for my birthday in 2014 I got the Blade 350 QX below and I've been flying some off-and-on ever since.

Here are the RC models/drones I've bought (and some even flown) since... in reverse chronological order...

DJI Mavic Pro 2

DJI-Mavic-2-Pro-flying-front-low.jpg

A badass new quad, with a gyro-stabilized 1" Hasselblad-sensored 4k, 10 bit color high-dynamic-range, 20MP camera! It weights 907g at take-off and has a 76kph top speed with 30 minute flight times. It's controlled by smartphone with an HD downlink connected to the basic flight controller, with a bunch of smart modes including hyperlapse and active tracking.

Still Image Resolution: 5472×3648

Video Modes

  • 4K: 3840×2160 24/25/30p
  • 2.7K: 2688x1512 24/25/30/48/50/60p
  • FHD: 1920×1080 24/25/30/48/50/60/120p

Blade 350 QX

Blade-350-qx-opener.jpg

My first quad copter. I picked up a Spectrum DS7 to control it, and used the GoPro Hero2 cameras that I'd bought for the Velocity to record. Those cameras are heavy and make it fly like crap, and the battery only lasts about 15 minutes, and you can't see what you're filming, but it was still cool for it's time. It has GPS (position) and "Stability" (with inertial and pressure-altitude stability) modes, as well as a basic return-to-home feature like the newer Mavic. It doesn't hold altitude well, though, and it's basic enough you really have to fly it, so it was (and is) a good trainer. And just barely big enough to hurt you...

98" MQ-9 Reaper/Predator Drone

MQ-9 Reaper.jpg

I've always liked these, so I picked up a kit but I haven't assembled it yet. Purchased somewhere in the mid-2000's probably. It's wingspan is 98", and 48" long, with a 7 lbs flying weight.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Totally realistic scale-like Reaper/Predator UAVdesign
  • Molded fiberglass fuselage and built-up balsa wing construction
  • Quick access, magnetic canopy hatch
  • Quick access, magnetic rear motor cowl
  • Steerable nose wheel with plastic "oleo" strut cover
  • Fiberglass main gear legs
  • Full aileron, flaps, elevator & rudder control

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Wingspan..............................98.43"(2500mm)
  • Length....................................42.50"(1080mm)
  • Wing Area..............................510 sq. in.(32.5 sq. dm.)
  • Weight....................................5.75 lbs. (2600g)
  • Flying Weight........................7.00 lbs. (3175g)
  • Airfoil......................................Epple r 374 Modify
  • Radio.....................................4-5 Channel
  • Servos....................................4-6
  • Motor...................................... 800w outrunner
  • Prop........................................2 Blade 11x6 - 12x8 or 3 Blade 10x6 - 11x6
  • ESC.........................................60-80A
  • Battery.....................................4S 4000mAh minimum

EAM Velocity XL/FG

EAM Couch.jpg

We got this one really just because we had the full-scale kit airplane N44VF. I wanted to get one for static display and one to fly (which I bought), but they were too expensive. By the time I could afford a second one, EAM (the Experimental Aircraft Model Company) was out of business. Fortunately, my friends Jerry and Linda Brainard had also bought a kit, and by mid 2020 had decided that they were not going to complete it and let me have it! As of fall 2020 I'm partnering with my buddy Kent to get it flying!