Cold, Grey and Windy

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The weather wasn’t exactly great for flying this weekend, but I managed to get in four flights with the RS352. I was joined by a guy with his girlfriend who flew a small high wing electric glider once, before deciding to give up and go home. I don’t know what it was, but it had a green wing and white fuselage. At this point something spooked the deer and they all came over to hang around with us. The picture really doesn’t do justice to how close they were. Then a little bit later I saw an electric bike coming across and its owner produced a tiny 5g helicopter out of his pocket. I had assumed he had the Taylorcraft on the back of the bike, but the rear carrier was empty. Obviously it wouldn’t fly in the windy conditions, but he told me he had intended to bring his big electric glider, but it was too much of an effort to get it on the bike in the now rather marginal weather conditions. He gave up and went home to the warm after a bit, so I was left on my own with the deer again, plus a few tourists.

In terms of the flying, there was some strong turbulence and it wasn’t a day for doing much other than just keeping it in the sky. I did turn up the elevator movement for flight 3, going from 60% to 70% on the ATV as I was trying to get it to harrier. I can’t say I noticed much difference as the weather was really going down hill at this point. I was even using clear glasses for some of the flights, it was that bad (I almost always fly wearing sunglasses). My main concern was the jittering that I’ve been getting on the control surfaces sometimes. On switching the aircraft on for the third flight, the right aileron went all the way up and stuck in position. I switched off and on again and everything was fine. I couldn’t find any fault. Then, after the flight, I put the transmitter on the floor to switch the aircraft off and the jittering started again. Same problem with the transmitter on the floor when switching on for the next flight. It looks like having the transmitter on the wet grass (on a plastic sheet obviously) is affecting the signal. This is not something I’ve seen before, so it needs a bit more investigating. If it persists, I might either swap the radio or the four servos for a different brand as I’ve never been completely happy with the combination of the Futaba R617FS and Hitec HS65MG servos. Either component on its own I have no problems with, they’re both rock solid quality pieces of kit, it’s just the combination of the two in this installation that’s been giving me problems.

That’s not the last piece of flying I’m doing this week, as we’re running another Drone Masterclass on Wednesday evening. I’ve been trying to 3D print frames all week and failing.

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Eventually, out of sheer frustration, I’ve decided to take two of the partly complete frames and glue them together to make something that works as a 100mm sized quadcopter. This is intended to fly with my EVO F3 Brushed flight controller to make an FPV micro quad. The only problem I had was working out how to add the motors, given that the 3D print kept failing before it got to that point. I was going to use plastic tubing, but, when I was thinking about how to hold the motor mount in the centre of the prop guard, it struck me that I could use the plastic from an old propeller. I’ve got loads of these green plastic propellers that I’ve broken and was looking for something useful to do with them. It’s a bit of an experiment, but I’ll have to give it a try and see how it works out. This might just be a genius piece of recycling?

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