I’ve talked about FPV (first person view) flights on RC before this on my old blog post. My housemate Tan recently bought a very small and light keychain video camera and we strapped it to a RC plane and took off to the skies. Here’s what happened.
This is the small keychain camera. Velcro-ed and taped to the front of the plane. This was the first setup and there was a very obvious problem. The camera was right behind the propeller so when the propeller was turning, it interfered with the view.
This was how it was mounted. RC plane is a Cessna 172. Very light. Perhaps a bit too light to survive the strong winds that we encountered today.
Pilot for today is Tan.
Doing a few low passes so we will be seen in the video. This was the closest I could get to the plane as I only had my 28mm wide angle lens with me.
We landed and changed the mounting of the camera to the side to get a bird’s eye view. This will give us a view similar to ones in Google Earth.
Weather was pretty hot and windy. The plane was too light so it porpoised when flying, making the video very jerky. A bigger, heavier, more powerful plane is under construction and it should provide for a more steady and exciting (aerobatics) video.
After we went home and discovered that the propeller was affecting the videos, we devised a mount to clear the propeller from the view of the camera.
It’s basically just 2 foam blocks glued together and velcro-ed to the top of the wing. You might think that this large object will disturb the airflow on the wing, but that wasn’t the case. Or it wasn’t obvious enough to be felt.
Preparing for a video of flying into the sunset.
Taxiing for a take-off.
Unfortunately the last flight didn’t go so well. Resulted in a crash with a broken motor mount, which luckily can be easily replaced. It was due to a strong wind blowing the plane sideways right after take-off, causing it to go into a death spiral.
Here are 2 videos from the few flights we made. This was from the first flight:
This was from the 2nd flight at another field:
Below are some screen shots from the fly bys. The plane wasn’t stable enough under strong winds so lower altitudes weren’t attempted.
Hope to get another plane up in the air soon!