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2010/10/13 Overfly of Google HQ Campus and Shoreline Amphitheatre with Minimag Cularis Motor Glider and GoPro HD Camera
π 2010-10-13 00:00 in Rc
Ok, so let's settle the tech part first, I figured I'd get the best video by filming from under the Cularis, but since it doesn't have any gear, that means the camera is first to touch the ground on a landing. As a result, I padded it, to lessen the impact and the glue that holds it to the bottom of the glider does give out under impact.
Now, this is not ideal so my plan was also to land in the weeds like I would do at Rancho San Antonio, so the wings get caught in them and the bottom of the glider doesn't touch the ground. The weeds at Shoreline were not very tall though, and because they were far from me, I misjudged the height on landing and landed a bit hard on the ground, which did tear off the camera from the plane, but otherwise everything was fine, the padding worked and the video was intact.
All this to say that this setup however doesn't allow for easy repeated flights :) Takeoff is done at full power with a heavy toss and if I have enough back elevator I can miss the ground despite the added weight from the camera and resulting loss of aerodynamism from having that heavy block handing from under the glider.

you can see the camera under the belly
you can see the camera under the belly

I get 20 to 25mn flight time with one battery, which was more than enough, and captured the frames below from the HD video. I'll say that unfortunately the HD video quality from my GoPro HD is far from stellar, but it beats the original video I was getting with the non HD versions that came before it (see my first attempt at it last year with my original GoPro hung from my Minimag).
The Biggest improvement from my attempt last year was that the Cularis was much bigger and easier to see from a distance. I was easily able to fly much farther from where I was standing (about a mile) without totally losing track of which way the glider was pointing and how I could still control it to fly it back (which definitely was a problem with the much smaller minimag).

Below are frames I captured from the video:

original main campus
original main campus







the 'famous' bridge to 1950 :)
the 'famous' bridge to 1950 :)

1950/alza
1950/alza


46/47
46/47

45 and the droid/eclair/cupcake
45 and the droid/eclair/cupcake

1098 and 900 alta with 101 in the background
1098 and 900 alta with 101 in the background

1965
1965

1945 and rengstroff
1945 and rengstroff

After getting what felt like enough passes over the campus buildings (the so called 'GWC' was a bit out of reach for safe flying), I did a few passes over the Shoreline Amphitheatre:





Putting aside the fact that my landing wasn't that stellar, this was my only flight and the video was good the first time (thankfully I had gotten some practise shooting from a distance and 'aiming' at targets from almost a mile away). The video quality wasn't awesome but I guess that's as good as you get from a cheap-ish HD camera you can stick onto a small RC plane, so it's not too bad.


More pages: August 2016 July 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 May 2015 April 2015 August 2014 July 2014 February 2013 May 2011 October 2010 August 2010 July 2010 February 2010 January 2010 October 2009 September 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 July 2008 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007