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2014/08/25 My Best FPV Flight With My Cularis
π 2014-08-25 01:01 in Rc
While my first Cularis had an unfortunate ending, it was a good starter FPV platform that could fly with a total weight of 2kg (carrying over 700g of gear, including 2 mobius HD cameras, the analog camera used by the transmitter, and the autopilot).

The flight below is best viewed full screen in 1080p to appreciate the OSD view (not that great, but what I was flying with) vs the 2HD pictures (front and rear) and the flight replay on a map showing where the plane was at that time, showing how I flew around a hill and overflew a quary I didn't have light of sight to, at all.

decked out, probably more than it was meant to :)
decked out, probably more than it was meant to :)

3 cameras, one for OSD, 2 high res
3 cameras, one for OSD, 2 high res

ready for flying
ready for flying

Here is the main video (again, recommended to see full screen):

The stats at the end show that:

  • at its farthest point, I was at 2.2km from takeoff point. Considering the hilly terrain and almost flying behind hills, that's not bad :). I'm told the L9R can do 5km in good conditions.
  • total distance flown about 15km on a 2400mAh 3S pack. It wasn't stone dead on landing, but it was quite low, although thankfully still in the "can be recovered" range.
  • total height was a bit over 300m above elevation point, but I never really fly that high above terrain, this was necessary to reach proper altitude when crossing the hills with power lines by the cement plant. In other words, my AGL (above ground elevation) was not that high, but high enough to stay safely above rising ground level.
  • 2100mAh from a battery that's allegedly 2600mAh was close enough for that flight. Note that I glided the enter trip back, and that the OSD was showing what glide ratio I had. On landing I was way high, but thanks to a crow flaps mode I had made, flaps+ailerons became huge spoilers and allowed my glider that couldn't have landed from that high, to land just fine :)
  • The video crapped out a bit due to the distance and the fact that I had to manually re-orient my patch antenna a few times (guesstimating while wearing the goggles and flying). I also almost flew behind a ridge and the video (600mW) and Frsky L9R mostly held kept the signal running.
    The video commentaries are from my wife who was wearing a 2nd pair of goggles and had never seen an FPV flight :)

    The 2 high res videos were taken with 2 mobius cameras and the virtual flight in the bottom right was created with the datalog from the ardupilot pixhawk that was controlling the plane when signal was lost. The videos were hand synchronized by me because the OSD video was 10 seconds short as a result of the video dropouts.

    If you'd like the individual videos:

  • OSD:
  • front cam:
  • rear cam:
  • track:
  • Unfortunately, my Cularis met its demise after this flight, but like the condor it'll be reborn from its ashes soon :)
    This page also shows how it was built and what's inside.

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