As of last weekend I have made my first FPV flights. It was really amazing, big grins all around and well worth the time and effort. Video below!
This weekend was the first time I was able to fly in First-Person-View, also known as FPV. The basic premise if you haven’t read my other posts is that you mount a camera and video transmitter to your model and transmit the video to a receiving unit. The receiver then projects the image through the geeky looking goggles with video screens in them.
I wasn’t sure what to expect for my first FPV flight. I have flown R/C aircraft for a fair amount of time, but am by no means a pro, it’s just a hobby that I enjoy. I have also flown various standard flight simulators on the PC. Microsoft Flight Simulator being the one I used the most. In that regard I have a lot of experience flying a plane from the cockpit view. It turned out it was no problem at all!
My friend Ollie stood by to take over the controls in case anything happened to the video signal and my other friend Bryn monitored the video down-link and handled the video recorder. In these first stages I’m very cautious and concerned about failures of the system which may lead to a dangerous situation so it’s good to have others looking out and offering pilot assistance. Thanks guys!
On the first flight I caught a wheel on the grass and a friend had to move the plane back to the gravel runway. On the second attempt I took off. It was an instant ‘woohoo!’ moment and I got a bit disoriented at first. Aside from Google Earth I had never seen the field before. After I flew around a bit and started to recognize landmarks it was much easier to know where I was in relation to everything.
I flew around quite a bit and experimented some, then as I saw my battery voltage getting low I decided to land the plane. I did one low pass down the runway to see what it felt like and it seemed pretty natural. The second time over the runway I intended to land it, and I did. The plane was all in one piece and the landing, while a little longer than it needed to be, was all in one piece.
A little later in the afternoon I did a second flight. We forgot to start the recording right at the start of the flight, but what was recorded was pretty good! There is quite a bit of noise. I taped the front of the microphone to try and reduce wind noise, but picked up a whistle somewhere. Also there is electronic interference. I will find a better location to place the microphone for future flights.
Here are the videos, the YouTube links are below in case the embedded player doesn’t work for you. You can also click on the videos themselves to view them on YouTube and leave or see comments and like/dislike.