Christmas Lights FPV Drone flight

After a while, or should I say hundreds of hours of flying and training with FPV drones some of your drones become instinctive to fly. This instinct, muscle memory and just plain simple knowledge of how a particular drone will react enables you to fly it accurately, and to ‘feel’ how it is flying by assessing its reaction to stick inputs from your controller. As an fpv drone pilot you need this knowledge as once you have it, you then add wind effects, battery effects, weight distribution with different loads and on this occasion sensory deprivation caused by not a lot of light to fly by!

The fpv drones we use mostly have a small camera with a live feed to goggles we use to fly the machine and another camera which records the film. The flying camera is often not the most sensitive camera in the world as it is very small to conserve weight. This means on this occasion I was battling with a fairly poor view of my environment because of the lack of ambient light as it was dark, this coupled with quite dazzling display lights which were flickering and pulsing in my goggles in a vomit inducing manner.

The snags in which to run the drone into were numerous and usually badly lit, appearing usually at the last minute as I was speeding along. To prevent any disasters I’d walked the route I would fly multiple times before darkness fell so that I could attempt to memorise foliage, stray branches and water hazards that might mean a tumble from the sky and in the latter case seriously damage the drone.

Once a route is committed to memory and a range test made to check that the digital signals between drone, controller and goggles are good, then it must be flown as smoothly as possible, and with the correct camera settings on the recording camera for the environment.

The recording camera in this case as in most on smaller drones was a naked GoPro camera, limited in its use in the dark by its small sensor size, but light and capable of being mounted on a drone small enough to fly through some of the gaps presented by this Winter light trail at Fairhaven Gardens. With such small camera sensors as on the GoPro’s and similar you walk a fine line between how light you can make a scene in poor light with settings and how pixellated the scene will look. There isn’t much latitude or sensitivity in such cases so testing and set up were laboured over to hit the right balance, until a better action camera is produced.

With numerous hazards already apparent in the shoot environment it was decided to produce this film without extras as it was deemed to hazardous to do so in this particular environment.

This advert was designed to be a short 1 minute short film designed to pique interest in attending one of the evening displays, and “hitting the gaps” between the stag’s horns and star were showboating plain and simple 😉 I hope you like the film, check it out below.

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