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The plane again act funny. Rares agree that the plane acted weird. I think this is due to the battery is low (Suggested in the manual). I am recharging all battery and test it again today at 4:00. If in fact that the plane is acting weird; if everything is fine, resume to practice on hovering at higher altitude.

Change all propeller and reassemble the plane. Everything is ok except a little scratch on the right motor due to a slight crash on Sat.

DraganFly to fly at the Market East station, the Plane act eraticaly and later find out that the console that housed the gyros pop out of the frame; This cause the DraganFly to constantly try to compensate.

Test Fly with my transmitter, and the new landing gear. The plan perform very well with the new gear. Landing is much softer, I can tolerate the angle of approach in landing and still be able to put the plan down easily.

I am practicing looking at the plan as if it is above or even to my eyes level by sitting down and fly. This will help when I increase the altitude later.

Attach a large but light foam to bottom of the DraganFly. I find it so much ease in landing. The plan is more durable now, since it is higher in landing, we can allow imperfect approach. The plan does not have to be perfect stable as before to land, this help in case of emergency landing.
Receive Transmitter at home, I am trying to understand how to config it to work with dragonfly

With space is limited in door, I try outdoor flying. The Dragan Fly is not design to fly out door as advertise. Every gust of wind will throw it out of control. Flying near to ground, when a gust of wind come, the Draga Fly will pick up altitude if the wind blow under it. Or will drift to side depend on direction of wind. This conclude that we can’t depend on the DraganFly to fly outdoor.
Observing some hard landing, I am planning to modify the landing gear. Either extend the length of the foot or pad it with soft material to soften landing.

Borrow Dr. Oh transmitter home, will return when mine come. The batteries on the Dragan seem to be weaker than before, I can only get about 15 minutes of flight before it become weak. With one already charge, flying time total can be half an hour.
Objective: to fly at higher altitude than before. Until now, I am able to take off and maintain hover at near ground about the height of a chair. With fear of losing control and crash with Dragan Fly, for every flying session now, I am aiming to go higher and still be able to recover if I lose control of the Dragan Fly. Estimate time to get confortable with this: about 3-4 hrs of flying.

Bought a 6 channel Futaba 6XAS transmitter at channel 50, expected to arrive on Tues-Weds; I can put more time into flying once I have the transmitter. I can either do this near home or at school.

Email Bill to reserve the Transmitter for some flying on Friday.
Friday: attempt hovering with turning. Then precision landing, probably on a box, I will get on top of this over the weekend for a possible demo the next meeting.

For the past couple of week: there has been problem but already resolved with the Dragan Fly. Flying resume as of now…I put about 4 hrs into flying with the pilot and on my own.
With hovering already achieve. I am working toward turning while hovering. This mean while hovering, try to turn left, right with out losing stability.
Planning to pick up the pace, I will go and buy a transmitter so I can fly more on my own time.

Time assessment: up to date, the total time that I actually put on Flying the Dragan Fly is: 6 hrs.

We got the DraganFly back. I was able to take off the first day. A couple days later, I was able to maintain stability. Then hovering, a small crash had delay flying for a week. After contact with RCToys, I was able to fix the problem ( there was string attached to the right motor, therefore provide drag to rotor, therefore less thrust provided to the right side cause the DraganFly to tilted to one side.
Picking up the pace after midterm, I am planning to practice on turning while hovering. This is hard since we have to compensate to maintain hovering state.

Hovering: I should have talk about this at the beginning but I thin hovering is harder. You can rocking and hover a little but to have the minimum side rocking is hard because you have to constantly readjust the tilt. Even before you see the plane start rocking to the left, you must till right and tilt back left again. How much tilting is depend on the plane and on your experience. I one have enough flying time, one will adjust to this after short time flying the model.
Objective flying with everything together: keep in mind that flying the helicopter is like dancing(Ballroom). Where every move is smooth and has delay, now. Pick two point on the map and try to fly to and from, land and take off and go back. Before land, turn with nose turn toward the other objective such that when you take off, you can right away go forward. This is hard because when turn, you need to think that after the turn, the airplane will stop on top of the objective. So you have to take into consideration the turning radius the speed you are going and therefore readjust to have nose up or down and tilting to have the plane stop exactly when you want. This is hard to do and will require lots of time. If you can get to what I just describe than you are already good.

Remember that helicopter is different than wings airplane. Everything you do will change your altitude. For example, nose down to go forward will decrease altitude, therefore every time going forward, you want to increase throttle and then decrease when plane is heading that direction. The same in reverse, nose up will increase altitude so if you are flying forward and want to stop, you will nose up and decrease throttle, then nose down to avoid stalling, at this point we increase throttle to maintain altitude.
In turning, every time you turn, you till will change. Therefore to compensate we have to till to avoid the plane drifting away from objective. For example, if you are flying forward and want to turn left, then together with turning left, you have to till left to maintain stability and also will keep the nose the direction you want. The same in reverse.
Now try this exercise: Fly really far away from you. Then fly back toward you on your right side, turn right and land on the run way. Do this with as minimum readjustment. This will give you a sense of the turning radius of the plane together with learning how much you need to till to compensate the turning force.

First Day of school.
After you are comfortable with basic control. Take off from start, turn nose away from flyer and increase height. Aim for a location on the map and try your best to fly to them. Avoid flying blindly because you will just waist time with out learning any thing. I would pick a pole far away and try to crash to it. Do this a couple time until you feel that you can move the plane toward an object in the shortest way.

Basic Flight tips:
Chose the fun Fly airport because they have the middle cross line, beginner should not try to fly high and fast right away. Learn the position that will put the plane hover. Then learn to keep nose away from flyer, first on ground, then a little higher. Do this for about 2-3 hours intermittently, increase height every time. For now, the plane will rock back and forth or side way. Try best to keep it stable, if unstable, start over.
After you get a sense of direction: look at the median on the run way. Try to move the airplane on the ground to line up parallel on top of this line. Slowly lift off and learn to move back and forth along this line by putting nose up and down. Do this until comfortable with control. Then try it side way: line the plane perpendicular with line and move side along the line. Do this until comfortable: the objective of this is to give the person the correct sense of interpreting direction with the control. And also how much you should move the stick to go certain distance, if you master this than the next step is easy.

Band Practice all day, work.

Simulation(1/2hrs): Think of simple tutorial and tips for new comer
+ Basic maneuver
+ Compensation
+ Objective Flight

Test flight Call RCToys and not able to fix it so I will ship them back on Monday for repair. Problem: All motors function: Plane response to transmitter regularly but still jigger or power shift to only one motor in pair. for example, front on full and back stop, or left on full and right stop. We suspect a problem with Gyro. When pinch to the ground, all motor do not spin at same speed at half and more power(when they suppose to). So we are confuse, therefore I will need to stay in touch with them after they receive the plane.
Pick up Transmitter, plan next flight test.

Call RCToys, double check DraganFly for crack in carbon Tube as suggested, check all parts for defects. Check Capcitor for defect. Email Bill and plan next meeting.

X-Mas Holiday
Email RCToys regard problem.
Download other plane model from the web and test them in simulation.
Simulation(3hr): able to slowly move from A to B as desire. Also able to make circle above an area and hover in the center and land.

Test Flight with Pilot today:
Be at lab around 1:00 Pm, to do errand stuff: SMT, upload journal and website for Dragan Fly. Try to get some picture for webpage.
Learn how to convert and upload MPEG video from Bill.

Result of Test flight: there is flickering in control. Suggestions point to electronic problem with board resulting from crash.

Contact pilot for a test flight today (depend on his schedule). Pilot can’t make it, postpone until Tuesday the 23rd from 5-7 at the Main building.
Schedule to be at the Lab to test out SMT and build new SMT version: Since pilot can’t make it and need to some shopping for Christmas, postpone to Tuesday.

Simulator (2hr): .Managed to take-off and hover - success rate: 90%.

Editing Aircraft: According to the Pilot, the simulator is too sensitive compare to real helicopter. He suggest that we change the paddle size to be heavier so that control will be more sluggish which is more realistic. I chose helicopter model : Impala (.30) and change the paddle size to 65 gram. It does make a big different. The helicopter is now react slow to transmitter just like the real one we have in the lab.
I am working on flying with nose toward flyer so that all control are inverted. This is harder and will need lots of time flying.

Flew Draganflyer with Rares and Bill in St. Helena's gym. Crashed into
wall because of mixed frequency - Bill and Paul's transmitter also used
Channel 50. Flew 2 hours. Managed to fly vertically apx. 6-inches, but
still translates.
Look for into possible part replacement kit and have them ordered by Dr. Oh before year end.

Charge battery and get ready for next day’s flight at St. Helena Gym.
Simulator (1hr): I was able to take off really high and keep the plane stable, then gradually decrease throttle and lane the plane. Still not able to land where I want.

Dragan Fly Video is posted by Bill at:

Charge battery and get ready for next day’s flight at St. Helena Gym.
Simulator (1hr): I was able to take off really high and keep the plane stable, then gradually decrease throttle and lane the plane. Still not able to land where I want.

Brought the simulator to school to ask the pilot for tips in hovering, Test the SMT board, LCD only display one line of text come back when have more time.
Flying with the Pilot: Bill manage to work out the camera and able to tape the flight test. Also he feed signal from the wireless camera on board and able to tape it from the VCR.
Got some stick time with the pilot:
Some exercise:
+ Try to turn the helicopter using the left stick
+ Try to till the helicopter using the right stick.
+ Nose up, down using the up down of right stick
+ Only try to make hop at the beginning, don’t force yourself to have
to take off.
+ Try to maintain the Direction of the helicopter at all time.
+ Try to move the helicopter following floor’s line pattern.
Simulator (2hr):
Simulator hovering tips: didn’t learn much new thing from pilot. The most important tips was the helicopter hover at an angle to ground, therefore it is ok to see helicopter tilting to one side. This is the big mistake for beginner since we tend to correct the helicopter and won’t achieve hovering. Another tips is that the helicopter won’t hover by itself, The pilot will have to constantly provide control to have the plane sit still.
Pilot also give web address of internet forum to read important tips and safety guide in attaining the plane and accessory, especially the safety of battery.

Team’s regular meeting, learn interesting fact from Bee’s optic system.
Simulator (4hr): I find out that if I take break between flying, every time I come back, have better sense of controlling the helicopter. I take a break every 1-2 hrs and go play my drum.
The key to keep the helicopter stable is keep its nose pointed to one direction away from person’s point of view, then we won’t confuse with the direction of the controller.

Install simulator today. Flying helicopter is really confusing. Navigation control is different than airplane. There is a software calibration for controller but this is not helpful. To have the helicopter hover stable, have to manually trim the controller.
After 2 hrs of flying, I was able to get a sense of direction with flying helicopter.
Bill help test the Dragan Fly, everything works out great.
Got in touch with Pilot and set up a test fly in the main court on Thursday.
Reserve Gym for Sat 12/20/03 and 1/3/04 from 2-4 for test fly alone with the team.

Pick up the package from the lab and assemble the Draganfly at home. Everything seem to be correct. Waiting to test it in the Lab with Bill’s transmitter, should look into the transmitter and understand RF frequency, channel, etc..