– Ben Martens

GoPro FT Flyer

Now that I’m an expert RC pilot (translation: I flew about 10 minutes without crashing), I decided to strap a GoPro onto my plane and take some video. GoPros and RC planes are a very popular combination. You can even set them up to feed the video live straight into goggles on your head so you can fly the plane as if you’re sitting in the cockpit. For this first test, I simply zip tied the camera to the bottom of the fuselage, right at the center of gravity. The camera was pointing straight down so the video is nothing wonderful, but I was thrilled that it worked. As I build bigger planes I’m looking forward to doing a lot more with this type of thing.

That day of flying also had a couple other firsts:

  • I got to go flying twice. (I need more than two batteries so that I can just have one longer trip!)
  • As I was flying, I saw something float down to the ground. A quick flyby showed me that one of my wheels had fallen off. That made for an interesting landing.
  • I hand-launched the plane a couple times since the landing gear needed some attention.
  • I completed my first loops.

I’ve included the video below, but like I said, it’s not that amazing. I did fly overhead a few times though. I’m standing right next to a picnic table along the edge of the field. You can spot me for the first time around the 20 second mark in the video. This plane only has three channels (throttle, elevator and rudder) so the turns end up sliding the plane around strangely. I have a couple more three-channel planes waiting to be built but then I’m looking forward to getting/building a four channel model.