– Ben Martens

Spider Quad First Flights

quad_rainiercroppedMy new Flite Test spider quad was all put together and the first flight was a success. So what do you do on the second and third flights? Strap a GoPro to it! I specifically built it in this style with the front arms spread wide so that the video image wouldn’t have any obstructions. Might as well see how it works.

It works fantastically! There is no fancy camera stabilization system on this. The camera hangs from some bent wire that absorbs some vibrations. That, combined with time spent balancing each propeller, produces some pretty clean video. It’s significantly better than I expected and will be more than fine for the type of projects I have in mind for it.

What you see below is from the second time out. It turns out that my house DOES have a view of Rainier. You just need to get a few hundred feet up in the air to see it. Enjoy!

P.S. So why am I calling this a “quadcopter” or “multicopter” instead of a “drone”? I’m not a big fan of the word drone because it feels like the media has given it a negative connotation. Plus, I believe that a drone is something that is capable of autonomous flight. Granted, this quad that I’ve built could be autonomous with about $50 worth of electronics but it’s not a drone yet.

2 thoughts on “Spider Quad First Flights

  1. Dudley

    Great video Ben. So your camera has a fixed mount. Do they have mounting that would allow you to control/rotate the camera angle, to view straight down and on up to the horizon?

    1. benmartens Post author

      Sure, it’s all just electronics so anything is possible. The most common is to have the camera mount be computer controlled to give an extremely steady shot but still facing the same general direction as the aircraft. A more complicated approach is to have the camera mount be controlled by both a computer for stabilization and a second person with their own transmitter to aim the camera (and they would presumably have goggles so they can see what the camera sees.)