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Flight time while hovering?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gazchap, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. gazchap

    Aug 10, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Hey guys, first post on here (well, second actually - just replied to a thread!)

    I've had my Phantom since February, but have only really been flying it since June after one of my first flights out ended in disaster with the Phantom flying away from me (pilot error though, nothing to do with the Phantom itself) and ended up crash-landing in a quarry way out of visual range. I got it back in the end, thanks to a radio appeal and an honest quarry worker, and apart from some minor body shell damage (which I've now fixed by transplanting the guts into a new case) all is well! A remarkably hardy bit of kit.

    Anyway, last night I was filming a local fireworks display while airborne, and I got to wondering. Typically I bring the craft back down after between 6 and 7 minutes to make sure I've got enough battery life left to get home, but this is with active flying and actually moving the Phantom about.

    Last night I sent the Phantom up in the air and left it hovering in the same spot (in GPS mode.) I brought it back down after the same length of time, but missed the end of the fireworks display in doing so.

    I then wondered, is flight time dramatically increased if you're not moving the Phantom about, and thus working the motors more? Could I have lasted the full 15 minutes of the fireworks display?

    I guess the easy way to find out would be to do some flight testing myself, but I just wondered if anyone else had any thoughts?
  2. TickTock

    Mar 31, 2013
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    Flight time will almost definitely decrease, potentially significantly, when actively flying versus hovering. If you are hovering with a heavy load, the difference may not be as dramatic but in that case you won't be able to do much more than hover. One interesting thing I discovered recently is the Phantom will let you stay up past the auto land limits. If you push alll the way up on the throttle after the craft auto descends, it will continue to fly - even well below the safe battery voltage. I was testing the hover time on some news props and didn't realize this. I was excited when I got 10 minutes until I noticed the pack voltage was 9.2V! Not good, but I like the feature. Would rather ruin a battery than drop it in a lake so it's nice to know you have that option. Anyway just be careful and watch your pack volts while doing your test ( or just make sure you let it land when it wants to).
  3. Roadkilt

    Mar 25, 2013
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    That is a great piece of info Ticktock that I just discovered myself two days ago. Event though I had set my timer my battery must not have been fully charged as it started flashing red after 5 minutes. I was over a road 10m high and 20 m away. It started to auto descend and I figured what the hell must as well try to get it back! Each time I touched the throttle it lifted again and moved towards me, then would start auto descend again. Again with the throttle and steer back to me. Continuous red flashing but back safely and caught in the hand. So don't give up even in auto descend!
  4. bumper

    Aug 6, 2013
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    I'm not sure about that. Helicopters experience something called transitional lift (wiki has a good article explaining this). I have no reason to think it shouldn't apply to quadrotors as well.

    Basically, as the quad moves horizontally, the props are presented with cleaner air and this increased efficiency. There will also be less recirculation of air through the prop.

    Haven't done any tests, but I suspect that medium speed horizontal flight should use less power than a steady hover.

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