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  1. henpax

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    After reading of some P4P falling down while flying above sea or lakes resulting in total loss of the aircraft, I started considering to add some security device just in case my P4P should land (or crash) on water. I checked over the internet for a while but I could only find too expensive or DIY bizzarre solutions. I worked out then to design and realize my own device with some accurate features (aerodynamic, extremely lightweight - no more than 200/250 grams, properly shaped to not interfere with propellers flow, etc). Here are three pictures of the clip-on skates I have in mind, please feel free to tell me what do you think regarding this issue - every suggestion would be really appreciated, thank you.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    ianzone likes this.
  2. Ken Nash

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    Drone floats are about on the internet - however if your loved one does fall from the sky above water it will probably twist, summersault and probably land heavy when it hits the water and damage the camera and take on water somewhere.
     
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  3. henpax

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    I understand and agree with you. But if the drone fall down the skates should only keep it afloat (I have insurance for accidental damage but I have to recover the aircraft). In case it should gently land (e.g. low battery or intentional landing), they should be large enough to avoid it capsize and high enough to keep camera far out from water.
     
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  4. Ken Nash

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    I see what you mean - so why not develop them and see what the reaction will be and good luck with your idea.
     
    henpax likes this.
  5. Bakersfield Quad

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    If you fly where water is typical, then why not?
     
  6. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    And how much will they affect the performance of your Phantom in the air?
    How much speed and battery will they steal?
    How much will they reduce the ability to fly into a headwind.
    Will they catch the wind and increase chances of being blown away?
    I would suspect that they are more likely to contribute to losing the Phantom than being a safety feature.
    Most of my flying is over water and there's no way I'd handicap my drone that much.
     
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  7. henpax

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    Work in progress.. my P4P seems to be ok with the weight I added to its legs to simulate the skates. Battery duration is only a couple minutes shorter than in standard conditions. I agree, maybe it could result in some extra difficulties when flying during windy days, but I don't think to risk my drone above water with bad weather anyways. On the other hand, its behavior has proved to be fine if not stressing hard the motors (e.g. sport mode seems to push them up more than this little weight add-on, so I presume it is tested to work properly in the combination "low throttle - weight addition"). I will soon test water landing and take off, and also a "navigation" mode resulting when moving the sticks while the drone is floating with motors idling. Here is the picture of the skate..
     
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  8. henpax

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  9. RunningWithScissors

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    Are these "skates" intended to keep the drone upright in the water, or simply to keep the drone bouyant? Also, if the skates are attached, and the drone is placed on water, will it remain upright?
     
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  10. henpax

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    Yes they are intended to keep the drone upright: the "triangular shaped" central body aims to reduce their out-of-the-water mass, and helps air from the propellers to flow aside. The larger "bulbs" at the endings should instead give more resistance to submersion
     
  11. RunningWithScissors

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    Thanks. If they'll keep the drone upright and out of the water, this just might be the answer for taxi and take-off from a lake.
     
  12. henpax

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    This might be an option. As soon as I can, I'm gonna test them on a lake, taking off and landing on water more or less like a sea copter.. I'll let you know..
     
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  13. RunningWithScissors

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    Thanks. Would be very interested on hearing your results. Would like to do some early morning take-offs from mountain lakes this summer and I'm wondering if your skates/ pontoons would be the solution for that situation.
     
  14. JarrodF

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    I'm all for new drone products but doesn't this already exist (in a slightly different form factor)? #DroneAnywhere
     
  15. JarrodF

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    Maybe this was a too expensive option?
     
  16. henpax

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    Yes I saw those floating dishes, one of the few existing options.. leaving apart they are awful in my humble opinion, their mount system seems flimsy and somehow interfering with camera (mainly when pointed down) and with landing/downward sensors..
     
  17. PhantomHero

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    First off, beautifully designed! You made the fit and finish perfect.
    And look much better than the floating saucers or the water bottle attachments. And look like an OEM product.
    Now with aesthetics aside I think these would absolutely work as expected. The triangular shape letting air easily pass around them with the rounded ends for buoyancy. If I may add one critique. Are you going to add a cross brace? Like the gimbal guard? Just thinking something pulling them together in case of a hard vertical drop on to the waters surface may force them apart snapping the legs. Leaving you with a drowned drone and retrieving the floating legs.
    Just an observation.
     
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  18. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    They might have some use if you need to launch and land on still water.
    But not a lot of use in a typical incident whetr the drone falls upside down
     
  19. henpax

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    Thank you for your suggestion. I tried to keep clear the space between legs to not interfere with camera and downward sensors, but you are right: a cross brace would give more resistance to the skates and to drone legs as well.. this is my first prototipe, after some test I will consider if adding this option could be better. Thanks.
     
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  20. henpax

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    Thank you. You are absolutely right! When I started this project I kept in mind nothing could save our birds from an hard fall from the sky (parachute, maybe? ;-)).. these skates allow the drone to gently land and take off from water, and I hope they can maintain it afloat even if capsized should it fall not so gently.. based on my calculation on weights and water dislocation, one skate only (if one should rip off) is enough to avoid the P4P to sink, so I can recover my drone anyways. After that, it is a matter of DJI Care Refresh..
    After all, also the skates of a sea plane are unuseful if it should fall hardly on water, even from few meters..
     
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