Ways to get a Phantom to float if it drops over water

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I've been wondering about ways to save a P3S if it did fail over water. I fly mine over the large river my house is on. A thread about critical battery level has me thinking about how to stop it from sinking if it did drop into the water.

The vertical centre of gravity of these is very high and having floating feet on the bottom of the legs would just have it flip upside down, unless sufficiently spread out.

Thoughts of helicopter air-floats halfway up the legs ?

Light foam blocks fitted inside legs high up ?

Inflatable air-bag ?

Anyone devised a solution ?

I would be willing to accept immersion of the camera to save the model ....

Nigel
 
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I've been wondering about ways to save a P3S if it did fail over water. I fly mine over the large river my house is on. A thread about critical battery level has me thinking about how to stop it from sinking if it did drop into the water.

The vertical centre of gravity of these is very high and having floating feet on the bottom of the legs would just have it flip upside down, unless sufficiently spread out.

Thoughts of helicopter air-floats halfway up the legs ?

Light foam blocks fitted inside legs high up ?

Inflatable air-bag ?

Anyone devised a solution ?

I would be willing to accept immersion of the camera to save the model ....

Nigel
If you search you will find many solutions from commercial (water Stryder) to plastic bottles and other ideas. All will impact on your flight time to some extent and flight characteristics (weight, drag and susceptibility to wind loading).
 
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To float the Phantom, any buoyancy would have to be quite bulky
Your Phantom will fly a lot better (and safer) if you don't handicap it with anything that big.
 
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The actual displacement necessary to float the model is not as great as you think - overall flight weight is 1.216kg - therefore technically a 1.216ltr bottle will float the model at equilibrium.

A 1.5ltr bottle or balloon would do the job. That's even ignoring the buoyancy factor of any part of the model.

I looked at the Stryder feet - but they in my opinion are fine for calm water but would flip on any choppy water.

My idea is whether a collar of flexible balloon type could be fitted inside the legs above the camera without hindering the dampeners and mounts.

Its a thought provoking thread - prompted by another thread that highlighted a situation.

Nigel
 
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Your calculations seem appropriate. Notwithstanding, containing 1.5L of air, regardless of what efforts might be employed to make it an aerodynamic shape, will almost certainly compromise your flight characteristics. As to your preparedness to sacrifice the camera I suspect you realise that is the most expensive and arguably most delicate component of the AC. The AC is no more likely to fail over water than it is land and a fall from any reasonable altitude will result in significant damage either way, floats or not.
 
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If I was to sing a song - would you sing a different one ?

That's effectively your style, forgive me for being blunt. I do not intend to be rude.

It was a genuine question and I am sure that I am not only one who has looked at this.

The fact of the 'Spyders' supports that.

Let's look at this from a mathematical POV. The model is basically capable of ~25mins flight. My years of flying models says to me do not exceed a reasonable margin of safety in that .... let's say 18 - 20mins max.
The addition of the small amount of weight - let's say about 20 - 30gr. The addition of drag but only really on that which is proud of structure - say additional 5%, let's be generous and give it 10%.

What real difference will that make to my flight ?

Second - I accept that a flight failure where it falls out of sky is catastrophic, regardless of what is fitted. But a critical battery landing is not falling out of sky - it is a set sequential descent designed to land out with minimal damage.

So bearing both those in mind - what is wrong with discussing or considering ways to float the model and not have it sink to be forever lost ? Most of the model would be salvagable, and another bought for spares may just get you back in air for lot less than buying a new one.
If like me you fly over freshwater - then its even more viable matter.

Nigel
 
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You know nothing about my style as you put it. I genuinely attempted to offer you some useful information.

My recollection with respect to the commercial solution offered by water Stryker (makers claims) is that it reduced flight time by 30%.

There is nothing wrong with experimenting as you have proposed, I wish you well.
 

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Plugging the air vents with 3M tape might keep it afloat long enough to grab it

There's also Getterback

Most experience pilots don't worry about this even flying over water. I've never had an autoland before my AC reached home, and my AC has flown close to 700 miles...
 
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But your replies were dismissive rather than informative. The info you did post is obvious even to the less intelligent.

My intention is to provoke discussion and to look at ways people may have solved or considered to solve.

The 'Stryder' is in my view grossly overpriced, basically the helicopter training gear idea extrapolated and if it does create a 30% reduction in flight time - then its definitely not on my Xmas list.

So to those still reading and hopefully not put off by negativity - any ideas ?

Nigel


You know nothing about my style as you put it. I genuinely attempted to offer you some useful information.

My recollection with respect to the commercial solution offered by water Stryker (makers claims) is that it reduced flight time by 30%.

There is nothing wrong with experimenting as you have proposed, I wish you well.
 
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Plugging the air vents with 3M tape might keep it afloat long enough to grab it

There's also Getterback

Most experience pilots don't worry about this even flying over water. I've never had an autoland before my AC reached home, and my AC has flown close to 700 miles...
I agree that its not a worry with sensible flight routine and keeping eye on battery state etc. But I'm just trying to explore the subject.

I fly on / over water with float planes as well as my P3S .... I have boats .... I have no fear of this but a healthy respect for water.

Nigel
 

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People on this site have been discussing this for years. Chances are, there is a lot more to be learned by performing a search than there is by posting a new thread...
 
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Oh dear .....

What a shame.

Search in fact just brought up crap. As is often the case with forum searches.

Oh well .... sorry to ruffle feathers.

Consider the thread closed.
 
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But your replies were dismissive rather than informative. The info you did post is obvious even to the less intelligent.

My intention is to provoke discussion and to look at ways people may have solved or considered to solve.

The 'Stryder' is in my view grossly overpriced, basically the helicopter training gear idea extrapolated and if it does create a 30% reduction in flight time - then its definitely not on my Xmas list.

So to those still reading and hopefully not put off by negativity - any ideas ?

Nigel
With all due respect, if what I posted was obvious to you then you might have less expectation of a discussion ultimately realising a solution that meets your intended outcome without negatively impacting performance.

We could come up with a great design for the hostesses uniforms to perform cabin duties on a passenger aircraft proposed to be constructed from reinforced concrete also.

In this instance what your proposing can and has been done by many and I'm sure fashioning something to perform the intended purpose is well within your capability. Forgive me for attempting to inform you of the known considerations, all of which you will confirm in your endeavour to be realities rather than simply negative musings in the absence of facts.
 

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If you're worried about this type of thing there are actually a few videos on YouTube showing how to trim & install a "pool noodle" on the landing gear of your quad so it will float upright, and they won't show up in your video. Looks a little silly but it works great.
IMO, as long as you're flying within line of sight and pay attention to what you're doing you should be fine without them. I fly over water all the time without any issues. (Knock on wood! ) but if you're worried and not a seasoned pilot, this is an inexpensive alternative that works great.

S5 tap'n
 
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If you're worried about this type of thing there are actually a few videos on YouTube showing how to trim & install a "pool noodle" on the landing gear of your quad so it will float upright, and they won't show up in your video. Looks a little silly but it works great.
IMO, as long as you're flying within line of sight and pay attention to what you're doing you should be fine without them. I fly over water all the time without any issues. (Knock on wood! ) but if you're worried and not a seasoned pilot, this is an inexpensive alternative that works great.

S5 tap'n
Hi ... at present I am on the Pacific Coast of eastern Russia with limited internet access. This pretty well prevents my youtube searches.

Seasoned flyer ? Would approx 50+ years qualify me for such ? I've been flying models since about 7yrs old .... and now I am 60. I've had multi-rotors for over 5yrs since they became a real flying item. I bought the Phantom recently after having decided I wanted to explore camera work. Before that I've flown most types including helicopters. At present I have over 50 models ready to fly.

My youtube site is : solentlifeuk for anyone interested to see my antics ! Good and bad - I don't hide my errors.

As to over water - I am a boat owner who enjoys going out there and flying of and over water as often as I can. My house has grounds that extend down to the river and I have a private channel with my boats ready for action.

I was reading a thread about others who experienced critical battery level and the Phantom landing out. Ideally I would not get into such situation - but being human - I have failed at times to keep eye on flight time .... with consequences I do not wish to repeat with my Phantom. If over water - then its final as it would sink and be lost totally.

I wished to hear of others ideas on the subject of combating sinking of the model. But it seems some consider I am wrong to have such expectation. I find that sad. We develop by constructive discussion, we evolve and expand our knowledge.

Sorry if I have picked the wrong forum to experience such.

Nigel
 
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