Winter flying

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I am a new P4 pilot. After doing a good bit of flying this summer and fall I hate to put my craft on the shelf for the winter.

What kind of experience have you all had flying in winter conditions? What is the lowest temperature you have flown at? Will snow kicked up by the props seriously affect the drone?
 

msinger

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What is the lowest temperature you have flown at?
My fingers cannot handle much more than about 32F. That's honestly the biggest problem I've encountered when flying in cold weather. If interested, DJI has some helpful cold weather flying tips here and here.

Will snow kicked up by the props seriously affect the drone?
It would be safest to take off and land in an area that is clear of all snow. If that's not possible, you could take off from some type of landing pad if the snow/ground below it is solid.
 
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From the P4 web page:

Operating Temperature
32° to 104° F ( 0° to 40° C )

When it gets cold, you might be able to use one of these. I had one years ago and they work great.

TXGlove.jpg TXMitt.jpg
 
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a piece of plywood, those touch screen gloves, small igloo cooler with a disposable hot hands pack with a towel and my lipo's....flew in some pretty cold temps. Just stayed out of actual snow fall..
 
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I am a new P4 pilot. After doing a good bit of flying this summer and fall I hate to put my craft on the shelf for the winter.

What kind of experience have you all had flying in winter conditions? What is the lowest temperature you have flown at? Will snow kicked up by the props seriously affect the drone?

I have flown in snow storms, off powder snow and hard packed snow with no ill effects. Like any surface what ever is under the quad when the props are powered up will be blown away. The thing to remember when flying in extremely cold weather battery life will be shortened.
 
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I flew my P3S and P3A last winter with no issues. I flew many times with the temps between 19F-26F with no issues and a few times when it was snowing. I followed DJI's recommendations with regard to keeping the batteries warm. I played it safer though. I'd start bringing it home at 40% battery remaining. I never saw any sudden drops in battery voltage.

This year I have a P4 and Inspire and plan to fly them both. For the Inspire I bought the insulation pads and the battery warmer.

Multicopter Warehouse in Castle Rock, Colorado has lots of photos and videos of them flying during the Winter...
 
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You don´t need to buy anything extra. Take off in snow, land in snow. The P4 will take care of itself! Just fly & have fun! Keep batteries room temperature or more before using, and expect a bit shorter play time. thats all! :)
 

msinger

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You don´t need to buy anything extra. Take off in snow, land in snow. The P4 will take care of itself!
Where I live, the snow is often soft and often deeper than the Phantom is tall. I would never dare attempt a takeoff or landing in snow. I guess the best advice is to use your head ;)
 
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With the newer firmware the props won't start if the batteries are 20C or colder. At 25C they will turn on but with reduced power. I think I have those temp correct. This applies to the batteries only. In my experience as long as the batteries start at this time, they will get much warm while flying regardless of the outside temps.
 
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My fingers cannot handle much more than about 32F.

This brings back a memory. I woke up one morning while camping in the mountains. I flew the P3 for awhile and then realized this very same thing... my fingers were the limiting factor. I did not have gloves with me.
 
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Ofcourse! Using your head goes for pretty much anyting when flying.... (and everyting else for that matter) I live in north of Norway and is very familiar to snow! I wouldn´t put my drone in deep, soft snow, but in most cases (depending on location, ofcourse) you would have thin layers of light snow upon thick frozen masses. in these cases the P4 would have no problem, as it blows everyting away upon take off / landing.
 
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Did you mean "Fahrenheit" and not "Celsius"?

Cause 25C = 77F....

With the newer firmware the props won't start if the batteries are 20C or colder. At 25C they will turn on but with reduced power. I think I have those temp correct. This applies to the batteries only. In my experience as long as the batteries start at this time, they will get much warm while flying regardless of the outside temps.
 
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Did you mean "Fahrenheit" and not "Celsius"?

Cause 25C = 77F....

I'm thinking about it and perhaps it was 15C won't start and 20C is a warning.

I'm pretty sure those numbers are correct:

Hot Tips for Flying in the Cold

Hot Tips for Beating the Cold
1. Make sure batteries are fully charged before each flight.
2. Warm batteries to 25°C or more before flight. We recommend using a battery heater.
3. Hover the aircraft for around a minute to allow the battery to warm up.
4. Turn on “Show Voltage on Main Screen on the Aircraft Battery page of the DJI Go app. Do not continue flying if battery voltage drops below 3.2v.
 
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When you come in from the cold in a warm place usually humid, your craft will condensate, I leave my hot spent battery in the bird to prevent humidity from getting into the fuselage and the heat from the battery helps dry the AC. If I change the used battery with a warm fresh one I stay outside to prevent the AC from condensing indoors. Placing the cold AC when your outside in a sealable plastic bag before going indoors will prevent the warm humid air to condensate on the AC and will condensate on the outside of the bag, wait till the AC comes to room temperature before removing from the bag. This process really helps in keeping your bird from getting wet inside and out. I live in northern Ontario and I am already flying in cold weather and I have to wear gloves, it snowed a bit yesterday! The coldest I flew so far was last spring when I got my P4 and the temp was about -15c, flew like charm.
 
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IBV

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I'm thinking about it and perhaps it was 15C won't start and 20C is a warning.

I'm pretty sure those numbers are correct:

Hot Tips for Flying in the Cold

Hot Tips for Beating the Cold
1. Make sure batteries are fully charged before each flight.
2. Warm batteries to 25°C or more before flight. We recommend using a battery heater.
3. Hover the aircraft for around a minute to allow the battery to warm up.
4. Turn on “Show Voltage on Main Screen on the Aircraft Battery page of the DJI Go app. Do not continue flying if battery voltage drops below 3.2v.

good advice. I flew at minus 8 Cel. without problems. Batteries need to be warm when starting. I usually fly from the heated van these days. This is a simple way to keep me and the batteries warm.Use filters to compensate snow-light. Count on less airborne time.
 

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