Hello everyone


New member
Hello, I'm Joe. Been in RC for 30+ years, off and on that is. Started with Mauri Big Bear (saw someones sig with that!) as a kid in the mid 80's, first plane built was a Gentle Lady glider with cox .049 motor. Never could afford a controller so one day I tried to do freeflight with it. Didn't work. A few years later I was a grownup with my own place and a bit of scratch so I built a Balsa USA P51, bought an Airtronics 6 channel computer radio (back then that was a big thing). After several months of building I went to the local highschool one weekend to fly. I think I managed about 2 seconds of airtime before an inverted landing at a high rate of speed. That really discouraged me.

About a year later I decided I would join a club and learn to fly. Bought a Hangar9 Cessna (not the big one recently, a 0.46 size zone in maybe 1999). Went to the club and my instructor checked it out, maidened it and said it was a bit too hot for learning. He handed me his RealFlight program and said to use it to train a bit. I geeked out that next week and by the weekend when he let me fly on the trainer I flew circuits around the field inverted. Loved it! Since then I've had many plans, gone through years of inactivity, and came back. This last comeback was a big change, everything was electric I was used to glow. It's all good, bought a few planes, had some fun, but really the drones were very intriguing. Watched youtube videos of racing and it was just too cool. I had a DJI Phantom 4 a few years back and it was a dream to fly, all that gps and auto stuff. So I bought a few small drones, little Blade Nano QX, Inductrix and most recently a Tinyhawk II Freestyle. Unfortunately practicing acro out back the freestyle went for a swim in the pond so I ordered a Mobula6. Should be here Monday.

So that gets me to why I'm here. I've watched a lot of the FT youtube over the years, listened to the podcast for a bit but without video just didn't hold my attention :) There always seemed to be an air of friendliness and helpfulness that some forums don't engender. So, here I am. Through all of this, I should mention I'm a land surveyor and my interest these days is starting to go towards autopilots and aerial photography. I used my Phantom4 to do some test stuff and really liked it but at the time just didn't pursue it. I'd like to build a new platform. The DJI's are nice because they just work, but I'd really like to put something together myself. I was thinking about the Holybro QAV250 which is a Pixhawk4 GPS drone with telemetry downlink. This drone will not work for photogrammetry but it's $320 for everything but battery (including Pixhawk4 mini, 915mhz telemetry and USB adapter for my laptop, FPV camera, etc.). It's out of stock for a few weeks so I'm also trying to spec something out. One of the things I'm contemplating is a fixed wing. I think the fixed wings can get better flight duration, pound for pound, than the multicopter. All of this is building up to me building something with a decent camera to use to acquire aerial imagery and use Pix4D to create maps.

Anyway, all of this rambling was just to introduce myself. As my current itch is leaning towards autonomy anyone who's done something like this who has a post or website I'd welcome a link here.

- Joe