You, yes you, can build and fly a personal UAV. Read this and see how!
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I remember riding in the car when I was little, watching the shadow of our car float over the ground beyond the guard rail. I would imagine that the shadow was from a plane and would think about what it would be like to see the journey from the air. What if I had a little plane that I could fly from the car and explore the areas just behind the trees. What if I could launch a plane on a hike, and see the far peak on the other side of the glacier, or take a video of myself and friends waving from the top of a mountain?
These days, I live near the ocean and wonder what it would be like to capture video of sailboat races, darting in and out of the masts like the seagull scene in "Finding Nemo." What about a video of whales from the air? To see what the seagulls see as they float over the water, under massive bridges and over tiny islands...
Then I found FPV UAVs and the dream became a reality.
This instructable will walk through your my first FPV UAV, teach you how to get started, how to make one, how to fly one, and introduce modifications you can make as you dive deeper into the sport.
*NOTICE: I do not use this plane for any purposes other than photography and research (i.e. search and rescue concepts, aero design, measurements and mapping, etc...)
I do not support the nefarious use of these planes for spying or militaristic intent. I believe that as more UAVs fill the sky, it is important to show their potential as tools for science and recreation. As I build and fly, I often get comments like "what evil will you strap to it?", "who are you spying on?" To those people, I hope that you stop watching fox news and start watching Planet Earth. The world is full of places to explore, it gets even better from the air!
Step 1: Eyes in the Sky
FPV is going to cost you money. I hate to say it, but its true. The part you want to shell out a little dough for is your telemetry equipment. I went ahead and got a set of Fat Shark goggles with a camera. I really like the package I got from ReadyMadeRC.com
The goggles, camera, transmitter and receiver, plus shipping all came to my door in less than 3 days at a cost just under $300.00
I got the:
Fat Shark Predator V2 Video Glasses w/Transmitter and Camera
There are cheaper kits. There are more expensive kits. I chose this one but can always upgrade later!
Why should I spend $300:
-You can fly, drive, sail, any model with this camera. It can be moved and placed whenever you want. You can even strap it to a dog and see what he does.
-The goggles allow for hookups with other video equipment and camera upgrades
-Fat Shark has figured out a nice system, they fit well and even have extra lenses for those who wear glasses.