Here is on-board and external video of the Maiden Flight of my new home-built and designed Aeroquad Hexacopter. I designed this from the ground up, and am very pleased with my first flight. I am running an AeroQuad 32 Flight Control Board (Version 2) which I have had in my possession for about a year and a half now, and I finally got around the building a ship for it.
The frame is built of wood (poplar) and plexiglass... nothing fancy there, but strong, light-weight, and CHEAP!
I am also using a GoPro Hero3+ camera mounted to a 2-channel brushless-motor-driven camera gimbal (eBay). I am also very pleased with the results that the camera gimbal is giving me. Previously, on my home-built quadcopter (I have posted many videos here on the forum), with no gimbal, I have had to run the video through a software stabilization program to improve the smoothness of the video, with results that were okay to modest. Now with the gimbal, the video is nicely stable without the need for further stabilization. The gimbal also has inputs for Roll and Pitch from my R/C receiver. Those channels are connected, and operational (so I can tilt the camera down and roll it left/right via my radio), but for the maiden flight I was concentrating on flying the ship itself and didn't concern myself with adjusting the camera.
The ship was quite stable in its first flight, but was also sluggish in the Pitch, Roll, and Yaw axes. I will have to modify some of the PID tuning parameters, by at least cranking up the Proportional gain on those control loops. Stable is good, but I want a bit more responsiveness as well.
The current landing gear (tripod of wooden dowels) is my first experiment for this ship, and I already have intentions of modifying it. The trick is, I don't want it to be visible in the video so the landing gear has to be out of video site, but not too far back as to be behind the CG of the ship.
You may also notice the yellow "whip" sticking up from the center of the craft. That is my antenna. You see, my RC radio equipment is a bit dated. I have a JR Galaxy 8-channel system. It was one of the first computer radio systems of its time and I bought it new about 25 years ago. I have RF modules for 72 MHz, and 53 MHz (Amateur Radio band -- as I am a Ham Radio licensee as well). It is because of these frequencies that the antenna has to be larger than the tiny GHz antennas that many of you are used to today. The radio still works great to this day, so I am continuing to use it on my new multi-rotors.
The pixelization you may notice around the front right motor is simply to obscure my FAA registration number. Yes, I'm registered but I don't think the world needs to know my number
Future videos will not have that pixelization because I didn't realize my number was in view of the camera and I have already moved the number to a different location on the ship.
In the near future I will equip the ship with FPV equipment. I already have the video transmitter and fatshark goggles.
So there you have it. Probably far more information than many of you may care for, and not a terribly exciting video, but for my maiden flight for my new home-built-and-designed Hex, and being very careful during that flight, I am pretty pleased with it so far.
In case any of you are interested, I took pictures of the project along the way, and I hope to put up a build log of this project on the Aeroquad site. I now realize that development of the Aeroquad software has come to a close at this point, and I'm sorry to hear that, but I am still a big fan and hope to have many flights with my new ship!
Thanks for watching, and bearing with my long dissertation
The video is best watched in Full Screen and 1080p High-Def.
I welcome any comments or questions anybody might have about my Hexacopter project.
And lastly, as usual... All My Best to everybody in the Aeroquad Community. --dsmavis
If you cannot goto Full Screen with the above link, you can watch the video directly on YouTube here: