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  1. PatR

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    I think many avoid flying their H when there may be an appearance of "too much wind". I'd like to explore this with everyone and hopefully open up more useful days of flying for them.

    For background, I've been flying fixed wing RC for over 40 years and multirotors for a little better than three. I most certainly DO have a Typhoon H, obtained it immediately after it was released, and regularly fly it in conditions many might find "too windy" I fly predominantly in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge, specifically around the Hood River area. The Columbia River Gorge is commonly known as "The Kite Boarding Capital of the World", solely because of high winds. Kite boards must have some fair to outrageous winds to function.

    For the past several weeks I've deliberately been exploring the impact of wind speed on the Typhoon H. Recognizing Yuneec posts a 12mph max wind limit on the H, and knowing that 5mph to 8mph is just about as low as I see in the area, I knew the manufacturer wind limitation was greatly understated. The most wind I have flown in where I had an "official" wind speed has been 27mph. I have yet to reach what I consider to be the limit of the H's capability in wind. That limit is higher than 27mph. How much higher I do not yet know. By limit of capability I am referring the the H's ability to hold a relatively stable hover in wind and to have enough flight speed to be able to fly back against the wind while maintaining good flight control. It also must maintain the stability necessary to take off and land without being rolled over by the wind. I just put in 5 flights at the kite boarding event site where the official wind was 18mph to 27mph during the period I was flying. Last week was averaging 12mph to 20mph, and the week prior was 8mph to 15mph. During every flight the H has been fully controllable, with no cause for unease. At winds below 25mph the H will hold position nicely, and below 20mph will hold a hover position almost perfectly. I'll post an unedited video or two of today's conditions in a little while.

    I have flown in both Smart and Angle modes to establish if one is better than the other, or if the H would fail to make headway beating against the wind. I can honestly say that Angle is better when the winds are high but that Smart mode will beat back against the wind when the wind speed is between 18mph and 27mph, although it moves much, much slower than Angle. Since the use of RTH generates even lower flight speed one must be aware the H may not be able to beat back against stronger winds if relying on RTH to get back. I believe this is where the H gets the 12mph wind limitation.

    When strong wind gusts occur the H can drift a few feet laterally and may gain or lose a couple feet of altitude while compensating. This is neither alarming nor a problem, you simply need to recognize that anything automated takes a moment or two to adjust for rapidly changing conditions and allow for those small changes. The H is most stable in wind when the gear is raised. Avoid flying with the gear down during windy conditions. Your flight will be much smoother with the gear up.

    Take off and landing is not a problem in windy conditions, IF you have a general understanding of how a multirotor functions to maintain positional stability. They are almost completely predictable once you have that understanding and use that functionality to your advantage. The short version is always land and take off with the front pointing into the wind. During windy conditions a multirotor being operated with GPS assist will "lean" into the wind. It is doing that because motor speeds are higher on one side than the other to provide the directional thrust necessary to offset the wind that would otherwise blow the copter in the direction of the wind, away from the position it was being commanded to hold. This is also known as drift.

    The amount of lean will vary with wind speed and may be a little under light winds, or quite a lot, 20* or more, when winds are relatively high. This is where people end up rolling their copters on take off and landing. It happens most often because the landing gear only has one leg on the ground when they land, with the worst case being when the downwind gear leg touches the ground first. The copter is totally off balance and the operator needs to be very fast on the sticks in pitch and roll to counter the effects of such a bad landing. A very simple thing to do is yaw the copter until the nose is pointing into the wind. This establishes a "lean" with both of the front ends of the landing gear being closer to the ground than the rear when landing. As the gear touches down they touch front ends first and settle back onto the rear of the gear slowly and gently. In effect because the full length of both gear legs are making contact with the ground at the same time it becomes self stabilizing. It is also generally easier for you to judge what the copter is doing during a landing since the gear present an equal and balanced view. Something else most will find helpful is not trying to "drive" their H onto the ground. Descend under your complete control. Do so at a rate you are comfortable with. 99% of the time it will be perfectly fine to stop the descent about 1' from the ground in order to finish the landing under a slow and controlled airspeed. If you have pushed to the edge of limitations the H might be rocking a lot more than you can deal with during a descent, but you knew that was likely going to happen because it was difficult to control during flight. I suspect the wind will be >30mph should such conditions occur. Under those conditions get to the ground quickly, although my guess is few will put their H in the air during very gusty conditions.

    Take off during windy conditions should never be done slowly. You want to get clear of the ground and gain 5' or 10' of altitude quickly. Wind next to the ground is turbulent and is more difficult for the copter to initially stabilize in. If rising too slowly the copter may be upset by strong gusts and not have enough altitude to compensate for changes it attitude without some portion of it making contact with the ground. Those taking off in a non GPS mode that stay close to the ground after take off may find the copter drifting much faster than they can make control inputs to compensate for and end up tumbling their H across the flying area. Altitude is your friend so make a new friend as fast as you can every time you take off.

    Flight time will most certainly be impacted by wind. The higher the wind speed the less flight time you will have with a battery. You must watch your battery to establish how much battery has been used for a given amount of flight time. You may find the voltage dropping quickly during higher winds. If that is the case start you return before the the battery voltage becomes critical. If you normally start your return at 15v, consider starting that return at 15.4v, or whatever you KNOW will allow a safe return and not trigger an auto land. If you normally obtain 15 minutes of air time from a battery do not be surprised to only obtain 7 minutes when wind speeds are high. The motors have to turn faster to generate enough thrust to simply hold a stable position, and turn even faster to fly back against a good head wind. RPM is power, to make power the motors have to consume battery power. As the RPM demand increases, so does the demand on the battery. Amp draw rises with increased power and a rise in amperage increases the speed at which a battery is depleted. There's no rule of thumb, you simply need to be smart enough to pay attention to the tools you are holding in your hand. Look at the battery voltage frequently when flying in windy conditions and make adjustments in your flight time based upon what the volt meter is telling you.

    So practice only a couple of things and I believe many will find they can fly more often than they do now. the manufacturer stated 12mph wind limit is extremely conservative and I suspect in place to make life a lot easier for new, inexperienced operators.

    Take off and land into the wind.
    Take off quickly and rise to an altitude well clear of the ground.
    Raise the gear for improved flight stability.
    Maintain situational awareness with the battery state.
    Anticipate reduced flight time and return sooner than when flying in no or low wind conditions.

     
    #1 PatR, Aug 21, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  2. DroneClone

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    All this must be taken carefully, IF YOU HAVE WIND GUSTS, I have flown in 15-20 mph winds no issues, but when the winds include 30-40 mph gusts, that's when the troubles begin, Gusts are unpredictable and unmeasurable in general. And have a higher impact on flight control than steady winds that you can fly with, or into with relative ease!.
    Great study Pat, great findings on the limits the H can handle safely!:rolleyes:
     
  3. Mike_Flys

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    Thanks for this great write up on wind flying.
    I have been flying RC rotor craft (Helicopters) for about 15 years or so. and have owned a few Multirotors "Drones" over the past few years.
    Although I have only had my H in 15mph winds, a few years ago I flew my Phantom 1-V2 in winds over 30mph with out any real indecent which I accredit to my RC heli experience, or as I like to say knowing how to fly the copter. I would not recommend this for low time drone pilots who may be depending on the automated systems to much and not even realizing it.

    Among my handful of RC copters I have an Ares Ethos QX 130. It has no GPS, but does have a small low end camera. I use it for keeping my skills sharp. It is a blast to fly and I think any serious drone pilot should have a low $ copter like this to help teach them to fly the copter and keep their skills sharp
     
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  4. banned user

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    Great Post! I've had mine at winds similar to that somewhere between 20-25mph and it was like you say surprisingly stable. I too use the head to wind theory, similar to sailing a boat...
     
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  5. Steve Carr

    Steve Carr Moderator
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    The ultimate fearless wind test of the Typhoon H.

     
  6. PatR

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    Thanks guys. It is indeed incumbent upon the operator to develop flight proficiency with their aircraft. The Noob will have their hands full in zero wind so flying in higher winds comes with time, practice, more practice, then even more practice, and experience that forms the basis of building judgement. If anyone has a heavy feeling in the pit of their stomach they should pay attention to it because it is telling them they are not ready yet. Each must know their personal limitations and expand them carefully.

    As DC mentioned, wind gusts are where most problems will occur. Steady wind is easy but a gust can and will disturb things, and can do so with vigor. With any level of gusting wind we should allow more of an altitude and separation "cushion" between the ground and other things our aircraft might get tossed into. I suppose the judgement that goes into that is called piloting. Think and act like one and you'll do better than the person that just flings one of these things into the air, hoping for the flight controller to always save the day.

    None of what was written in the original post was to imply the H is without limitations, it most definitely has them, but I have yet to come up against them. I am certain I will and that day will provide cause for a case of nerves, some repairs, or both. Bottom line, don't take any risk you are not prepared for, either in flight skills or in potential loss or damage to your H.
     
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  7. ActionAndo

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    I've had mine out in up to 29mph gusts. This was in a forested area with fire roads creating alot of space for the wind to be funneled down. The only time I find anything to be slightly unpredictable was as I was about to hand catch it and a gust caused it to'dance' and a bit. Otherwise it was fantastic, and the footage was rock solid.

    I'm used to flying my home made racing quad in windy conditions in rate mode so gps on the Typhoon is fantastic! I agree that it is a shame if people are avoiding some days because they have been told it's too windy( personal ability not withstanding)
     
  8. PatR

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    Steve,

    Do the conversion from kph to mph. The winds I was flying in today bested Ming's by a considerable margin. 30 kph works out to ~18 mph, which was the lower side my H was working it. 27mph works out to ~43kph. However, he did have his H in a horrible location for wind effects, being at the top edge of an up slope that faced the wind. That causes a lot of lift and turbulence when close to the edge of the slope. I was working with more of a smooth plane, which makes for smoother air.
     
  9. ActionAndo

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    Yes, didn't seem all that windy in Ming's video...
     
  10. BobW55

    BobW55 Moderator
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  11. DroneClone

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    Glad for you!
     
  12. Wileytrigger21

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    Blade 230s here. The helis definately keep ya sharp.
     
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  13. Wileytrigger21

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    Great post Pat!