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Do You Wonder About Wind Speed?

PatR

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When I first watched that video I was initially quite impressed, up until the conversion from KPH to MPH was done. I felt the wind speed in MPH was significantly under represented due to previous experiences with quads, hexes, and octos, which drove me to perform my own wind tests, establishing the H was and is much more capable in high winds. I later found through side by side comparisons in high winds the H to be superior to both a Phantom and Inspire 1, neither of which were as stable or capable of safely taking off or landing in a manual mode than what the H would effectively handle.
 
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I'm curious how you arrived at this conclusion. The H has been proven, on multiple occasions, to perform exceptionally well in wind and far better than a quadcopter.
Apologies, I must have miss understood the original post, I took it that the H becomes somewhat unstable and unresponsive in winds exceeding 27+ mph. I myself haven't tested it yet but I don't really need or want to as I'd rather not risk a crash or loss of my H.
Flying over the sea and cliffs could spell disaster for me.
I don't know how my friend manages to fly in such high winds with his phantom but he's obviously worked out a way to do it.
It may of course be that he flies cross wind rather than with or against it directly, I'm guessing that way it doesn't have quite as much headwind as he's not flying into it.
Anyway, You guys are the experts, I guess I'll find out one day for myself, the weather here can change so quickly, like today, it went from sunshine early afternoon to snow late afternoon! They say we have four seasons a day sometimes!
 

DoomMeister

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I flew my TH Pro yesterday in 18mph winds with gusts to 25mph and somewhat stronger at 60 feet AGL. It was very stable though you could see the gusts cause a touch of wiggle to compensate. The major surprise to me was how well it did with takeoff and landings (yes I face into the wind, a natural thing for a fixed wing pilot).

I do owe a debt of gratitude to all the pilots (and operators like PatR ;)) that have shared their experience on the forum. You read their accounts of flying a particular aircraft, then when you take the controller in hand, you find that all their advice and experience is right on the mark.

The reaction of the Typhoon H in yesterday’s wind leads me to believe that winds in the 30 to 40 mph range would not be a problem for it.
 

PatR

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Apologies, I must have miss understood the original post, I took it that the H becomes somewhat unstable and unresponsive in winds exceeding 27+ mph. I myself haven't tested it yet but I don't really need or want to as I'd rather not risk a crash or loss of my H.

I haven't personally flown an H-480 in winds above 27-28mph. That in no way implies the H-480 is limited to 27-28mph winds, it simply means that's as far as I have gone with it. At the max wind speed I've flown in the H remained fully controllable, managed a good hover while compensating for the wind, handled take off and landings extremely well, and had no issues penetrating into the wind at good speed. From that we can easily assume more wind latitude is available for those that are inclined to fly in higher wind speeds. Of course that also implies the individual flying in high winds has the experience and savvy necessary to input the correct control functions at the correct times.

For me it's pretty much like what's called the "demonstrated crosswind component" in full scale aircraft operating handbooks. The demonstrated component is not a limitation, it simply states the maximum crosswind the test pilots encountered during flight testing. The aircraft may well be capable of handling a little or a lot more wind, but hasn't been tested any higher than what was expressed yet. Every pilot has the opportunity to explore the limit, or not, as their abilities permit. More often than not personal limitations occur well before aircraft limitations do. Ultimately, we should not read things into personal experiences that weren't there to begin with.
 
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PatR

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I flew my TH Pro yesterday in 18mph winds with gusts to 25mph and somewhat stronger at 60 feet AGL. It was very stable though you could see the gusts cause a touch of wiggle to compensate. The major surprise to me was how well it did with takeoff and landings (yes I face into the wind, a natural thing for a fixed wing pilot).
.

That last sentence, more than anything else you've ever posted, said you truly know what you're about and can handle an aircraft. Bravo to you sir for transferring your fixed wing knowledge and experience to remotely piloted multirotor aircraft.
 

Phaedrus

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For me it's pretty much like what's called the "demonstrated crosswind component" in full scale aircraft operating handbooks.

Oh man. I was just getting to post that same thing!! :mad:

And then each of us needs to determine our max winds, especially if flying for fun. I've flown glider contest (RC) in 35 MPH winds. I can tell you that trying to achieve a spot landing with a 4-meter span 42 ounce glider in that kind of wind does not meet even the broadest definition of "fun"!!
 
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I hate flying a fixed wing in real strong crosswinds. The Piper Cub is little more than a kite with a motor on it and it is real twitchy in crosswinds.(My instructor was in the back seat)
My Typhoon H not a problem, but of course I'm not sitting in it either.
 
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I was trying to land my Piper 140 at Lawton Regional runway 17, winds 270, Winds20+ Gust35+, full right rudder and still couldn't get my plane to line up.
I made 3 attempts, finally I abandoned my landing until the storm passed.
In the air for 20 extra or so minutes what a roller coaster ride.
I was trying to beat the storm, but the winds got there before me.
 

PatR

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Be happy that wasn’t a C-150 or 152 because of how they get tossed around. The flip side is a high wing would have allowed more room to cross control and dip a wing. That kind of wind in a light plane is pretty tough to deal with in anything though. You made a very good decision to abort and come back later.
 
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Fred Garvin

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Be happy that wasn’t a C-150 or 152 because of how they get tossed around. .........

Many, many years ago, a buddy of mine got his PPSEL, and I started working on mine. Just about every weekend we'd split a rental for a couple hours or more. Back then, a 172 was $55 an hour and if you had extra, the 182 could be had for $80 an hour. We usually took out the 172 for an afternoon, the $100 Hamburger runs. At least once a month, usually payday weekends, we'd get the 182.

One weekend, none were available....BUT.....the school's trainer 152 was.....at only $35 an hour. So a cold front came through and there was a stiff north wind.....so what....we took the 152 planning for 4+ hours. Left Denton to fly north to Gainesville. Crammed into that 152, we were going nowhere fast. Groundspeed was like 35 mph. The winds were hitting us hard. BAM, up......BAM, down....BAM, left, up......over and over. After 30 minutes Mike said "Take it, I need a break"....and I began my fight. An hour later we made Gainesville, which we "should" have made 40 minutes earlier. Yeah, we're done with this. After our burger, we went back much faster and much more comfortable. It was still rough, but more like a sailboat downwind wing on wing......up the crest.....down the trough and up the crest...... down the trough and up the crest.....

If the 172 or 182 wasn't available, we didn't fly unless it was unusually calm.
 
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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.

Great info here. Thanks.
 
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I recently purchased my H, so haven't had a chance to take it out for a spin yet (too cold!:eek:), but I have been reading many of the posts for the flight characteristics of the H with great interest. While I cannot say as to the H in the wind, I can say that I had my Q500 4K out in 44 km/h (27 mph) winds with gusts up to 55 km/h (34 mph). Even though it is a quad, it held it's position really well and flew into the wind briskly. Landing into the wind was fun but doable. I look forward to testing my H in similar winds and would welcome any advice on how to take off and land safely!
 

DoomMeister

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I recently purchased my H, so haven't had a chance to take it out for a spin yet (too cold!:eek:), but I have been reading many of the posts for the flight characteristics of the H with great interest. While I cannot say as to the H in the wind, I can say that I had my Q500 4K out in 44 km/h (27 mph) winds with gusts up to 55 km/h (34 mph). Even though it is a quad, it held it's position really well and flew into the wind briskly. Landing into the wind was fun but doable. I look forward to testing my H in similar winds and would welcome any advice on how to take off and land safely!

Face into the wind during takeoff and landing just like most any other aircraft.
 

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