At the end of last year I became aware of a new gadget which really caught my interest. The DJI Phantom Quadcopter. This is a remote controlled 4 blade helicopter with the ability to carry a GoPro camera. It looked amazing. I saw videos on YouTube showing aerial shots of fantastic place around the world; flying over Niagra Falls, action sports like surfing or wake boarding, as well as wonderful new ways to show off familiar things like towns and cities. The birds eye view makes even the most well known places look completely different.
Now all of this looked very complicated to use and I decided to learn more about the craze before jumping in. I started with a small Quadcopter called a Hubsan X4. It’s a great little quad and I still enjoy flying it. Once I had become reasonably proficient at flying it I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to order my phantom.
I was working in Oman in the middle of the desert and managed to get a Phantom shipped to me, not an easy task I might add. I was so exited to receive it and get my hands on all the possibilities. I started reading lots of posts online about how to fly the Phantom and how it performs. I was very lucky that being in the desert there was lots of open space to practice.
I spent lots of evenings flying and learning how the quad works. It has 2 basic flight modes out of the box. GPS and ATTI modes. The Phantom has a built in compass and gps unit allowing it to know exactly where it is. It logs it’s take off point and while in the air, the GPS system allows it to hover exactly where it is with no input from the pilot, amazing! ATTI mode is similar in that it keeps the Phantom at the same altitude but does not hold its position ie. it will move with the wind. There is a third mode that can be switched on via the software that can be downloaded from the DJI website, this allows the Phantom to fly in full manual mode.
After lots of practice I purchased a GoPro Hero3 to add to the phantom. This allowed me to get some photographs and videos to show the area where I lived from a totally different perspective.