Flight has always fascinated me. I was interested in using an RC plane or drone to come up with a summer business opportunity. I figured providing aerial mapping or photography was as good as any reason to indulge my interest in flight and automation.
While I started with a stock, over the wing, BIX3 Styrofoam RC plane, all of the functionality I needed required custom components including GPS sensors, a first-person video camera, airspeed pitot tube, a compass and electronics to control the automated flying controls. On the ground, there were weeks of time invested in programming the flight computer to control the pre-determined flight paths.
I learned that weight matters when you fly anything. I learned you can fail miserably and still learn a lot. I learned that when one door closes another opens. My fixed wing plane morphed into a four blade, self-made drone (I couldn’t afford an off the shelf model at the time). I was able to transfer many of the components from the fixed winged plane to the drone. Along the way I applied my knowledge of physics to understand the relationships between motor speed, weight, voltage and prop pitch among other variables to properly size the capacity and subsequent weight of the battery packs.