When you own a UAV for commercial use it’s important that you have the latest firmware and upgrades to your bird, radio controller, even the smart batteries that power the craft. So today I took Spirit One to Port Angeles, WA and the Peninsula College campus to do some testing after the latest firmware upgrade. It was a great place to fly because there was not a soul anywhere on campus.

It was the day after Christmas. The previous night was clear and very cold, a great sign that this day might be clear instead of the continual soggy weather we have been experiencing here in the Pacific Northwest. Which by the way is very normal as anyone who has lived here for any length of time will attest to. But it is nice to have a good day, even if it is a bit cold thrown in there to keep the reflexes sharp.

The dawn was breaking as I got the bird in the air. Unfortunately when I left home in Carlsborg, about 25 minutes east of Port Angeles, the clouds were already starting to drift in from the west. But they made for a glorious sunrise with scorching reds and pinks arriving with the sun coming up in the east to shoot its rising rays under the approaching clouds. The clouds quickly drowned out the cold sun though and an even overcast took its place. Ok for a photographer not shooting the sky, but not so much if you wanted to capture a blue sky contrasted with the Olympic range covered with fresh snow.

Spirit One made three trips into the air to test out the GPS waypoint mode which allows me to set way points and speed manually and then starting at the first waypoint let the bird do its thing as I work the camera controls.

That feature worked flawlessly. The bird flew itself with me working the camera controls. I normally use a HD 1080p 60fps setting with the camera. With the new firmware upgrade I was given another option …. 2.5K but only at a 30fps setting. It maybe that I need more practice with that setting, but I wasn’t happy with the results. It’s ok, but not what I like to see in post. I probably will still use HD because of results I have been getting.

All told, I am more than happy with the results of the first test flights using the waypoints mode. Very cool! It will help me with the current film I am working on. Until next time ……


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