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Inspire The Jesus Bug
2049 28 2015-12-27
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Dobrski
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Easy to mount/dismount conversion of my Inspire 1 Pro into a floatable device is of paramount importance. In most photo/video missions the machine will take-off from boat deck and land on water nearby to be picked up or to move slowly in controlled manner. The modification I've just sketched in CAD software employs 7" diameter foam balls, carbon fibre tubing and customized tube clamping devices, adding approx. 500 G of extra payload and providing 5900 G of replacement with half-submerged floats. The idea is to move floats away from down-thrusting props, provide enough clearance for X5 camera above surface and good stability on less than perfectly calm water. Of course such mod will render rather clumsy flying machine with significantly taxed range, but that's no issue here. No high altitude or fast flying routines will be involved with floats attached. That's the theory ... It'll take most of this winter to develop such system before final testing on remote mountain lakes of British Columbia. For now, however, I'd love to hear some words of advice and comments from seasoned Inspire pilots. Particularly from those with experience flying in such environments. And, oh, Happy Holidays to everyone!   
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2015-12-27
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Starship
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Interesting     ........ how are you going to keep the clamps from rotating?
2015-12-27
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Dobrski
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Starship Posted at 2015-12-27 17:13
Interesting     ........ how are you going to keep the clamps from rotating?

Well, aren't they designed to prevent just that?
2015-12-27
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Starship
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Dobrski Posted at 2015-12-27 18:24
Well, aren't they designed to prevent just that?

I don't mean when you raise the legs.  I mean from the weight of the Inspire.  They would have to clamp really tight.  Wouldn't that be a lot of strain on the carbon fiber?  I do like the concept.  It would take some of the worry away for flying over water.
2015-12-27
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Dobrski
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Starship Posted at 2015-12-27 17:27
I don't mean when you raise the legs.  I mean from the weight of the Inspire.  They would have to c ...

Oh, I see. Well, this is to be confirmed during tests. I'm more concerned about hinges strength than about clamping efficiency...
2015-12-27
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Starship
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Dobrski Posted at 2015-12-27 18:37
Oh, I see. Well, this is to be confirmed during tests. I'm more concerned about hinges strength th ...

Good luck with the project....... Make sure you video any real world tests.  I'm sure people who live near large bodies of water would really be interested in something like this.  
2015-12-27
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Dobrski
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Starship Posted at 2015-12-27 17:42
Good luck with the project....... Make sure you video any real world tests.  I'm sure people who l ...

Thank you. I'll definitely share my experience asap.
2015-12-27
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Sir Shepherd
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Very intreating and neat at the same time. Just a tad scary to think of landing in the water and comes along a good wave.
2015-12-27
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RichJ53
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Very Nice idea... keep us posted

Rich
2015-12-27
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remltr
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Maybe you could glue some thin rubber around the cf tubes and then fit your clamps. That might provide enough friction to keep them from slipping without the need to over-tighten.
2015-12-27
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DJI-Tim
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looks very interesting. I wonder if I land a little bit faster, will my camera reach the water or not?
2015-12-27
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Dobrski
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Gentleman, at this moment of conceptual thinking it's hard to guess if everything will work as expected. All necessary parts and raw material are ordered, shop ready to fabricate the prototype. I'll perform torture tests on a mockup construction, drop the thing into water from various altitudes to determine the stiffness and rigidity before risking final testing on 6K worth machine. Meantime I'm more interested in advice from experienced pilots about tricks and overall strategy of flying the Inspire in mountains and over the water.
2015-12-27
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Dobrski
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DJI-Tim Posted at 2015-12-27 20:08
looks very interesting. I wonder if I land a little bit faster, will my camera reach the water or no ...

No, the floats provide almost 6 kg of replacement when half submerged, which I presume will happen with less than elegant landing. This situation should result in at least 4" distance between the bottom of X5 camera and water surface.

BTW, Tim, would you happen to see some recycled hinge arms assembly lying around in DJI repair shop? I would like to build some mockup prototype first and test its rigidity in a tank ...
2015-12-27
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DJI-Tim
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Dobrski Posted at 2015-12-28 14:10
No, the floats provide almost 6 kg of replacement when half submerged, which I presume will happen ...

If I had the access to the broken parts, I would already build myself a new inspire out of those
2015-12-27
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Dobrski
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Sir Shepherd Posted at 2015-12-27 18:05
Very intreating and neat at the same time. Just a tad scary to think of landing in the water and com ...

Such scenario is excluded. Every seasoned pilot listen to a weather channel before take-off, every good sailor is watching the water surface 360 degree constantly and run to a nearest shelter bay when trouble is approaching. Please read my post again ...
2015-12-27
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Dobrski
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DJI-Tim Posted at 2015-12-27 23:17
If I had the access to the broken parts, would already build myself a new inspire out of those :lo ...

wasn't thinking, silly me ...
2015-12-27
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PCTInspire
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PaulKerry Posted at 2015-12-28 09:07
I think the word you seek is "displacement" rather than "replacement".

A floating body displaces i ...

Paul
Totally agree especially keeping the feet out of the rotor wash but surely extending the aircrafts footprint is best done by extending the legs? I recollect seeing the video of the Inspire with large baulks of polystyrene foam attached to the legs but it was the high centre of gravity that concerned me, seemed pretty unstable and it landed on a mill pond of a surface.
It will be interesting to see the prototype and how it handles!

Phil
2015-12-28
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stormtrooper101
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This fella used pool noodles and tie wraps - good proof of concept.  The bulk of the floatation is beneath the rotor, and it didn't appear to have any noticeable effect on lift.  It looked as though the "noodles" had actually calmed the water beneath the Inspire, which I think is great for not soaking the camera.  Good luck with the project, anxious to see the end result.

2015-12-28
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PaulKerry Posted at 2015-12-28 11:40
This arrangement has the benefit of increasing the footprint in both axes.

The version I mentione ...

Agreed, especially the fact you are potentially doubling the leverage on the arms and stress on pivot points, something we all know isn't the strongest of elements surrounding the Inspire. I'm wondering if deactivating the auto lowering of the arms prior to take off and then adding some form of  lightweight cross bracing would stop the machine splitting itself in half if hitting the water/ground at speed!

Phil
2015-12-28
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Dobrski
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PaulKerry Posted at 2015-12-28 02:07
I think the word you seek is "displacement" rather than "replacement".

A floating body displaces i ...

Of course "displacement", what was I thinking? ...
2015-12-28
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Dobrski
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stormtrooper101 Posted at 2015-12-28 08:30
This fella used pool noodles and tie wraps - good proof of concept.  The bulk of the floatation is b ...

We don't really know how much the flying time is affected by this mod. All we know is the fact that Inspire is taking off and flying above calm water. And we all know that this machine will lift the anvil if asked for, but how long it'll hover with such?
2015-12-28
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houston
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What about aerodynamics?  When it is not floating how will these legs with balls effect the stability and aerodynamics of the Inspire 1? Test results should be interesting.
2015-12-29
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teamnest1
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I like it, but i wonder if we can make it a little more aerodynamic?
2015-12-29
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christopher.kee
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Great idea, thanks for sharing. I will try to attach some floats to just the legs like the "someone else" did. I hope the gimbal x3 clearance is not a problem.
2015-12-30
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Prototype
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That looks wild Dobrski but in Florida, the gators love marshmallows. I'd love to try it out but I'm not using my I1 as bait?
2015-12-30
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Sph
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It's good to see people using there imagination in trying to make smarter improvements, there are a number of super lite  floats of different shapes and sizes, maybe a hollow gondola shape will be more streamlined for flying as well as reducing weight, wing fins  too may give it lift to compensate. !!! Good Luck.
2015-12-30
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Dobrski
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christopher.kee Posted at 2015-12-31 00:11
Great idea, thanks for sharing. I will try to attach some floats to just the legs like the "someone  ...

Be careful, Chris, with this approach. Although simple, the Inspire with floats attached to legs directly below props is unstable on rough water and may capsize. Also, I'm not sure 6" balls (what seems to be used by the  brave "Chinese" frontiers) will provide enough clearance for camera above water...
  
2015-12-30
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christopher.kee
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Dobrski Posted at 2015-12-30 12:24
Be careful, Chris, with this approach. Although simple, the Inspire with floats attached to legs d ...

Duly noted, thank you for the "heads-up". I will test in the pond first try.

Now I'm thinking of water landing gear like the ones you see in prop-airplanes.

3D printers should be able to handle something like in the photo attached, but not sure how I could connect to the legs, will give it a shot.

Water Landing Gear

Water Landing Gear
2015-12-31
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Dobrski
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christopher.kee Posted at 2015-12-31 07:25
Duly noted, thank you for the "heads-up". I will test in the pond first try.

Now I'm thinking of  ...

Well, by the rule of thumb the helicopter is designed to take off and land vertically. Therefore landing gear typically seen on hydroplanes doesn't make much sense. Said that, you can do whatever fancy you
2015-12-31
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