For long poets have extolled the arrival of chilly winters. However, they have always longed for the winter season to pass away and make way for the spring season. Unlike poets, drone enthusiasts cannot wait for the winters to subside so that they are able to have some fun while flying their beloved drones during the spring season. Having said that, winter season has a vigor of its own and if you are in possession of a drone which is equipped with a camera, then you would yearn for the arrival of the winter season so that you are able to capture it in all its awe and splendor. In this post, we will be rounding up on the cool tips and tricks that will enable you to have plenty of fun with your drone in snow. These tips and tricks are valid for aircrafts of all kinds whether quadcopters or other multirotors, RC helicopters and RC planes.
Visibility is the key
Hazy weather conditions can hamper drone flights during winters. This tends to make life difficult for drone pilots who are unable to keep their heads high while flying their drone in snow.
Drone pilots flying in the First person view (FPV) mode also have to ensure that visibility is good to cater for any disruption in connectivity. We strongly suggest that you refrain from flying your drone in low light conditions during winters.
There is a high possibility that you are going to end up losing sight of your drone during winter even if you are great at flying a drone. Winter can be quite unpredictable and the light can get low while the wind gustier within a matter of a few moments.
You can enhance visibility by mounting a LED light to your drone and ensuring that the drone is flown in the portion of the sky where there is sufficient sunlight.
You can also paint your drone red or apply vinyl to take advantage of the longer wavelength of red color. This can be pretty handy if your drone is white in color. Painting your drone black can be a decent idea but it won’t help you a lot at night.
Keep your hands warm when the drone in snow
You may as well customize your drone to withstand the strenuous winters but unless your hands and body are warm, you will not be able to fly your drone appropriately.
It can always be a hassle to fly your drone with numb fingers which can denigrate your flying skills. You want your flying skills to be top notch since flying in the snow can be hazardous due to reduced visibility and increased probability of crashes.
You can get your hands on gloves and hand warmers to keep your hands warm. Transmitter glove can be a great option since it can be tough to fly your drone with the gloves on.
Coating the electronics
Before you head out for a flight in the snow, it is important that you coat the electronics in your aircraft to protect them from the melted snow along with frigid temperature.
There are drones that are waterproof but if you don’t own a drone that is waterproof, you can coat your electronics with Corrosion X or Never Wet.
This video by Flite Test can help you waterproof your electronics.
You can insulate the internal portion of your drone in a number of ways. You can try out Tupperware to encapsulate the entire quadcopter. Some research can be really hand in this regard.
Be ready for lower flight times
The efficiency of LiPo batteries can be adversely affected by cold weather. If they are not maintained in a proper way, there is a likelihood of the batteries getting swelled up and hence damaged. Once you are done with your flight, it is important that you do not immediately begin to recharge your batteries that have been out in the cold. You should wait for them to get warmed up.
You can employ a battery heater or place the batteries on top of your car heater to get them to warm up. This will bring the temperature of the batteries to a normal level. You can also encapsulate your LiPo batteries in a warm cold resistant substance to provide resistance from cold.
Despite all the above mentioned efforts, lower flight times should be expected. It is also prudent to save up on some battery life in case of strong winds or hazy conditions so that you are able to bring back your drone safely.
Cold temperature can adversely affect the performance of sensors and gimbals. It should not be a matter of surprise if the Electronic Speed Controllers and gimbals lose their calibration.
You should endeavor to calibrate and adjust the flight settings outside in the cold where you will be flying your drone.
This will ensure that your device is ready for flight in the specific conditions. Configuring your drone indoors can have the settings go awry.
Wooden or carbon fiber propellers
Propeller malfunctioning and consequent crashes in the flight can have cataclysmic effects to the drone as well as the objects and humans in the vicinity. Plastic propellers perform poorly even in summers and springs.
While flying a drone in snow, the probability of a drone crashing due to propeller malfunctioning can increase exponentially.
You can replace your plastic propellers with those of carbon fiber or wood can be really helpful. Moreover, if you get your present propellers substituted with a bit larger propellers, it can help to reduce the RPM required for the drone flight. This in turn can minimize the risk of propeller malfunctioning. However, ensure that you do not end up overloading your motors.
There is always a possibility that you will make mistakes and lose your drone in violent weather conditions. A drone equipped with GPS and Return to Home feature can be really helpful. Flight simulators can help you quench your thirst for drone flight even in the winters.
We hope that these tips and tricks will come in handy as you fly your drone in the snow. If you have any comments or suggestions, do not forget to leave a comment in the comments section below.