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Long range/BVLOS experience (where it's allowed, of course)?

lemieszek

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Hi all,

I do a lot of BVLOS flying with my old DJI Spark - which is natural, since even with very good eyesight anything beyond about 300m is BVLOS with a Spark. I have all the necessary permits for that where I live. With the Spark, I use Litchi for flight planning, hit play and forget about it. It's come back like a good boy every single time (over 100 missions and over 300km flown). Sometimes I lose signal because of buildings (again, all the permits, don't give me grief!), sometimes it's just because I send it far away (2.7km at one point). One time I lost signal and I didn't get the signal back when I was supposed to - I thought I'd lost the bird till I saw it hovering above my head and coming down. I do that with my mind at ease since I know it won't come back from loss of signal while it's doing its mission, but it will interrupt its mission if battery reaches a critical state (and I've found that it calculates battery needed for RTH even if I've lost signal, so it will come back with over or under 30% if it's too far or close enough). So really the only way I'd lose a Spark in a mission is if I plan it badly and it hits something, or if there's a grave mechanical failure (in which case I'd lose it even in VLOS).

Does anyone have this kind of experience with the Anafi? I've only flown mine manually so far but would love to send it on these little missions of mine. Will it keep doing its mission? Will it RTH at a fixed level or would it adjust its RTH level dynamically according to distance? Can I count on it to complete its mission and not just get stuck somewhere and land it there? What other experiences would you share regarding mission planning?

Thanks!
 
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Agustine

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Wow thats a lot of paper work for all the BVLOS flights you have flown.

E94.403 Determination of the applicable requirements for the RPAS design authorization (a) Class 2 RPAS intended exclusively for VLOS operations must demonstrate compliance with the requirements of sections E94.405 and E94.409 of this Special Regulation. (b) Class 2 RPAS intended for BVLOS operations must demonstrate compliance with the requirements of sections E94.405, E94.407 and E94.409 of this Special Regulation. (c) Class 3 RPAS intended for BVLOS operations must demonstrate compliance with the requirements of sections E94.405 and E94.407 of this Special Regulation. (d) Class 3 RPAS intended for VLOS operations above 400 ft AGL must demonstrate compliance with the requirements of section E94.405 and paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) of section E94.407 of this Regulation Special.
 

lemieszek

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Wow thats a lot of paper work for all the BVLOS flights you have flown.

E94.403 Determination of the applicable requirements for the RPAS design authorization (a) Class 2 RPAS intended exclusively for VLOS operations must demonstrate compliance with the requirements of sections E94.405 and E94.409 of this Special Regulation. (b) Class 2 RPAS intended for BVLOS operations must demonstrate compliance with the requirements of sections E94.405, E94.407 and E94.409 of this Special Regulation. (c) Class 3 RPAS intended for BVLOS operations must demonstrate compliance with the requirements of sections E94.405 and E94.407 of this Special Regulation. (d) Class 3 RPAS intended for VLOS operations above 400 ft AGL must demonstrate compliance with the requirements of section E94.405 and paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) of section E94.407 of this Regulation Special.
Yes except no paper, all digital. And those are the prerequisites, not the actual work per flight you have to do. For flight approval you file for authorization on a website. Besides, the extra paperwork for the added "B" is basically one extra item of E94.407 that you have to have, which is a having a "reliable navigation system".

I've also flown in different countries.

For what it's worth, 100+ flights and 300+ km are the sum of the missions. Actual BVLOS flight was just a fraction of that.

Your point being...?
 
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Agustine

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Yes except no paper, all digital. And those are the prerequisites, not the actual work per flight you have to do. For flight approval you file for authorization on a website. Besides, the extra paperwork for the added "B" is basically one extra item of E94.407 that you have to have, which is a having a "reliable navigation system".

I've also flown in different countries.

Your point being...?
My point is not all countries are the like that. Here in Canada it is even worse. In the USA not so hard any more.
 

lemieszek

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My point is not all countries are the like that. Here in Canada it is even worse. In the USA not so hard any more.
Brazil is in the way of simplifying its drone legislation as well.
 

Rocky the FS

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A. If the Flight Plan is properly created and vetted, the Anafi will continue to follow it even if you lose contact. IF it has sufficient battery. If not, it will theoretically cancel the Flight Plan and RTH before dying. I will not trust this feature as lots of Anafis have been lost this way. My personal cut-off is 18 minutes worth of flight time. The Flight Plan will show you the estimated length of flight. I have also hit 2.7 km with the Anafi but I had ideal transmission conditions. Normally I would not go that far unless it was all over easily retrievable terrain. 2 km is my normal limit.

One thing that has bitten a few people is that the Anafi will NOT climb to the first waypoint altitude before flying to it, but rather start at its altitude when the Flight Plan is activated and climb enroute. This is why the first waypoint should be real close to launch or you can manually climb overhead before activating the FP.

B. RTH altitude is set in the safety settings. If the drone is below that altitude it will climb to it. If it is higher, it will NOT descend to the RTH altitude until it gets back to home. I adjust my RTH altitude all the time for different terrain and obstacles. Why climb to 300 feet if it's not necessary?

C. It's difficult to compare remaining time of flight to battery percentage, this is why I'm quite conservative in planning. I want to return overhead with a minimum of 15% of battery left, unless over retrievable terrain for an uncommanded landing. I have taken it down to 3%, but it was 10 feet from me two feet over soft grass. Based on all the lost drone stories here I would never do that on a normal mission.

For an easier time creating and vetting Flight Plans use TeamViewer to clone your screen to the computer. Using the mouse or trackpad eliminates false commands from an inaccurate poke on the phone touchscreen and makes creating all the waypoints, altitudes and speeds of a Flight Plan faster and less prone to error. Hint: save your work often as a crash of TeamViewer will obliterate everything since last save. Don't ask how I know. 😡

The behavior of the Anafi is rather similar to the DJI, but it doesn't tolerate your mistakes as well. The minimum battery percentage for Auto RTH is much lower, like 5-10% and I will not trust the algorithm for RTH on low battery AT ALL, thus my 18 minute maximum with a fully charged battery. If the flight time appears about to exceed this I will cancel the Flight Plan and initiate manual RTH. So far in two and a half years my conservatism has resulted in a perfect record of Flight Plan completion.
 
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Agustine

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Brazil is in the way of simplifying its drone legislation as well.
I saw that. A lot of your laws are the same as Canada but some are way different and easier to understand. At least thats the way I saw it.
 

Ana789

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[...]
One thing that has bitten a few people is that the Anafi will NOT climb to the first waypoint altitude before flying to it, but rather start at its altitude when the Flight Plan is activated and climb enroute.
[...]
That has flown my bird almost into something, at my first mission with the Anafi.
Used to DJI behavior, ascending, cruising to wp1, starting mission, I got totally surprised about the straight flight to wp1.
 

lemieszek

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That has flown my bird almost into something, at my first mission with the Anafi.
Used to DJI behavior, ascending, cruising to wp1, starting mission, I got totally surprised about the straight flight to wp1.
This is actually something I emulate on the spark. I add a way point over where I'm taking off from and set it for the minimum height that I can safely start ascending to the desired cruise height. This saves me a little time and a little battery. So... No change there.
 

Ana789

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This is actually something I emulate on the spark. I add a way point over where I'm taking off from and set it for the minimum height that I can safely start ascending to the desired cruise height. This saves me a little time and a little battery. So... No change there.
You could start by direct flying your Spark missions with the Anafi!


Just don't expect to much!
The GPS of the anafi is excellent. Just the progressive course function is not!
And hope your bird is not falling during one of 'em!
 

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