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Use a remote control plane to become a bird with first-person flying

By: Chris Smith | Editorials in Gaming | Posted: Jan 25, 2015 6:19 pm

The beginning


Whether you want to use a quad-copter, helicopter, or plane for this project, you're going to need some FPV gear. There are plenty of different videos out on the web describing how to add custom FPV technology to your existing aircraft, or plenty of kits that are solely designed for particular models - of course, these are alongside official aircraft that come already built with the capabilities. However, you'll find that many radio control model fanatics are very 'DIY' when it comes to their projects, so many prefer to purchase kits and do it themselves, meaning they can add this technology to their preexisting favorite aircraft.




What's it like for the pilot?


Besides offering you a completely awesome HUD just like is seen on a fighter jet or an attack helicopter, this display panel actually tells you some useful information. As there is a distinct lack of gauges to be used or seen, everything must show up completely in front of your face.



Most models will include features such as flight time counters, battery capacity monitors, height indicators, pitch and yaw indicators, a compass heading, a 'direction to home' display and an airspeed speed indicator among others. Each of these components are valuable for various reasons - one of the main overlooked ones is that of the battery capacity monitor. Without you being able to tell 'how much is left in the tank', the last thing you want to do is have to go searching through miles of wilderness to try and discover your plane wreckage.


Given the video above and its quality, it becomes obvious that this is no HD cinema experience, which is why most prefer to also attach camera alternatives such as GoPro's to their aircraft, recording a second stream of HD video for later viewing. However, it's still an amazing advancement in technology and something worth considering for any enthusiast looking for a little more out of their product.



Where to from here?


HobbyKing is one of the main radio control enthusiast websites across the globe, stocking products ranging from radio controlled motorbikes, to boats and FPV components. After a quick search on their website, there is a myriad of different FPV options to chose from including FPV-promoted planes and starter kits.


If this is a little too overwhelming and you're not interested in talking to their staff about your options, you can take a look at something like Mongrel Gear and their FPV kit offerings. In here, you can see fully-stocked starter kits, ground station packages, which will see the picture beamed to a small TV and various mounting kits and accessories on offer. My father is an avid FPV user (he's actually in the first video), and recommended that I look into Mongrel Gear if I am wanting to partake in this myself.

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