Last December I spotted a seller on eBay selling DJI Phantom quad-copters for the killer price of $439 (plus $49.95 expedited shipping). These multi-rotors originally sold for around $700 when they were first released nearly a year ago, so I realized that this was a great deal. DJI has recently introduced the Phantom 2 which may have led to the price reduction. It was selling fast and I decided to buy one before the seller ran out of stock.
Anyway, my Phantom arrived within 4 days of ordering it and I was ready to take it for a spin as soon as I got my hands on it. The first time I tried to fly it, the motors wouldn’t start. I had to connect my Phantom to my laptop, update it’s firmware and calibrate the IMU using the NAZA-M Assistant software before I could get it to work. Unfortunately by the time I got it working it was rainy and I was not able to fly it outside. Not meaning to give up, me and my friends went to the Sports Complex here at UNMC campus and got their permission to test the Phantom inside the main indoor court. The test flight went very smoothly and we were excited to see when we can fly it outside.
Since our first indoor test flight more than a week has passed but it had been rainy and the exams had also started since then. So I haven’t been able to fly the Phantom outside. However today the weather turned out to be very nice and with my friends’ insistence, we decided to take a break from studies and take the Phantom out for a spin. So I attached my GoPro HD Hero3 Black Edition camera to the Phantom and went to the campus sports field to fly it.
Technically this is my Phantom’s second flight but it’s the first flight outdoor with GoPro attached. Anyway this is how the flight turned out. The footage has been stabilized using After Effects’ Warp Stabilizer and the GoPro’s distortion has also been corrected. Some jello effects are noticeable as you can see which is coming from the not-so-good stock mount. The Phantom handles very nicely and it’s very easy to fly. However we were able to get only around 10 minutes of flight time out of it on a fully charged battery. This was expected from all the reviews I had read so I guess I have to get more batteries.
Hope you like this video and a very special thanks to my friends who helped out.