After mounting a set of prop protectors, I set out to test the quad. Everything seemed to work perfectly. This was an open space, and the GPS locked in 5-10 seconds after connecting the battery. As this was just a test of the quad’s settings and my first quad flight ever, I stayed low, and just hovered. It was REALLY stable, I’m impressed by how accurate it felt, considering the price of it. I flew without any extra additions except the prop protectors, no camera etc. I also switched between the different flight modes (which I had made sure were all set in APM Planner earlier). Everything seemed to work fine. I mostly flew in “Take-Off” mode, which really is manual mode, no stabilization, still it was extremely stable! I tested with GPS hold, and it was dead stable in the air!
Return to home worked flawlessly, I had set it to 20m altitude (to come clear off trees), which was a bit scary, because as I flipped the switched to RTH, it went straight up, as I was hovering at maybe 3 meters or less. But at 20 meters, it stopped climbing, followed my 35 degree pitch setting, and relocated to the exact spot where I took off. It descended slowly, and touched the ground softly, but then tipped over on its side, probably because off the grass. Then it turned off the props 5 seconds later, and locked itself.
Everything was intact, as I had the prop guards, but I would probably have switched to manual mode otherwise, or else it would’ve probably ruined a couple of the propellers. When switching between manual/stabilize and altitude hold mode, it would drop, so I had to use 60 % throttle to keep it stable in air. The transmitter beeps when at 50 %, so you know it’s supposed to be safe to switch flight mode without the quad descending, but this was not correctly set. This is a setting which can be adjusted in APM Planner, so I’ll try increasing that value with 10 % to see if that will correct the problem.
It started beeping after flying for 6 minutes, and kept beeping more quickly for the next minute, after that I landed, as I had to compensate with throttle to keep it hovering. So in all 7 minutes is what you get from of the included 2700mAh, far from the 15 minutes advertised on HobbyKing, this is a bit disappointing, as it will probably be even lower with a camera and FPV gear, which I’m planning to try out.
First test with camera After recharging the battery, I did a new test at a new location with a bit more trees, so I couldn’t get a GPS lock before taking off (waited 30 seconds), so I just continued with manual mode, I’m still learning to fly anyways. With the GoPro attached, it still handled about 7 minutes. 7:30 minutes was absolute max, but then it beeped for every second before landing, and it had noticeable less power than earlier. I recorded the whole flight, nothing too interesting, just my second flight, still testing the Nova.
All in all, I’m happy to know my calibrations seems to be correct, but the low flight times are a bit of a disappointment, especially if I’m to add more equipment to it later, which would decrease it further.