Las Vegas (TBS @ USA Road Trip 11/13)

In this episode we take our custom-built prototype quadcopter down the strip, meet some interesting - and less interesting - people and generally have a great time. Here's the video:

For those of you unaware, there is an airport right next to the strip. There is also a lot of RF emissions. This is why we played it safe and did not fly the Zephyrs down the strip - too many unknown variables.

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Views: 1464

Comment by Zak on April 5, 2012 at 8:27am

Why did you do this?  In the previous episodes, you were playing safe by doing your flying in desolate areas, not in the dense area of the strip in Vegas...  This is exactly the type of thing people are looking to regulate and make the hobby for the rest of us unavailable.

Comment by trappy on April 5, 2012 at 8:32am

Sorry Zak, I don't completely understand. Las Vegas has a lot of real helicopters flying over the buildings. Obviously there is no problem with aircraft 5-10'000 times the weight of our little thing flying over buildings and traffic. Why would they object to having a smaller aircraft that is less dangerous fly there?

Also, could you clarify how that would threaten to make your hobby unavailable? Imagine they banned flying on the Las Vegas strip because of it - what kind of impact would that have on your hobby? Let's go one step further and assume they ban flying over populated areas entirely - what kind of impact would that have on your hobby? If it has ANY kind of impact, then you're a hypocrite.

Thanks for taking part in this little experiment :)

Comment by trappy on April 5, 2012 at 8:35am

by the way, you're going to love #13 :)

Comment by Tim Brown on April 5, 2012 at 8:51am

I've got to side with Zak on this one. I love the team black sheep videos, they are totally awesome and push the limits of coming up with new cool ways to fly uav's. I show them in presentations all the time to convey to people why this technology is so amazing. And shit who doesn't want to see the quadcopter view from the strip? But it only takes one high profile accident to set back hobby uav a long ways.

Of course it is ridiculous that there are less regulations on real helicopters flying over vegas than tiny uavs but as folks may have noticed, the Man (not to mention the FAA) is not one for using logic to solve regulatory problems. You really think having your digital camera on while the plane is taking off is going to make the plane crash, or that by letting the TSA see your kids naked on their full body scanners that can easily be spoofed to miss real weapons is keeping the air travel safe?

With things like UAV regulations, public perception is huge and if people in the community fly where the consequences of failure are significant from a PR perspective, then they are risking making things a lot worse for everyone.

Comment by trappy on April 5, 2012 at 8:59am

Tim Brown, you're making a wrong connection. If failure will cause great damage the best option is NOT to stop doing it, the best option is to adequately prepare so that there will be no failure. we have spent 2 full days to prepare for these few Vegas flights. We have tested the copter for 15 full days before flying over any person. Just because your plane crashes all the time doesn't mean ours will ;)


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Comment by Dany Thivierge on April 5, 2012 at 12:15pm

Cocky Trappy is back! (we missed you!)  hehe 

Really super video again, waiting to see #13!! ;) 

no comments on the "law" or lack of or gray zone... Safety is always a concern for sure and I do not encourage this. But I do like your video!

Dany

Comment by Ellison Chan on April 5, 2012 at 12:22pm

I love the view of the strip from a quad pov, especially the water jet shots.  I saw nothing dangerous here.  Mostly above water.

Comment by trappy on April 5, 2012 at 12:32pm

Ellison, obviously you can't do anything dangerous on the strip. It's filled with cops, once you got their attention you can pretty much pack up and leave (at best). As you can see, everyone at the fountain was cool with it, they all waved and a lot of them subscribed to our channel and have been following all episodes so far.

Glad at least some liked it. I can see not all is lost in the R/C world, but the safety nazis do seem to be very present :)

Comment by Ellison Chan on April 5, 2012 at 12:48pm

Trappy, maybe next time you can try and get permission to fly the Zephyr down the strip.  It would be a great video.

Here's a picture I took from the Eiffel Tower observation, last time I was in LV:

Oh, while at it, what about Hoover Dam?

Comment by trappy on April 5, 2012 at 12:52pm

it's impossible to get permission for something that is not regulated. and it's impossible - with the technology that TBS is at right now - to fly a Zephyr at the strip. Too much interference. We set out to do it, but after about 2 hours of testing (ground testing and measurements) we concluded it would not be possible and switched to flying the quad.

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