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3689624595?profile=originalTransport Canada makes it easier to fly small UAVs for work and pleasure

November 5, 2014, 2014 – Montréal, Quebec – Transport Canada

Transport Canada today announced, at the Unmanned Systems Canada conference in Montréal, two exemptions that simplify small unmanned air vehicle (UAV) operations and safely integrate UAVs into Canadian airspace.

Under the new exemptions, a Special Flight Operations Certificate will not be required for UAVs under 2 kilograms and certain operations involving UAVs under 25 kilograms. The new approach will apply to commercial operations and contribute to a strong safety regime for those on the ground and in the skies.

Once the changes come into effect later this month, operators must check on Transport Canada’s website if the exemptions apply to them and respect specific safety conditions, including requirements to operate within visual line-of-sight, maximum altitudes and away from built-up areas and aerodromes. In addition, Transport Canada is simplifying the application process and reducing the time it takes to issue Special Flight Operations Certificates for larger UAV operators.

In October, Minister Raitt launched the Government of Canada’s national safety awareness campaign for UAVs, which aims to help Canadians better understand the risks and responsibilities of flying UAVs. For more information, please visit

Quick Facts

  • Transport Canada regulates the use of all aircraft, manned and unmanned, to keep the public and our airspace safe.

  • Canada has had safety regulations in place that govern the use of UAVs since 1996.

  • Operators must still apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate for UAVs weighing more than 25 kg.

  • If a UAV is operated without a Special Flight Operations Certificate and should be, Transport Canada can issue fines of up to $5,000 for an individual and $25,000 for a company.

  • If an operator does not follow the requirements of their Special Flight Operations Certificate, Transport Canada can issue fines of up to $3,000 for an individual and $15,000 for a business.


“Transport Canada has requirements in place for aircraft of all sizes. For businesses, these changes will make it easier for their small UAVs to take flight sooner, while maintaining the safety of those on the ground and in the skies”
The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport

“This approach will dramatically improve the ability for Canadian businesses to safely make use of this extremely capable technology while substantially reducing the time it takes to get authorization for more complex operations. Coupled with the safety awareness campaign announced two weeks ago, I believe that Canada now has one of the most effective and progressive UAV regulatory frameworks in the world.”
Stewart Baillie
Chairman, Unmanned Systems Canada


Ashley Kelahear
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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The Friday Experiment


OK...this image above is boring... If you don't feel to read now, just go further down and watch videos. I hope that will bring you back at my story here. Enjoy...

In the research world, the Friday experiment is what researchers often do at the end of a hard working week. Basically, they give a try to a wild, crazy and unsupported idea, just to see the outcome.

My Friday experiment was triggered while passing by an out runner motor sitting on a shelf near my 3D printer. This motor and three others were acquired many month ago and never used since their specs were not compatible with my current projects. I had in my mind an idea of a little quad airframe that would be built very tightly around a Pixhawk controller. So, why not use those motors an a 3D printed hub designed to hug the Pixhawk. I fired up fusion 360 to draw the required parts, stuffed the STL files in my Replicator 2X that I recently successfully tuned for nylon printing and pressed start. The resulting parts were simple and nearly indestructible. Finally, after some assembling and tweaking the final product was ready for a test flight. So imagine a crude Quad Rotor with some unbalanced three blade props that I could not wait to test even if it was a dark late evening.

First impression at arming...something is wrong! Motors spin OK but so quietly. Gave a bit of throttle... not much more sound. A bit more, which was still very little and my Quad just jump in the air. At first, I thought that I messed with the ESC calibration but after disarming and reviewing everything, it jumped to my face! I have built a little overpowered Quad. I later validated that it loitered at around 30% throttle. Since then, every flight of this little Quad were at turn very relaxing because of noise, stability and versatility and amazing because of performances. With some small changes it became even more and I now call my creation LQTC.

Please allow me to introduce my LQTC1, The Little Quad That Can...

Initial prototype was a lozenge shaped hub that wrap around a Pixhawk. Four T-Rex 450 helicopter carbon fiber tail boom locked solid in this hub. Simple motor mount can slide in any position on the round arm (T-Rex tail boom). Some velcro and double face tape securing a four in one 20 amps ESC (Q-Brain ESC) plus a set of tie-raps for batteries.

Here are the original specs of LQTC1:

AX-2810Q 750Kv outrunners

Q-Brain 4x20 amp ESC

Master Aircrew 9 x 6 3 blade propellers

T-Rex 450 carbon fiber tail booms

Custom design 3D printed center hub and motors mounts

240 g airframe

880 g vehicle without batteries

Qty(2) 4S 3700 mAh Zippy compact Lipo weighting 355g each

All up Weight 1590g

I don't have picture or video of that config but here is the result of a test I did:

With the 9x6 Master Airscrew Propellers the current draw was close to 20 Amps so I switched to 10x5 Graupner 2 blades Props which draw 15 Amps. With that setup, a full loiter flight gave a 26 min. flight duration.

On a second flight, I added a few dead lipo's as weight. Total extra weight was 655g for an AUW of 2245g. Flight duration achieved 16 min. flight duration with a loiter throttle setting of 70%.

Being very happy with those results, I decided to refine the platform which added some weight but enhance the overall look of my LQTC. Since then, I have tried 10,11,12 inches Graupner size props with the original AX-2810Q 750 Kv outrunner and currently, it is flying with an AX-4008Q 620Kv hooked to the 12x6 Graupner prop powered by two 4S 5200 mAh multistar batteries.

For unbelievable performances, the AX-2810Q with 10x5 Graupner is the way to go. On qty(2) Zippy compact 4S 3700 mAh it gave without a payload an autonomy of 25 minutes. For the rest of this blog, lets call it config 1.

For best compromise between performances and payload, the AX-4008Q 620 Kv with 12x6 Graupner propellers and 2 x 4s 5200 mAh multistar lipos seems an interesting setup to consider. Flying is a bit more sluggish but still very impressive in my opinion. For the rest of this blog, lets call it config 2.

So, enough reading and lets watch some videos and pictures...

I will first start with a no payload flight video in config 1 (you may observe that airframe design was slightly different from the pictures below).

Now here is a video I did myself while flying the Quad so my apologies for the jerkiness of the video. It is flying in config 2 with a 1 kg payload on a sling. Weight without load is 2Kg (including 2 x 4s 5200 mAh multistar lipos (770g). So lets see it fly with an AUW of 3Kg.

Now that you've seen it, lets make a few comments:

1- Flight time was 18 minutes. I inadvertently shut down recording close to the end but restarted it right away (reason for two videos up there).

2- For this flight, you can download and analyze my flash log here.

3- without the payload, I get 35 min. flight time (80% loiter and 20% more aggressive flying with 15% battery capacity remaining).

4- the jerkiness you observe in that video is a more amplified version of something I observed when I fly on the EKF mode. DCM mode is smoother. Without a payload, there is no jerking at all in DCM and, in EKF, there is a more subtle version of the jerkiness seen in that video. Something I want to investigate later but I would appreciate your comments in that regard.

5- Oh! and almost miraculous, vibration level on all axis is flirting with zero value. I must have been doing something right...or nylon has special properties or both.

Finally, here is a link to my Fklickr album for more pictures and videos of my Little Quad That Can (LQTC) and also some of my other projects. Interestingly, you will see pictures of the next iteration called LOTC for Little Octo That Can.

I don't know what I will do from here, give the STL files as open source, start a kickstarter campaign(maybe an Multirotor Experimentation Kit) or sell the printed parts online. One thing is sure, I would love to see my realization becoming the Quad of the people and who knows, eclipse DJI 450. In my opinion, this platform is ideal

Am I wrong or this little Quad is a marvel? Please tell me gently...



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Meet prototype number 3 of SafeTdrone



Hello fellows DIYdroners,

Its been a long time since my last post and just to reintroduce myself let me point you to my first post: I was already crazy...DIYDRONES made it worst ! The story...part 1 and part 2  here.

For our fan's club of the time here is an update:

Our last CNC machined, carbon fiber prototype was a piece of art and during initial power run test a major design flaw showed itself. the center small t-rex 450 tail rotor gears were shearing shaft. We decided to upgrade to t-rex 500 tail rotor gear but it required a brand new hub design. At that time, 3D printing was the new kid on the block so I decided to drop the stress of carbon fiber CNCing and learn a new trade. WOW! I love 3D printing. Here I was again, stock in a new passion with a steep learning curve (3d drawing and the challenges of 3D printing. After countless hours of 3D printer buzzing sound and so many boxes of all kind of  failed,wrong,broken ABS parts, I would like to consider myself and intermediary to advanced 3D printer operator. So, our fully 3D printed, variable pitch, dual motor quadrotor is taking form. The project was not dead, just re-engineered. BUT... I found myself in a new project that requires a multirotor which would be safe to operate, easy to fly and easily upgradable to a more mission oriented airframe. Should I also mentioned that I like to have a WOW factor in what I built. Anyway, the variable pitch quad is resting on a shelf but won't be abandoned. Just a little delayed. You can see some pictures of it on my flickr page which I linked below.

And here a quick picture:


Now, I would like to introduce Prototype number 3 of my SafeTdrone.

In this video you can hear a rattle sound which I later identified has to soft propellers bending and causing tip stalls.

Before I list prototype number 3 specs, I invite you to see a video of prototype number 1 below:

SafeTdrone prototype number 3 specs:

- Modular fully 3D printed airframe

- Sunnysky X2814 1250Kv

- Castle creation talon 90 ESC

- 3 bladed Master Airscrew 9 X 7 propeller

- 3DR pixhawk, GPS, telemetry and power module

- Qty(4) battery bay with ample volume for various battery size and configuration (up to 4P configuration)

- weight without batteries: 2445g

- the approximative thrust per propulsion unit is 1.8 kg

The above video flight configuration was with Qty(2) 4s 3700 mAh zippy compact weighting 355 g each and at that time, 3 blades 9 x 5 GWS propeller were used.

Mix flight time was 6 min. down to 20 percent batteries capacity.

On a later flight, I added two dead lipo's in spare battery bays just to see the lifting capacity. At that time batteries weight would have been 1325 g for a total take off weight of 3570g . It would represented about 20000mAh of batteries capacity. The quad was able to fly and climbing was still positive although I did not flew it aggressively. Further test are coming up.

Here is a link to my flickr page where you can see other videos and some pictures:


Variable pitch Quad

Please let me know your impressions, recommendations....



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We are not done yet !!!

Hello all!


Our honey do points tank as been filled and we are go to continue!

For you who do not know our complete story, here are the previous posts in order. Warning! Lots of reading!


Crazy part one

Crazy part two

Crazy part three


And here above, a small video of one of our first run up...

Blades are free floating (no pitch control link attached).
Qty(2) motors are powered although not synchronized. One motor under current consumption monitoring (drawing 8 amps). Only 25 % of motor normal regime. Still a lot of data to be gathered. What a nice sound ! No!


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OK... It is only a doppler effect speed radar... but it is still a radar, with microcontroller. It is pretty light weight (3.7 onces) and not to expensive ($199). It as a range of half a mile when targeting a car size object (Maybe we can enhance that range...). If some potential is expected from you guys about that product, I may be willing to bail out some money for it.

Hope you enjoy the challenge.

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This is part 2. To avoid ending up trapped in the twilight zone read Part 1

Hey Guys! First, I have to confess. I lied... It did not started by looking and drawing on an autocad 2009 computer screen.

It started with some delirium about designing a different kind of quad. I talked about it to my partner and we both agree that variable pitch quad was something to consider. Before many of you start screaming about complexity I would like to give you my position about it.

The venerable 4 motors / 4 ecs quad is the way to go for simplicity, affordability and quick fun.

It is the perfect platform for what it is intended for. Some are dreaming about a quad entering a contest like the outback challenge but we all know that autonomy is not what a quad is made for.

Also, redundancy is null in a traditional quad. Loose one motor and zap it goes. Loose a prop and zap it goes again. Lets pushed it further, what would it be like to have a quad to do 3D flying like a TREX 450 helo? And maybe a very different kind of 3D flying? What would it be like to have a quad flying with the speed and the autonomy of a plane? What would it be like to have that kind of quad doing it with absolute redundancy and also with total safety to surrounding peoples and infrastructure?

That is where you will say I have got crazy. My friend and I have the intention of proving you right about this craziness by proving you wrong about the limitations of a quad.

One last word, this one about KISS (keep it stupid simple). It is my opinion that you can KISS a simple design by design, OR, you can KISS a complex system by a simple design. Both result should be targeting a different mission and be good at it. DIY does not keep one from making it a complex but efficient system. Alright, money can do that so that is why we also added that requirement to our project.

You can now see that we are indeed crazy and some of you probably are to. Those one will understand that a guy can't sleep over some crazy ideas and some times find the solution in the middle of the night. That is what happen to me when at 2 o'clock in the morning I saw 4 penny's standing side by side on the night table. ZLAMM ! Here is the simplest way to have 4 rotors turning by opposite rotation pairs. You all know that it is a requirement for yaw control of a quad. Many have tried to figure it all and it was there, costing only 4 cents.

So now, talking about affordability... What looks just like a quad arm but with a variable pitch head? Many of you again thought about that but a few tried it. You are right, an helo tail boom seems to fit the profile. And what is the most common helo with easily available, affordable parts? The trex / clones family. Just check on eBay, it is crazy what our Chinese friends can do for almost nothing. If you want some quality, you guys from the US are pretty good at it although a little bit expensive. But hey ! you get what you need for the place you need it.

Ok now for my Fans Club, here some more details... Please understand that the next video clip is showing an hand drilled crude prototype never intended to fly. It was merely a proof of concept for a gear train and also maybe a dream catcher. If this is bothering you and your are disappointed, I will stop right here, just let me know...

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It started when during a boring afternoon at work I told my colleague that I found a very interesting web site called DIYDRONES. We realized that our aptitudes and knowledge were complimentary meaning that he understood what I was talking about and I was also understanding him when he was telling me about how to integrate (something) into a closed loop after having characterized (something) to determine (something else). WOW!

My friend is a senior aerospace engineer at the aircraft certification division of Transport Canada and I am an aircraft maintenance engineer working also for Transport Canada as a civil aviation safety inspector.

That day, I challenged him into a project and he said with a smile; I hate you !

Since then, according to our wives, we are crazier then ever. We are now obsessed into accumulating enough honey-do list points to buy free time to go forward with our project.

I posted here a few pictures to tease your curiosity. If you want to play with me until the end you will get the complete story and details about what we created. All because of what DIYDRONES put in our heads.

We are planning to give most of it to the open sources community.
For me it started by looking and drawing on an autocad 2009 computer screen. Did I mentioned also self learning how to use autocad?

One of my neighbor, also a friend, bought from China, on Ebay, a $1500.00 CNC machine knowing that I would learn how to use it and then teach him. Sure... but before I had to put together a computer powerful enough from some of the junk found in my garage. Could not wait to find a case for it.

After going through a few online tutorials (or was it a lot?) about Mach 3 CNC software, Sheetcam CAM software, stepper motors and controllers, etc. I ended up with my case less computer showing this screen;

and a noisy set up doing that; At least that is what my neighbors complains at 3 o'clock in the morning, you know ! CNC, router and vacuum noises.

Realizing that honey-do points are very hard to accumulate, we decided to start with cheap and easily available trex rc helicopter parts and built around it. Also we had the wisdom to start with a mock-up made with acrylic instead of wasting some very exotic and expensive material like carbon fiber. I think they call that the learning curve.

But what is that gizmo?

The continuation of our story will be by acclamation from you guys or it will die with this post...

Are you curious? Did DIYDRONES made you crazier to? Maybe we should consider a class action for it to stop...



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