It only took my JDrones kit from www.buildyourowndrone.co.uk a few days to get to Iceland. I started building it on wednesday night and it flew successfully on saturday morning!
(Apologies for the camera tilt) In this clip I am on the second 3000mAh battery and tentatively testing the altitude hold. Apart from short and agonizing simulator tests, I have never before flown a helicopter of any kind so I was quite apprehensive. But I quickly got used to the difference in controlling this compared to a winged plane. It feels incredibly stable. I may though try adding a little expo to the roll and pitch as I find these overly sensitive. Yaw on the other hand seems a bit too "stiff". I found that if not careful I can sometimes get into wobble and swerve if I oversteer but seems to recover quickly with neutral sticks. I still have a lot of practice to do before felling comfortable.
The sonar seems to work as far as I can see (apropos reports of issues with the 2.0.39 AC2 version) but I have still to do more tests on that to figure out its functionality. I wonder if it can be programmed to add landing assistance in stabilize mode? I.e. a kind of "buffer" in the last foot or two to make landings softer.
The 2.4GHz Telemetry kit that Martin at buildyourowndrone put together works flawlessly.
The Mission Planner is a work of art in progress. At this pace it will soon become an exemplary piece of software. My only wish is for a MacOS port in the near future :)
I need to add a voltage warning of some kind. It is too stressful not knowing when it will run out of juice and having to guess the voltage.
The loiter and RTH functions are still to be explored and a lot more basic flight training ahead.
I also want to add a video downlink. I wonder if that can be put through the WiFi link?
I have many years of RC experience, basic soldering and electronics skills and have been following this community web for some months. This all helped to make the building and testing a nice and smooth experience.
Careful attention to detail and following the manual minutely, checking and rechecking is what I consider the keys to success in building such a craft.
I am already planning on building another one, perhaps a wide hexacopter for better lift and stability. I want to try to make that one water-resistant, at least splash proof to use in snow and wet conditions for nature photography and video.
Thanks and kudos to the developers and the community for this exciting development.