5 Reasons Why Hovering a Quad is Really Difficult
Topics: quadcopter

The title says it.  And you can 10x your skill development as a quad flier with the same amount of practice time.


1 – Spatial Tasks are Hard


It easy to keep a position in 2D space, because you can place a marker or a cone on the ground.  In the air, you can’t mark the spot you are trying to hover by.

Targeting a point in 3D space and maintaining a quadcopter is difficult, because it’s hard to remember where that point was, especially when a little quad is zooming all around that point.

I’m going to keep this quad in the middle of the room.”  The quad drifts to the left and down a bit.  You bring it to the right but it also goes towards you.  Still dropping.  More thrust and pull it back to you.  Is that where you started?  Probably not.

Watch yourself hover.  You will most likely wander over time.

Instead of mastering hovering, I accepted that I wander and instead focused on skills that involve slow continuous movement instead (like a back and forth).  Indirectly, you will get really good at hovering with little effort!


2 – You Bought a Mini Quadcopter


I’ve wasted entire batteries perfecting the trim.  I land it gently and on the next flight, the trim is off.  What gives?

Most microquads have cheap, tiny brushed motors.  When they heat up, they may slow down or speed up.  Crashing also messes up your trim.

It is futile to perfect the trim.  But it should be pretty good.  After practice, you can adjust the trim in a few seconds.

The main point is that these little quads don’t remain stable like a DJI Phantom with a GPS, barometer, magnometer, accelometer, gyroscope, and enough other sensors to make your brain quiver.  You’re always fighting a bit of drift with a mini quad; it adds another bit of difficulty.


3 – You Bought a Transmitter the Size of a Baby Mouse


Not much to say here.  It should be of no wonder that you are struggling to control a miniature quadcopter with a controller smaller than your fist.


4 – You’re flying indoors


There are a few difficulties flying indoors.  You are spatially limited, so a bit of your concentration goes towards avoiding walls and not on flying better.  Or you may be going too fast.

Read my article on flying indoors.


5 – You haven’t practiced enough


You equipment and environment can make a big difference in the speed of your mastery.  But it boils down to you.  Are you mindlessly flying?  Or are you paying attention to every maneuver and thinking about how to improve it?

10x your skill development by being a conscious flier – plan, practice, observe, and improve.

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