This past Monday afternoon Jonathan and I went out to take the Arducopter on its first photo collection mission. The mission was a success! As you can see from the Arducopter's flight log displayed in Google Earth, the Arducopter completed a 250x250 meter photo collection. Like our hexacopter missions, this flight plan is actually 350x350 meters, to give us some good margin of error outside of the 250x250 "important" area.
In the above photo I am doing the pre flight battery check, you can get a good sense of the scale of the Arducopter from this shot. After finally having to name the Octo after I made flight log sheets with a name field, I decided on Dr. Octopus for this copter.
The Arducopter's flight plan lasted over 15 minutes and went a linear distance of 4.9 kilometers. Since the theater building field we launched from was 10 meters below the elevation we launch from within the knoll, I set the Arducopter's mission altitude to 100 meters. Normally we would fly at 90 meters for this type of mission, but since we had the opportunity to fly from outside the collection area and not have to fly up through the canopy in the knoll, I moved the site out and made up the 10 meters height difference.
A brief to do list for the Arducopter Octo:
All in all I consider this a great first test of the Arducopter's mission flying abilities!