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New Drone Laws from 30/5/2018

Read and weep for aeromodelling

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Mike Blandford20/07/2018 23:21:05
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380 forum posts
14 photos

For interest I put a vario in my aerobatic model (the one in my avatar, 52 inch span) and flew it today while logging the telemetry data. The model is quite light (3.5 pounds I think) and has around 700W available!

For much of the flight I was comfortably below 400 feet, but I did fly in level at around 100 feet then pull up into a vertical roll (single roll) and then do a stall turn. The height peaked at 500 feet, and took only 5 seconds to go from 100 to 500 feet.. Later in the flight I pulled a nice large loop and that peaked at 401 feet, again taking only 5 seconds to go from 70 feet to 401 feet..

Mike

Rich too21/07/2018 06:47:20
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2726 forum posts
1020 photos

I’m not surprised, 400 is not a lot.

Gordon Whitehead 121/07/2018 14:31:07
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238 forum posts
120 photos

Thanks for your figures Steve, Martin and Mike. I don't have automatic data logging so had to look at the Tx display when doing my height checks, then I forgot to post the figures. The Katana weighs about 6.6lb with 800W. The totem pole went up to about 600ft, the rolling loop about 530, and the figure M which is one of my favourite figures went to about 500ft. My Boomerang Nano which does all the figures with more gusto would have topped at 800ft easily.

The Nano has both airspeed and height telemetry. On the level its max speed is a not too impressive 125mph. The top speed I've seen, however, is just on 150mph. To get this speed requires a climb to 1500ft (announced by the altimeter's beeper), followed by a vertical dive almost to ground level, with the 150mph announced by the telemetry ASI beeper.

If we don't get an exemption there's going to be a lot less flying fun to be had for many of us. In fact a lot less reason to go R/C flying at all.

(Off topic, the real reason for the airspeed telemetry on the Nano is to let me know when the landing approach speed has fallen to below 38mph, which means the model is then slow enough to land comfortably within the confines of our 65m strip.)

Gordon

Erfolg21/07/2018 21:14:15
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10929 forum posts
1042 photos

Gordon

Your third paragraph identifies my fear for our hobby. How many people loosing interest in continuing with the hobby, not entering the hobby, for the BMFA in addition to many of the present clubs to cease, as we now know them?

Gordon Whitehead 121/07/2018 21:46:31
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238 forum posts
120 photos

Hi Erf

On and off for the past year or so I've been designing a Jet Provost to replace my 9 year old Nano. The full size JP was an elegant airshow aerobat in its day despite its relatively low power, and nobody else is going to design one for a Wren 44.

However, a permanent 400ft height limit will so restrict my model's ability to display that I might well decide that it'll be a waste of time proceeding with the design and build.

Gordon

Gary Manuel21/07/2018 22:15:35
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1705 forum posts
1492 photos

Patience you must have, my young padewans.

PatMc21/07/2018 22:45:57
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3744 forum posts
479 photos
Posted by Gordon Whitehead 1 on 21/07/2018 14:31:07:

Thanks for your figures Steve, Martin and Mike. I don't have automatic data logging so had to look at the Tx display when doing my height checks, then I forgot to post the figures. The Katana weighs about 6.6lb with 800W. The totem pole went up to about 600ft, the rolling loop about 530, and the figure M which is one of my favourite figures went to about 500ft. My Boomerang Nano which does all the figures with more gusto would have topped at 800ft easily.

The Nano has both airspeed and height telemetry. On the level its max speed is a not too impressive 125mph. The top speed I've seen, however, is just on 150mph. To get this speed requires a climb to 1500ft (announced by the altimeter's beeper), followed by a vertical dive almost to ground level, with the 150mph announced by the telemetry ASI beeper.

If we don't get an exemption there's going to be a lot less flying fun to be had for many of us. In fact a lot less reason to go R/C flying at all.

(Off topic, the real reason for the airspeed telemetry on the Nano is to let me know when the landing approach speed has fallen to below 38mph, which means the model is then slow enough to land comfortably within the confines of our 65m strip.)

Gordon

Aerobatic & scale power models of over 7Kg have been flying legaly within a 400 ft limit since at least 2003 (the earliest BMFA handbook I have to hand) possibly 1995.
Why should similar sub 7Kg aerobatic & scale models be less "fun" to fly within this limit ?

Gordon Whitehead 122/07/2018 07:43:16
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238 forum posts
120 photos

Because it will be, and that's all there is to it.

Piers Bowlan22/07/2018 07:49:23
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1309 forum posts
36 photos
Posted by Gordon Whitehead 1 on 21/07/2018 21:46:31:

Hi Erf

On and off for the past year or so I've been designing a Jet Provost to replace my 9 year old Nano. The full size JP was an elegant airshow aerobat in its day despite its relatively low power, and nobody else is going to design one for a Wren 44.

However, a permanent 400ft height limit will so restrict my model's ability to display that I might well decide that it'll be a waste of time proceeding with the design and build.

Gordon

I hope you do complete your JP design Gordon as I have a Wren 44 and a JP would be just the ticket for it.

I really can't see how the 400ft height limit will be enforced without legislating that all model aircraft carry mode C transponders. That isn't going to happen when full sized light aircraft are not mandated to carry them, quite apart from the practical problems with trying to make that happen.

Bob Cotsford22/07/2018 10:37:11
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7320 forum posts
419 photos

GW, I would have thought that any site where you are flying turbines and 150mph missiles would be likely to have a 7kg+ height exemption in place already.

As for enforcement, they can't enforce speed limits on the roads so I could see a similar policy being adopted, ie monitoring of areas where infringements are reported or actual incidents occur. In other words, keep your wits about you, if you breach the height limit do so in a safe place taking suitable precautions to minimise risks. IE don't try it next to a known low flying area for full size or near an airfield.

The club I'm in operates inside the circuit for BHX, ATC know where we are and let us know if they spot significent breaches of our 400' limit. During the peak of the drone scares we had regular aerial patrols watching what we got up to. I guess we don't have any fun flying our models but someone has to do it.

Edited By Bob Cotsford on 22/07/2018 10:38:10

Steve J22/07/2018 11:08:05
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690 forum posts
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Posted by Piers Bowlan on 22/07/2018 07:49:23:

That isn't going to happen when full sized light aircraft are not mandated to carry them

IMHO electronic conspicuity for all manned aircraft isn't that far away. Have a look at CAP1690.

Steve

Gordon Whitehead 122/07/2018 11:48:47
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238 forum posts
120 photos

Bob, my Nano weighs 5.5kg so isn't subject to the 7kg 400ft height restriction. That's what makes small jets attractive to me, apart from being much cheaper to build and operate than those big enough to need height restrictions. There's no speed limit that I'm aware of, and flown around the circuit in my normal fashion, which is not to be a speed merchant but to practice and to perform airshow style aerobatics pleasing to me, the Nano's top speed maxes at about 130mph. That's because much of each flight is flown at significantly less than full throttle, which is only applied when needed for the figure being performed.

Regarding Pat's comments about the LMA and the 400ft limit, I suspect that for their displays they apply for an exemption: http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/modalapplication.aspx?appid=11&mode=detail&id=4670 so that they can adequately display their models' capabilities to the public. Since this exemption is only for displays and comps, presumably the LMA flyers somehow practice their display routines within the 400ft restriction at other times.

Fun is where you find it.

Basa22/07/2018 12:00:06
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41 forum posts

When your flying you rc model whose gonna be policing the every move ie; height because I know there is nobody to check mine and until its made law to have height telemetry i could not accurately judge the height ?

Edited By Basa on 22/07/2018 12:01:19

john stones 122/07/2018 12:03:34
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9671 forum posts
1435 photos
Posted by Basa on 22/07/2018 12:00:06:

When your flying you rc model whose gonna be policing the every move ie; height because I know there is nobody to check mine and until its made law to have height telemetry i could not accurately judge the height ?

Edited By Basa on 22/07/2018 12:01:19

You are.

Piers Bowlan22/07/2018 12:03:49
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1309 forum posts
36 photos

Thank you for that Steve, very interesting, although they have been talking about mandatory transponders ever since I started flying (40 years!) although admittedly not bases on satellite datalink. 'Interoperable conspicuity devices for all general aviation by 2022-25' I really think this is pie in the sky as the report concedes that this is dependent on the equipment being developed and available at a realistic price. It will require years of testing to an internationally agreed standard, then comes the certification and implementation. Getting an internationally agreed standard can take decades! devil

Steve J22/07/2018 12:24:43
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690 forum posts
29 photos

Piers, Another datapoint for you. Have a look at the tables and figures at the end of SESAR's ATM roadmap for drones. You will see an estimated €200M being required to retrofit 70k VFR aircraft to accommodate drones in the late 2020's.

**LINK**

Steve

Paul C.22/07/2018 12:28:32
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447 forum posts
110 photos
I bet my 400 feet is bigger than your 400 feet
Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator22/07/2018 13:17:31
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15409 forum posts
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Posted by Paul C. on 22/07/2018 12:28:32:
I bet my 400 feet is bigger than your 400 feet

You know what - somehow I can well believe that wink 2

All this talk of enforcement is, I believe, rather irrelevant. What will happen if you fly over the proscribed limit is almost certainly asolutely nothing - until there is an accident or a reported near miss. Then they'll "throw the book" at whoever was involved - simply to gain publicity for the rules and to make an example of someone.

Personally, I'm not too keen on being their "example", so I think I'll stick by the rules, whatever they are depending on wether we have an exemption, or not.

BEB

Martin Harris22/07/2018 13:35:58
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7689 forum posts
191 photos

I'm in total agreement with BEB. You might be able to get away with ignoring the legislation unless you're unlucky, but it's very much in everyone's - and your own - interest to make every attempt to comply. An important factor in the BMFA's negotiations must be the generally responsible attitudes displayed by model flyers.

Although we are not overflown very often, one aircraft that does so is the local Police helicopter...

In a previous life, I did have occasion to police gliding competition starting heights from the back seat of a Super Cub flying at the gate height - from any reasonable distance it is very evident if an aircraft is above or below you.

The bottom line is that the pilot will be responsible for abiding by any height limit - how you ensure that you do so is of no concern to the authorities. Luckily, telemetry is getting ever more accessible and affordable!

P.S. I might need to change my avatar - flying my Cub over the moon might not be a great example! wink

Edited By Martin Harris on 22/07/2018 13:39:37

Paul C.22/07/2018 13:36:30
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447 forum posts
110 photos
BEB is absolutely correct, my post was just to lighten the thread a little but could not post a little smiley on my phone for some reason. If someone does feel the wrath of the law I suspect that they would have done something stupid enough to deserve it.
Paul.

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