So You Want to Fly an FPV Racing Mini Quadcopter?

KK-QAV250 parts on KIKE CALVO Blog

This post is the latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, which profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography, that Kike learns about during his travels.

Chances are that over the last few months you have come across the increasingly popular videos of people flying mini-copters that evoke scenes of Star Wars . If this reference doesn’t ring a bell, I suggest checking out the epic Return of the Jedi speeder bike race and you will know what I am talking about.

It is likely that some of the mini-copter videos that are creating so much buzz were produced by a fellow Spaniard who goes by the name of Charpu, a nickname for Carlos Puertolas, and whom I interviewed for this post. Charpu, now animation director at Dreamworks, came to the United States to pursue his passion for animation.

Quadcopters are something that always intrigued me,” says Charpu. “ I used to be a skater. Now I am 34. I wanted to find an outlet for my constant search for thrills, but without the danger. So flying quadcopters was a perfect fit.”

So what is all this buzz about mini drones about? The term mini drone, or mini quadcopter, is related to the size. The smaller frame of mini drones has helped their popularity. They have the ability to go through small spaces, fly through windows and gaps, and go around trees.

“The 250s are the first ones that became popular,” says Charpu.” That is, 250mm from motor to motor. Things have evolved though, and you can go up to a frame of 300mm and it will —> Read More

Roswell Aliens Not So Alien

Nearly 70 years after extraterrestrials supposedly pushed the wrong button in their spacecraft and nose-dived into scrubby ranchland near Roswell, New Mexico, that town is again in the news.

This time the headlines are centered on the discovery of an old Kodachrome slide showing a small, atrophied body laid out in a display case. It seems that the slide was found two dozen years ago in the house of a deceased Arizona couple, although its true provenance is sketchy. Recently, a handful of UFO researchers has decided that this old photo actually depicts an alien corpse, and possibly a victim of the 1947 crash that put Roswell on the public’s mental map.

That would be important, if true.

And the researchers claimed it was true. They scheduled a large public event in Mexico City on May 5 to debut the slide, calling it the “smoking gun” that would finally prove that aliens are visiting Earth. Six thousand people were intrigued enough to fork over $200 each to attend.

But you should be glad that you weren’t among them. Just one look at this lugubrious photo should trip your baloney detector. The body looks human.

Mind you, the fleshy parts are pretty mummified, but the skeleton is familiar, with a skull on top, an extensive rib cage comprising the upper body, four articulated appendages that look like arms and legs, and … Well, it could be a shrunken and shriveled version of your cousin Vinny.

So why’s that so suspicious? After all, nine out of ten movie aliens are vaguely humanoid.

Yes, and six out of ten movie aliens are also blessed with gallons of mucous. You might infer that’s because most habitable planets are really dry. You might more realistically infer that snotty aliens —> Read More

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