Flying in cold weather

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Dave, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Dave

    Dave Member

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    So, what are the dangers of flying the Mavic in cold weather? Living in MN, it is cold 1/3 of the year.
     
  2. F6Rider

    F6Rider Well-Known Member

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    I have flown in cold weather with my P3, I keep the batteries warm (soft sided insulated bag with a hand warmer) and fly as soon as I insert them. The bird was on the floor of the car with the heater on it to keep the motors warm. Doing this I never had a problem. Never let the quad get wet, especially in very cold weather as it will freeze very fast. I think there is a section in the manual about cold weather flying.
     
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  3. Advexure

    Advexure Well-Known Member
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    Hi @Dave, extremely valid concern. Thanks for posting. We've done a lot of flying at our location in Wisconsin in the dead heart of winter. Can be miserable flying but it is possible. Cold, crisp air is some of the best air you can fly in. The main concern with cold air flying is the batteries. Lithium batteries do not like the cold and do not bring out their top performance unless you keep them warm. As @F6Rider mentioned above, you have to keep the batteries warm as long as possible before putting them on the copter for flight. Although flying below 32 degrees is not recommended, it is possible but I would not recommend it for prolonged periods of time. Keep the Mavic and batteries warm, cover your finger tips, and enjoy it as best as you can while you freeze your @$$ off :eek: Safe and happy flying!
     
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  4. Dave

    Dave Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I am aware of the battery issue in cold weather. Didn't think about keeping the motors warm.. good point. I don't plan on flying often in the cold. Just needed to know if I could should I have the need. Thanks again!
     
  5. Advexure

    Advexure Well-Known Member
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    No worries, @Dave. Saw that moisture was mentioned above but even more importantly with moisture if any moisture builds up on the props in the cold it can cause icing on the props just as it does on airplane wings. With quads, this throws the balance of the props off significantly which can start to cause some pretty big problems as things worsen.
     
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  6. Ed Windham

    Ed Windham Well-Known Member

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    The other concern with the Mavic is that you do not have high landing gear in the back. You need something to keep the VPS sensors out of the snow.
     
  7. F6Rider

    F6Rider Well-Known Member

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    If flying with snow on the ground I would hope the pilot would be using a landing pad and not a snowbank to take of and land on..... but you never know :)
     
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  8. Casey

    Casey Well-Known Member

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    I had this same question. I live in the interior of Alaska, and from November to February the temps stay around -20F. I didn't even think of this before pre ordering.
     
  9. Ed Windham

    Ed Windham Well-Known Member

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    I you keep you lipos warm before flight you should be fine. I use an insulated pack with a rice bag warned in the microwave.
     
  10. Deckyon

    Deckyon Well-Known Member

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    I would probably not recommend keeping the drone heated up in the floorboards - the moment you take it out of the car you will start to get condensation. Which is worse for the drone than the cold. Keep the batteries warm, drone cold.

    Of course, judgement will be needed. This is not what you would call a "rugged" piece of equipment in terms of environmental extremes. The motors will generate heat, the plastic surrounding them will be cooler and if you go from hot motors, to a cold drive or sitting around, that heating and cooling of the plastics surrounding the motors will weaken especially in extremes.
     
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  11. ATXdrone

    ATXdrone Well-Known Member

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    You don't get condensation on a warm object in a cold moist environment, it's the other way around. If you bring a cold object into a warm humid environment, the humidity condenses on the colder object. Your coffee mug doesn't get condensation on it, but your beer does. :)
     
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  12. Deckyon

    Deckyon Well-Known Member

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    OK, I stand corrected.

    Then make sure you dont put that cold drone into the warm car.

    There is a reason there is an "Operating Temperature Range", and even if you can press those limits, just think, it is a $1000 write off just to say you did. Condensation, no matter what is causing it, will equate to water damage. (You in this is a generic you, not meant to any individual in particular)
     
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  13. ATXdrone

    ATXdrone Well-Known Member

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    I've had my eyeglasses fog over after stepping out from my car here in Texas during the summer.
     
  14. F6Rider

    F6Rider Well-Known Member

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    Oh Man! I remember those days, tree limbs snapping it was so cold (stationed at Richardson for three LONG years)
     
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  15. makg

    makg Well-Known Member

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    It's not too bad up here in AK. I actually just cancelled motorcycle insurance this weekend after having them on the road for a personal best of 6 months. There's still no snow, but I can only ride at 30 degrees for so long.

    It may be critical that the drone gets acclimated to the temperatures before initializing as I know the sudden change in temperature messes up my KK2.0 board in an old build. I'll be sure to keep the batteries warm too, no way I'm only flying indoors.
     
  16. Casey

    Casey Well-Known Member

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    What part are you in. I live 70 miles south of Fairbanks. It's been hitting about -3 at night. Went through Healy today and there was a little snow falling. I got sucked in by all those snowy mountain vids on the promo page. Didn't take temp into consideration.
     
  17. Dronebow

    Dronebow Well-Known Member

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    Where in TX? I'm in McKinney.
     
  18. ATXdrone

    ATXdrone Well-Known Member

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    I live just outside Austin (hence, ATXdrone!)
     
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  19. devinrhall

    devinrhall Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read much on this thread, so I'm sorry for being lazy. Does the Mavic perform well in the cold, I read that you shouldn't, what damage could happen from doing it? I won't fly it while snowing but what can happen just flying it in around 30 degree temps.


    Sent from my iPhone using MavicPilots
     
  20. Casey

    Casey Well-Known Member

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    I flew mine for the first time yesterday and the was -15F. I didn't see any problems with it at all.

     
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