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Fluidity FT Aviator Feedback

Joe4flight

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Hello All, now that the FT Aviator has finally shipped, I’m interested in any feedback anyone has to share. My FT Aviator just arrived, but I haven’t had a chance to use it yet due to an issue I had with my DJI RC’s USB port. I’m currently waiting for a new RC from DJI due to the defective USB port that is needed for the FT Aviator to connect. I also viewed a short video from one of the drone experts out there. He was not impressed with the FT Aviator. He stated fine tuning of the electronics are needed because the drone had very jerky and uncontrollable movements when controlled by the FT Aviator. Anyone see this video review? Thx!!
 
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Starz

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What little I’ve seen, not for me. Hope it works for you and please report back.
 

Phantomrain.org

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Hello All, now that the FT Aviator has finally shipped, I’m interested in any feedback anyone has to share. My FT Aviator just arrived, but I haven’t had a chance to use it yet due to an issue I had with my DJI RC’s USB port. I’m currently waiting for a new RC from DJI due to the defective USB port that is needed for the FT Aviator to connect. I also viewed a short video from one of the drone experts out there. He was not impressed with the FT Aviator. He stated fine tuning of the electronics are needed because the drone had very jerky and uncontrollable movements when controlled by the FT Aviator. Anyone see this video review? Thx!!
After watching Ken's Review which was not a very good review I started watching others including how they use these concepts in the Nasa Space Craft and it made sense.
They do have options on the senstivity settings to change so the jerkiness was not an alarm bell but for me its the size , its awkward, its large , its heavy, and if I was landing my drone on some Lunar Space ship hovering in space , no doubt I would want this, but were flying drones that our almost to the point Automated .

The more you fly the more simple you want the execution and travel to be and this had its purpose which was to fly a ship thru meteor showers.

Phantomrain.org
Designer of the lunar Landing Pad
Gear to fly your Mavic in the Rain.
Coal
 
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BD0G

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I trust Ken Heron's Youtube assessment of the device. That is undoubtedly the video that you viewed and are mentioning. I also did not particularly care for the way the company handled the followup on Ken's concerns. Cancelling an appearance to address issues with a device that they market as Intuitive, Precise, and Fun.
In my opinion it is just another piece of hardware to lug around that connects to your existing controller and adds just that little bit more lag to the control of ones drone. How is that ever a good thing?

When I am out flying I am not trying to give other pilots "stick envy" . Im there for the most precise and accurate flight possible to capture the footage I seek.
 

parkgt

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I have also noticed that several weeks after release no one has yet posted a video of all the smooth cinematic moves it is supposed to be capable of. Proof is in the footage obtained, so far there is none.
 
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Dakarenduro

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There are different threads bashing and praising Ken's recent review. I personally think the idea of advancing the analog RC design of what 60 years ago to a more intuitive and ergonomic system is great. But to me the FT device is almost like an advanced beta/prototype and the real usable device is years Away. I second the notion that the system turns into a cumbersome, possibly laggy, possibly failure prone control System. I say possibly.... you are adding another device to a control system. If there is a bluetooth hiccup, cable problem etc you have a problem. So adding another possible point for failure in my control of a $1k+ aircraft is not ideal.

Not to mention the bulk. Do I want to walk around with a joystick that requires both hands PLUS have to carry the original remote? Wth. Not for me. And the guys with the self made ground stations... that's great if you want to fly for a fixed location each time. But for me I went with a dji folding drone for one big reason -portability. I would defeat my number one purchasing point.

I hope the bugs get worked out and dji buys them or duplicates it so they can offer that as a full control package, like the smart controller.

My 2 cents worth.
 

Drone on

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I had hopes for an improvement in separating camera control from flight control, but I don't see much emphasis on that. With the stock controller, I find it difficult to control the left stick and the camera gimbal at the same time. I can do it, but not easily.

Otherwise, it is nearly the antithesis of the smart controller for reducing gear.
 
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Jim Flannery K0UNX

de K0UNX, Jim in Jefferson County, Colorado
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I've had mine for three weeks, and LOVE IT! Most of the time, I use it in "Turtle" mode -very much like DJI's Tripod Mode. The controls are very smooth and intuitive. It requires no cable, so I leave the RC and iPad on my truck topper, and just walk around with the FT Aviator. That's been very convenient for me. If I want to travel a good distance to view something, I'll switch to Rabit mode to get out there, then switch back to turtle mode. Now, I've flown "real" aircraft by stick, so for me, this is super intuitive!
 
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Milo187

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Great concept but if you need to also have the controller near by and no way to mount a big display I can't see using it not to mention if you're up in the air for 25 minutes it would get tiring to hold it with both hands all the time. The rig I use allows me to rest my hands when I need to or reach for something at any time.
I'll wait for a better more refined version to come out. I also trust and follow Ken Heron. He received two units and came to the same conclusion that it needs work. If you've purchased one and love it i'm happy for you cause they ain't cheap!
 
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BD0G

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I had hopes for an improvement in separating camera control from flight control, but I don't see much emphasis on that. With the stock controller, I find it difficult to control the left stick and the camera gimbal at the same time. I can do it, but not easily.

Otherwise, it is nearly the antithesis of the smart controller for reducing gear.
Thats where the Inspire dual operator setup shines! One person controlling the drone and one controlling the camera is a boon.
 
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parkgt

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Thats where the Inspire dual operator setup shines! One person controlling the drone and one controlling the camera is a boon.
If you have two people then you don't need the "supposed" benefits of this expensive joystick. What an embarrassment at introduction; it would be bad enough if it was $100 much less the list price.
 
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lightbg

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Statements From History

1) " Don't sail that way Columbus; the world is flat and you'll fall off.........."

2) General Custer " Where'd all the indians come from?"

3) "Bash the FT Aviator before you ever try to fly with it. Everyone's doing it........."


Jake
 

parkgt

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Statements From History

1) " Don't sail that way Columbus; the world is flat and you'll fall off.........."

2) General Custer " Where'd all the indians come from?"

3) "Bash the FT Aviator before you ever try to fly with it. Everyone's doing it........."


Jake
Don't need to drive a Yugo to know it is a POS.

Didn't know they were shipping demo units for try before you buy.
 

DigitalDoyle

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Hi Everyone! First post, but have been reading Mavic Pilots for quite a while now. I pre-ordered the FT Aviator the first day I found out about it in mid-March of this year. Received mine on August 6th. Flew my new M2Z with it yesterday (3rd flight ever for the M2Z, but I also own an Inspire 1 that I picked up in November of last year). I was hoping the FT Aviator would be half as good as the initial videos, and had seen that Ken Heron review the day I got the email from Fluidity that confirmed mine was being shipped, and noticed that Ken's video review was the only one where a unit misbehaved like that. But I'm happy to report that mine worked great right out of the box. Was easy to setup and connect, and, for me at least as a new pilot whose main interest in drones is that they're flying tripods, it's WAY easier to fly and get the shots I'm after. Extremely intuitive. I can fly with my right hand controlling everything with the stick and rock the camera toggle on the nose of the FT Aviator with the index finger of my left hand and keep the shot framed like I want. It's going to take a little practice and I'm heading out to do exactly that when I finish writing this, but even my first time was buttery smooth. Will post a little of yesterday's flight practice, once I get it off the SD card and figure out how and where to upload so the forum can see it.

As for Ken's review, I agree with him and he's one of my favorite and most trusted info sources. If I'd gotten the pretty obviously haywire Aviator, I couldn't have recommended it either. But I have had none of those problems and the control is extremely smooth, even for a newbie pilot like me. It connects via bluetooth so you have a lot of freedom to move and I never got out of range. Much more testing and R&D to do yet, but I could not possibly be happier with my FT Aviator. I'm about to look at the footage I shot yesterday while flying in a big open warehouse at Dallas Makerspace, where I'm a member. The manual advises to fly outside, primarily because the situational awareness functionality of the Aviator needs the GPS sats, but it's up over 100 degrees here in DFW and that warehouse is air-conditioned. ;) I can confirm that it worked perfectly indoors and several of the other members came out to watch me try it for the first time. No issues. One of the guys had never flown quads before and asked to try it (gulp!). I had the M2 RC in hand just in case, and I had in turtle mode the entire time, but the guy flew really well and wasn't intimidated by the control. It really is a very different, and for me much better way to control drones. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

The build quality and function of mine is top notch. It's not heavy at all. Very light and the controls are where you'd want them to be. But rather than just hold it unsupported, I decided that I preferred to have it anchored to a ball head on a video tripod set at the perfect height and position for me, and that works very well. It's really comfortable. I"m designing and building a kind of control station for my rig that has a platform on the tripod just below where the FT Aviator is mounted to the top to keep my RCs and phone, and the Movieros (I'll be using my Moviero BT35E AR glasses, just as soon as I can figure out how to integrate them into the signal path), to keep the devices and cables tidy and accessible. Will post photos and specs if it works as well as the initial flight yesterday with just the FT Aviator on the tripod.

For pilots who are already skilled and have the muscle memory and experience to fly really well, I'm not sure the FT Aviator would result in better shots. But for a guy like me, who has always found the two-stick RC completely un-intuitive (I have relentlessly crashed every single RC airplane and little drone I ever owned), this thing is awesome. It's very much like my HOTAS rig for my Oculus Rift that I use for Elite Dangerous, and very comfortable and my brain mapped to the controls very quickly. I definitely prefer the control I get with the stick.

Lots to learn yet, but so far I really like it, and I'm very glad I ordered it. It's definitely going to help make my shots look a whole lot better.

Sorry for the novel, but I'm pretty excited about this thing.
 

DigitalDoyle

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Not sure if I'm doing this correctly, but here goes... This was shot 2019-08-10 and it's my first five minutes with the FT Aviator, and just the 3rd flight of my M2V. No edits, other than scaling the 4K footage to 1080 and re-encoding save some bandwidth. Factory camera settings, because I haven't finished reading the manual yet. Pretty much a complete newbie's first experience with this rig.

 

Waldo Pepper

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Very good informative post Doyle,

Appreciate you taking the time to share your first FT Aviator experience, I’m going to preorder one today once I find out from Ft Aviator if an iPad or IPhone 8 Plus works with the app.

I was thinking of doing the same as you, hook up some type of platform rid with tripod. Want to mount an iPad in front just above handle, I fly RC planes and started flying helicopters this FT Aviator is a great tool.

Thanks again for sharing, if you can post a pic of your platform rid when it’s completed that will be great. We need to express our need for a light weight platform tripod rid, hopefully FT Aviator will develop something for future FT Aviator users. Or, redesign the FT Aviator so it snaps onto a platform tripod rid?

Thanks again,
Paul

QUOTE="DigitalDoyle, post: 804784, member: 104698"]
Hi Everyone! First post, but have been reading Mavic Pilots for quite a while now. I pre-ordered the FT Aviator the first day I found out about it in mid-March of this year. Received mine on August 6th. Flew my new M2Z with it yesterday (3rd flight ever for the M2Z, but I also own an Inspire 1 that I picked up in November of last year). I was hoping the FT Aviator would be half as good as the initial videos, and had seen that Ken Heron review the day I got the email from Fluidity that confirmed mine was being shipped, and noticed that Ken's video review was the only one where a unit misbehaved like that. But I'm happy to report that mine worked great right out of the box. Was easy to setup and connect, and, for me at least as a new pilot whose main interest in drones is that they're flying tripods, it's WAY easier to fly and get the shots I'm after. Extremely intuitive. I can fly with my right hand controlling everything with the stick and rock the camera toggle on the nose of the FT Aviator with the index finger of my left hand and keep the shot framed like I want. It's going to take a little practice and I'm heading out to do exactly that when I finish writing this, but even my first time was buttery smooth. Will post a little of yesterday's flight practice, once I get it off the SD card and figure out how and where to upload so the forum can see it.

As for Ken's review, I agree with him and he's one of my favorite and most trusted info sources. If I'd gotten the pretty obviously haywire Aviator, I couldn't have recommended it either. But I have had none of those problems and the control is extremely smooth, even for a newbie pilot like me. It connects via bluetooth so you have a lot of freedom to move and I never got out of range. Much more testing and R&D to do yet, but I could not possibly be happier with my FT Aviator. I'm about to look at the footage I shot yesterday while flying in a big open warehouse at Dallas Makerspace, where I'm a member. The manual advises to fly outside, primarily because the situational awareness functionality of the Aviator needs the GPS sats, but it's up over 100 degrees here in DFW and that warehouse is air-conditioned. ;) I can confirm that it worked perfectly indoors and several of the other members came out to watch me try it for the first time. No issues. One of the guys had never flown quads before and asked to try it (gulp!). I had the M2 RC in hand just in case, and I had in turtle mode the entire time, but the guy flew really well and wasn't intimidated by the control. It really is a very different, and for me much better way to control drones. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

The build quality and function of mine is top notch. It's not heavy at all. Very light and the controls are where you'd want them to be. But rather than just hold it unsupported, I decided that I preferred to have it anchored to a ball head on a video tripod set at the perfect height and position for me, and that works very well. It's really comfortable. I"m designing and building a kind of control station for my rig that has a platform on the tripod just below where the FT Aviator is mounted to the top to keep my RCs and phone, and the Movieros (I'll be using my Moviero BT35E AR glasses, just as soon as I can figure out how to integrate them into the signal path), to keep the devices and cables tidy and accessible. Will post photos and specs if it works as well as the initial flight yesterday with just the FT Aviator on the tripod.

For pilots who are already skilled and have the muscle memory and experience to fly really well, I'm not sure the FT Aviator would result in better shots. But for a guy like me, who has always found the two-stick RC completely un-intuitive (I have relentlessly crashed every single RC airplane and little drone I ever owned), this thing is awesome. It's very much like my HOTAS rig for my Oculus Rift that I use for Elite Dangerous, and very comfortable and my brain mapped to the controls very quickly. I definitely prefer the control I get with the stick.

Lots to learn yet, but so far I really like it, and I'm very glad I ordered it. It's definitely going to help make my shots look a whole lot better.

Sorry for the novel, but I'm pretty excited about this thing.
[/QUOTE]
 

DigitalDoyle

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Thanks again for sharing, if you can post a pic of your platform rid when it’s completed that will be great. We need to express our need for a light weight platform tripod rid, hopefully FT Aviator will develop something for future FT Aviator users. Or, redesign the FT Aviator so it snaps onto a platform tripod rid?
Will do. Working on fabrication now. I'm using the quick release 1/4x20 camera mount to very quickly snap the FT Aviator onto and off of the top of the tripod. The ball head is great for finding and setting the most comfortable position for the Aviator.

When I first pulled the Aviator out of the box and gave a good long look and experimented with just holding it, unmounted, and visualizing how I might fly with it (night before the first flight), I decided that I would produce too much cross coupling between my hands and wouldn't have as precise control over the camera rocker or the stick itself, and grabbed one of my Manfrotto tripods and decided that flying with the FT Aviator fixed to the tripod would work best for me. And I always have the option to use the quick release and freehand at anytime during the flight, if I need to.
 
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Waldo Pepper

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Hello Doyle,

Looking forward to seeing your FT Aviator tripod setup if you have time to post pictures, I feel setups like yours will help encourage others to shared their FTAviator tripod creations. I’ll share mine as well and actually will probably have two different type setups, one will be using a Meade telescope tripod which as a good size base and swivels.

FT Aviator replied back with an answer to my phone and iPad question, the Aviator will work with my iPhone 8 Plus and iPad. I would prefer using the iPad, especially with the FT Aviator knowing the larger screen will make flights more enjoyable.

Preordered and paid for the FT Aviator today, they reduced the price down to $349.00 if preordered. Shipping will be 4-5 weeks, very exciting days ahead.

Thanks Doyle,
Paul
 
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Possums

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Preordered and paid for the FT Aviator today, they reduced the price down to $349.00 if preordered. Shipping will be 4-5 weeks, very exciting days ahead.

Thanks Doyle,
Paul
I would try it if it would mesh with a Crystal Sky monitor & DJI goggles. I just don't want to go back to a Iphone.
Used to fly Ultralights & would really like the "stick".
 
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