The UK Drone Show for 2016 has just finished and we wanted to bring you a recap of what we’ve seen over the past 2 days.
The show took place on the 3rd and 4th December 2016 and had a lot on offer. From innovation in commercial drone use to quadcopter racing – there was certainly something for everyone to see and do. Below are some of our highlights.
First and foremost for us at PropNuts was the frames and race quads. There was certainly no shortage to see and it was great to chat to the teams behind them and get their ideas on innovations and design choices they’ve made.
The team at Fossils Stuff had their new Revo frames on display and a few test builds to show off. The frame is interesting as the arms are mounted vertically rather than horizontal. Running the arms vertically in theory should provide less drag through the air as the quad is in forward motion. Any worries we may have had over stiffness in the arms was overcome as they’re braced.
Arial Sports League
Ariel Sports League had the combat drones out on show. These things are tough. The 180mm sized clear frame was what really caught our attention however. These felt just as tough as the larger counterparts. We can see ourselves building a few of these once released with full LEDs inside and getting some low-light racing set up. Watch this space…
I’ve never seen a Ragg-e frame in person before so it was great to pick one up and get a feel for them. We’re used to running carbon frames now so the idea of a plastic frame seemed a little alien. Feeling them out, this was quickly suppressed. They feel very solid and tactile. Thomas was also a pleasure to chat with at the show, giving us some good insights into his philosophy behind the frames and material sourcing.
Thug Frames (and special guest)
Thug Frames had a couple of interesting frames available at the show. When I built my Shendrones Corgi I had checked out the ThugPig as an alternative to carry a GoPro Session camera. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to speak to the guys about the frame in the picture above. The upswept arms caught our attention and we’re interested to find out more about this frame.
Also at the Thug stand was Dominic Clifton (aka Mr Cleanflight) showing off and selling his new all-in-one flight controller/pdb and vtx/osd top hat the SPF3 Neo. What’s interesting here is the ability to control the vtx channel and transmission power through CleanFlight – a feature requested by our very own Keiren, Fraser and Calum when at the European Championships back in September of this year (and coded in front of them at the event!).
Carbon Candy brought along their innovations in carbon and kevlar frames. A layer of honeycomb structure is sandwiched between two thin layers of carbon or kevlar (as shown in the picture above). This made for an exceptionally strong design whilst saving weight over a traditional carbon plate. We’ll be keeping an eye on future releases from these guys. Hopefully we’ll see a single plate x shape in the future.
Tiny Whoop track!
Drone Junkies had a rather nice Tiny Whoop track set up behind their stall. As you can see above they had some nice features to fly through. The Fisher Price Cosy Coupe was a particularly nice touch! Keiren had his Whoop with him and managed a few laps of the track.
There was a couple of simulators at the event, two of which caught our eye. Check them both out if you fancy practicing when the rains on.
Drone Simulation was set up using the Sony Cinemizer visors, giving the full immersive experience. The sim feels nice and accurate and having real world tracks available is great for practicing before an event or trying out what the pro’s have flown to get a feel for it.
Velocidrone has some very nice features which impressed us. The ability to tune your quad exactly as you would in BetaFlight is a nice feature. Simply select your model (or one close to) and set your PIDs and rates to match your real quad and you’re good to go. The track editor is great too. We can see ourselves using this sim to work on track designs, tweaking and refining in a virtual world rather than having to rebuild items which takes much longer.
It was great to see quadcopter racing represented at the event. Unfortunately there was so much to see elsewhere, we didn’t catch too much of the racing. We did however watch a few of the heats for the quadcopter racings on the Analogue system on day one.
The track looked impressive, incorporating a split level design with gates stacked on top of each other. Tight and technical is how we’d describe it, which is to be expected given the size of the space used.
The lighting set up was well done and the crowds were sizeable when racing commenced. A great showcase of quadcopter racing in the UK, and hopefully will get more people interested in the future.
Check out The Drone Racing iSeries site for more details on the racing, and some nice video content, including footage of the finals.
Rounding out the weekend
There was far too much going on at the event for me to cover here so I’ll finish up. We spoke to soo many awesome people at the event. It’s great to be part of the community and pass around ideas and generally chew the fat over the course of the weekend. We were also pleasantly surprised to speak to people who’d seen our website and viewed and enjoyed our videos. We’ve left the show with more ideas to try now which we can’t wait to start working on.