Vapor 55 accident

UAV's, drivers, builders and the regulations.
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FerrariFlyer
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Vapor 55 accident

Postby FerrariFlyer » Mon Nov 28 2016, 12:32

Just came across this report on the ATSB website relating to an accident a couple months back. This is a real shame as it was for a worthwhile cause.

Given the size of this drone (55lb MTOW) it sounds like a very lucky escape for all concerned and thankfully no one was injured. Hopefully the issue can be resolved reasonably quickly.

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/in ... -2016-128/

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Jabberwocky
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Re: Vapor 55 accident

Postby Jabberwocky » Mon Nov 28 2016, 19:09

I probably shouldn't admit this but I found that quite funny when I first read it a few weeks ago. The ironing is strong here. I hope I know the pilot - ex RAN boatsan type?

But definitely agree on it being a shame FF for that operator. One of the last you'd want to carry that sort of cost with all the other good work they do.
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Re: Vapor 55 accident

Postby Gonsky » Mon Nov 28 2016, 20:02

Made with RC model helicopter parts and a 5kg payload, they state 16 kg but over 10 kg is the battery pack.

The 10,000ft operating limit is the funny part.

I think from memory they were trying to sell them for 250k.

For that use you need long time loiter so a transition airframe that is Vtol and then fixed wing and at least 5+ hours duration.

Regards,

Gregory
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hand in pants
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Re: Vapor 55 accident

Postby hand in pants » Mon Nov 28 2016, 21:06

The airframe wasn't recovered. I would have thought that something worth that much money would have some kind of locater beacon for this kind of problem, GPS tracking at the very least.
And given the photo gives no way of judging the size of the machine, can someone tell me how big it actually is?????
Hand in Pants, I'm thinking, my god, that IS huge!!!!!!!!
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Re: Vapor 55 accident

Postby Gonsky » Mon Nov 28 2016, 23:56

http://www.skylineuav.com.au/fleet/vapo ... elicopter/

Again a toy heli that was converted over that makes issues for everyone in the industry both full and UAV.

A few hours in a "uav course" and your licensed operator ready to create havoc.

That link is for the airframe specs I don't know if they were the operator or a reseller.

Regards,

Gregory
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Re: Vapor 55 accident

Postby FerrariFlyer » Tue Nov 29 2016, 01:30

hand in pants wrote:The airframe wasn't recovered. I would have thought that something worth that much money would have some kind of locater beacon for this kind of problem, GPS tracking at the very least.
And given the photo gives no way of judging the size of the machine, can someone tell me how big it actually is?????


It is quite a substantial UAV HIP. The link that Darkstar1966 provided gives a good indication of relative size to a person. It is not something you would want to lose control of in a crowded environment (ie a beach setting on a hot day). Hopefully the control issue is resolved quickly.

The $250k figure is what I had heard as well though I think that may have included the camera and gimble mount.
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Re: Vapor 55 accident

Postby Gonsky » Tue Nov 29 2016, 04:01

Even the cheapest quad has a heading vertical/horizontal hold or return to base on loss of signal. No command and control system without a very secure fail safe setup should be allowed. I would assume (we all know what that means) it had something.

So this was either flown into the sea by the operator or mechanical failure. Again not purpose built just a toy that can susposidly go to 15,000 ft.

These guys are so far off the mark it is not funny. No long term experience with starting small, building, materials and the flight process. Just out of the box and off to the beach.

The UAV industry here is an accident waiting to happen on the small scale up to say 50kg, above that (150 kg +) which is the space we are looking at is much more regulated as it should be.

Every UAV should have a transponder and avoidance system built in no questions asked, geo fencing should also be incorporated.

Regards,

Gregory
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Re: Vapor 55 accident

Postby Twistgrip » Tue Nov 29 2016, 08:45

Quick Google gives some more background. There are other articles online stating the $250k price tag, I cant see the value in it personally. pop;

http://www.safebee.com/tech/shark-spotting-drone-could-see-jaws-it-sees-you
Last edited by Twistgrip on Tue Nov 29 2016, 08:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vapor 55 accident

Postby helothere » Tue Nov 29 2016, 10:34

It was suggested that a VTOL Fixed Wing would be better suited, even a multirotor as a more practical solution. Unfortunately the sponsors, Westpac, liked the idea of a mini Lifesaver image patroling the beaches so the Vapor was chosen in the absense of a more suitable and available machine. I believe the crash was due to a sudden loss of control. The flight control system does have the ability to RTB on loss of contact with the ground station so a mechanical or electronic failure of some kind is likely the cause.

This gives an idea of the size. Approx 2 m rotor diameter with an 8 hp motor.
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Re: Vapor 55 accident

Postby Gonsky » Tue Nov 29 2016, 10:49

One of my RC model helis in 2002, 30 kg and 5 kw turbine, redundant flight controls and dual TX systems 3.2 mtr head. They have only got bigger since and nothing off the shelf as there was nothing available off the shelf.

Still flying today

Regards,

Gregory

PS. The van gives you some idea of the size :D
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FerrariFlyer
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Re: Vapor 55 accident

Postby FerrariFlyer » Tue Nov 29 2016, 12:02

Darkstar1966 wrote:One of my RC model helis in 2002, 30 kg and 5 kw turbine, redundant flight controls and dual TX systems 3.2 mtr head. They have only got bigger since and nothing off the shelf as there was nothing available off the shelf.

Still flying today

Regards,

Gregory

PS. The van gives you some idea of the size :D


Could it go Mach 1 with the afterburners like 'the real thing'? 8)
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Re: Vapor 55 accident

Postby Gonsky » Tue Nov 29 2016, 21:07

Nope the point of the post was to indicate the general approach to the UAV industry. There are toys as what that RC model was and then specific airframes for the UAV market.

No one builds airframes to a specific use, they get RC bits and pieces and end up making a UAV out of them. No idea about materials or the like. RC components/models were never designed for payloads, RC helicopter blades and rotor heads were not designed for lifting anything other than a RC heli, just because they can lift another 10 kg does not mean they should. Model helis use plastic ball links on swashplates and head components, RC servos with 15kg stall torque, no seperation of power suppiles for RF and servos and the list goes on and on.

I am not talking about the quad market as that is all by itself just an accident waiting to happen when little Jimmy opens his xmas present.

The majority of stuff out there is used as it will come under a weight level. Simply as the operators do not want to go down any path that is too difficult hence they have simply modified airframes that are just not up to it. Build to a spec not to a specific weight class and then you can have some confidence in your airframes capability.

Schiebel Camcopter is a good example, solid airframe built for a specific purpose and nothing off the shelf. On the downside ridiculously expensive and requires a lot of $$ for integration of payloads.

Also it seems Westpac is to blame as looking to try a create some pointless PR which obviously did not go the way they were hoping.

Regards,

Gregory
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Re: Vapor 55 accident

Postby FerrariFlyer » Tue Jan 17 2017, 07:46


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