Name: AJ Christensen
Current Quad Setup:
Frame:Hovership Zuul Racehound
Flight Controller: BrainFPV (TauLabs)
Propellers: HQ 5045 Bullnosed
FPV & HD Recording gear: 2g4/5g8/mobius @ 550gm w/ 3S1300
Frame: Hovership Zuul Superbeast
Flight Controller: BrainFPV (TauLabs) + GPS + External mag
Propellers: HQ 6045 Bullnosed
FPV & HD Recording gear: 2G4/5G8/GP4 @ 850gm w/ 4S2250
List of other multirotors you own:
Blackout Mini Super H
Blackout 330 w/ 360mtm
TBS Discovery Pro
1G3 Dominator modules / DVR
2G4 TBS Groundstation, Yagi, airblades
5G8 ImmersionRC/Fatshark Alpha modules
Rotorua, New Zealand
Favourite place to fly:
Definitely the groves or Japanese maple garden at the Rotorua Tree Trust. The variety of flying styles available in such a small area is wonderful, I hope they never get sick of me.
How long have you been flying FPV for?
Two years, over a year “100% rate”.
How did you get into flying FPV multirotors?
I first saw a F.P.V video of a customized TBS Discovery at Burning Man circling the flaming dude in 2011, it was just so amazing to see the desert from the air, more realistic than any photographs or stories. I wanted to get that same type of footage from drifting events, or even via autopilot while I was drifting.
What's your most memorable moment flying FPV?
Completing a 1KM point-to-point run at the Trust followed by an amazing perimeter run. Such an awesome feeling to be so far away from yourself with all the logistics involved. Honorable mention is first competitive Rotorcross entry, there’s no coming back from that.
How have you progressed with your flying to get to the level you are at now?
For the first six months at least, I used attitude hold and GPS mode in the TBS Discovery pro, but kept building up confidence and eventually was only flying in Manual, to the point where the gimbal was constantly kicking around from aggressive flying. I built a MiniH and that was pretty much the end of it, an acro pilot was born. I’ve only recently started to test the advanced autonomous flight mode capabilities of TauLabs and BrainFPV, which meant setting up more than a single Rate mode -- back to 6pos flight-mode.
What are some tips you would have for new guys wanting to get into FPV mini quads?
Get a cheap frame you are comfortable destroying (emax nighthawk) for less than $100US. Build the entire quad yourself if possible with oversight from an expert. Slowly add functionality once you grasp LoS (Line of Sight) basics. Don’t try to run your hero pilots PIDs, your skill won’t be ready. Learn to tune iteratively and adjust your settings to changing conditions.
Describe your very first racing experience and how did you find it compared to park flying?
Completely different flying style to park flying. In park flying I don’t really care about missing a gate or taking a slow turn, but in racing, every turn has to be perfect and you have to come out with the maximum amount of speed. Having a critically dampened tune is imperative. Tuning for varying conditions like wind becomes even more crucial.
Where do you see FPV Multirotor Racing in the next 5 years.
Transponders, LED / sound effect pinball gates, spectator boxes, potentially even gambling on competitors and corporate sponsorship.
What aspect of FPV racing do you enjoy the most, Flying, Building or Tuning?
I’m always improving at flying and tuning is a real science. I’m lucky to have the support of TauLabs to get me in the ball field for tunes via machine identification / auto-tune. I feel like my builds have gotten to the point where after adequate shakedown, they are reliable and do not fail through crashes.
What improvements do you think you would make to your quad in the future?
I’d like an open spec machine capable of over 100A. I’d like to break through 200km/h land speed in 2015. Technology wise, I’d like to test out the new sparky2 flight controller, as well as get the MPU rate on the BrainFPV cranked over 1khz, hopefully up to 2khz.
Do you film your flights?
Absolutely - DVR, Mobius (spec), GoPro4 (open).
How can people view your flight vids?