Teaching the programmer how to fly

I’m learning to fly planes. This has been refreshing to have beginners mind again. Also realizing the improving over time, through practice.

I’m going to blog my results as they happen. Things I’m learning resources for how I’m learning, and maybe some footage and build pictures.

A little bit of background information about how this came about.

In 2015 I started working on a website for a company that sells FPV systems for remote control systems. It can be used on cars, boats, and airplanes and helicopters. Helicopter drones are a big hit right now in the public eye. More people than ever are flying, and also doing all kinds of new and interesting things.

Most FPV systems really need to be paired with some extra electronics and infrastructure. To provide stabilization and more information about the thing you are controlling, that you can’t see. So an RC car for example might be down the street a bit, how do you know when the battery is going to die. In aircraft, it gets as complicated as gps, altimeter, and semi-auto pilot, to return to where it was launched.

All of these onboard components, for video and all other telemetry has firmware. It’s written in C, and is either a micro controller or specialized board for this purpose. Either way, there is a ton of software all of a sudden in a place where it used to hold software at arms length.

The applications for these models, to 3d map buildings and troubleshoot cell phone towers and just have fun with, continues to grow a lot. The software that runs on it, needs to get out of beta hobby phase more than ever.

As I’ve said to a few friends of mine, teaching the programmer to fly is easier than teaching the pilot to program. So I’m learning to fly. This will be a cool way to document how I’m learning and what I’m learning about.


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