In June of 2014, the ImmersionRC and FatShark teams spent a week touring the Alps between Switzerland, France, and Italy, with FliteTest.
Three R.V.s were rented in Switzerland, the FliteTest crew flew in from Ohio (after spending 24 hours in an airport waiting for a new set of Lipos for their 747), and Greg, from FatShark, flew in from our factory in Shenzhen, China.
The week that followed was a wonderful mix of team-building, driving over hair-raising mountain passes, some great FPV flying, and a chance to kick back and enjoy the time with the FliteTest team.
First stop was at Airgonay, a forest quadcopter-racing circuit near the picturesque medieval village of Annecy, France.
The Airgonay team demonstrated their custom-built quad racing circuit in a local forest, where some miniquad pilots showed off their skills.
The scene was like something out of Star Wars. Pod-racers chasing each other through the forest, narrowly missing overhanging branches, and the neighboring river.
At the first campsite in the ski village of Val d’Isere, France (strangely devoid of snow (and people) during the summer months), the team got a chance to learn about how to setup up a wing (a FliteTest Versa wing to be precise) for FPV use.
Beside a crystal-clear lake, near the Gorges du Verdon, in Provence, France, Greg from FatShark presents the new DominatorHD goggles to the FliteTest team.
A massive viewing angle, built-in DVR recorder, and best-in-class headtracker (the Trinity), set these goggles apart from anything else on the market.
Greg explained some of the history behind his goggles, and the technology behind the Dominator HDs.
The Gorgeous ‘Gorges du Verdon’ were screaming to be explored with some FPV quadcopters.
Equipped with a couple of pedalos, the team set out down the Gorges with a prototype of the XuGong v2/Pro.
A nerve-wracking flight, down the canyon with a quad without a GPS lock produced some fantastic video footage.
One of the things that Provence is famous for is it’s fragrant lavender, which creates seas of purple flowers during the summer months.
The fields, and their ruins, were an ideal location for a ‘Let’s Fly’ with a couple of mini-quads, and the XuGong v2/Pro.
Some great memories from this stop. Locating Alex’s lost quad, a fat-bike with 20 kg of mud on the tires, and that weird and wonderful Dutch cyclist who took great pleasure in cleaning her muddy shoes in front of the film crew… !
In a mountain pass near the region of Beaufortaine, in the middle of the French Alps, lies an area which may well be FPV-paradise.
Rolling green hills, a meandering cold mountain stream, and patches of snow remaining from the last winter season, make for a picturesque backdrop for FPV adventures.
Concern for the safety of resident parapenters (those parachutes which work like hang-gliders) was rapidly eased when they flew within a few feet of us to capture a ‘hi 5’ on camera.
Our FPV session was cut short by what we assumed at the time was an antenna vibrated loose by an unbalanced prop (the real reason uncovered after returning to the office after the trip, but that is a whole other story…).
The loss of the plane kicked off a fun-packed rescue session, made more difficult by looking for a white EPP wing just above the snow line.
A rescue team on foot, accompanied by air support from a XuGong v2/Pro, located the lost model before nightfall, and spiced up the FliteTest eposide nicely.