I think it’s important to know how to fly manually in case something happens and you can’t fly with GPS or altitude hold. I’ve flown manually with a number of other quads, and today was my first time trying my Phantom 2 manually. While it has some quirks, it’s actually a great quad to fly manually, too!
I recently had a small crash on my Ladybird quad (tiny quad 0, Restoration Hardware metal coffee table 1) that broke a motor. The bottom of the landing gear/arm broke off exposing two wires and a cap, which popped off. It was super easy to repair, and I just wanted to point out what to do if this happens to you.
Out of the box, the Phantom (and Vision) ship in a very simple mode. Flight is heavily GPS-assisted, and if you let go of the controls, the quad will try to stay where it is (wind/battery-permitting). Inside the Phantom is a flight controller, the Naza-M, which enables this type of flying. (You can actually buy the Naza-M by itself and put it on another quad.) However, there are other flight modes on the Phantom (don’t worry–they’re not all scary manual!) and extra controls that you can enable by switching from the simple mode to Naza mode.
A few years ago, I started thinking about using a quadcopter to carry a camera, as I was planning on going to the arctic, wanted aerial footage, and a “real” helicopter was $100k/week. That trip didn’t happen and technology’s changed a _ton_ since then! I’m heading to the arctic this summer, and I decided it was time to plunge into a camera-carrying quadcopter.
Earlier this year, I was doing some product consulting work at a startup. They’d been working on their app for a while, yet they essentially had no users and didn’t understand why. The new VP of Marketing and I quickly found that there was no product/market fit or path to one: product development was based on guesses for varying target audience needs, ranging from consumers to enterprise, depending on which person in leadership had the best argument that week. The CTO, who wasn’t familiar with the idea of product/market fit, believed that they had no users because they didn’t advertise the app, and if they pulled the marketing lever, everyone would flock to the app.