What is a 3D drone? What can they do and what makes them so difficult? How can you learn to fly them?
A 3D drone is an FPV drone that can fly upside down using reversible motors. They’re called 3D drones because they can move in any direction, which enables them to perform maneuvers that are impossible for other drones.
3D drones are among the most difficult drones to fly. “It’s such a foreign experience. When you’re upside down, your brain freaks the f*ck out,” said Zoe FPV, an expert 3D Drone pilot. There are many reasons 3D drones are very difficult:
- The throttle becomes bidirectional. Instead of simply adding or reducing throttle, you’ll have to be aware of which direction you want to propel yourself.
- The throttle has half the normal resolution. The upper half of the throttle is for propelling yourself in the normal direction. The lower half is for the reverse direction. This means that instead of having a full stick to control throttle, each direction has half the normal throttle resolution.
- When you want to throttle “down,” you have to fight the instinct to push the stick down. Instead, you have to push the stick to the middle. And there are no detents to guide you.
- When you’re upside down, the view is disorienting.
- The pitch is reversed. When you’re upside down, pitching up moves forward, while pitching down moves backward.
- The roll is reversed. When you’re upside down, roll is also reversed. Rolling left moves you to the right, and vice-versa.
Flying upside down with a 3D drone takes me a lot of concentration to fight my normal flying instincts. If you watch the video, you can see my face getting contorted as I fly. 🙂
Most drones that run on Betaflight and BLHeli can be converted to 3D. Besides changing the settings on Betaflight and BLHeli, you’ll need to use 3D props, which are bidirectional.