Top 5 tips on how to make the most of your Sky Mantis UAV

The use of UAVs/drones for commercial purposes is continuously growing. Going forward, more and more industries benefit from the use of a drone in their daily operations, with applications ranging from mapping and surveying, to surveilling, searching & rescuing, monitoring and much more. This is partly because of the agility and flexibility these UAVs offer when it comes to delivering operations in challenging environments for long hours and also due to their payload capabilities (for example HD camera with zoom, thermal camera, gas detection, lidar, tracking and tracing).

However, as companies and industries decide to implement this technology, it goes without question that multirotor flying has a learning curve. Learning how to use it safely and efficiently comes first, as this will ultimately bring the best out of your UAV/drone.

Although Evolve Dynamics’ Sky Mantis is a simple aircraft to use and be trained to fly, beginners can still face some challenges.

These tips will help you to get the best from your Sky Mantis system.

Tip 1 – Cleanliness is next to godliness

An aircraft is always a complicated compromise of balance, keeping the aircraft clean and well maintained is crucial to delivering the best performance. With a multi-rotor aircraft, balance is especially important. The combination of multiple rotors and the requirement for constant motor speed changes means that propeller performance and condition is critical. Ensuring that the blades are clean and free of any remnants of flights such as grass stains and insect debris will reward with better performance and less vibration, all of which will improve flight and video performance.

Imagine driving your car with all of the wheels out of balance and you’ll understand what your drone is experiencing!

Keeping the lens clean will also help improve the image quality, don’t forget the thermal camera lens must be kept clean as well.

Tip 2 – Battery Care

The Sky Mantis is almost unique in its field with a flight time of 1 hour. To achieve this, Sky Mantis is almost all battery! Managing this battery and looking after it well will reward you with the longest possible flight times and a larger number of cycles, protecting your investment as well.

Remember to keep your batteries fully charged to 100% unless you’re going to be storing them for a long period of time. This will ensure that the battery is ready to go when you need it and there’ll be no temptation to fly with a discharged battery.

Sky Mantis’ systems monitor battery performance during the whole flight, measuring critical elements of flight performance over a rolling 50 seconds.

The system will automatically warn when the battery is getting low and will automatically land with 10 minutes remaining on the battery, unless overridden by the pilot. 

Also, remember to rotate your batteries and use them equally; the temptation is to use the same battery first each time.

Don’t forget the GCS battery either!

Keeping batteries safe during transit is also a crucial part of their care, arriving to find that batteries are damaged through careless handling is frustrating. If you have to transport more batteries than the standard carry bag can hold, consider the ED rugged battery case.

ED rugged battery case to fit 4 aircraft batteries and allow for an extra 4 hour flight autonomy

Tip 3 – Plan Your Flight

Ensuring that you have a flight plan in place prior to take-off will mean that you can get straight into your mission. Time spent working out what you want to do with the flight after take-off is time wasted. 

Every good pilot will know their flight plan.

Planning a flight will also help you as a pilot to avoid obstacles such as power lines, pylons, wind farms and other flight restrictions such as Restricted Airspace.

At ED, we know that many of our customers are Emergency Service operators and may sometimes have to fly quickly without time to plan. Making sure that the system is fully charged as mentioned in Tip 2 will help.

Tip 4 – Top Pilot Tip

Flying in windy weather

Sky Mantis is able to fly in weather conditions much wider than almost all other drones. This is mainly because of our flight software but also the shape of the aircraft. When operating in extremes, winds speeds upto 75Km/h gusting and heavy rain, the low shape of the aircraft can mean the rotors are close to the ground. Our Head of Flight Ops, Alan Perrin advises that in strong winds landing with the rear of the aircraft pointing into the wind will give the most clearance for the propellers and make for an easier landing.

Flight Performance

Flight performance of the Sky Mantis is carefully controlled to give the most efficient use of the battery. Flying the aircraft in Loiter mode and avoiding harsh control inputs will reward with the longest flight duration and best quality images.

Sky Mantis flying in the Middle East above an oil field detecting for potential gas leaks through its OGI payload

Tip 5 – Be Prepared

With Sky Mantis being used in such extremes as Antarctica and the deserts in the Middle East, the system is immensely capable. Often, the human element of the Unmanned Aerial System or UAS will be the first to give up. 

Our Ground Control Station (GCS) is designed to be used with gloves and in inclement weather, without complicated menus or touch screens necessary for the pilot to be able to fly. Joysticks are sealed and waterproof as is the whole GCS. 

With the long flight time of up to 1 hour it can be easy to find yourself out in the weather for a considerable amount of time.

Remember, the Sky Mantis is part of a whole system that includes the Pilot, it’s important that you’re at your best as well!