Disclaimer: if you are planning on doing a long range flight with your drone make sure you follow local regulations, such as CAA in the UK.
In this tutorial, I will use waypoint navigation in Litchi app together with its online mission hub for creating waypoint flights. I could, of course, create the whole flight in Litchi app but it’s much more convenient to do so on a PC using Litchi website https://flylitchi.com/hub.
Few things to bear in mind when planning such flight:
- Make sure it’s no longer than 15 minutes including the flight back, such that at the end of the flight you have at least 30% of battery available. This is in case you have a strong headwind.
- Use UAV Forecast website or their app to check for weather conditions, especially for the wind direction. You want to begin the flight into the wind so that on the way back you fly with the wind. Use many of the apps available for checking the wind direction in the area you want to fly (such as MyRadar, WINDY or tens of other similar apps).
- Litchi is capable of completing the mission even if there is no signal from your controller. However, there are some limitations such as it will fly at the last commanded speed and the gimbal pitch will no longer be pointing to the POI.
Registering with Litchi
If you haven’t already got an account with Litchi, go to https://flylitchi.com/hub and create a new account. By doing so all the missions you create on the website can be synced with the mobile app.
Continue reading Planning a Long Range Flight in Litchi
If I had to choose one thing I could change on my drone for the rest of its life, without any doubt I would go with Litchi for DJI Phantom 3. The application unlocks the true potential of the drone and turns it into Phantom 4. It supports pretty much every single feature that I want my drone to support from the software point of view. For me the most important ones are:
- Ability to plan your flight missions on your PC using waypoint navigation. No more fidgeting with your mobile phone, especially with my fat fingers. You do it as nature intended – with a mouse and a big screen. You then specify which path the drone has to follow and which objects the camera should be pointed at. At each waypoint you need to specify the altitude, the speed and optionally the number of other things: whether to start/stop recording, take a picture, turn, tilt etc. If you specify 10mph at waypoint A and 20mph at waypoint B, the speed in between will be linearly interpolated.
- If you are signed-in, the mission is automatically synced with your phone! You can then export the flight, analyse it into Google Earth, check elevations, make sure that the drone while flying automatically doesn’t crash into anything.
- At the end of each mission, you can tell the drone what to do, whether to return to home, reverse, go to waypoint 1, land at the destination (the latter one is a great feature)
- It also has a bunch of other features:
- Object tracking, which by default is currently available on Phantom 4 and above.
- Panorama shooting
- Support for VR without the expensive goggles!
You can literally uninstall the DJI software, it’s useless, in fact, I only used it twice, once to fly and another one to upgrade the firmware (so actually keep it for that reason alone)
The fact that the application is £19.99 is a good thing. Meaning that the company can afford to employ proper developers, improve and maintain the software on a continuous basis. In fact, I would have paid more for this software!
If you go to Google Play, make sure you search for Litchi Phantom 3 as there are different versions available for each drone. The rating of the application is surprisingly low, even though it’s rated extremely highly by drone user community. I guess it’s primarily because people don’t take time to learn such a feature-rich application.
I will post tutorials of each feature on my blog and YouTube channel as soon as I have some time. The application is a Godsend!