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Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Denise Fitzgerald, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. After the fun we had oniste with our first ALTA preorder customer Steve Maller, we decided that we need to do it again! But this time with more people.

    We are announcing an opportunity for you to join us at Freefly HQ for a day filled with tours, a technical overview of the ALTA, an initial training and much more... All at no charge for pre-order customers who have paid their final balance ($1,000 Value).*

    We have three dates available (Aug 28th, Sep 25th & Oct 23rd) and are limited to 15 people per date. Since you were one of the first to get in line, you can sign up before anyone else. We did say there were perks.

    This early access is available until tomorrow so email support@freeflysystems.com to reserve your spot.

    For those that don't already know, Steve Maller at Perspective Air was the first to get on the ALTA pre-order list. We invited him to Freefly HQ to show him what we have spent so much time developing. We sat with him to hear about how he got his start and why he chose the ALTA.


    Check out his experience before it is shared tomorrow. (Password: ALTA)
     
  2. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    This was an amazing experience. I would encourage any of you who can do so to take advantage of this opportunity. You won't meet a cooler, smarter and more passionate group of people than the Freefly staff. I can't thank them enough for their hospitality.

    I told my wife I felt like Charlie Bucket, and just like in that story, I think Willie Wonka and the Ooompa Loompas were just as excited for me to visit as I was to be there. :D

    It was fun (and yes, a little terrifying) and quite unexpected to actually step out from behind the camera for once. Especially to be able to watch the brilliantly creative film team at Freefly do their thing. Wow...truly humbled.

    Thanks, Freefly!
     
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  3. Derek Cooper

    Derek Cooper Active Member

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    You're famous Steve - I've dropped a Bass Pro Shop ballcap in the mail to you if you could sign it and ship it back, please! Tks.
     
    Steve Maller likes this.
  4. MIke Magee

    MIke Magee Active Member

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    I remember Steve when all he had was an ass-kicking X8. Rock star now.
    -m
     
  5. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I thought he started with a single rotor -- not even a tail rotor (NOTAR)....he's come a long way, baby....

    Andy.
     
  6. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    You guys are cracking me up. :p
     
  7. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    We figure that if we make you laugh you might deign to continue interacting with us mere mortal pond scum even now you're famous and have had movies made about you. :)

    Andy.
     
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  8. Jose Luis Ocejo

    Jose Luis Ocejo Active Member

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    Hi Andy can you tell us how was the first group Alta initial training
     
  9. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    It was good. There were 12 people there -- including Jeff and Victor from Quadrocopter. The weather was kind enough to allow us to go test fly the ALTA. I flew it without payload so it was a bit light, but not at all twitchy. The two slider switches on the underneath of the Futaba 14SG allow you to vary the horizontal and vertical velocity "clamp" (maxima) speeds so you can set up a tracking shot and simply move the right hand stick to full deflection and the ALTA will translate only at the maximum horizontal speed set by the clamp. Makes constant velocity horizontal translation tracking shots very easy.

    The ALTA is surprisingly quiet because the special ESCs that FF designed and built emit true AC rather than that a pulse simulation of AC and thus they do not make the motors emit that characteristic 2 Khz whining noise.

    They FF guys set up the programmable boom lights for red to be the rear of the copter and green at the front (the reverse to the way I normally do it), so that was a leetle challenging. Takeoff and and landing characteristics were very docile -- without payload the ground effect was quite noticeable, but not a problem to land.

    Tour of FF's development facility was very interesting -- we saw the ALTA production line and the test jigs use to align the motors and props on the booms to within very tight tolerance. It was impressive to see the two testing "shipping" containers parked up against the building where the motors/props undergo automated testing, and fully assembled ALTAs are also tested. The noise from outside the container when all the motors were running at maximum throttle was quite amazing.

    Each ALTA is also flown by a test pilot before it is shipped. The test pilot in question is also an RC single-rotor helicopter pilot and he put on an amazing 3D aerobatic flight demonstration. My palms were sweaty watching him fly the helicopter inverted at grass top height -- he really was down in the weeds. This is not him flying but just a representative video of what we saw:

    We were all pretty stunned with comments like: "No, no....a helicopter just cannot do that." But it did.

    Needless to say, it did. I'm glad that FF has such an experience pilot doing the testing -- it means that every ALTA shipped is in known good condition before they ship.

    The day closed with a BBQ (with excellent Lager and IPA in copious quantities) for the attendees and many of the FF folks there -- they were all very approachable and we got to chat with anyone we wanted to.

    The funniest moment involved two of the attendees who were from Adelaide down in Australia and they were pretty weary because of jet-lag (they'd arrived the night before). Around 5:30, they summoned an Uber car to take them back to their hotel, so we said our goodbyes and off they went.

    Then about five minutes later they re-appeared.

    We asked what the problem was and one of them said, "Well, we were in the Uber car and we'd gone about 50 yards when we realized that we were making a serious strategic error -- there we were, driving AWAY from free beer, so we asked the Uber driver to stop, we paid him, and then walked back."

    When I left about 40 minutes later, there was still beer in the kegs and still beer going into the Australians. Now that's an example of cultural devotion.

    Andy
     
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  10. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Sounds like a great time!
     
  11. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Yeah, Steve. It was a very good visit. It's good to see a company doing its utmost to design and build the next generation of copters and pay attention to quality, documentation, and customer support.

    Two fleeting but attention grabbing visual images from the visit:

    1. Kept seeing signs with this around the building: #prolevel.
    2. Sign in the men's room stall: "Changing the toilet paper does not cause brain damage."

    The weather went to hell the next day, though. Hurricane force winds as a Pacific storm swept it. We had to drive home in it and that was no fun at all. http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/30/us/northwest-weather/index.html
     
  12. Jose Luis Ocejo

    Jose Luis Ocejo Active Member

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    Thats great Andy thanks for the rundown I spoke to Justin Marx here and he gave me his rundown too, I wish I could have gone but I mist the deadline for the Alta pre-purchase, I wonder if Freefly would extend their hospitality to the second wave of Alta customers like me, I think we all could be better ambassadors of Freefly products if we talk to the guys that make the stuff and see where is all made
     
  13. Bruce Clarke

    Bruce Clarke New Member

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    I would be in for a visit from Downunder too if the programme was reinstated!
     
  14. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I'll make sure the folks at FF see this thread.
    Andy.
     
  15. Hi Jose and Bruce...Our apologies for any confusion but we still have seats available for the next two events. If you were an early adopter and paid a deposit to preorder your ALTA (and have since paid the balance) the admission is free and you just need to contact support and they will get you registered. If you have recently purchased an ALTA or are planning to purchase one, the admission for the event is $1000. Support can assist you in getting registered either way.

    Best Regards,
    Denise
     
  16. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    And just as a reminder, those next two events are: Sep 25th & Oct 23rd.

    Andy.
     
  17. Bruce Clarke

    Bruce Clarke New Member

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    Thanks Denise,

    I really meant I would be happy to visit and pay the 1k but only if I could also collect my Alta that has been ordered
     

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