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Old 07-01-2018, 06:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
A VIKING
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Get a bag of pop corn...this is a long one.

So...I have been grounded a very long time due to auto pilot issues. Hopefully one day "if the wind don't blow and the chain don't break" I'll be back in the air, spray cleaning, and making video once again.

While I have been grounded I have noticed that my spray platform ideas are taking flight with others which is great!
I have seen You Tube videos of "washing drones" and "roof washing drones" created by others.

What bothers me is how some are attempting it...

There is a video of a large multi rotor drone with a "pressure washer" wand attached to the bottom.
Like me they leave the pump and supply tank on the ground but they are trying to use "high pressure" to do the cleaning.

Apparently they didn't read any of my articles about the setup and experiments about washing with a helicopter or drone when I started this.

Everyone who has ever pressure washed anything knows how hard it is to control the wand and to be accurate in doing the work. Can you imagine trying to control even a moderately high pressure wand while hovering? I don't know anyone who makes a FBL that could fly it and it be useful. They did it in the video but I don't know how successful it was.

When pressure washing you have to keep the tip of the wand close to the work to have effective pressure to do the job. If you drop back even a foot from this "effective working distance" you have nothing but blowing mist hitting the surface with no "power cleaning" ability at all.

So now that you are spraying a fine mist, where is it going? Yup...it's swirling around and back on your drone or helicopter.
I saw in the video that the operators of the pressure washing drone wrapped the drone in a couple yards of plastic film in an effort to keep it dry and operational. Wonder how much mist was sucked back into the drone motors...and how long they would last in such an environment?


If all these problems weren't enough they were using the high pressure hose that came with the pressure washer...how heavy and stiff can that be and how long can it be before the drone can't lift it anymore?
Good for low buildings I guess.

I applaud anyone who try's this kind of operation with a drone or helicopter and I appreciate the effort but lets think things through a little.

I mentioned in my articles that low pressure was key in making this work.
Let the cleaning chemical do the work, not high pressure. Pressure washers should only be used on side walks and concrete walls. Not only is low pressure easy on whatever it is your trying to clean but you don't get the giant cloud of fine mist engulfing your helicopter of drone ending its life in an ugly way.

I have done many spray operations with low pressure and I have never gotten one drop of cleaning fluid on my Velos. I never felt the need to wrap it in plastic to protect it while flying.

To do it right: Spray cleaning chemical under low pressure, spray course droplets and pay attention to the wind (never spray into the wind, always spray down wind) and you will be successful every time and your flying machine will always be dry and operational.

The roof cleaning drone was much better. It looked like it used low pressure and they had taken the idea one positive step further. Instead of a single point spray tip like I use on my Velos they created a horizontal spray beam off the nose of the drone which was wide and had many spray tips attached to it allowing for wide coverage with one pass. I liked that, it was very useful. They also went with leaving the supply tank and pump on the ground, hey, I know it works!

Looking forward to seeing many truly successful flying platforms used for spray cleaning out there!
Lets make the world a prettier place and have fun doing it.
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