Pilot Cam

A remote-controlled airplane, a camera, and a pair of goggles can put you in the (virtual) pilot’s seat for as little as $500

Team Black Sheep raised eyebrows with its overflight of New York City in 2010. (Team Black Sheep)
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Another option is the “return home” capability. If the airplane accidentally flies out of range and you lose signal, an onboard processor reads the GPS location and flies the airplane back toward you until you can take control again. Pretty sweet.

For the most part, FPV systems are still do-it-yourself, with the pilots assembling the parts. If you have no previous experience, don’t expect to jump right in; you might have to do some soldering, and it wouldn’t hurt to get a ham radio license so you know how to get the most out of your transmitter frequencies. Team Black Sheep is now offering an almost-ready-to-fly FPV Zephyr kit on its Web site for $1,999, with no soldering required (team-blacksheep.com/products/product:3). But big RC manufacturers are likely to catch up in this market soon, so keep an eye out for all-in-one, pre-made FPV aircraft that you will be able to fly right out of the box.


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