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Epic FPV drone video of the 400m freestyle in one take

Epic FPV drone video of the 400m freestyle swimming relay

Check out this epic FPV drone video of the 400m freestyle swim in one take. Especially the end comes as a surprise and shows you why we need… waterproof drones!

Epic FPV drone video of the 400m freestyle swimming relay

This most epic FPV drone video of the 400m freestyle was filmed with a custom-built waterproof fpv drone and shows you swimming as you have never seen before. Especially the ending of the video is surprising and awesome to watch.

In the description on YouTube, Will said, “this shoot wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible coordination of the UCSD Swim team and coaches and Jack Spitser.”

Will explained in the various comments on YouTube how he was able to create the sound effects that accompanied the FPV drone video:

We recorded all the individual elements of the race after the shoot. So jumping off the blocks, entering the water, each side’s cheers, coaches’ whistling, then individual swimmers one by one. From there it all blending in the edit bay, even down to timing the individual splashes of swimmers arms going into the water. It’s was a lot of work, and there’s things I would definitely improve if I could do it over, but I’m pretty stoked on how it came out!

About waterproofing the FPV drone, Will said:

I lost two in the process while filming this shot over two days. I ended up using a Shendrones hydrophobe and sealed it completely with marine-grade silicone. I will say that waterproofing a drone to the level of dive-bombing into a pool at 30mph is much, much harder task than I initially thought!

I sealed it with 3M 4200 marine sealant to the point where I thought it would be fully “waterproof”. I was wrong. We did one take, with the dive bomb into the water and it shorted almost instantly. I fixed it and resealed it from the inside and out and it survived. Though after a month of flying I don’t think I’d fully submerge it again. The area where the battery leads comes out seems like a weak point since it flexes. I’m working on a new iteration that should be better.

Why didn’t he use a cinewhoop?

I was initially planning on filming this with a cinewhoop! It was a custom design of a Squirt with an enclosed hardware bay but it proved to be too heavy for the motors I used and I smoked one while practicing this line. So I ended up using the 5” hydrophobe with ducts around the props for protection.

Will we see footage like this of live sporting events in the future? Likely not because it would be too hard to safeguard the athletes’ safety and not to impact their performance in a negative way. Will said”

For a live event, I totally agree. But this was a highly planned production with safety as the highest priority. We had everything planned to a T; from a custom drone with ducts that protect and enclose the props, to practicing the flight line prior to the live shot, having pre-production meetings with the team, and even timing each swimmer’s start down to the second so the timing would be perfect.

Will thanked the swim team and photographer for their help in making this epic video happen.

A huge thanks to @ucsdswimdive and @spitserphoto for helping make this happen. I’ve had this concept in my head for over a year now and so much had to go right for this to be pulled off this perfectly.

The epic FPV drone video

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Haye Kesteloo

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