The APM dev team is delighted to announce the release of APM:Plane 2.74, a major new release with a lot of new features. This release is recommended for anyone flying fixed wing aircraft with an APM2 or PX4.
There are a lot of changes in this release, but some of the highlights are:
Scroll down for a more complete list of changes, but before that I'd like to give you a bit more detail on the highlights above.
New Attitude Controllers
The new "APM_Control" attitude controllers have been in development for a long time. Originally developed by Jon Challinger last year, they were extended by Paul Riseborough and made compatible with the existing parameter names. The key advantage of these new controllers is their improved handling of noise, and much better ability to tune for your aircraft. There is a new tuning guide in the wiki which gives detailed instructions on how to make the most of the new capabilities.
One of the big effects you will see with the new attitude controllers is better handling of pitch compensation in turns. The new PTCH2SRV_RLL parameter makes tuning for flat turns much easier, which has been a major source of frustration in the past.
The new controllers also handle sensor noise much better, especially if you use any D term in your roll or pitch controllers.
New Speed/Height Controller
The new TECS speed/height controller is the second major controller change in this release, and will make a world of difference for aircraft with an airspeed sensor. After a lot of testing I decided to make TECS the default in this release, although you can switch back to the old controllers using the ALT_CTRL_ALG parameter if need be. If for some reason you find you do need these old controllers then please let me know, as I am planning on removing the old controllers in the next release.
The previous airspeed controller for speed/height suffered from a major problem that it gave absolute priority to airspeed. If the aircraft could not achieve the target airspeed you had set then it would dive to gain speed, even to the point of diving into the ground. This made it quite fragile, and you had to be very sure of your airspeed configuration.
The new controller operates over a range of airspeed values, set using the ARSPD_FBW_MIN and ARSPD_FBW_MAX parameters. That controller will try to meet both the airspeed and altitude demands of the mission, but if it can't reach the target speed it will happily fly a bit slower, as long as it doesn't get below ARSPD_FBW_MIN. You can control the relative priorities of speed versus height using the TECS_SPDWEIGHT parameter. See the full tuning guide for details.
New ACRO flight mode
This modes brings rate controlled stabilization to APM:Plane, and should help give you an "on rails" manual flight experience. It is a lot of fun to fly, but it is not for beginners!
We're planning on expanding the ACRO mode in future releases. Right now it is great for "locked in" flying, and also good for loops and handles inverted flight very nicely. It doesn't yet handle knife-edge or prop-hanging.
New CRUISE flight mode
After a suggestion from Hein, we now have a new CRUISE flight mode. This mode is ideal for longer distance flying without a pre-programmed mission. It is like FBWB, but also does ground track heading hold, with heading update via aileron or rudder.
I've been testing CRUISE at my local flying field, and it is the easiest mode to fly in APM. Just steer the plane around the sky, and when you stop steering it locks onto a ground track and holds it. It isn't a good mode for takeoff and landing, but once you are in the air it is great.
New camera trigger system
When using APM for aerial mapping where you want photos taken at regular distances, the previous system was to setup a grid mission with a "camera trigger" mission item at regular intervals within the mission. That worked, but led to overly large and complex missions. You can now just set a single parameter CAM_TRIGG_DIST to the number of meters of flight between photos, and the APM will take care of when to trigger the camera. This makes for much simpler missions, and also works in other flight modes, including FBWB and CRUISE.
Lots of smaller changes
As is usual with a new release after a couple of months of development there were a lot of smaller improvements based on feedback from users. Many thanks to everyone who gave feedback and contributed patches!
Here is a partial list of the changes:
This new release has a lot of new features that should improve the flying experience for all APM users. The APM dev teams wishes all APM users many enjoyable flights, and we hope you have as much fun flying this release as we had making it.
where do I find the radio callibration tab?
I need it for elevons.
Another question: the stabiliz mode doesn't work fine, moving the nose up doesn't react in lowering the elevons elevator?!!?!:(
I can't get the stabilize work fine:(
You need to get elevons set up first before stab/fbw/auto will work properly.
I modify mine in the full parameter list. You need to enable elevons by changing elevon_output from 0 to the number that corresponds to your airframe. Mine is 3, DownUp, but you just change and then test on the ground until the elevons react the way you need. After that, the auto modes will function correctly.
where can I find thairframe number?
Also, make sure you disable elevon mixing in your transmitter - that or I think you can enable elevon_mixing in the APM for input, but I just disable it in the radio and let the APM sort it out, I believe this is the majority config.
steering in stabilize 'works' when I switch to stabilize, the elevtor goes up, and all the movements are bigger.
I flew it before without the apm.
connected apm after that setup the elevon, the elevons doesn't work in stabilize, moving the nose down, doesn't react in moving the elevator up. but a combination:(
That is why you need to disable elevon mixing in the radio and switch to standard acro, and then in the full parameter list for the APM change ELEVON_OUTPUT to the number that works for you. You have to try them all (there are only 4) until you get the one that works for you.
so no elevon setup in the radio? ( a normal airframe with rudder aileron and elevator?)
than test it in the full parameter list till it works in manual?
Have you checked out the manual pages on setting up the elevon mixing - it is pretty good.
ok thanks it works!!
another question: how can I set up the altitude of the rtl?
I am confused, the statement in this thread are to set up elevon plane as standard 4 channel but the instructions on the elevon page linked above state
"1. First, set it up in manual mode by setting up elevon mixing on your RC transmitter"