Fly With A Single Rotary Controller - FlightZoomer 3 Feature Preview

When Microsoft announced the Surface Dial last October, I immediately knew, that no better application could be developed for this controller than controlling the flight path of drones. For weeks I checked availability in Europe, only to order an overpriced device from the US Ebay finally. As it arrived I probably got one of the first Surface Dials in Europe...

This device literally cries to be integrated in my virtual cockpit software FlightZoomer. It is a perfect fit as an efficient, yet simplistic man-machine interface, to control the FlightZoomer autopilot (FlightZoomer is a Boeing 787 alike UI + system layer on-top ArduPilot).

But it was worth the effort: Changing modes by pressing and selecting target values by turning - how more simple could flying be? One man - one hand - one controller!

In the video above, you can see how the controller perfectly supports relaxed flying as well as street canyon hunting...

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Comment by robert bouwens on May 1, 2017 at 5:25am

for desktop use only.

for flying you need 3 hands ...

Comment by Martin Rüedi on May 1, 2017 at 6:02am

How do you mean?

With one hand you can select either the Speed-, Altitude, Vertical Speed-, Flight Path Angle-, Turnrate-, TrackOverGround- or Heading-mode by pressing the controller. By turning it, you can change the target value for the select mode.

There is no normal flight maneuver, that can't be flown this way. The video demonstrates it. 

Comment by Mateusz Sadowski on May 1, 2017 at 11:42pm

How about using SpaceMouse and being able to control almost everything at the same time?

Comment by Hamish on May 2, 2017 at 10:45am

This is surprisingly good, and pretty thought provoking. I can imagine using it also to plan paths quite intuitivley.

Comment by Martin Rüedi on May 2, 2017 at 1:42pm

@Mateusz, I took notice of the SpaceMouse some months back. It is indeed similar, has even many more handling modes as it seems. I agree, that it could be integrated too and that it could serve as a quite intuitive flight controller too. The difference is, that it more reflects the classical stick controller. I might add it on my longlist for potential future extensions ;)

@Hamish: how would you propose, to use the dial for flight path planning?

Comment by Andre K. on June 2, 2017 at 6:05am

cool, do you have the madhacker mavlink to hott telemetry on the tramsmitter as well ? 

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