"Swissair 124, you are cleared for ILS runway 15" - FlightZoomer now allows flying procedures like real pilots do

Two months ago I have released FlightZoomer for the first time (version 1.5). Meanwhile the next version is nearing completion (version 2.0) and I am pleased to present you some of the highlights of this new version...

What are the improvements?

  • Version 1.5 mainly only provided feedback, Version 2.0 now is fully bi-directional, which means that my groundstation is extensively involved in controlling the flight path.
  • Air Traffic Control simulation. 
  • Recreating all the autopilot modes of the real Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
  • Sophisticated autoflight capabilities, like turn rate (= radius) definition, automatic course, altitude or glideslope capturing and - last but not least, the cherry on the cake - an automated ILS approach mode.
  • The supported features of the guided mode via MAVLink have been stressed to the utmost to get a satisfying handling.
  • Tested only with copters so far.

So what can you see in the video above?

  • The video is a live recording of the first succesfully completed ILS approach under the guidance of the in-built Air Traffic Control from last saturday.
  • You can see how the FlightZoomer groundstation is manipulated like real pilots would manipulate their Mode Control Panel (see below) in order to conduct an IFR/ILS approach.
  • You can hear my comments, but also the Air Traffic Control (female synthetic voice) and my co-pilot reading back the instructions (male synthetic voice).
  • 10 months ago I posted a youtube video, where I have hand-flown an ILS approach using FlightZoomer. At that time only one of 10 approaches would pan out so well as shown in the video. But the new version 2.0 will deliver a consistent and outstanding autoflight performance and precision.

Presentation of the real 787 Mode Control Panel (MCP):


Earlier FlightZoomer posts:

My project FlightZoomer: realistic flight instruments, navigation s...

FlightZoomer News: documentation finished! Introduction Flight Mana...

FlightZoomer is now generally available! See how the look&feel ...


More details (about version 1.5):

http://flightzoomer.com/

Views: 1068


Developer
Comment by Bill Bonney on December 15, 2015 at 4:05pm

Can I ask the question of the purpose of this app? I can see the benefits in the simulation from a VR perspective as it helps a pilot learn the control of a Dreamliner Autopilot, but what does it bring to flying a copter. Or is the idea to bring this same control to landing autonomous or semi-autonomous drones? Or is this a step towards a Augmented Reality app. 

I'm just trying to understand the reason and desire to make such a unique app?

Comment by chris wilson on December 15, 2015 at 9:36pm

Thats really cool, ill have to give it a try. 

Comment by Martin Rüedi on December 15, 2015 at 11:11pm

@Chris, be aware that the shown features have not yet been released.

@Bill:

first - for me personally the ILS approach with RC aircraft was just a dream from the day I my first RC aircraft climbed to the sky 30 years ago. I was also a passionate flight simulator IFR pilot. Which is nice but a bit unreal no matter how god the virtual cockpit is (and good FS cockpits still outdo FlightZoomer by a long shot feature wise).

second - I was always interested in and impressed by scale RC modeling. Something like this:

But - and this is what was really strange to me - yet looking scale at the outside this thing (regarding navigation, equipment and procedures) is flown barely like this in real aviation:

So I dare to say that my unremarkable little quadcopter at the moment is flown more "scale" than any other RC aircraft out there...

third - Like arducopter has its 14 flight modes FlightZoomer will offer also more than 10. The difference is that the FlightZoomer autoflight modes are an overlay over the GUIDED APM mode and are modeled after the Boeing autopilot. In my opinion FlightZoomer (via the MCP as shown above) will allow more flexible flight path control, than the traditional AC modes.

As a teaser the full list of autoflight modes which will be supported in FlightZoomer:

Lateral control:

- Heading select and hold

- Course over ground select and hold

- Select the turn rate for the two modes mentioned so far (depending on the forward speed a turn radius follows)

- Follow flightplan (not APM flight plans, but using the in-built FlightZoomer flight route capabilities)

- Arm, capture and follow VOR localizer

- Arm, capture and follow ILS

Vertical control:

- Select and hold vertical speed

- Select and hold flight path angle (vertical speed varies with forward speed)

- FLCH (Flight Level Change Mode) just go fully automatically to the armed altitude

- VNAV follow the vertical flight profile of the flightplan

- Arm, capture and hold altitude (any of the vertical modes above can be used to climb/descend towards the armed altitude)

- Arm, capture and follow vertically an ILS glideslope 

Forward control:

- Select and hold speed over ground

- Hold speed of the flightplan

Most of the lateral, vertical and speed modes can be combined freely.

Comment by Ben Fisher on December 16, 2015 at 11:23am

@Martin

Congratulations, very impressive. I can see this being very useful, especially for fixed wing and difficult landing zones. I hope to see support for other platforms (Raspberry Pi, iOS, etc). Hopefully, the wider community can support it. 

Keep up the fantastic work!

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