I've been looking around for an altitude hold device for RC Helicopters using GPS for nearly a year now, and all have miserably failed.

I just joined here, and am wondering, has anyone done this yet (Heli altitude hold)?
Someone has tried it with barometric sensors, but unfortunately that didn't work out.

I need altitude hold for my AP heli

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Rather than start yet another thread on "how do I build a stabilizer" I think attaching my question to this thread might be the best.
Unlike most members who want to design their own, I just want to buy a stabilizer that will allow a helicopter to be very stable and have only 3 remote controls -
1. Altitude with just an up/down control
2. Yaw to select a direction
3. Fly in a direction/stop
No banked turns, etc, just fly straight and level to a point, stop, slowly yaw around, then fly in the new direction.
It should be very stable so that flying it would not need any helicopter experience.
ie a very simple device, but very stable.
Can anyone suggest a suitable device?
I know of no hardware / software that you require off, except for very high end UAV rotary aircraft ($$$) controlled fully via a PC and programming. Can't find the link right now, but will post it when I bump into it again.
Flying RC helis is never easy, period. Even if a fully autonomous and idiot proof system is ever released (affordable to the common man), you still need to know how to fly the heli WITHOUT all the software, in case of glitches and sensory failures (common).

There are no easy short cuts to flying helis.
You are absolutely right. There is a reason full scale ships still have pilots in them - even when millions are spent on autopilot systems. And helicopters are complex and prone to fail even without the added complexity of an autopilot. It is clear that we are going to advance UAV technologies to be truly unmanned at all times. It's just a matter of time - and I for one can't wait.
The problem is that if you want stabilization, you need gyros and accelerometers. If you want position hold, you need gps. If you want perfect heading hold you need a magnetometer. Then you need an autopilot that does navigation (where you are), guidance (how to get form here to there), and controls (how to move this way or that). Once you do all that, you pretty much have a system that can then be fully autonomous with way points etc.

If you're wondering, these vendors have autopilots.
wePilot
Guided Systems (based on Piccolo from Cloud Cap)
Adaptive Flight
MicroPilot
NRI (I think they were sold or went out of business)
Great info Mr. Altman. Will look into each. NRI did go out of business, with a few unhappy customers in tow.
GPS altitude was good enough for heli's last year if you flew when satellites were directly overhead & had a real clean GPS signal. This year, the satellite coverage has been intermittant. Better get a big airframe & an SCP1000. That thing is pretty solid. You need a big space to put it in, isolated from rotor wash.
I went through the SCP1000 specs. Seems extremely promising with 9cm pressure change sensing ability.
Space and rotor wash isolation is not a problem. The problem is the lack of knowledge on merging the sensor output to the receiver / swash control.
However, where there's a will, there will be a way......
In my opinion the best is to use an ultrasonic altimeter up to 16meter, then the GPS shall do the work. If you do not trust it , you could use a barometric sensor in order to have redundant data, and mixing both with a kalman filter.
Best,

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