I am opening this topic to serve as the go-to place for talking about the upcoming 2.9 software release for Trad Helis. I think this will be necessary as 2.9 will have SIGNIFICANT changes in the way that the helis fly, and also in the settings you will use.
Yesterday, I flew 4 packs of "2.9 - rc2" from the downloads section on my 450 heli. The file is located here:
I would be interested in having some other people try some test flying with this. I'll have to walk you through the setup, as it requires a bit of work to get a flying parameter setting using the rate controllers which are now active. You CANNOT fly using the old parameters for Stabilize PID. Don't even try it. Also, the Alt_Hold parameters will have significantly changed.
This is slightly complicated by the fact that we have some new Heli-specific Rate PID parameters called "Rate_Pitch_FF", also for Roll and Yaw. Unfortunately these are only accessible in MP from the Advanced Parameters List. Hopefully I can get that fixed. What I'd like to do is for TradHeli, in MP, remove the Rate_Pitch_D, in the Config PID screen, and replace it with Rate_Pitch_FF. This is because I have found the D-term to be completely unusable anyway. The FF is feed-forward. This was what I found was the key to getting the heli to be able to fly in rate mode. Basically, it is like P-term, but has no error correction. It's sort of like this:
P-output = P-term x (Rate Input - Current Rate)
FF-output = FF-term x Rate Input
then you also have the I-term output. So the total servo command is:
Servo-output = P-output + I-output + FF-output
I have also implemented the FF on the yaw controller, and found that it actually helps to stop the slight "tail wag" that we always had.
There are also some new settings for the collective. These are Stab_Col_Min and Stab_Col_Max. What these are for is sort of like Idle-up pitch curves. You can now set up your swash plate with full negative pitch, maybe a range of -10° to +10°, or +/-12°, but when flying in Stabilize mode, you can set Stab_Col_Min to reduce the amount of negative pitch available to something like -3° or whatever you prefer. This gives a nice soft feel. However, in Acro mode, you will get the full range, and also the auto-pilot modes get the full range. For example, I set my Col_Min and Col_Max to give me +/-10°, and then I set Stab_Col_Min to 40, which is 40%, and this changes the negative pitch to only -2° in Stab mode.
The only thing to know here is that when you change modes between Acro and Stab, the swash-plate will jump up and down, so you have to be ready for it. It's no different than using Idle-up in your Tx.
My test flights yesterday went quite well. The Alt_Hold now works beautifully, and I actually prefer landing in Alt_Hold rather than Stabilize! I also did a few flips with it in Acro mode (very ugly, I'm not good at this) using full negative collective when upsidedown, and it worked well. It didn't seem to get confused. Finally, I tried going into Acro, rolling it over upside-down or sideways, then back to Stabilize, and it flipped right way up which is good.
The only problem I have seen so far is that when flying in Alt_Hold, if you push the cyclic full forward and get up a high speed, the altitude starts to oscillate badly. I suspect this is a classic "phugoid", or pitch/throttle oscillation. We'll have to work on this. However it seems to fly well up to about 1/2 Vmax.
I'll try to post my Parameter file here tonight, but I caution that the settings will be HIGHLY dependent on your servo speed, as well as many other setup differences.