ACRO bug (fixed in 2.9.1b): while doing flips in ACRO mode, if you switch to Stabilize while inverted your throttle will go to minimum.  To regain throttle control you need to switch back to ACRO then back to Stabilize again (i.e. switch to stabilize twice).  You never lose control of roll/pitch/yaw.

Loiter/AltHold/Auto/RTL bug: if you switch into these modes with throttle at zero motors will go to minimum until you raise the throttle.

Auto mode altitude bug (fixed in 2.9.1b): setting a waypoint altitude greater than 320m over home altitude may wrap around and instead be interpreted as a low altitude.

ArduCopter 2.9 is now in the mission planner and the downloads area!

The major improvement is we use inertial navigation to improve altitude hold.  This increased reliance on the accelerometers means you must do some additional set-up before flying:

1. Perform the new accelerometer calibration in the mission planner (video).  The auto-trim metho has also changed (video).

2. Add vibration dampening foam between your frame and the APM.  Some suggested materials: DuBrogelhk foam.

 3. If upgrading from 2.8.1, modify the throttle and altitude PID values:

  • Increase your Throttle Rate P, reduce I to zero, increase D
  • Increase Altitude Hold P, reduce I to zero
  • Tune Throttle Accel P and I terms but try to keep P about 1/2 the size of I


Here is the list of major changes (a more detailed list can be found in the release notes):  

  • Alt hold using inertial navigation (Leonard, Randy, Jonathan)
    • AUTO_VELZ_MIN, AUTO_VELZ_MAX parameters control the max climb/descent rate for the autopilot (cm/s)
    • PILOT_VELZ_MAX controls max climb/descent rate for the pilot (in cm/s)
  • Landing improvements (Leonard/Randy).  Copter will descend to 10m or until an object is sensed with the sonar.  Then slows to 50cm/s descent (speed can be adjusted with LAND_SPEED parameter). (video).
  • Surface tracking with sonar (Randy/Leonard).  Copter will attempt to maintain current distance from objects in front of sonar regardless of altitude.  Only used in alt-hold and loiter, not used for missions.  Sonar can be enabled/disabled with CH7 switch. (video)
  • Failsafe improvements (Randy/Craig/John Arne Birkeland) including bug fixes, additional check for PPM encoder failure and implementation of battery failsafe.  Set-up instructions are here.
  • Mediatek gps driver accuracy improvements and use of SBAS [Craig].  Instructions on upgrading your mediatek to firmware 1.9 are here.
  • Traditional Heli improvements (Rob) including (a) bringing heli code back into the fold, (b) enabled rate controller (previously only used angle controllers). (c) fix to rotor speed controllers - now operates by switching off channel 8.  (d) allow wider collective pitch range in acro and alt hold modes vs stabilize mode  (e) bug fix to allow collective pitch to use the entire range of servos
  • Acro trainer (Leonard). Copter will return to be generally upright if you release the sticks in acro mode.
    • ACRO_TRAINER : set to 1 to enable the auto-bring-upright feature
    • ACRO_BAL_ROLL, ACRO_BAL_PITCH : controls rate at which roll returns to level
  • Camera control improvements (Randy/Sandro Benigno):  (a) AP_Relay enabled for APM2  (b) Trigger camera with CH7 or DO_DIGICAM_CONTROL command  (c) Allow pilot override of yaw during missions and fixed CONDITIONAL_YAW command.
  • PPM sum support for transmitters with as few as 5 channels (Randy/Tridge/John Arne Birkeland).
  • Performance and memory useage improvements (Tridge).


As per usual PIDs are optimised for the 3DR/jDrones quad with 850 motors and 10" props. If you're using more powerful motors/props and are seeing bad flight behaviour in stabilize, start by turning down Rate Roll P in 25% steps.

Special thanks to our testing team lead Marco and the dedicated bunch on the 2.8.1 release thread who put their copters at risk while testing the pre-release version.  Some of their videos are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Please feel free to report issues you find in the discussion below and/or add them to the issues list.


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Yes, high vibration, check your setup and props.

Looks like a tuning issues. Do you have an over powered copter? What tuning have you done? Do you have logs with INAV turned on?

I agree, very important a balanced engine and accessories, as well as fasteners, my apm 2.5 only has a small sheet of foam in a frame of XAircraft 650V
Solid as a rock.



I can only help you if you use the RAW log.

What material are you suggesting to use between the motor and motor mount?






Hi, I was wondering where you got the arms for that frame?  It looks like the same frame I got from HK but mine came with red and black ALU arms, I bought some 14mm CF tube from hK but it doesn't look or feel like CF to me, no pattern on it, its solid black.  Just wondering where you got yours?

yours looks so much better with te CF pattern on it.



Great link - thanks for sharing...

Got my weekend project.

I am glad it worked out for you! Is it still leveling out at high speed?

Marc, I agree with most everything you said. Except for the dampened motor mounts part..

Think of it like this. Do you want to try and isolate motor vibrations from the frame, or do you want to prevent vibrations from occurring in the first place? In my opinion, the whole point of an expensive rigid frame is to have a solid platform that prevents the motor from vibrating. The frame is there to "tie down" the motor. And then you dampen the autopilot from the frame with gel pads to isolate it from the leftover vibrations that the frame isn't able to suppress. With nicely balanced motors and propellers this results in a close to vibration free system. On the other hand, if you have soft motor mounts. Even the tiniest imbalance in motor/propeller or external forces like wind during flight, will lead to huge oscillations since there is nothing fighting the vibration. The same as if you have flexible arms on the copter. And all that energy has to go somewhere eventually, and the only place it can go is back into the frame (or be converted to heat, but then we are getting very technical). In worst case all the strain from such vibrations might even make the propeller drop a blade during flight. At least this is how I see it, from my experience.

Just a feedback Randy.

You nailed it.

Today I had more time and started to extract parameters from tlog of my berserk mode.

Guess what I found.

Rate_p at 1,4999 instead 0,1499

Problem was sitting behind the TX



Thank you mate.

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