ArduCopter 3.0.1 has been released and is now available in the Mission Planner,, GitHub and the new Downloads Area.

Warning #1: Compass calibration and reducing interference is far more important than with 2.9.1b

Warning #2: GPS glitches can cause sudden and aggressive position changes while in loiter mode.  You may wish to reduce the Loiter PID P to 0.5 (from 1.0) to reduce aggressiveness (see image below of where this gain can be found in mission planner).

Warning #3: optical flow is not supported but will be back in the next release (AC-3.0.2 or AC-3.1.0).

Warning #4: loiter turns does not maintain altitude.  This bug will be fixed in AC-3.0.2.

Warning #5: This release has only been lightly tested on Traditional Helicopters.

Improvements over 2.9.1b include:

  • Inertial Navigation for Loiter and Auto meaning much more accurate control (Randy,Leonard,JonathanC)
  • 3D navigation controller follows straight lines in all dimensions between waypoints (Leonard,Randy)

         WPNAV_SPEED, WPNAV_SPEED_UP, WPNAV_SPEED_DN, WPNAV_ACCEL allows configuring speeds and acceleration during missions

  • "compassmot" to compensate for interference on compass from the pdb, motors, ESCs and battery.  (Randy,JonathanC) (Set-up video here)
  • Safety improvements:
    • simple Tin Can shaped Geo Fence
    • pre-arm checks to ensure all calibration has been performed before arming (can be disabled by setting ARMING_CHECK to zero).  (video description here)
    • GPS failsafe - switches to LAND if GPS is lost for 5 seconds
    • stability patch improvements to stop rapid climbs in very overpowered or overtuned copters
  • Circle mode improvements including "panorama" when CIRCLE_RADIUS set to zero (Randy,Leonard)
  • SONAR_GAIN parameter added to allow better tuning of sonar surface tracking
  • CH8 auxiliary switch (same features as CH7)
  • works on PX4 (some minor features still not available) (Tridge,PatH)

How to upgrade:

1. Make sure you are using Mission Planner 1.2.59 or newer (get it here)

2. Click on the MissionPlanner's Hardware, Install Firmware screen.  The version numbers should appear as "ArduCopter-3.0.1", then click the appropriate frame icon and it should upgrade as per usual.

3. Reduce the Loiter and Alt Hold PIDs if you have modified them from the defaults.  The modified PID values for the 3DR frame can be seen in the image below.

Note: Nav parameters have been combined with Loiter so do not be concerned if you can't find them.

4. Although not directly related to this release, if you purchased an APM prior to March of 2013, update your PPM encoder to the latest firmware (instructions here).

5. Try out the new version in stabilize mode first, then alt-hold, then loiter and finally RTL and Auto.

Numerous How-To videos are available:

Special Thanks to MarcoDaveC and the large number of testers on the pre-release thread who put their copters at risk during the extended testing period.  Some of their videos can be found hereherehereherehere and here.  Thanks also to MichaelO for the MP changes required for this release.

All feedback welcome.  Please put your questions, comments (good and bad!) below.

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thanks Dragu. hope to try it for my self soon. Any tip before I start it?

Start using a small plastic propeller quad as F450 or similar 9-10 inch quad. When you are confortable flying it , you can go on bigger props. Bigger carbon props can be lethal, beware. 

Thank you for appreciation. I have the charger running on my car battery and everything else scattered inside my car, so i keep the doors open for easy access :) 

Connect to Mission planner and try to arm watching the HUD. You will see what causes the failsafe with big red characters. PS. Update your MP to latest version.

Hi Randy, before releasing the final 3.1, please check why RTH is not working in fast forward (+30km/h) alt hold mode. GPS_glitch_Radius is 100, could be the reason? the log is uploaded in my previous post here. 

Ps. I have some footage with autonomous take off and autoland in loiter. They include motors spin when armed. I'll upload on dropbox  this evening

Who would be crazy enough to send expensive 5-10 kg lifter multirotor to a trip of 10km(and back!!)


you should buy NORMAL aircraft instead,not multirotor

If no one is doing it at the moment then more the reason to try and do it I say.

Its not that crazy or impossible if you put in the proper FSs and with a well tested setup.  Isn't it Amazon who are looking at using multirotors for delivering goods up to 16klm away?

Its this type of ambition that is the drive behind such great projects as this and to push the boundaries and then discover how to make it work. I admire such challenges and the people who take them. I don't call it crazy at all.

Take a look at the forum where people are pushing the boundaries to fly a multi rotors to over 95 min? We are at the fore front of cutting edge technology and development here. Lets push as far to every possibility we can find while we can I say. After all this is how this  DIYDrones stared off as well.

Yes all that was done. New MP, new 3.1 RC7, all for a friends 450 quad.

As I said there was no HUD massage except 'failsafe'. I guess thats the only one that does not bring up an explanation. This was complicated by the fact he had a switch mixing in a throttle bias.

Then on to the next weird problem.

It would do a stable hover but had an uncontrollable yaw to the right.

Any guesses?

3 CW props and 1 CCW.. Thought I would nave spotted that straight away but he told me it had been flying fine.

PS Dragu.

I may be getting a job in Bucharest!

The way Minhaj asks, reveals that he is lacking of experience in multirotor design and actual power limitations. Anyway, thanks for sharing 101 min flight time result, it's inspiring :)

Sometime our experience can keep us blind to new concepts. I never think to assume just because they don't have experience they wouldn't be able to achieve something. They might just make completely different mistakes we have all made and find something completely new. 

This long flight time achievement is one example where the guy was using Nicads rather than  Lipos to get the flight times where most people assumes lipos are the best option. . But are they?

I really dislike such remarks


you should buy NORMAL aircraft instead,not multirotor"

Its so uninspiring and arrogant.

Imagine someone said that to Chris Anderson when he decided to build an open source DIY Drone? I'm sure plenty of people told him it no one is doing that and he has no experienced and it wasn't possible as well. But look at the marvelous development we now have in this.

I prefer to encourage their enthusiasm and a new idea and challenge, not put it down

thanks john for your support i am still developing idea and information but hope i will try some new

Hi minhaj,

It's complicated and it's not! As some have said below, it's really a matter of experience.

To some extent, these forums can help, and to another extend they can hinder. They often express limitations, which innocent hearts don't want to consider.

But if you are persistent, and don't give up easily, you just may meet your goal.

You have to read all you can, and try to understand the limitations, pick out tricks and ideas, and most of all form new ones.

You will not achieve what you are looking for by simply asking questions. You must build, and fail, build and fail and build again.

I am one of those who asks questions that nobody answers, perhaps like you. It is frustrating. But I know I am doing things that others are not.

As far as heavy loads over long distance... the challenges are immense. Building a long duration air vehicle is like powering a rocket into space. You need more power to go longer distance, so you need more fuel, which means you need more power, which means you need more fuel, etc. etc. In rockets, the fuel outweighs the payload by 1000s.

Efficiency is the key. Lower powered high torque motors, big props, often quite expensive. Look at T-motor for instance.

Then you need tricks. Because it will be very difficult to get more than about an hour out of a high payload drone.

I'll be going all day with a 2 Kg load. Although I'm not at liberty to talk about my tricks just yet.

Just read, read read, all that you can, and build, build, build. There's lots to be found, but don't expect lots of direct responses.

Good luck

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