After months of testing AC3.1 is finally available in the Mission Planner and GitHub.

Warning #1: If the vehicle is left landed (but armed) while in AltHold or Loiter mode for more than a few seconds, the vehicle may suddenly jump into the air the moment the pilot raises the throttle above zero.  The reason is the baro altitude may fall while the vehicle is sitting on the ground.  In AC3.2 this bug is fixed because we reset the target before take-off.

Warning #2: Motors will spin (slowly) by default as soon as the copter is armed!  You can switch this feature off by setting the MOT_SPIN_ARMED parameter to zero.

Warning #3: if you see "Bad Gyro" on the HUD then you may have a blown 3.3V regulator.  See this thread for details.

Warning #4: if you use a sonar set the SONAR_GAIN parameter to 0.8 or lower

Warning #5: Trad Heli users should now connect their main rotor ESC to APM's RC8 output

Warning #6: Trad Heli BUG causes loss of collective control in ACRO mode if swash type set to flybarred (i.e. not flybarless).  Will be fixed in AC3.2.


The major improvements over AC3.0.1 are (full list here):

1. Pixhawk support (Tridge & PX4 development team)

2. Autotune of Roll and Pitch gains (Leonard/Randy)

3. Drift mode (Jason)

4. Improved Acro (Rob/Leonard) and new Sport mode (Leonard)

5. Arming, Take-off, Land in Loiter or AltHold

6. TradHeli improvements (Rob) including:

a) support for direct drive tail rotors

b) smoother ramp-up of main rotor

c) reduced collective for better control in stabilize mode (STAB_COL_MIN, STAB_COL_MAX params)

7. Support for SingleCopter (Bill King)

8. Performance improvements resolve AltHold troubles for Hexa & Octacopters

9. Safety Improvements:

a) GPS Glitch detection (Randy)

b) Motors spin when armed (Jonathan Challinger)

c) crash detector shuts off motors if copter flipped for 2secs

d) batt failsafe option to RTL instead of LAND, gps failsafe option to trigger AltHold instead of Land

e) more pre-arm checks of inertial nav speed,

10. Bug fixes:

a) optical flow working again (although performance is still not great because not integrated with inertial navigation)

b) ROI working (use DO_SET_ROI command)


How to upgrade:
Click on the MissionPlanner's Initial Setup >> Install Firmware screen.  The version numbers should appear as "ArduCopter-3.1", then click the appropriate frame icon and it should upgrade as per usual.

Special thanks to Marco and the many beta testers on the AC3.0.1 thread who put their copters at risk during the testing of this new version and uncovered many problems so that you don't have to!  Here are some of their videos: loiter in wind, patio sonar, autotune, autotune2, roi, beach, acro, vrbrain, tricopter, train spotting, radio failsafe, the tree, double loiter


If you haven't seen it recently, please check out the ArduCopter wiki.


Feel free to post comments below and we're going to use the new APM Forum for support issues so please post your support requests there.

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i think i am right there with you, i just didint know if there were power optimizations like power that i wasnt benefiting from . thanks for your respnse

Im very impressed by how arducopter 3.1 performed RTL & auto-landing. The copter was very steady in 20kph + winds.

Awesome! Great landing! 

 Happy new year to everyone! 

Nice music !.

Where did you get those bright flashing leds ?

Yeh just built a hex and like my Quad its just great out of the box.

I'll try an Autotune to see if i will benifit .....

Here my first video with Pixhawk revision 2.4 and APM Copter V3.1.

Bests, Marco


Very stable loiter! What's drift like? Good to see the "landing bounce" still exists on pixhawk! :-)

Is not a Pixhawk or code problem, see the overlay text during autolanding.

hello Marco, love your videos. I am just wondering, whats better as far as computing power/Flexibility or Future, APM 2.6 or Pixhawk? is Pixhawk "the Future" and APM "Legacy or The past" ?  thanks in advance

Pixhawk offers much higher computing speed, therefore it is obvious that the system is more stable.
Imho Pixhawk / VR Brain is the present and APM is the glorious past.
The APM Copter team focus primarily on the development of the new board while maintaining the support of APM, it is normal, with APM the processor that is almost always pushed to the maximum, with Pixhawk / VR Brain are from 9 to 11%.

The first "bounce" looks like a cushion bounce - but the second looks like the autoland bounce that some of us get. Yours lands with significant weight, then takes off again. Exactly like my TBS Disco.

thanks Marco, i am considering switching All my APM's to Pixhawk, i appreciate your answers

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