I've just released ArduPlane 2.71 for your flying pleasure.

As was described in the 2.71-beta thread, these are the major changes from 2.70:

  • prevent control mode changes due to receiver input change when in throttle failsafe
  • auto-scale analog input based on board voltage. This also removes the INPUT_VOLTAGE parameter, as it is no longer needed
  • added TKOFF_THR_MINSPD and TKOFF_THR_MINACC parameters. These allow you to set a minimum ground speed or X acceleration before the motor is started in auto mode. This is to better support hand launching in AUTO mode, and bungee or catapult launching.
  • added TKOFF_HEAD_HOLD option. This determines if auto takeoff will try to hold heading while climbing out. For a hand launch it is often better just to hold the wings level, instead of trying to hold heading.
  • changed FBWB altitude control from elevator to lock in the altitude when the elevator stick is neutral. This fixes a problem with altitude changing in FBWB mode due to slight tuning errors. You can set the climb rate for FBWB with the FBWB_CLIMB_RATE parameter. It default to 2 m/s
  • auto-detect when the compass is way off due to interference and switch to GPS navigation until the compass is healthy again. This is designed to prevent flyaways due to very bad magnetic interference.
  • prevent servo output overflow on large PID gains. This is especially important for elevon aircraft
  • changed default STICK_MIXING behaviour to use FBWA style stick mixing in AUTO mode. This prevents the pilot from causing radical turns if they don't know that the plane is in an AUTO mode. You can get the old behaviour by changing the STICK_MIXING parameter to 2.
  • Added a software VTail mixer, enabled using the VTAIL_OUTPUT option.
  • Fixed loading of missions with DIGICAM control commands, so DIGICAM control works again
  • Don't trigger a GCS failsafe if the GCS has never connected
  • Fixed fence MAVLink target IDs (fixes a problem with AndroPilot)
  • Added HIL_SERVOS parameter to allow real servos to move in HIL mode
  • Fixed an off-by-one in PX4 channel output (last PWM output channel wasn't sent)
  • Fixed scaling of joystick speed when controlling a camera gimbal with a joystick
  • Fixed creation of APM directory on SDCard on PX4
  • fixed auto-config of uBlox baudrate for uBlox modules set to 9600 baud
  • Fixed PX4 startup in FMU only mode
  • Added APM/boot.log on SDCard on PX4

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this release!

One thing that isn't in this release but will be in the next release is the new L1 navigation controller from Brandon and Paul. They are doing fantastic work and testing is good so far, but I wanted to get the new features above out first before adding the new navigation code. I hope we will release a 2.72 release with the new L1 controller in the next couple of weeks.

Happy flying!

Cheers, Tridge

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Thanks Gary!

It's really the maths from Bill Premerlani, with just a bit of wrapping code from Jon and me.

I like having the wind speed estimate in my plane too, although it will be much less important in the next release. The current release relies on good wind estimation when navigating with a compass, but the new L1 navigation for the next release doesn't need it, and actually navigates much better in wind than the current code. I've been quite amazed at how well it tracks even in high wind. Even better, it does it without flapping its servos nearly as much as the current code does. I think servos will last longer with the next release :-)

We're very lucky to have some smart people like Bill, Brandon and Paul helping out with APM. I love writing code, but watching those guys deal with the detailed maths involved in this sort of control algorithm is wonderful to see, and great to be involved with.

Cheers, Tridge

I suspect you mean the ALT_CTRL_ALG option.

That doesn't actually affect how wind is estimated or used in the current code. It just changes the way that altitude is maintained via pitch and throttle.

Cheers, Tridge

Thank you Andrew,

I might have a leakinf pitot than....


Andrew, wondered if you'd seen my post after my last flight, would love to know if all is OK with the tuning of this aircraft and that everything is working well in v2.71 on it

Hi all!

help please with crash log analyze

logs here http://yadi.sk/d/tWlU6m634AO9B

i found strange compass offsets only


COMPASS_OFS_Y -773,099
COMPASS_OFS_Z -1543,16

plane EasyGlider

apm 2.5

fw 2.7.0


I flew the L1 controller today, and it was beautiful. I have a 4 kg plane, and I've never seen it navigate so well (in wind, I might add). A fantastic addition to the ArduPlane code. Hats off. 


Tridge do you think the end of the pitot is in sight? That would be a major headache for airframe integration removed.

Hi Stephen,

Glad to hear it went well!

What airframe and what NAVL1_PERIOD did you end up choosing?

Cheers, Tridge

Hi Gary,

No pitot isn't dead yet - it can still help a lot with landing, and with airframes that fly close to stall speed.

The reason we can get away without one on so many RC planes is they are way overpowered compared to full size planes. If you fly a plane close to its load limit then an airspeed sensor becomes much more important. A well setup airspeed sensor is more accurate than airspeed from wind estimation.

One problem is that many airspeed sensors are not well setup - along with the compass its the most error prone sensor we have. Leaks, poor calibration and poor siting on the airframe can all lead to major problems.One of my aims is to make ArduPlane as robust as possible to these sorts of errors.

Cheers, Tridge

Will there be any fix put into the next release for the battery monitoring bug that causes RTL issues? Here's the thread on it.


Hi Andrew, this seems to have been an issue for me from 2.68, 2.70, and now 2.71. I am guessing no one else is having issues, Please see this video to show what happens, Using APM 2.5.

Any advice on how do download logs would be great...

The airframe is homemade. 4 kg, rudder only. After playing with the period as prescribed above, 30 seemed to be the best value. I didn't touch NAVL1_DAMPING, which is defaulted to 0.75. What does that do?

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