Autopilot choice

Hello everyone,

I'm about to buy autopilot for my fixed wing aerial photography platform. Which autopilot should I choose?

Should I take APM or Pixhawk? Or maybe other one?

Thanks for replies


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  • Hello Piotr,

    One option could be Gluonpilot V2.

  • A couple months ago I chose APM because I have some experience with Arduino and wanted to be able to hack this thing using 3DR's modified Arduino IDE.

    However, 3.2 release candidates for the APM/Pixhawk firmware are out now, and the devs have had to remove some features in the ArduCopter version to fit it on board. I'm losing Terminal access and optical flow sensors, I believe. Pixhawk gets the new features in ArduCopter 3.2 without losing any of the existing features.

    You're on fixed wing, so maybe things are a little different, but unless ArduPlane is much lighter than ArduCopter on the hardware requirements, go with the Pixhawk.

    In both cases, you can use Mission Planner on Windows, or APM Planner on Mac and Linux. DroidPlanner 2 for Android is pretty good as well, but to get started you'll definitely want one of the two former programs, as I find them much better at keeping me informed as to what the copter is doing.

  • Thanks for reply.

    So if I understand correctly APM is older technology, not developed as Pixhawk.

    If I choose Pixhawk- what software do I need to control it?

  • Get the Pixhawk if:
    - you will be flying large areas and
    a) plan on using the dataflash logs for processing
    b) plan to trigger by waypoint and needs >127 WPs

    - have a large or expensive platform, or you fly over areas where the extra redundancy is worth the increased cost.

    - want to enjoy all the new development and features coming from the Devs.

    The APM does a great job, but I personally won't invest new money in the old technology.
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Aug 25