After flying two (arduous) 20km FPV flights, I was thinking it would be fantastic to have a mode that would keep the plane heading, altitude and speed. FBW & Stabilize holds the plane level, but it drifts. Auto requires I pre-load waypoints.

This would be a fantastic feature for the FPV users. What do you guys think?

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Yes! Heading hold and altitude hold. We would we not want FBW mode to do this already?

That would be perfect!

yes, that would be fairly easy to do. This is probably best done as a new HEADHOLD mode.

The heading to hold would be taken from whenever the aileron and rudder are released back to zero (within the deadzone). So if you don't touch aileron and rudder then it would hold heading. As soon as you start using aileron or rudder it would fly like FBWB until you let go of aileron and rudder again, at which point it would again lock heading. This would allow you to use aileron or rudder to adjust the heading you are holding, and be completely hands free for longer runs.

Altitude and speed would be like FBWB, with the same controls.

Sound ok?

If you like the idea please create an issue for it in the issues list and I'll implement it when I get a chance.

Cheers, Tridge

Perfect, Andrew - issue #438 created.

That would be a game changer for me (and I'm sure many others) - it's also a feature no other hobby level system has.

Hi Hein,

Paul and I discussed this a bit tonight, and one question we're trying to work out is if it should be heading hold, ground course hold or ground track hold. Each would behave a bit differently.

Heading hold would hold compass heading. So if the wind changes you'll change ground course and ground track. Ground course hold would hold GPS ground course. That will drift less in wind, but it will drift to some extent. A ground track hold would draw a virtual line through your ground course at the time you let go of aileron and rudder, then would follow that track (ie. doing cross-track correction to stay on that line).

I'm inclined to go with ground course hold, as it's easy to do, and I think it would be good to fly. Point the nose at the nice mountain in the distance then take your hands off the sticks. You'll need to correct a bit occasionally, but not much, and if a wind comes up it will crab as needed to keep the ground course.

What do you think?

Cheers, Tridge

I'm still in the test & tune phase with my Skywalker, but this sounds like an excellent feature.  It would free up the FPV'er to sightsee on the way to that mountain.

Thanks to Hein for requesting and thanks to Andrew for developing the solution.

Tridge, that's EXACTLY what I had in mind - point the aircraft in the direction of a landmark, and sit back and enjoy the flight for a bit in stead of worrying about flying. So ground track would be fantastic to have, crab and all.

It would really revolutionise my (our?) flying. Thanks for taking an interest.

Same page, Trung - so many times I'm surprised at what I missed after looking at a recording of my flight while I was just ensuring that I'm holding course.

I believe you should stick with heading hold.
It is better for photography because it will cause less wing rocking.
It doesn't require a gps, which make it less dependant on a good lock.
It would be less dependant on proper tuning than a tracking mode.
It would handle turbulence much better for the FPV experience.
As an airline pilot I can say it is a more natural way to fly. The aircraft can behave referencing only it's own medium, rather than referencing the ground. In cruise flight wind changes are minimal and the pilot doesn't need to make many corrections. Since this feature is for FPV flyers, heading hold will provide a better experience. Of course having both options would be nice.

Tridge, why doesn't FBW hold heading already? What does FBW do when the sticks are released? Why should this be a new parameter? Many of us have trouble with switching so many modes on our RC radio.

What should we call this new mode? Some suggestions:

  • HEADHOLD
  • HEADING
  • CRUISE
  • COURSEHOLD

Any other ideas?

The reason I want it to be a separate mode, and not just change FBWB, is that for photography with a directly down-facing camera and no gimbal you don't want the plane rolling its wings. The current FBWB mode is ideal for that.

For people flying FPV I think they'll just use the new mode and not have FBWB setup on their mode switch at all.

Cheers, Tridge

Thanks for the explanation, that makes sense.
I think you should name it CRUISE so you can program us both options, Heading Hold or Track Hold and it works for either.

I was going to say Cruise but iskess beat me to it! :) HeadHold is my second choice, because it's self explanatory.

Agreed - as an FPV pilot I would only have 4 modes - Manual, Cruise, RTH, Loiter. Cruise replaces Stabilize & FPB.

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