Hey guys,

This is probably not the best section to post my question but you have always gave so many good advices...

So, depending on the weather, I should do my first flight test tomorrow.

I'm quite confident with the process and I already setup everything (flight mode, failsafe).

The only point I don't understand is how the auto take off works ? Do I need to do something specific ? Do I need to incline the plane at a specific degree ?

Moreover, if you have any good advices that could help me for this first flight I've my ears are wide open :)



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Do not try an auto take off for your first flight, it will not end well!! Take off and get at least three mistakes high before switching to a stabilze mode and see what happens. Be ready to switch back fast to manual flying. 

The autopilot cannot know how your aeroplane flies. You must fly and then adjust the PIDS.

Please also tell us what it is you are trying to fly, then somebody might have one and be able to chip in further.

Hello Gary,

Thanks for your answer.

I've forgot to mention that it will be my first experience in rc plane :)

So do you still think piloting it manually is a good idea ?



Before automating anything, you have to make sure:

1) to do a range test with your radio following manual instructions. If it fails do not fly.

2) that the plane has chances to fly: CoG is set correctly, deflections are correctly set, sufficient, and not too aggressive

3) that you got specific instructions, ideally from an experienced RC pilot, as how this plane has to be flown AND BROUGHT BACK manually

4) to ensure you have got subscribed an appropriate liability insurance according to RC flying regulations, ideally by joining an RC model club affiliated to a nationawide instance

5) that you make your maiden attempt at an appropriate location minimizing the risk for people, animals, buildings, properties, ideally an official RC club field

The reward of going all this through: you maiden your plane, eventually without damage, and so you may then start some automated flight experimentation.

I wish you all the best.

Hi Reto,

Thanks for your advices.

I will do my test in a field with no houses or people around.

Let see how it works :)

I hope I'll be able to show you some pictures on Monday !


If is an airplane, the best advice is to have someone else trim it out for you and help you learn. If it's a Quadcopter just crash and rebuild and learn as you go. Lol.

Hi Richard,

Finally my flight test was epic !

I was not even able to take off :)

This is why I've decided to be less ambitious and to start with a copter.

If you have any good advices on the choice of the good platform:



A lot depends in your budget. You can buy a cheap quad copter for under hundred bucks that has the flight characteristics of a regular quad copter. Or you can buy an AR drone for about 300 bucks and use it off an android, iPhone or iPad. Or if you're handy you can go out buy a cheap frame and buy all the parts and build it yourself. The key is to learn how to fly and how to repair. Remember there two types of pilots, those that have crashed and those that have yet to crash. Have fun and fly safe.

Hi Richard,

Thanks for your help :)

I really appreciate !

I really want to continue with APM so I will probably go for a frame with all the electronics.

I like the ones proposed by 3D Robotics, but they come without gimbal.

Do you know any other products that could fit my needs ?

Or do you know a way to add a  gimbal on the copter sold by 3D Robotics ?



Arnaud don't give up so quick! What sort of aircraft is it??

Perhaps remove the APM and go and fly from a slope using lift from the wind. Do you have a flight simulator??

This is a good free one http://modelsimulator.com/ 

I will caution against adding a gimbal to anything before you can fly it!

Hi gary,

Thanks for keeping my motivation high :D, don't worry I don't give up :)

I just postpone the use of the plane (even if it's more suitable for mapping/GIS) until I go back home.

To anwer to your question, the plane was a bixler. The one sale by 3D Robotics.

Thanks for the simulator. I'll try it (as soon as I find a windows computer - I'm on linux).

The fact is I don't have a car, so it's very difficult for me to go out of the city to do my tests. I will wait until I go back in my country and then I will redo my tests.

But as I'm highly motivated and I really want to try, I thought it could be a good idea to use a copter.

I just need a football field or an open area to do my test. There is one not to far from my house. It will be probably easier for me. By doing this, I hope I'll be able to do soon my first aerial pictures then I can move on and learn to use the software to  stich and georeferenced my aerial pictures.

This is why I think it could be a good idea to buy a copter.

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