Gas Powered!

I was wondering if anyone in the DIY community has ever put a Aurdopilot on a gas powered airplane. If so did it work and does the engine effect the autopilot. I am about to put it in an airplane with a 3 meter wing span and I don't want it to crash so Im trying to see how it will react inside this airplane. 

Thank you for your help.

Michael

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  • Mike, a few years ago I installed a flight stabilization in my gas powered helicopter. I had nothing but problems. It turned out not to be the engine but the tail. The tail used a belt so this was basically a Van de Graaff generator. It would start glitching in the servos once I started to hover. I have not tried it with APM yet.

    However, in your case I would do some research on RC Groups. There is a lot of information regarding RF interference and ignition engines. My two cents are:

    • Place the electronic ignition away from all other electronics
    • Use SBUS/PPM if you can so there is just a single connection between radio and APM
    • Keep servo wires as short as possible
    • Use a none metallic throttle control linkage from servo to carburetor 
    • Electrically isolate your engine from all other electronics, same as above
    • Use a resistor spark plug
    • Place the GPS away from the engine
    • Use a separate batteries for the ignition
    • If you do have issues look for better insulated spark plug wire or cover wire with tinfoil

    Keep things apart, distance is your friend. I don't think you will have much of an issue. If APM can work with all the EMI created by multicopters you should be just fine. Good luck and let us know how the build is going.

    • Thank you all are things I have not yet thought about. The biggest thing I am worried about is engine vibration. I don't want the vibration from the engine to mess up any of my IMU sensors. 

      Mike

      • Developer

        Michael, we run here single, boxer, 4 cylinder gasoline engines on many different types of airframes and usually no problems with vibrations. Single cylinder naturally creates most of the vibration compared to others. Also we are not using any really fancy anti-vibration mounts. Mostly APM sits on heavier aluminum sheet that is mounted with 4 rubber balls to main frame and that's about it. 

        Like Rob said, EMI is your main concern so keep noisy electronics separated from flightcontrollers and use multiple batteries. 

  • I'm building my first one, with 30cc 2t engine, 2400mm wingspan, 9kg MTOW, to fly with APM 2.5.

    airframe_16.jpg?width=480

    First of all, before to build it, I read a lot at http://www.canberrauav.com/

    I you want, we can keep in contact to exchanges our experiences.

    Good luck!

    CanberraUAV
    Open Source Civilian UAV Development
    • i'd be more worried about fuel level, i mean the apm can easily see the voltage of yer packs, but can it detect how much fuel you have left?

      • Developer

        Clock is your best friend for those.. All airplane, helicopter pilots are using timers to measure flight times. Sure we can also make small flow sensor that measures how much we have been "eating" our gasoline but for now timer is best, cheapest and easiest way to handle gasoline issues.

    • Nice thank you for the website! I will look for lessons learned so I can avoid them. And sure I would like to keep in touch to see how we are both doing. 

      I am looking for information to see if the engine puts off any noise that would effect the autopilot and cause it to go haywire. I have sunk a lot of money and if this crashes I think I am done. So again thank you for your information.

      Mike

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