I recently discovered a post on RCG here back in May 2015 from a new member about using a single Pixhawk for VTOL control on the BirdsEyeView FireFLY6. It lead to the PX4 page below describing some development firmware for the Pixhawk. Does anyone know if there have been updates to this development or how to obtain the firmware for testing?

VTOL Firmware for Pixhawk

PX4 Page to BirdsEyeView FireFly


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In your first answer you wrote: "FireFly6 AvA firmware", here u mean firefly6 AvA " hardware? BC firmware will be installed by the QGC itself...


If you don't purchase the AvA key, then you will need a Bridge Transition controller and a second flight controller; one for hover and one for plane. I don't think you want to add that complexity and the Bridge Transition controller is not sold separately by BirdsEyeView Aerobotics. Alternatively, you can be a beta tester on the PX4 stack solution linked earlier in this thread.

Use the AvA key feature chart here. If you are only looking for sport flying and transitions, the $49 key may work for you. If you want full autonomous flight with transitions and Loiter mode, then you need the $199 Pro key like I have.

Transitions in Auto mode are added to the Mission Planner just like other commands. The VTOL does not automatically transition to hover mode when passing waypoints. It will only transition automatically when commanded to RTL (Return To Launch) and Land. If you want to transition to hover mode at a waypoint and then Loiter, you need to add those commands into your Mission Planner flight plan. It is easy to do.

In your example of a "W" mission, the FireFLY6 would remain in plane mode and fly a curve around the waypoint to continue its mission. The size of the curve radius is determined by settings in the Full Parameter List. It would seem inefficient to transition back and forth making a copter a better vehicle choice for the mission.

There is no AvA hardware, only special firmware for your Pixhawk that you enable through the purchase of a key.

thank you Greg, i really appreciate ur replies. i will contact u soon when i test one idea of mine, using APM and still vtol :)

Hi Greg,

Congratulations for your work, sounds very interesting. I want to start my VTOL UAV project long range, good autonomy and good pyload weight, What is your recommendation for Flight Control for VTOL UAV? my intention project is in this link:


Please if you can give some tips I will estimate your information.



Hi Fabian,

The QuadRanger VTOL looks like a very interesting project! It appears to be designed for a Pixhawk (or clone) using the PX4 flight stack. It looks to be well documented so my recommendation would be to stick to the project design and use the PX4 flight stack firmware which can be loaded into the Pixhawk using QGC.

I'll bet that there is a dedicated thread on the QuadRanger VTOL in the PX4 users forum. See the link to the users forum in my earlier post on page 1. Good luck!

Thank Greg, I will inform you how is going my project.


The video shows my second flight of the FireFLY6 VTOL. The FireFLY6 flew so well on my initial manual forward flight test that I decided to mount the GoPro Hero3 camera for the second flight. We tested several transitions showing video from the ground and air. The FY-G3 Ultra 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal was set to follow a specific point which provided some interesting on-board views of the flight transitions and landing gear.

I've been waiting all winter to test forward flight on my FireFLY6 but last weekend it snowed in upstate NY and yesterday on April 16th we finally had a sunny 60 degree day. My initial forward flight testing of the FireFLY6 was a total success! Next up will be a fully autonomous flight test...

FireFLY6 Test Flight1 from Gregory Covey on Vimeo.

We did some more flight testing on the last day of April in upstate NY and the FireFLY6 continued to perform well. The take-offs, transitions, and, landings, were all great fun! We had a Yuneec Q500+ hovering off to the side for a different perspective and changed gimbal modes from 1 to 3 during flight for some different angles.

FireFLY6 Test Flight2 from Gregory Covey on Vimeo.

Greg, are you using the standard FireFLY6 code (with the key) or did you replace it with the PX4 VTOL firmware?

I've got one, too, and really like it. It took a little getting used to initially (need to point the nose into the wind on landing), but now feels very smooth. 

Hi Chris,

I'm using the AvA Pro Key with the BirdsEyeView v1.0.2 firmware that has the Smart Wind Assist feature. It helps keep the nose pointed into the wind in hover mode. It's a bit of a learning curve from flying copters and not caring where you point it. :)

I saw your 3DR coverage in the new Drone360 magazine...very nice!

Good news: Native support for the FireFly6 is coming to APM:Plane

I've now added support for the FireFlyY6 to ArduPilot as well as part of the QuadPlane support. I submitted a PR for it today and hope it will be in master soon ready for the 3.6.0 plane release.

There is a bit more information here:


I've only flown it in a simulator so far and I don't actually have a FireFlyY6 so if someone wants to volunteer to test it on a real aircraft that would be great.

Cheers, Tridge

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