UPDATE: If you are reading this, be sure to review the subsequent blog post.
Hello there esteemed DIYD members.
I've been very quiet lately. But I have not been idle.
Based on the topic title, you might think this belongs in "Simulation," but my target audience is here, in the APM/ArduPlane forum. I'm looking for folks who fly real life planes, so this post is a little misleading.
I wasn't satisfied with using a full scale plane, or even using the RC model shipped with X-plane to predict, simulate, and train for my missions. So I set out to create a reproduction of one of my Bixler-based ArduPlanes in X-Plane 9.70. As you may be aware, there are certain challenges and limitations to doing this, but I made a reasonable degree of headway in overcoming them.
After nearly 80 hours of experimentation, three generations of planes, and uncounted revisions, I have it working realistic (enough) for an alpha release. My intent, in a future release, is to adapt this model to increasingly perform with the same PID settings as the real thing; in this version, I focused more on getting the dimensions, wings, forces, and power of the plane to match the original as much as possible.
iMovie is a dangerous thing; I only intended to patch together a few clips quickly, and instead found the Movie trailer templates. One can create and share something so quickly that your better judgement can be circumvented ... this is a little bit of over-the-top fun, so I hope you will not take the "theme" too seriously.
Here is a slightly longer, but older clip, from a second generation of the plane:
My intent is to release the model for general use, but it is not yet ready for that. It has not yet achieved enough of the goals I have for it. So to begin with, I had in mind perhaps a progressive release, starting with providing the model to anyone who is interested - and is willing to help by providing some data on your own (real) Bixler/EasyStar flights, or to anyone who wants to help tune it up better. This could be followed by a push to rework the model to more closely simulate real life, then making it available to the entire community.
I would be happy to send you a copy of the plane, as it exists today, along with some recommended X-plane settings, and the current PID/config settings, but I would like to "exchange" it for a few of your own files.... I am looking for your data from a Bixler/EasyStar ArduPlane 2.2x flight:
- a Mission Planner flight log
- a mission file used during the flight
- settings files (PIDs) for the Bixler and/or EasyStar ArduPlane flights
- a brief description of the winds and your observations of the flight
I appreciate any help you might be willing to offer, including feedback on simulated flight performance, how it differs (when flying in manual, in stabilize, or in auto) from your real-life Bixler/EasyStar, any PID tuning you might do so that we might work towards a general release.
PS. A few notes on the specs - Well, I say "reproduction," but it is actually a 1.7 scale (3x in terms of mass) version, which uses a virtual (and painstakingly) replicated APC 10x7E prop in place of the most-often recommended APC 6x4E to achieve proportional lift/thrust ratios. Reynolds numbers are scale-true (but might be reduced to more closely match the 1:1 scale version.) The wings are a very reasonable approximation, for my first X-plane model, considering everything was done within Plane-Maker, and I did not do much customization of the actual airfoil yet.