Best way to learn how to use arduplane?

I had a crash today caused by the loss of the RC transmitter signal. I was in a designated safe area and nothing bad happened except for the plane, but I am sure the crash could have been avoided if I had a deeper understanding on how to operate arduplane.

Now I have learned how to fly photogrammetry missions and other basic stuff, but I miss some things like properly configuring automatic landings, failsafes, etc.

Since I will be using arduplane professionally, I have resolved to get to know this system as good as possible. My question is, what is, in your opinion, the best way to learn how to operate arduplane?

Should I read the whole wiki? Is there any guide or up-to-date book?

Thanks in advance for your advice

PS: I should have noted that I do have experience with UAVs and other autonomous systems, sensors, etc. but I am new to the arduPilot platform

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  • Developer

    Using SITL is far and away the best to try things out with regard to the autopilot.  You can't learn to fly the plane with SITL but you can learn about mission planning, failsafe operations, auto modes, auto landings, rc failures, geofences etc.  You can try out different parameter configurations and see how they behave.  And you can start SITL at the location you intend to fly at so you can plan your mission and parameter configurations for the environment you will be flying in.

    Thanks, Grant.

    • Ok I will definitely try this out.

      The error that caused my crash was bad frequency allocation (1.2Ghz video and 2.4 Ghz transmitter) so I don't think the simulation would have found this, but I could learn how to setup the failsafe for RC transmitter lost which would have probably saved the crash.

      I didn't use the SITL since I am not developing new features but you have a good point about learning to use the autopilot

    • Developer

      Some things of course you simply won't catch in simulation.  Servo failure, forgetting to charge batteries, not fixing wing tape to your control surfaces, in correct trim setup etc.  The goal here is to learn everything you can in simulation rather then learning it on a real aircraft and the risks associated with that.

      I would HIGHLY recommend people figure out how to setup failsafe RTL and automatic landing.  I love going to the airfield where people proudly tell me they managed to setup their RC Receiver in case of signal loss and it will cut the motor and level the flight surfaces at which point I smile and say that's really great - my plane will come back and land itself!

      Thanks, Grant.

    • Now I'm becoming a bit desperate about the whole simulation thing, since I can't get it to work after many hours :(

      I see that with Pixhawk it is difficult to create a HIL with Mission Planner. I would like to use Mission Planner since it's the Ground Station I will be using.

      Since I don't need a HIL to learn, is it possible to create a SIL that runs any 3d environment and mission planner?

      If you could point me in the right direction that would be great


    • Grant, I am setting up the SITL but don't know what is the best setup

      I see everyone using X-Plane with Mission Planner. Is this the best setup? Is this better than FlightGear?

      I've had a lot of problems trying to run the SITL or HITL environments


  • Hi Jose,

    Had you read the wiki and set a throttle failsafe,, you wouldn't have crashed your plane.  My plane is set up so it will autonomously land on the runway if I lose RC signal.  Arduplane is now mature enough and has enough features that every single failure or crash I've had in the last year has been pilot error.

    Defninitely the best way to learn is to read every page in the wiki thats applicible to your operations.

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