User group for those flying ArduCopter on traditional helicopter platforms

310 Members
Join Us!

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • We did our work on APM 2.0 - 2.5. Haven't gotten my hands on a 2.6 yet, but they're all nearly the same.

    The Rotor Buzz comes with a really low quality autopilot. If you put an APM on it as far as I know that'll be the first.

  • Thanks all the experience from your guys. 

    @Nate Miller:  So you have make all the function you mention below ? quite commercialized stuffs. Do you make these optimazations base on APM 2.6 or base on pixhawk? I am interesting in pixhawk for it realtime system and hardware recovery design, but I have no idea these already implemented or just a plan and hardware ready for it.  Roto Buzz looks really cool, but the price is really hot. I just wondering if they implemented it by APM 2.6 hardware ?

  • Nate,  I think the latest code has come along way.  I am running 3.0.1 and have had no problems with it.  Flying 1 meter off the ground in loiter without enabling the sonar is no problem.  If I did it for 10 minutes then yes the barometer would most likely give a false altitude.  I think version 2.9 was the initial breakthrough in TRAD HELI.  Try the new versions I think you will be impressed.  My APM sits below the heli frame and my only real issue is my vibes on the Y-axis are about +-.2.  I think it's just a little to far below the center of gravity. I have never seen ground effect turbulence disrupt a extremely slow landing in any of the automodes.


    David Boulanger

  • Rob: PM me and I'll fill you in on my experience with my Bergen machine.

    David: The Arducopter code, while supportive of traditional helis, has an awful lot of optimizations for multirotors, and when I branched my code at ArduCotper 2.8.1, was full of bugs. I had to re-do how the CPPM mixing was done for swash plates so we could handle an RC multiplexer fail safe, add libraries for rotor speed feedback and camera interface, add a few control laws to govern the rotor speed for gasoline engines, add safety features to kill the gas engine (ground the magneto) in even of electrical system failure, re-do the gimbal library to stabilize better and support more intuitive user interfacing from the GS, adjust the acro mode control laws to account for a flybar, adjust the heading control laws to account for an external gyro so that, in the even of an autopilot failure, the heli can be easily hand flown, completely redo the embedded side of the mission scripting (there were so many bugs there that only navigation command mission items would function properly), and others that I probably don't recall at the moment. I haven't looked at any code since 2.8.1, so it may be better now. There is also an issue with having the baro beneath the rotor blades. Ground effect causes the baro to get some strange readings on takeoff and landing. I never figured out a good fix to that one.

  • All: These discussions really don't get much attention here.  Please try to discuss things on the new forum:

    Kevin Zhou:  Hard to say if it's mature enough, because nobody has done it, but I like to think so.  There really have not been any crash-o-matic bugs for some time.  Most crashes are user error, or hardware failure.

    Nitro would not be a good fuel choice.  You should use gasoline.  But 30kg payload means you have a VERY large helicopter.  I'm not aware of anything affordable.  10kg is much more reasonable.

    flyingdragon: 2 hours is completely possible.  It's been done on electric even.  World record is 2.5 hours.  With gasoline, it's actually pretty easy.

    How do you say there is no firmware available?  You guys are aware Arducopter can fly a heli in full auto, right?

    Nate: I'd be interested to hear more about your experiences with Bergen.

    Same comment on the code.  A year of re-writing?  This is here now.

  • Nate,  I don't understand a year of rewriting code.  What needs to be changed?? 

    I have had no problems with it whar so ever.  Why nitro?  2 cycle is probably a better choice.  Its going to be all about vibration and dampening.  Multi cylinder might be a bit smoother.



    David Boulanger

  • The Rotor Buzz II will meet your requirements, but it's around $100,000. I'd suggest modifying your project requirements. For something that big you'll need special FAA certifications that are right now extremely difficult to get.

    I'd stay away from Bergen machines if I were you. I've had some terrible, terrible experiences with them. They aren't well designed or manufactured.

    As far as the software goes, with about 1 year re-writing code you can get arducopter to fly a traditional helicopter pretty well.

  • I don't think that any RC Helicopter will go for 2 hours flying time!

    but to go with nitro is the wrong way, gas is better choice, you can go mybe about 30 minutes flying time or if you get longer than 800 blades then  you may go for hour assume that you will put bigger gas container, is your start, about the ardupilot; there is no frimware or code yet support complete UAV flight!

    Welcome to Bergen R/C - /Index
  • I need some suggestion from you experience guys.

    I am thinking to use Pixhawk to make some big UAV helicopter. do you think current version of firmware of helicopter is mature enough to handling a big helicopter? 

    When I am taking big helicopter, I am thinking about a nitro helicopter within 2 hours duration. 30 km flight radius. 30 kg payload expectation.

    Someone can give me some guide about it ?  Also a suitable air frame is not easy to find, which company produce this kind of good helicopter with a good price ? 

    Thank you so much.

  • OK guys.  I just had my first success flight. Completely autonomous from take off to land.  I just had to spool up and down the motor.

This reply was deleted.
E-mail me when people leave their comments –

Trex450 with pixhawk miniVbar and RPM sensor.

HelloSeems that traditional heli is fadding off .... I'm trying to check the latest ardupilot traditional heli setup on trex450, in order to later scale up to 550 and 700 helis.i'm puzzeled about using the miniVbar flybarless controler with the pixhawk.  i have the pixhawk commanding the FPL controller via SBUS, and lacking the traditional throttle HOLD function.Started with flyber system, and had all work as requested, but on the FBL the throttle comand is working all time, even if the fixhawk…

Read more…
0 Replies

APM 450 Helicopter tuning

Thanks in advanceNewbie to APM helicopter and need some advice. I have used APM 2.6 and 2.8 board for a few years now on quads and tricopters. I have watched videos of APM helicopters flying waypoint missions with no input from the transmitter a they are smooth and steady, I cannot get mine to fly anything like that with me controlling the sticks? Actually heli with APM is only a small amount more stable than flybared? I am pretty much using stock parameters except in extended tuning Rate pitch…

Read more…
1 Reply

Using ALT HOLD with a helicopter

Thanks in advance for any HelpI have a Trex 450 clone, Tarot FBL head, APM 2.6 with v3.2.1 firmware, flysky 9X transmitter using heli1 setting.This unit is wired with the receiver ch3 connected to the APM ch8, and the receiver ch6 to APM ch3, unit flies pretty good with some parameter tweaking.Need help setting up ALT HOLD, could someone explain how I can set this up in mission planner for a helicopter, I do not know what I am doing wrong, I have used alt hold in Quads with no problem?I have…

Read more…
9 Replies

Can Stable Simple Mode be used with helicopter

Thanks in advanceTrex 450, Flybarless head, APM 2.6, Arducopter 3.2.1, Ublox 7 GPS with compass, flying fairly well with mostly stock settings.Question in mission planner flight modes can I use Stable with Simple mode with a helicopters?Does this work the same as with a 450 Quadcopter, as to direction unit is pointed does not make a difference to the controls?Thanks

Read more…
1 Reply