3D Precision Plane Acrobatics with Ardupilot

The AddictionX is a popular model plane allowing for spectacular high precision acrobatics. In addition to more common barrel rolls and vertical loops, its extremely light  wing loading and high motor thrust to weight ratio provides expert flyers with  capabililies such as precise vertical hover and  knife edge maneuvers.

What if this kind of flying could be performed by an autopilot? Lead Arduplane developer Andrew Tridgell and the Ardupilot development team got started towards doing just that. Building up on previous  VTOL work such as  Ardupilot support for quadplane, tail sitter, tilt rotor and tilt wing VTOLs along with  fully autonomous inverted flights, Tridge  interfaced Ardupilot to the popular RealFlight flight simulator, and successfully flew the simulated AddictionX model, including vertical hovers, with Ardupilot.

Coming up in the near future: Tridge actually owns an AddictionX, and expects to fly one with Ardupilot. Also coming up with Ardupilot:  ArduSoar, a  soaring "extension" of ArduPlane for gliders. Stay tuned!

Read more here including video  here  including video.

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Comment by Pbreed on February 14, 2017 at 7:13am

Where can you find information on the programtic interface to real flight?

Comment by Andrew Tridgell on February 14, 2017 at 1:04pm

@Pbreed: see https://github.com/ArduPilot/ardupilot/blob/master/libraries/SITL/S...

note that you need a modified RealFlight to enabled FlightAxis. It is in closed beta right now, so not generally available. I hope it will be released as an add-on sometime for everyone to use.

Comment by Rana on February 14, 2017 at 10:38pm

Tridge, thanks for the wonderful work, I do have RF7.5 fully functional but do not have this "modified RealFlight", where did you get it ? can I ?

Comment by Andrew Tridgell on February 14, 2017 at 11:17pm

@Rana, it is a closed beta right now, you need to apply to KnifeEdge to get access. A few dev team members have access (half a dozen or so).

You could try and contact them and see if you are accepted. I don't know if they would accept you or not. See http://flightaxis.com/ for contact details.

Comment by Rana on February 15, 2017 at 6:17am

Thanks Tridge

Comment by Andrew Tridgell on February 18, 2017 at 1:16pm

The testing on a real AddictionX went really well, it flies just like it does in the simulator, including taking off in hover mode and transitions. We'll get some video uploaded soon.

Comment by Andrew Tridgell on February 20, 2017 at 1:08pm

There are lots of videos of the testing up now in various forums. Here is one I like from Peter Barker:

Comment by Andrew Tridgell on February 20, 2017 at 1:09pm

The "trim" issue in that video turned out not to be trim at all, but an integrator bug when switching between hover and fixed wing flight. It is fixed in master.

Comment by Warren Eather on March 7, 2017 at 2:28am

Excellent work Tridge!

What happens during QLAND? Would the under-carriage point into the wind like a Quadplane weathervanes its nose into the wind?


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