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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  • Excellent work Tridge!

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

  • Developer

    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.

  • Developer

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

  • Developer

    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.

  • Thanks Tridge

  • Developer

    @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.

    Your description
  • 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 ?

  • Developer

    @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.

    ArduPlane, ArduCopter, ArduRover source. Contribute to ArduPilot/ardupilot development by creating an account on GitHub.
  • Where can you find information on the programtic interface to real flight?

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