A Break from the Quad - Fixed-Wing FPV!

In the spirit of finally getting around to things, I got the HobbyKing EPP FPV plane in the air, FPV style!

The video is of my 3rd FPV flight, so pardon the less-than-ideal flying skills. I've done a handfull of flights non-FPV, but quite frankly I'm rubbish at flying that way. I suppose that's to be expected since this is the first RC plane I've ever flown, so hopefully I'll improve in the future.

As mentioned, the frame is the HK EPP FPV. I haven't put the APM in it yet, since I don't really want to switch the board between the quad and this thing each time. I've made a few modifications, among which include better wing mounting and modularity. At some point I'll post some pictures of the setup.

My current goal is to add flaperon capability for easier landings and shorter runways, as well as better photography characteristics. Of course, I'll be diving into the ArduPlane stuff when I have some time...

Does anyone have any suggestions on where to start (PIDs, mounting location/method, etc) for adding the APM? Does the current code support flaperons in some manner (whether enabled in the code, or solely on the tx)?



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  • OK I'm not using a Y cable. It works in stable mode with the exception of the pitch being reversed. Just can't get it working in manual mode.

  • I'm not sure specifically about 1.4. However on another post I made, I got a comment mentioning that there is flaperon support in general at least (something I only recently found out about). It seems that Mission Planner is involved in configuring flaperon use. I have not installed my APM (2.0) in my plane yet, so I've never used the ArduPlane code. 

    The only thing I know is that for things like flaperons, where the servos will need to be able to go in the SAME direction (instead of one up, one down for regular aileron action), they will need to be on separate channels instead of using a Y cable with a single channel. I'm sorry I can't tell you a whole lot more, since I've simply never even tried it yet myself!

  • Does the current APM code on APM1.4 board support flaperons? I'm trying to set it up with a zephyr ii and not sure how to connect it up. The wiki's information is a bit sparse in this area. Do I use a Y cable? I think I have it set up right on my JR X9503 but not sure if that has to be done differently since I'm going through the APM. In stable mode it seems to respond correctly on the ground when I move it except the pitch is reversed. I pitch down and flaps go down and visa versa. In manual mode I get one servo moving when i give roll and the other when i give pitch. Also when I move the flap switch the right servo responds to it. I have it set up like this.

    APM output 1 to right servo

    APM output 2 to left servo

    APM output 3 to ESC

    ezUHF ch2 to APM input 1

    ezUHF ch3 to APM input 2

    ezUHF ch1 to APM input 3 throttle

    Also I have the switches on the oilpan all up which is what it says to do in the wiki if you are using flaperons.

    On my radio I have it set to flaperon but do I need to set anything else on it?

  • This is with the er9x firmware. Much easier to work with. In the video, I am using the two aileron servos on channels 1 and 7, with the tx set up to handle that. I have not used the APM with this plane yet, so I have no idea how it will handle this. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it just accepts it as normal signals sent from the tx and hopefully everything will work. I don't know when I'll get around to switching my APM board from my quad to the plane, so for now I'll just see how this flaperon system works on its own.

  • oh fantastic! is that with the stock turnigy 9x?  From what i found with the apm requires separate servos, did you find a way around this?

  • Robert, I have them set up as differential ailerons, i.e. on separate channels. This makes life easy, regarding flaperons anyway. Take a look at my example of what I have so far. It might be hard to see the flap action of the flaperons, but it's there if you look closely!

  • I believe, that because the ailerons are split from channel one there's not way to signal them down.  

    Ex: The signal for the ailerons would be 45*(degrees).  Then when turning the aileron signal is 40*, more specifically: 40* on the right and left with the left servo inversed.

    This means that there's no way to change the signal to "add flaps" using one channel. I'm not sure if it's even possible but you would have to mix it across two channels.

    Then the same turn would be 40* on one channel and 50* on the other channel.  Then engaging flaps would lower the signal for both: say 36* and 46*.  (?)

    Again i'm not even sure the custom mixing exists, i haven't load the custom firmware yet to see what it can actually do.  This would be a strickly non-apm solution.  (I'm reading into the apm flaps now.)

  • Thanks for the link, Robert. Those do look like a good option. I might look into getting a set and a landing gear to fit them on. As far as roll out distance goes, this thing seems to only need a couple of meters. My main issue is the long approach required (if there are trees, etc), and that's why I'm playing with flaperon options. Using the Turnigy 9x with ER9x firmware, I've got two switches which apply two different flap positions to the differential aileron setup I have. So there is None, Half, and Full flaps options for the ailerons activated additively using the two switches. I have yet to try this in the air, but I hope it works to increase approach angle while minimizing airspeed so I don't need an entire two fields for approach!

  • For short runways you might want to abrake system for the wheels.  I've never tried these but i would imagine as long as the traction of the wheels is > the traction of the brakes you will be fine.

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