The ArduPilot development team is proud to announce the release of version 3.6.0 of APM:Plane. This is a major update so please read the notes carefully.

The biggest changes in this release are:

  • major update to PX4Firmware code
  • major update to QuadPlane code
  • addition of MAVLink2 support

Updated PX4Firmware

The updated PX4Firmware tree greatly improves support for the new Pixracer boards as well as improving scheduling performance and UAVCAN support. It also adds OneShot support for multirotor motors in QuadPlanes.

QuadPlane Updates

The QuadPlane changes are very extensive in this release. A lot of new features have been added, including:

  • improved automatic weathervaning
  • greatly improved support for mixed fixed wing and VTOL missions
  • automatic RTL with VTOL land
  • VTOL GUIDED mode support
  • greatly improved transition code
  • new tuning system for VTOL motors
  • extensive upgrade to logging system for much better flight analysis

 
The new QuadPlane features are documented at:

http://ardupilot.org/plane/docs/quadplane-support.html

Please read the documentation carefully if you are flying a QuadPlane!

Tiltrotors and Tiltwings

This release has initial support for a variety of tiltrotors and tiltwing configurations. So far testing of these types of aircraft has been limited to simulations and it should be considered very experimental.

MAVLink2 Support

The new MAVLink2 support will allow for greatly expanded MAVLink protocol features in the future, and includes support for signing of MAVLink connections for the first time, making them secure against malicious attacks. I will do a separate blog post on upgrading to MAVLink2 soon. MAVLink1 is still the default for this release, but you can enable MAVLink2 on a per port basis by setting SERIALn_PROTOCOL=2.

Credits

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to this release. Tom and I have been delighted at the number and quality of contributions across the community, and to the extensive testing and flight logs that have been provided.

We would also like to give a special thanks to UAV Solutions for sponsoring the development of many of the new QuadPlane features in this release and Airphrame for development of the improvements to the landing code. We'd also like to thanks aAVIonix for providing hardware for testing of ADSB features.

Special thanks also for the great contributions by many long term contributors to the project. Major contributions to this release have been made by:

  • Peter Barker
  • Lucas De Marchi
  • Gustavo Jose de Sousa
  • Leonard Hall
  • Paul Riseborough
  • Francisco Ferreira
  • Michael du Breuil
  • Grant Morphett
  • Michael Oborne
  • The PX4 development team

among many others. Tom and I really appreciate the effort!

Some of you may also have noticed that Tom Pittenger from Airphrame is now co-lead with me on the fixed wing support for ArduPilot. Tom has been a major contributor for a long time and the dev team was delighted to appoint him as co-lead.

Other Changes
Detailed changes in this release include:

  • added motortest for all quad motors in sequence
  • merge upstream PX4Firmware changes
  • new AC_AttitudeControl library from copter for quadplane
  • modified default gains for quadplanes
  • new velocity controller for initial quadplane landing
  • smooth out final descent for VTOL landing
  • changed default loop rate for quadplanes to 300Hz
  • support up to 16 output channels (two via SBUS output only)
  • fixed bug with landing flare for high values of LAND_FLARE_SEC
  • improved crash detection logic
  • added in-flight transmitter tuning
  • fix handling of SET_HOME_POSITION
  • added Q_VFWD_GAIN for forward motor in VTOL modes
  • added Q_WVANE_GAIN for active weathervaning
  • log the number of lost log messages
  • move position update to 50hz loop rather then the 10hz
  • Suppress throttle when parachute release initiated, not after release.
  • support Y6 frame class in quadplane
  • log L1 xtrack error integrator and remove extra yaw logging
  • limit roll before calculating load factor
  • simplify landing flare logic
  • smooth-out the end of takeoff pitch by reducing takeoff pitch min via TKOFF_PLIM_SEC
  • added support for DO_VTOL_TRANSITION as a mission item
  • fixed is_flying() for VTOL flight
  • added Q_ENABLE=2 for starting AUTO in VTOL
  • reload airspeed after VTOL landing
  • lower default VTOL ANGLE_MAX to 30 degrees
  • Change mode to RTL on end of mission rather then staying in auto
  • implemented QRTL for quadplane RTL
  • added Q_RTL_MODE parameter for QRTL after RTL approach
  • reduced the rate of EKF and attitude logging to 25Hz
  • added CHUTE_DELAY_MS parameter
  • allow remapping of any input channel to any output channel
  • numerous waf build improvements
  • support fast timer capture for camera trigger feedback
  • numerous improvements for Pixracer support
  • added more general tiltrotor support to SITL
  • only save learned compass offsets when disarmed
  • support MISSION_ITEM_INT for more accurate waypoint positions
  • change parachute deployment altitude to above ground not home
  • added AP_Tuning system for QuadPlane tuning
  • added initial support for tiltrotors and tiltwings
  • added LOG_REPLAY and LOG_DISARMED parameters
  • added Q_GUIDED_MODE parameter
  • major update to QuadPlane documentation
  • added MAVLink2 support
  • fixed origin vs home altitude discrepancy
  • improved Lidar based landing glide slope
  • fixed throttle failsafe with THR_PASS_STAB=1
  • prevent EKF blocking during baro and airspeed cal
  • allow for ground testing of parachutes with CHUTE_MINALT=0
  • fixed elevator stick mixing for above 50% input
  • added QuadPlane ESC calibration

Happy flying!

Views: 7015

Comment by kiki boy on September 4, 2016 at 5:18am
As Mike Mac says, dual airspeed sensor should be nice. Where could we put the request ? Github ?
Comment by John on September 4, 2016 at 12:36pm

HI, 

Is there any oscillation calibration inside the arduplane? I am using a fixed wings plane and we found that the wings do oscillation when there is wind, we would like to know if the AP will feel it as it is inside the fuselage?  


Developer
Comment by Tom Pittenger on September 4, 2016 at 3:06pm

@kiki_boy
Please post bugs and feature requests to github and press "New issue": 

https://github.com/ArduPilot/ardupilot/issues

There is already a pending pull-request for single pitot tube falling back to internal estimate and also includes info about dual-pitot but a pull request I made wasn't done right so it's still on the TODO list
https://github.com/ArduPilot/ardupilot/issues/1628

@John,

That is a very complicated topic and depends greatly on the given aircraft. As of now there are no plans to add such a feature but you'r emore than welcome to post an issue (see above link). 

btw, any comments in this blog thread are seen by a very small subset of people. For better visibility/searchability please post these questions on discuss.ardupilot.org

Comment by John on September 5, 2016 at 2:15am

HI Tom,

Thanks for your reply, I have a question not related specifically to ardupilot but it's more a general question about AP with wing tip:


We are using the Talon Xuav and its wings have wing tip to stabilize the plane. If we are doing a loiter, the AP will try to bank the plane but the wing tip will try to act as opposite which result a non stable plane, isn't it?

is it better to have clipped wing tip like photo attached or it does not matter on the arduplane? 


Developer
Comment by Tom Pittenger on September 5, 2016 at 5:52am
More surface area the better. Do not clip.
Comment by John on September 5, 2016 at 6:15am
we can replace the clipped wing tip with an extra extension to have the same surface and wing load,.

The reason of my question was because the wing tip of the talon is not at the same level of the whole wing. It is ending a little bit higher. So will it affect the stability in loiter mode as it will try to stabilise the plane while the autopilot is performing the bank for a better loiter.

T3
Comment by healthyfatboy on September 5, 2016 at 7:06am

I just took a look at the plane and unless you have some odd variant with winglets or something odd, it shouldn't make any difference at all. The original Easy Star had dihedral in the wings to keep it stable and AP had no issues flying it. If it's not working like you expect, you probably don't have the tuning correct on it.


Developer
Comment by Tom Pittenger on September 5, 2016 at 7:50am
Ardupilot works just fine with many different types of aircraft. The wing tips going up are called winglets, although the effect is very minor when they don't go up much. Anyway, it will work fine. Go fly it and don't forget to autotune it.

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