Arducopter 3.0 TradHeli Demonstration

I've been working on testing and making a few changes to AC3.0 lately, and did a whole bunch of test flights today which went very well. AC3.0 is simply amazing, and there's more good things to come, including a real acro mode that myself, Leonard and few other people have been working on.  Hopefully it should be released in 3.1, along with the changes I'm making to the TradHeli code.  Most of what I've done to 3.0 are relatively minor, the official 3.0 does work fine on TradHelis, but my changes make it more stable and precise, and perfect the take-off and landing.

I shot a video to show of the performance of the system.  I was hoping for a very windy day, but the weather hasn't been coorperating lately.  Not only is the wind not very high, but the space weather is bad and I experienced a lot of GPS drifting today.

Anyway, here you go.  It's a bit long, but I wanted to be thorough.

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  • Id like to see a video of that being that quiet :D

  • Test flew my 700 stretch last night.  This machine is based on a 550 but highly modified.  It has a direct drive motor on the tail rotor to eliminate the majority of the drivetrain.  It's super smooth, and eerily quiet.  The only thing you hear is a whir from the tail motor, and a wisp-wisp-wisp-wisp of the main blades.  It's actually slightly hard to even know when it's finished spinning up and ready to take off because the scream of the drivetrain is gone.

  • speaking of test flights, can you post the param file for your 450 so I have a starting point on the pids please sir

  • I too am with a university (Embry Riddle Aeronautical University). We are trying to put together an Ignite Research project for the agricultural side of photogrametry and multispectral imaging and we were looking at possibly using the Trex 800 with the align gimbal too. Thats why I was asking. Im in the process right now of getting a 400 up and running to do initial flight tests with the APM. Im stoked to give this a try. Please keep me up to date with your progress on the 800. 

  • We're going to find out soon enough.  I am advising a group at a university who is building a Trex 800 with the Align gimbal system.  Also I have tons of flight time on my Trex 600 heli.  That is now stretched to 700 and I hope to do a maiden flight today.

    There's absolutely no reason it won't work on a TRex 800.  I think the code is very solid now.  The only thing is obviously the bigger helis are more dangerous and expensive, so they bring greater risk.

    I would not advise anybody to build a large heli like that as their first experience with Arducopter.  Put it on a 450 or 500 first, and get used to how it operates.  I don't mean learning to fly a heli, I mean learning how to operate Arducopter.  Even if you already know how to fly a helicopter, there's new stuff to be learned with Arducopter.

    The group building the Trex 800 do have a 450 they have been playing with.

  • Would APM be suitable for an Align 800 heli?

  • The key thing to know here, is that your Rate Pitch and Roll PIDs will change.  Typically value should be something like P = 0.040, I=0.5, D=0.  FF should be unchanged, but you might need to adjust it.  

  • Surely the next week i will to  initiate test. Thank you for your contribution.

  • Jim, yes, you should be able to download a zip of the source and compile it yourself.  Just have a look at this:


    The last 3-4 commits have not been flight tested yet, but are only changes for basic functionality, I don't expect any issue, but using what is essentially Alpha code always has it's risks.  But I extensively test flew everything up to an including the July 19th commits.

  • Excellent work Robert!  The improvements over some of your earlier tests and demonstrations are very impressive.  I haven't tested an APM on a heli in quite some time.  Seeing this renews my interest in traditional helicopters as a viable platform.  Kudos to you Robert!

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