ArduCopter in Action - Flying an Helicopter in HIL mode

Here a video about the HIL tests of the firmware ArduCopter v2.2 b2xp2 (with JLN updates) with an Helicopter in H1 mode (Raptor 30 type) on the AeroSIM-RC simulator.

The tested features are:

- LOITER mode (GPS position Hold),
- RTL (Return To Launch),
- AUTO mode (GPS autonomous navigation),

Tested with AeroSIM-RC v3.81 and an ArduMega 2560 (APM1) through the APM mission planner v1.1.20.

This is an alpha version of the firmware and only for explorers and testers....

Transmitter: Turnigy 9x, Receiver: Turnigy 9x8Cv2.
Helicopter model simulation (type Raptor 30) with 1 roll servo, 1 pitch servo, 1 cyclic servo (type H1).

More infos at:

Views: 3676

Comment by Anish on January 19, 2012 at 2:26am

this is awesome Jean, congrats. I am looking forward to my aerosim-rc ( i ordered it following on from my attempt at HIL arducopter32 from Roberto), yet to get my hands on it. Now i can do HIL for traditional heli too :).. how cool can it get

Comment by Randy on January 19, 2012 at 5:23am


     thanks for the video.

Just to be clear, Michael Oborne got the AerosimRC working some time ago and we even have a wiki page about how to use it.  I guess Jean-Louis has made some changes to the ArduCopter firmware although it's not immediately obvious what those are.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on January 19, 2012 at 7:13am

Randy, I think his changes are mostly in scripting for the auto-landing?  Maybe Loiter control?

Jean-Louis, where can I get the code you're using to do this (to use on the real heli, not HIL)?  Is it ready for that yet?

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on January 19, 2012 at 9:50am

Hello Robert,

You may download the ArduCopter v2.2 b2xp2 firmware with my HELI H1 update, AUTO Landing feature and some others improvements: HERE

Below you will find the good PID setup and Simulation parameters for AeroSim-RC that I have tested in the demo video above.  As you know , I am also a RC-Helicopter pilot and I have a Raptor Titanium 50 and some others bigger heli (gas powered) and I can say that the Raptor fly like in the simulation...

You will find a tutorial about the use of AeroSIM in HIL mode that I have wrote HERE

Happy flights...

Regards, Jean-Louis


Comment by Hein on January 20, 2012 at 9:04pm

Hi Jean-Louis,

Did you already take it to the next step (real flight testing on one of your heli's)?  And if you did, did you do all these tests, RTL, Loiter, Auto, ect......  Tell us also if you where using the lasted APM2.

Looking forward to your reply and updates on this.  Great work.



Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on January 20, 2012 at 11:50pm

Hello Hein,

Yes, this is planned in the summer. Ishall use an APM2 to test my updated firmware on my helicopters UAV. Here some photos of my current flying models:

more photos at:

more photos at:

I am currently improving the HELI H1 mod for ArduCopter v2.2 b2xp2 by adding a throttle (ch3)  to collective curve (ch5) so as the firwmare will be able to steer completly the helicopter in full autonomous flights in AUTO mode...

Stay tuned,


Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on January 21, 2012 at 1:06am

Here the Throttle/Collective curves currently used by the AeroSIM-RC "heli 30", this is a similar curves used in a common Rapton 30 Heli in normal mode. I have now implemented this in the Heli_H1.pde mod in the ArduCopter b2xp3 firmware. This on board mixers will be used to steer real UAV helicopters through the APM without the need the use of the heli-mixers of the transmitter.

Comment by Jean-Louis Naudin on January 21, 2012 at 5:37am

Here a video of the T3 Two rounds mission competition simulation done with an helicopter (type 30 in H1 mode) with the firmware ArduCopter v2.2 b2xp3. The firmware is connected in HIL mode with an APM v1 (APM 2560) board through the Mission Planner v1.1.20. The flight plan follows the path of the T3-2 competition mission rules.

This simulated mission is done with AeroSIM-RC v3.81 (retail version) and its HELI-30 virtual model.

Regards, Jean-Louis

Comment by Austin Laws on January 26, 2012 at 5:21am

Hi im new to all this autopilot stuff. i can fly both helicopter and aeroplanes. but getting a pan and tilt for my Trex600. Could someone tell me which to go for Adrucopter or wait for APu 2 to come out? Thanks austin

Comment by Jean-Marie Binot on January 28, 2012 at 3:28am

Merci Jean-Louis, nous nous retrouverons de temps en temps ici même.. Le domaine des hélis tradi est un peu le parent pauvre chez les APM's et les updates sont rares et curieusement bloquées sur le Trex 450 .. Et si je pouvais apprendre comment  compiler et utiliser votre firmware avec les patches, ce serait super...


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