3D Robotics

ArduPlane home page




Convert any RC airplane into a fully-autonomous UAV!
Just add the APM 2 autopilot to any RC aircraft and it becomes a fully-programmable flying robot with a powerful ground station and Mission Planner.  


Features include:

  • Return to Launch with a flick of your RC toggle switch or a mouse click in the graphical Ground Station
  • Unlimited 3D GPS waypoints
  • Built-in camera control
  • Fully-scriptable missions
  • One-click software load, and easy point-and-click configuration in the powerful Mission Planner. NO programming required!
  • Replay recorded missions and analyze all the data with a graphing interface
  • Supports two-way telemetry with Xbee wireless modules. 
  • Point-and-click waypoint entry or real-time mission commands while the UAV is in the air
  • Fly with a joystick or gamepad via your PC--no need for RC control!
  • Built-in failsafe will bring your aircraft home in the case of radio loss


All instructions and software are here.






APM 2 is an open source, Arduino-compatible, pro-quality autopilot. It is the most advanced IMU-based open source autopilot available today, and provides an entire UAV control system with scriptable missions with 3D waypoints, in-flight uploading of commands and powerful ground station software. 


APM 2 supports any kind of of vehicle with a one-click change of code. Available code include ArduPlane (fixed wing), ArduCopter (rotary wing), ArduRover (ground vehicles) and more.


Everything you need to create an ArduPlane UAV:


APM 2.5 autopilot with GPS ($179)

[Optional] Telemetry kit ($75).



You'll also need a at least a five-channel RC radio setup, a soldering iron, a mini USB cable and of course something that flies!3689354440?profile=original (We're partial to the SkyFun delta wing (right) and
Bixlee 2   powered glider (left) or its equivalents ourselves).






Source code/firmware

Note: ArduPilot Mega requires no programming, but it's open source and you're welcome to modify it if you'd like. If you are going to play with the code, you can use the free Arduino IDE to edit and upload the code to the ArduPilot board.



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  • Hi, I have tested today the APM + OILPAN with my Acromaster, and works great. Here is the source code with modifications to work with two aleron servos (CH1 & CH5). Good luck and thanks for APM.

  • Hi,
    Finally got my APM + oilpan soldered up and beginning testing with 1.0.3 all looking good apart from the GPS side of things. I am using an EM406 which i had working well with AP + IMU V2 (flat). Not getting any gps lock now. It has been suggested in the issues list that i might be trying to use it in binary mode however im not too clued up on this. Would someone be able to give some good information on how to check what mode its in (it does have a dim red led on it) and also how i can get it back into NMEA mode and what should the right baud rate be. I have looked at SiRFDemo3.87 but seems a little complicated, hoping to perform flight tests today/tomorrow.
    Many thanks in advance
  • Ok I'll stick with elevator and rudder for the moment then. Can you update the manual asap with elev L and elev R once beta is released
  • 3D Robotics
    Ritchie: Elevon mixing is not supported in the alpha release. It will be in beta and beyond (it's supported in basic ArduPilot)
  • Running elevons from a Futaba 6EX is done in the transmitter and Apm can do it with a flick from the oil pan but the wiring diagram does not state elevons in use. Am I to presume I should wire them the same as APM will output them?
  • Developer
    Glad to hear the servos will work for you. Good luck with your flight!
  • Update: Using a wired y-cable will be do the job. No need for embedded solutions. The plane is now ready for first flight. I hope the weather tommorow is on my side.
  • Hi Michael

    Unfortunately, the servos used are of high quality but still analog, which I bought a couple of months befor for another project.

    I will check if the mechanical movements are in limits with a simple wired y-cable. If not, there are some uP controlled reverser on the market which can be adjusted at least for both endpoints.

  • Developer
    @Uwe - I have the same issue. At this stage in development you should be sticking to the low 4 channels and using a Y servo cable.

    This does mean that you need to be careful with your aileron linkages. If you have the option, consider using low-cost programmable digital servos for your ailerons (I like the Hyperion DS09 or Hitec HS5045) so that you can set centre and travel points outside of APM.
  • Hi all,

    The airframe I have uses two servos for the ailerons. Does anyone have the same setup? I'am not quite sure if i should use an extra splitter on CH1 or use CH5 as aileron2 output (modified software). The MUX does just 4 CH, so Failsafe isnt supported on CH5.

    Any ideas?

    Thank you,
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