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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  • can apm handel deep stall landing?

  • 3D Robotics
    Andrew: did you connect the battery directly to the board or via an ESC? Power input must be 5v through an ESC unless you've configured APM to use the internal power regulator. If you connect a high voltage battery directly to APM, without an ESC, you will destroy the board.
  • Hi All!

    I am Andrew Depalma, I am 24 years old and I am an Italian student in Aerospace Engineering at Politecnico di Torino in Italy. I have a big problem with APM.

    I purchased APM pre-assembled and tested on Udrones in April. On X-plane simulation everything was perfect. I also tried to upload the firmware for the real flight (for airplane) just to test imu and gyro and everything worked.

    But.. now I have a problem.

    Two weeks ago, on 23rd July, for the first time, I tried to put APM on a RC aircraft, but the Autopilot, once I connected the battery, went crazy and sent “orrible” output to the aileron, rudder and elevator. The aircraft was on the ground and every mobile surfaces moved in a random way (not in normal way)!   One aileron servo was broken!

    And then, after this damage, when I connected again the USB cable to the APM (always mounted on the airplane), immediately the blue led on IMU was “on” and suddenly everything was switched off. For one entire day, this thing happened.

    From 25th July until now, APM works, i.e. I can fly in X-plane, I can upload new waypoints, etc… but Gyro and accelerometers don’t work!!!   I cannot find the reason! 

    On Terminal -> Test -> gyro                    moving APM nothing works!         Same thing for Terminal -> Test -> imu     


    The numbers are 0 constant!  (only Airpressure sensor works!)   Obviously the Autopilot does not work on the aircraft!

    Can you help me? I think that could be an energy supply problem. I am worried because now I purchased another IMU shield, but I am afraid that the same things can happen, because I don’t know the reason of the problem.  Can you explain me what is the exact amount of power that I need to put on APM?

    Have you any Idea about this problem?

    (With a tester, I measured on the 3.3 V regulator and the tension is 3.3 V perfect)

    I look forward your reply

    Have a nice day!


  • OK thanks
  • 3D Robotics
    As explained in the manual, you should use a v-tail mixer:
  • I have a V-tail plane ,how can i config the Ardupilot mega to cantrol this v tail plane ,Thank you very much!!
  • ok thanks, I can live with the mission planner for now. I guess this file will soon get too big as well?
  • 3D Robotics
    Hooper: yes, the Arduino IDE throws in some error checking code that pushes it over the limit. Use the Mission Planner to load the hex file (which is smaller) or if you want to play with the code, consider upgrading to APM2560. We've been keeping support for the older 1280 boards as long as we can, but to continue innovating we'll have to sunset them soon. That's why APM is modular: so you can upgrade the (cheaper) processor board while keeping the (more expensive) sensor board. It's the best way to allow the pace of innovation to continue while minimizing the upgrade cost for users.
  • The latest code APM2.2 only compiles in arduino if the 2560 board is selected. Selecting 1280 gives the error message "sketch too big".
  • 3D Robotics
    Jordon: Yes! The ArduCopter link is right on the front page of the site, but here is the Trex 450 version:
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