In this post I show videos of two real flights, the first above for FlightZoomer version 2.0 and another below with the freshly released version 2.1. Both videos show the same automatic flight including an ILS approach. In the videos the replay feature is used to sync the recorded video from the on-board Sony camera with the presentation of the groundstation.
While FlightZoomer 2.0 works nicely and was a huge step forward overall, the video also shows some areas, that leave room for improvement. In particular the LNAV, the VNAV and the ILS autopilot modes worked not as precisely as a Pixhawk based system in theory could.
All this was addressed with FlightZoomer version 2.1, so check out the following video to see how the behavior improved:
Version 2.1 is provided as a functional upgrade. It does not bring a single new button or any UI change, but under the hood a nice number of improvements have been implemented. Existing algorithms have been refined, new cascaded control layers have been added, the ILS can be captured much more robustly, flight plans are followed more precisely and a bunch of bugs have been ironed out.
The complete list of changes is here:
In both videos basically the entire flight was flown with the autopilot. Along the route using the LNAV and the VNAV modes, using the TRACK OVER GROUND, ALTITUDE and FLCH modes for the downwind and base and finally using the ILS LOCALIZER and ILS GLIDESLOPE modes for the approach.
Some screenshots from the second video:
On the next image you can see how precisely the aircraft follows the planned track even during a turn. Consider that the turn radius first is a variable that depends on the cruise speed and the turn rate (angular velocity). In practice also the actual speed and the impact of the inertia on the actual track over ground have to be incorporated:
The second image shows the final approach to the runway 08 of my virtual airport. Consider how the runway elevation has been configured 5 m above the real road, in order to have some safety buffer:
Again I dont want to miss the opportunity to provide some high level information about FlightZoomer:
Much more details you can find on my homepage flightzoomer.com.
The full documentation for version 1.5 is still valid for the basic functionality:
For the version 2.0 the additional features are described in this 50 page addendum:
For version 2.1 there is currently no separate documentation (beside this post :D )