after a lot of research, programming, setting and tuning, I'm proud to announce that my Proxima II went in flight.
It was already, but without any autopilot, only to set the right controls, trims, CG and wings angle of attack.
Now it is fully autonomous. This is the more complex autopilot equipped plane I ever build.
Here you can see the plane in full action.
In this video there is a demonstration of the controls possibilities.
The pilot has the following controls over the plane :
- ailerons, differential !
- flaps, with those functions : thermal flaps, crow flaps
- autopilot mode
- coming next will be camera pan / tilt and camera mode controls
Possibilities are :
- roll control over two (ailerons) or four surfaces (ailerons and flaps)
- camber control over four surfaces (I could program it over two surfaces too, but actually I don't need it)
- crow flaps, with roll control over two or four surfaces
- fine trimming of both ailerons and flaps for roll or camber
About the plane :
Proxima II, 2.78m, Selig 3021 (Reichard)
UavDevBoard 4 stabilization / autopilot unit
And finally an amazing board that allowed me to have all those functions mixed with the autopilot.
This mixer is incredibly flexible in programming.
It is fed with PPM stream from RC rx. The UDB is daisy chained to it and feeds back to it again ailerons control for stabilization and autonomous flight.
Here are the schematics of all the connections :
Here you can watch some more pictures of the plane.
Next plans are to mount a video system and use it as an FPV platform, for long time flying using thermals.
This plane is dedicated to Bill Premerlani, as a tribute to him for starting this amazing adventure, for all the improvements he achieved and for letting me the privilege to travel a short distance on this long road with him.
Thank you Bill !
Very impressive, especially the 3 minutes of motor usage out of a 65 minute flight, and the landing was amazing. Thank you so much for posting.
... forgot to mention that I did a 65 minutes long flight, with about 3 minutes motor usage :)
today I did some more flying with this plane, to squeeze some performances from it.
In the first two pictures you can see a (first light) thermal gliding.Not very clean though, but I was 600m high and about 800m away.
A UavDevBoard is of incredible help here.
In this picture you can see the landing sequence : crow flaps out, almost vertical dive, final rounding and landing.
It's so funny !
Up to telemetry the plane is diving at an angle between 70 and 85 degrees (pitch down).
Maximum estimated airspeed (not GPS speed) was 101Km/h at 85 degrees and about 70-80Km/h at 70-75 degrees. When it is rounded for landing it brakes amazingly.
thanks all !
@GliderUAV, not really. The first goals was to have a plane with stabilization and an amazing number of controls directly from RC tx (not having to deal with laptops etc at field, I still don't like to rely too much at them). I reached it the way I wanted to. It is capable of autonomous flight very well (video !), but I think I'm going to use it the most in manual / stabilized mode, while doing FPV.
On the OSD I have plenty of data, including total energy, vertical wind speed and variometer based on IMU, not GPS (many thanks to Ben Levitt for this great OSD coding !). You can have a look at this video for those features :
Summarizing I miss a little bit manual piloting.
Congratulations. A very nice setup. Full-house controlled by AutoPilot. Do you have plans for autonomous thermalling? That shouldn't be too hard now. Good luck.
In no way am I jealous (much)
That's an amazing aircraft, Ric! And a beautiful tribute, too. Congrats!
Great Ric !
Wow... it's a really beautiful work. Congratulations Riccardo!
Thank you for creating such great art, which only comes from great artists, which you truly are.