We tried to put a smooth motors transition in the "PX4 VTOL" code.
This video shows the results we obtained after a little tuning, using a "Pixhawk flight controller" and "U-Blox M8N gps".
Special thanks to Roman Babst and Lorenz Meier, who are working hard to make their code safe and powerful.


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  • Is the code compatible with a Flying Wing type aircraft? Everyone has been using the standard fixed-wing. So is it possible to use the code with Elevons?

  • hi there , 

    I am a engineering student i have a graduation project in this field ... my project is create a combination between a fixed wing mode and quad copter mode .... my project is same to the zero project ( we have a hole in the wings and the servo motor change the motion of the arm inside the wing from 0-90 degree in order to make the combination between the previous two type ) and we use pixhawk 

    I wanna ask you about the best software which it can deal with the pixhawk in order to use yours code (( quadplane code)) which is suitable for our project 

    P.S // how i can install it carefully 

  • Developer

    Initial QuadPlane documentation for ArduPilot is here:

  • Developer

    Hi Marco,

    One more critical parameter. You need to set SCHED_LOOP_RATE to 400. Otherwise it will run the copter code with an update rate of 50Hz, which won't do well.

    That means all of plane will run at 400Hz, but that should be fine. If you notice anything strange in fixed wing modes let me know.

    Cheers, Tridge

  • Developer

    Hi Marco,

    Do you want to be the first person to try ArduPilot QuadPlane?

    I've put a pre-built firmware here:

    It is the same as plane master but with 3 extra modes:

    • mode 17: QSTABILIZE (same as copter stabilize)
    • mode 18: QHOVER (same as copter alt_hold)
    • mode 19: QLOITER (same as copter loiter)

    You'll need to set the FLTMODE* parameters as numeric values as your GCS won't understand these values yet.The code assumes a Quad-X frame, with the motors on outputs 5 to 8. The normal plane outputs are assumed to be on 1 to 4.

    You can transition between any modes, fixed wing or quadplane. The transition rules are:

    • if you transition to MANUAL then the quad motors will immediately stop
    • if you transition to any other fixed wing mode then the quad will continue to supply lift and stability in a hover until you reached the ARSPD_FBW_MIN airspeed (or airspeed estimate if no airspeed sensor)
    • once that airspeed is reached the quad motors will slowly drop over Q_TRANSITION_MS milliseconds (default is 5000, so 5 seconds)

    You need to set Q_ENABLE to 1 to enable the QuadPlane functionality. All QuadPlane specific parameters start with Q_, so just set Q_* parameters as needed (they are very similar to the normal copter parameters).I've tested it in a simulator and it works nicely, but it has never been tried on a real aircraft. Let me know if you give it a go!

    Code is here:

    Cheers, Tridge

  • Developer

    Interesting Tridge, keep me informed about your progress, thanks!

  • Developer

    hi Marco,

    I am actually working on quadplane support for ArduPilot. I have it flying now in a simulator with the addition of a 'Hover' mode in plane, along with auto-transition. See my quadplane-wip branch.

    I don't think it will make the 3.5 plane release (as that is basically done already) but I expect it to be an option in the release after that.

    We've been flying a larger quadplane (a senior telemaster) with dual-Pixhawk, and we're building a smaller one based on a Firstar 2000 now, which will run the quadplane code on a single Pixhawk.

    Initially I think we'll just have two extra modes for plane. One is 'Hover' which will behave like copter stabilize mode. The other will behave like alt_hold mode for copter. I may even call it alt_hold, although I am a bit afraid people will think it is for conventional fixed wing and be disappointed :)

    Later I'd like to integrate it properly into navigation code for precision auto-land.

    It is amazing the amount of code that comes out of development for the outback challenge :-)

    Cheers, Tridge

  • Actually there is some start at VTOL code:

    Contribute to tridge/ardupilot development by creating an account on GitHub.
  • Actually, my feeling is that PX4( shows more clear vision of development.

    Introduction · PX4 Developer Guide
  • Developer

    At the moment the APM Dev Team has no plans to work at their VTOL code, or at least i'm not aware of this thing.
    The code in my video is "PX4 VTOL":

    PX4 Autopilot Software. Contribute to PX4/Firmware development by creating an account on GitHub.
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