The ASP XR-01 UAV with the Ardupilot v2.4.6

On nov 15,2009, this was a great day, my ASP XR-01 UAV fully equiped with the ArduPilot v2.4.6 has done successfully its first series of 10 full autonomous flights under the flight plan. The ASP XR-01 is a customized version of the Sonicliner from Multiplex, my model has already done a lot of flights since 2007 but only with a FMA thermopile based Copilot. Today, I have replaced the FMA Copilot by the full ArduPilot with 6 thermopiles, the shield v2 with its pressure sensors, a GPS and a full downlink telemetry system which communicates with my handheld ground station.The weather was windy at the morning (7 m/s SW gusting 9 m/s).I have conducted various tests flights :- full autonomous tests flights with a regular pre-recorded flight plan with 3 waypoints,- the self-learning mode of the v2.4.6: the 3D waypoints have been recorded in flight and then replayed again in full autonomous mode,- the automatic RTH (Return To Home) when the R/C transmitter is switched Off...All these tests flights have been done successfully.You will find a photos album of this event at : ArduPilot firmware has been updated to the v2.4.6. This new personnal release includes a new parameter which is the GPS_MINIMUM ( this is the parameter 8-10 added in the header file). GPS_MINIMUM is the minimum ground speed required in case of strong front wind. In this case this was 3 m/s.Below, onboard video of a full autonomous flight in windy conditions :You will find this new firmware version at : Regards,Jean-Louis
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  • Developer
    Hello Toby,
    As far as I am concerned I prefer to use brushless motors because they are more efficicient than common brushed. You need to have two ESC. Brushless motor/esc are not required with the Ardupilot.
    The motor that I use have the same size in diameter than the orginal speed 400. They are two Spitz 3100 brushless in runner motor and the ESC are Spitz 85505 ( 45A ).
    Today I also recommend to use two Lipo batteries one for each ESC. You need to disconnect one of the output of the positive pole of the +5V from the BEC. The other provide the power supply for the avionics.
  • Jean,

    My airframe has the stock brushed motors and ESC. I gave it a test flight and it fly's fine. Brushless will make a huge difference in performance no doubt.

    Are brushless motors/esc required to run ardupilot?

    What brand name/size motors and speed controller should I use? Any recomendations?

    Do I need 2 brushless esc's or just two Lipo batteries? Because the way it is set up now both motors are connected to one 50A ESC
  • Jean,
    You have started a trend here......My sonic turned up the other day!.....sucha cool aircraft and you AP'd it!!

    Cant waiit to et sarted.

  • Developer
    Hello Toby,
    Yes of course the v2.4.6 is the version that I am currently use with the sonicliner and the easyglider. The v2.4.7 include only the datalinker module for the FlightGear simulator but it is the same engine.
    I don't use the FMA co-pilot, but only the box of the 4 thermopiles, I use the 6xthermopiles sensors from the DIY Drones store. The YZ works very well with the sonicliner.

    Abour the ESC controller, I recommend you strongly to use TWO separate lipo batteries for the ESC this will avoid some failure of the brushless controller. Previously I have used one battery and an Y connection, and I have got some troubles when the Lipo goes low, one of the two brushless stops...

    Here you will find the latest version tested in flight with my Sonicliner :

    Good flights with the ArduPilot onboard.
  • XYZ thermopiles, correction :)
  • Hello all,

    Thanks for the heads up Chris. I picked up the sonicliner from rcdude01(rcgroups) in Oceanside. Nice drive down from L.A.. . Jean, you are my inspiration on this one buddy.

    Is Ardupilot v2.4.6 still the way to go?
    I notice you use the FMA co-pilot, Will diydrone YZ thermopilles work?

    I'll keep you guys posted on my progress. Wish me luck!


  • That's the same model from nitroplanes. It's produced by China Model Products. Like I said, small wing chord, too heavy with the power pod, couldn't get it on step. Just kept tip stalling.
  • Admin
    @ Khalid, thanks for the info , no not from Nitro for me but from h I however I was wondering about Nitroplane comparing it just to see if it was any better. I even saw the video of it with powerpod and looked pretty good. So what went wrong in ur case? I was searching for any ready made power pylon ( collapsible type that can be seen in you tube but so far i haven;t found any supplier :( )
  • If you guys are talking about the Ventus from Nitroplanes, you may want to reconsider. I just built one and demolished it on it's maiden. The problem is the wings are too scale. Not enough wing chord to get the plane on step. You may be ok off a high start or the engine in the nose. However, don't even try it with the EDF pod. Bad design and I had over 500 watts going through the fan.
  • Developer
    I have updated the ASP XR01 "sonicliner" header file for a better flight path in strong wind. This is the setup that I have used in the latest video test flight. The heading gains have been changed, most particularly the proportional and the integrator and also the heading error max for a higher turn rate :

    #define head_P 0.7 //Heading error proportional (same used to move the rudder)... DO not add too much or you will oscillate left and right. (drunk driver effect)
    #define head_I .12 //heading error integrator. Do not add too much or you will overshoot.
    #define head_D 0 //Derivative not used, but someday....
    #define head_error_max 45 //35 The maximum output in degrees to control the roll setpoint
    #define head_error_min -45 //-35 The min output in degrees to control the roll setpoint

    The full header file can be downloaded at :

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