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First Test of Automatic Flight

sammenticus - 250 Views
Published on 17 Apr 2021 / In Hobby

This is the first test of automatic flight with my home-made flight controller.

0:20 Manual flight: Here I use only the automatic leveling feature of the flight controller.

3:03 Programmed flight: Here the plane immediately dives to the lower programmed altitude and begins flying in a circle, which is a bit mis-shaped due to the wind.

4:32 I think I switched back to manual mode here, but I'm not sure. If this was landing mode then I don't know why it did what it did for this 9 seconds.

4:41 I switch to programmed landing mode. The plane again goes down to the programmed altitude, circles so that it's facing the correct direction, flies down the field, circles back, lines itself up with the runway, and immediately hits the ground because its altitude is too low.

GPS altitude isn't the most accurate thing, and so my first guess was that it was just reading about 10 ft. too low. However, I note that on the laptop screen monitoring the flight that there aren't any GPS fixes for the last moments in the air, which makes me wonder if a contributing factor might have been loss of GPS signal, but I do know that a lot of packets get lost over the radio and so the plane may have had GPS data for that time.

The flight controller has a "black box" that records what data it was receiving and what decisions it made, so I'll be able to look at that later and determine if loss of GPS signal was a factor. I also plan to add an on-the-fly way to adjust altitude, as I thought it was too low throughout the landing and so I could have easily told it to fly a little higher.

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