Adding Airship / Blimp support

Thank you very much for sharing Gary!

It’s a pleasure, now fly the socks off it to get your head around it all.

Hi Gary

I have tested Pixhawk and Pixracer FC with Arduplane/Mission planner with a RC Airship


Brilliant Martin! You are ahead of the pack.

Thanks. Can you share your parameter set?

We plan to make a pig leg configuration with four vector units tangential to the hull and located at 45deg. One vector unit = 180deg servo with reversible motor (BLHeli ESC)
This is the SITL model I made for testing (will share it when its finished. RF8 is crashing all the time when I try to edit it…)

Goal is to have position hold feature and the blimp can also move sidewards and up and down without changing pitch or heading.
We need some Code to make this work.
I am thinking about using the Quadplane code for this, but I don’t know if this will work. Any idea on this?

@Gary_Mortimer Have you tuned any parameters on that you shared? I see that you still have TECS Spdweight at 1. Wouldn’t if make sense to set this to 0, so the TECS controller ignores potential energy?

That’s for you to change, I just slung that together with no thought :wink: I don’t know anything about RealFlight I am afraid, if X-Plane is good enough for NASA. Any wind is going to be an issue trying to move an airship sideways.

Can you show a picture or two of your motor and fins placement on your ship please ?


thx but can you show a close up of the motors and how many and where are they fixed please ? (the previous picture is too low res to zoom in)

Hej! Is there any further progress on the blimp front? Would love to learn about what’s been done, how and how well it works!

Sadly there seams to be very little interest for this. We need somebody who can program to make a first move.

Hi …
Any progress on this topic?
Does anyone know about the airship MAVtype in PX4? any one tested it?
@Gary_Mortimer,@palm369 can you please share more detail about your great job? what MAV type did you use? and how many motors?

I am not doing anything with blimps at the moment.

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Where I can find this configuration?

Depending on your airship configuration, you should be able to use Plane with appropriate parameters (ie differential thrust for yaw, roll gain to 0, etc).


Thank you james_pattison!

I am working in a airship that has a tilt-rotor (with one servo and two engines) and a tail rotor. Could you give more information about how to config a Arduplane for this case?
I tryed to search a solution with VTOL, but it was very difficult because it is based in QuadPlane.

You’ll need to post a diagram of your controls/actuators. It might be as simple as tail rotor mapped to rudder, and your tilt servo to pitch, with roll gains to 0, but I’d be speculating without more information.



I don’t have an diagram, only photos. In this link below there is a photo of the tail rotor (as you said, it’s like a rudder) and a gondola with a tilt-rotor (to move the airship up, down, forward and, maybe, backward). There are the only mechanisms to control the airship.

The dream of this project is take-off and land vertically and make the mission (basically follow the waypoints) like an airplane. Is that impossible for actual ArduPlane configurations?

Wow big rig!

I suggest you to run SITL with Realflight to test the configurations. Its very easy to setup!

Thats also my plan. Fully automated. Also GPS position hold and the stabilisation of all axis.

Is this configured as a VTOL plane with “tilt-tricopters with the front two motors tilting and rear tilt for yaw”, Cloud you please tell us the configuration/parameters you use?