Arducopter 3.4 TradHeli Support

Hello all, I just want to make it clear, I am no longer able to support TradHeli releases starting with AC3.4. This has occurred because of 3DR discontinuing support of AC development, which has required me to devote my efforts to commercial support for other companies, which unfortunately has not included TradHeli to this point. Hopefully at some point I can find the time to focus on TradHeli again. I have actually had to officially resign as lead developer for TradHeli as I take the responsibility to deliver reliable and stable code very seriously, and I just don’t have the time to look after this at this point. In the past, this has required substantial commitment of time and money, which I just can’t support without funding from external sources.

I’m not sure what the status of AC3.4 for TradHeli is at the moment, but there have been a number of foundational changes that have gone in for multirotors which will have an effect on helicopters, and am aware of several issues which could cause crashes, or even unsafe bench-testing, so please be careful. One of these issue is that the Ch8 Output for the ESC is no longer functioning properly, and I’m concerned about the possibility of an inadvertent motor start. Please be sure to remove all blades and keep your fingers clear of the drivetrain if bench testing.

AC3.4 is supposed to go into Beta testing soon, I’m not sure if this includes TradHeli or not.

@tridge Tridge not responsible Tradheli 3.4 firmware code development do?

Tridge is contributing, but I’m not sure if he’s officially taking on responsibility for the release.

I am testing master (and thus 3.4-dev) with tradheli, and I’m actively flying it on two helis. I have a 3rd heli (a blade 450) that I will probably put it on.
I’m not ready yet to declare myself as the lead for the release, but for now it seems likely that I will be dealing with issues.

Very happy to hear this news, Tridgell extremely looking forward to focusing on comprehensive testing and development Tradheli firmware expect AC3.4 firmware can be updated while allowing Traditional Helicopter can be obtained to enhance the performance and functionality!

Yes, I think we should try to run the tradheli beta testing at the same time as the multicopter beta testing. Really there’s no advantage from a developer time point of view to separating them.

I am happy to read this!!! Thanks Tridge and Randy.

Sincerely hope and launched TradHeli beta or RC version。

Thanks Tridge 、Rob and Randy.

Excelente news,

@tridge Will you be using the Pixhawk as the FBL controller for further imepovements and development on the flight controller itself as well, or, are all of your Helis still running an external FBL?

Sorry for the ask but I’m not sure if I understand correctly that traditional helicopter is officially supported or not.
I seriously interested to Traditional Helicopter !

Thanks a lot for all people that is working on Arducopter (in all its flawors) :slight_smile:


@Jman841, As well as the big ones I do also have a Blade450 that is using a Pixracer as the FBL controller, running ArduPilot. I don’t fly it very often though. I haven’t flown it for about 2 months. I also have several simulated aircraft of various sorts.

Just to be clear, and in case any interested companies are listening:

I’m available to offer commercial support for TradHelis (and Multirotors!) including future development. I’ve been working on some new features behind the scenes. So please contact me if you have any needs in this regard.

Just to reiterate, I take Ardupilot development work very seriously. And I’m a huge proponent of helicopters of course, as they offer the best all-round performance of any VTOL capable platform. AC3.3 was the first release where I was able to devote 2-3 months of solid work into it, and I like to think it revolutionized the setup and flight performance of helicopters within the Arducopter framework. I would very much like to continue that work, but this just can’t happen without being able to put significant effort into the code, which I cannot support on a hobby-basis.

Hi Rob, we understand and support you. As long as you continue to refine the idea of code, developers can accept slower progress, certainly compared to the traditional helicopter VTOL multi-axis work still has its own very distinct advantage. @Tridge Also hope to fully familiar with the traditional code helicopter as soon as possible and continue to maintain traditional helicopter firmware updates.

@Tridge Thank you for the info. When I changed firmware from 3.2.1 to 3.3.3 in Traditional heli, I had to lower all of my P values significantly, by a factor of 10 or more for a 550 class heli. I am not exactly sure why, however, i suspect something major changed between 3.2.1 and 3.3.3 in the PID interactions. While the heli is flying fine, I would be interested to understand what caused this major required change in P value and if there is any second or third order effects due to this.

@ Tridge.
This is great just to clarify my poor understanding:

  • Using a Pixhawk on a 500 size electric FBL traditional heli.
  • Is 3.4-rc6 still a “no no”?
  • Is 3.3.3 ok to run?

It looks from Mission Planner you can load either 3.3.3 or 3.4 rc-6.

Thank you in advance for answering.


@henrik04 If it was my heli I’d definitely be loading 3.4. The number of improvements is huge.
There is a real lack of docs though, and that is perhaps the biggest issue. I just haven’t had time to go through the heli docs and update them.
Cheers, Tridge


I would urge caution. I’d like to see more people testing AC3.4 on smaller copters, and will be doing so myself. A Trex500 is a good candidate.

But I won’t be using AC3.4 on my bigger systems yet. The earlier RC’s had some pretty bad bugs, and I’m not sure they’ve all been found yet.

However, I will say that EKF2 is going really well in my testing. This is definitely an improvement in AC3.4.

I am sure you are referring to your experience of a premature motor shutdown in RTL to the earlier FW 3.4 beta releases. But I can assure you the same thing happened just view day,s ago on 24-10-16 with ‘your’ Fw version 3.3.3 to a friend of me. I wish he would confirm this here in this forum that it happened to his Align TREX 600E with FW 3.3.3. I never had those experience with 3.3.3 and I have done many mission with 2 of my Helis which all ended with perfect RTL. We are trying to find out exactly in what circumstances it did happen to his Trex 600.

3.4rc7 Heli FW improved a lot? What are the issues that clearly affect security? I have not dared to try to see you say so, I would also like to try 3.4 firmware!

Can help briefly explain the current 3.4rc version of the helicopter firmware obvious bugs?