ArduPilot as a autopilot Experimental

I have been checking in to this Ardupilot controller for us in a auto pilot for an experimental airplane.
All I am looking to do right now is altitude hold and wing leveler. My wish list would be to have a simple
switch at the input to have the plane set for altitude hold and wings to stay level. If all that is possible
seems like a win for me. Because My plane is experimental I am allowed to make such changes to
my plane. The question is can this device be set up to do this? Any directions you might have would be
very help full


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Is that a manned airplane ?
ArduPilot is not design for manned vehicle .

I know it is not designed for Manned airplanes . I am willing to try it on my
airplane. Alt hold and wing levelers are quite expensive when certified.
Since mine is experimental I can use what I deam safe. And it seems like
a fun project to try .

I am very sorry, I did not realize that you meant a manned airplane.

I DO NOT recommend you use Ardupilot for this application. (I have deleted my previous post, and am very sorry for missunderstanding.)

Why are you deleting the info? This device is put on airplane all the time just not
operated like I want to do it.

The “info” I deleted was a link to the standard documentation, and my statement that Ardupilot could do what you want. When I made that statement, I did not realize that you wanted to use Ardupilot on a manned plane. I think that is a very unsafe idea, and DO NOT recommend doing it.

I fully agree with you. Running ArduPilot inside a fully functional manned airplane is the worst idea ever. While I’m pilot myself and understand your point @Velocity, you are far better of using actual hardware which was meant for this. Instead of using a drone computer you can buy hardware which once was inside actual manned aircraft, but then got replaced for a newer system.

Bottom line is that even though your plane is experimental you as a pilot have are obligated to guarantee the safety of the environment that you fly in.

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@Velocity please look at this link:

and specifically at this paragraph:

  • Ardupilot is NOT certified for use in applications where ArduPilot is effectively in control of human lives. Members of the development team must not knowingly assist in projects where ArduPilot will be in control of human lives. “In control of human lives” includes but isn’t limited to manned aircraft.
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Where I see the point that a Manned aircraft is not the desigened intent of the ArduPilot . There
no safty concern to using it as a Auto pilot . At any time it can be shut off and full control is
again back in the hands of the pilot. Now have you ever thought that the device could easily be used to
cause harm since it makes Rc planes into Drones . Seems to me there should me more concern with this aspect
of the device than when a Pilot is in full control of his or her craft.

My two cents

I think the concern is more legal in nature than practical or safety:
In case if Velocity suffers any minor bodily harm, or even a headache, the authorities may decide that the ardupilot “contributed” to it and may proceed to shut down this website, thus depriving many and the society as a whole of this wonderful resource.
We have seen some examples in the past where websites were closed because they “enabled” some unlawful or reckless or risky behavior, even if the owners and maintainers of these websites themselves did not participate in that behavior nor supported it in any way, but were assumed to be “aware” of the intent of some of their users to do so. So, unfortunately, I understand the rigorous stance of the moderators. I wonder if Wright brothers would get the necessary licensing nowadays before their first flight :grinning: