ArduPilot flying 3D aircraft, including hovering

I’ve just submitted a pull-request adding support for tailsitter aircraft to APM:Plane. This allows for a wide range of tailsitters, but also allows for flying 3D capable fixed wing aircraft as a quadplane, using the ability to hang on the prop for hover.

The above video shows APM:Plane 3.8.0beta3 flying a Precision Aerobatics AddictionX in RealFlight 7.5, using the KnifeEdge FlightAxis toolkit to allow control by ArduPilot. It demonstrates flying both in hover and fixed wing flight, along with transitions between fixed wing and VTOL modes.
This is still considered very experimental, but I hope it will provide some fun for people with 3D aircraft who want to push ArduPilot a bit further.
As I own a real AddictionX I am going to install a Pixhawk on it and try flying it with the real aircraft. I’ll make another post once I’ve done that.
I’d also like to note that this is not the first time someone has added prop hanging ability to ArduPilot. In 2013 Brian Marchini did it as part of his masters thesis. That work was never merged and was based on a very old version of ArduPilot (even then). Hopefully this new attempt will be merged soon.


Awesome Tridge! I have wanted this as a feature for soooo long!
Love it!

Simply amazing. Thank you Tridge!

Great Tridge! Hope to see support for Duo Rotor Tailsitter.

@haydar, I’m planning on adding dual-rotor tailsitter soon. It would be great to have a model to test against though. I don’t suppose you are any good at creating planes in xplane10 or realflight?

@haydar I’ve now added support for dual-motor tailsitters to the PR, which also adds support for differential thrust for yaw in fixed wings.

Thanks a lot tridge.
No I have no experience in creating planes in xplane or realflight.
But I could do some real world testing with a dual-motor tailsitter.

I have been wanting to see this for ages Tridge, well done as ever! +1 for the duel tailsitter.

ok, do you have one built now? If so, can you post a photo? The code should work as-is, but has never been flown

No I have none built right now, but I just just ordered the parts.
I want to use Scorpy 1000mm flying wing, 2x RC-Tiger MN2212 Motors, 2x 9" Propellers, PixRacer with GPS. Max Take Off Weight: 600g
Do I need an airspeed sensor?
I have some experience with multirotors (9 years) and ArduCopter (2 years) but zero with ArduPlane.

for simplicity you can do without an airspeed sensor to start with. First thing will be to get it hovering OK, then we’ll need to tune the fixed wing gains.

We’ve had several very successful flights of the AddictionX now, with hover, transition etc, just like in the simulator. It works! It has now been pushed to master.
We’ll upload some videos soon, just not enough bandwidth here at the moment.
We’ve also fitted it with LEDs now, and will be hoving it in a night flight tonight.
Cheers, Tridge

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sounds like you have a good time! might try this for an evening of SITL fun. bravo! i love this shit :smiley:

I’ve pushed the tailsitter support to master now after another evening of fun testing it. We put LEDs on the AddictionX and flew at night, great fun!


Darrell Burkey from CanberraUAV caught some nice shots of the AddictionX flying 3D with ArduPilot on the weekend. A bit of it was Paul Riseborough in manual, the bit at the end is ArduPilot flying it in QLOITER mode in quite a strong wind.


Open gates for so much more possibilities. Thanks Tridge.

Can we use Flight Axis Link with realflight 7.5???
If yes where could we find Flightaxis link Code…???
will be highly thankful if helped.


Nice project tridge! I’m also doing some scool project and i have to built tailsitter/3d hoover plane. Single engine RC plane, same as you have in youtube video.
My question, can i see somewhere the full tailsitter code you showed in video? This would be so helpful to me!


This question was answered in GitHub.

What is the earliest software where tailsitter is included?
ArduPlane VX.XX ?

Thanks you :slight_smile: