What is the advantage of a compass for ArduPlane?

Hi all,

I’ve searched the forum and it appears that it’s possible to fly my wing without the use of a compass.
What I couldn’t find is the advantage of using a compass?

In what way does flying without a compass limit the performance of ArduPlane?

Does it limit the functionality?
Does it limit the accuracy of cruise mode or RTH?

Best regards,

Jan Willem
The Netherlands

the compass tells the aircraft what direction its pointed in, this information can also be obtained from the GPS heading. However the gps heading is a much slower update rate, so gyros will drift more before the ekf can correct it. So the position estimate will be slightly worse. Also in windy conditions the true heading and the gps heading will be significantly different so having a compass is more important.

But essentially it doesn’t directly limit functionality but the aircraft will have a harder time keeping track of its yaw especially in tough conditions. Unless your going for a supper light weight tiny aircraft there is really no reason not to fit a compass