Any GPS auto-pilot model airplane people here?

Are you all sleeping or am I in the wrong forum,
Want to fly my model with GPS, return and land safely or land with radio control.
Infos about R/C autopilots wanted, and flight stabilizers, they will be needed too. (in a few years nobody will fumble at his joystick anymore)
salut, w.
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Helmut Wabnig <EmailAddress> wrote:
| Are you all sleeping or am I in the wrong forum,
Wrong forum, it would seem. I've seen a little discussion of it here, but very little. | Want to fly my model with GPS, return and land safely or land with | radio control.
Ok, but 1) the FAA might have a problem with it if it leaves your sight (UAVs fly under different rules) and 2) few of us really care to do that, except beyond a `look! I did it!' sort of thing.
| Infos about R/C autopilots wanted, and flight stabilizers, they will | be needed too.
Well, as for stabilizers, that's just some dihederal (for size to side) and one of the IR `autopilots' that places like FMA and Futaba sell. Those we're pretty familiar with.
| (in a few years nobody will fumble at his joystick anymore)
I seriously doubt that.
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzy.com
Is there anything that beer can't do? --Homer
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Doug McLaren wrote:

If you don't actually fly the plane, then what's the point?? I can go to the airport and watch planes fly all day. Same experience. I'd rather pilot my own craft than have it autonomous any day. Besides, autonomy opens up a whole new can of worms when it comes to command and control. I work with autonomous underwater vehicles and it's not as easy as it would seem. For air, liability issues would skyrocket.
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I agree not much fun to watch your plane fly itself. I think that this technology might just be limited to some form of training aid. But that seems like an awful lot of time and money, probably more sense to look for an instructor and a trainer cable. I personally enjoy the challenge of mastering flight maneuvers.
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On Mon, 10 Oct 2005 00:20:09 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@frenzy.com (Doug McLaren) wrote:

Thanks for the argument, because I am new to model flight, actually I am not a model pilot but a computer& electronics hobbyist working together with some model aircrafters, for me it is very intersting to have things go - automatically.
First thing to get working is a device which would fly the plane in a certain route, say a few miles south and back again. then there is no radio control possible with standard RC transmitters. Why not use a GPRS telephone modem to control the plane as well as transmit telemetry and GPS data. Want to control the model via cell telephone. Modems are size of 2 inch about, it is like handyphone without display.
There is of course the question of responsibility, it will create legal problems to have a model fly out of sight, although it does not mean that it is out of control. This is definitely new stuff for hobbyists.
w.
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On 2005-10-10, Helmut Wabnig <> wrote:

It's not very common, but I wouldn't say it's new. There have been a number of GPS auto-pilot projects (included several attempted trans-atlantic flights). The project I thoght was the coolest was this one:
http://members.shaw.ca/sonde /
I think your chances of automating a normal landing are pretty small.
--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! I was making donuts
at and now I'm on a bus!
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| > Thanks for the argument, because I am new to model flight, actually | > I am not a model pilot but a computer& electronics hobbyist working | > together with some model aircrafters, for me it is very intersting | > to have things go - automatically.
Ok, and some would be interested in it, but it's not likely to replace `wiggling the sticks' ever.
| > First thing to get working is a device which would fly the plane | > in a certain route, say a few miles south and back again. | > then there is no radio control possible with standard RC transmitters. | > Why not use a GPRS telephone modem to control the plane | > as well as transmit telemetry and GPS data.
As long as it's 100% reliable (or at least as close as our gear is) and doesn't have per minute fees ...
We usually fly our planes visually, so there's no need for more range than our eyes give us. Really, the only big improvement that we need in radio gear for our current purposes is spread spectrum, so we can 1) not have frequency conflicts and 2) not get knocked out by a single strong signal. (Though an autopilot of some sort might be useful if the signal is still lost somehow -- perhaps cut power, keep the wings approximately level, keep the nose level and do circles? But is it worth the weight and cost for most?)
| > There is of course the question of responsibility, it will create | > legal problems to have a model fly out of sight, although it does not | > mean that it is out of control. This is definitely new stuff for | > hobbyists.
It's not new at all. People have done this for quite some time. I've even seen shows on the Discovery Channel and the like. The most recent one I recall was the one where teams were making autonomous helicopters to survey a site for bodies or something in some contest.
| It's not very common, but I wouldn't say it's new. There have | been a number of GPS auto-pilot projects (included several | attempted trans-atlantic flights).
... and several successful ones. Maynard did it with an 11 lb plane (http://tam.plannet21.com /) but his plane certainly wasn't the first autonomous plane to cross the atlantic, only the first to be small enough to be a `model' under FAI rules.
There are even off the shelf navigation systems available. I see ads for them in the back of the modelling magazines from time to time.
| I think your chances of automating a normal landing are | pretty small.
Depends. If you have a large field to land on and don't need anything precise, a GPS could do it. Just keep the wings level (or almost level), and don't let the nose go down or up, cut the power so it's not enough to maintain altitude, and use the rudder to turn circles. As long as it's over the field when you do this, and your circles are tight enough, it'll land on the field.
Beyond that, you could come a lot closer to a `conventional' landing with just a little smarts. GPSs aren't really accurate to more than 10 feet at best so it won't be a high precision landing, but as long as you keep the plane level front to back and side to side, it's simply a matter of controlling the rate of descent/ascent via the throttle. `Aim' the plane at the field with an acceptable altitude and distance away, and then have it narrow in on the target by adjusting the throttle (and making any small adjustments to course needed.)
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzy.com
If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing! --Homer Simpson
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Helmut Wabnig Wrote:

I am in for the ride.
My life, work, hobbies are all tangled in one big mess. I can see wh one would to controls a model plane with a GPS just doing it is rewar enough for me. And I can usually find a way to use it in somethin practical such a 2D version for a trolling motor for a fishing boat.
Gordon Couger DataLink Systems www.rfdata.ne
-- gcouge ----------------------------------------------------------------------- gcouger's Profile: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?ur62 View this thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?tB574
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On Sun, 09 Oct 2005 22:25:51 +0200, Helmut Wabnig <EmailAddress> wrote:

Helmut- Not sure where you are (Germany?), but if in the US, you are probably depending on AMA for insurance. Autonomous model aircraft are OK with AMA (after some bumbling by the president of AMA), but they must remain within unaided line of sight. If you aren't in the US, better check for rules that may apply in your part of the world before you get too committed to this venture. I think the challenge would be interesting, and expect that some level of autonomy is likely to be available in off-the-shelf trainer models in the not too distant future. Have fun.
Abel
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