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Hi All,

This update contains some flight test results with video as well as software simulation and programming using the Paparazzi ground station.

Test Flight

I was able to test fly airframe today with the intent of verifying that the modifications I have made to facilitate the water bottle drop and Paparazzi sensor configuration would actually allow the plane to fly.

Today's test payload consisted of:

  • The Paparazzi Autopilot and failsafe device.
  • All required paparazzi sensors (except gyros)
  • Water bottle drop mechanism
  • RC receiver.

A more detailed view of the general arrangement of hardware can be found in previous blog posts.

Test flight conditions

  • Low to moderate winds.
  • flight just before sunset.

[video: 640x480]


  1. Able to take off well with additional weight however, a larger propeller may be required to ensure reliable take offs for heavier payloads.
  2. Minimum throttle to safely avoid stalling during stable flight was determined (experimentally) to be >50% motor duty cycle.
  3. Significantly higher landing speed, possible addition of landing skids depending on final aircraft weight.



After overcoming some recent Paparazzi hardware issues I turned my attention to actually programming the hardware and simulating flights. I have started by tackling the compulsory  GeoFence failsafe criteria that is:

If at any time the aircraft flies outside the Mission Boundary for the competition, the aircraft’s mission must be terminated automatically by the onboard system(s)

The programs current functionality is if my UAV somehow leaves the area that is marked by the red boundary on the map it will return home. For the competition i will have to terminate the UAV (by crashing it) but for testing I don't want that to happen so the UAV will simply return to the HOME way point.



This functionality is already provided by defining a "Sector" in the Paparazzi FlightPlan.xml file and then using a simple Boolean expression. Information on how to do this can be found on the Paparazzi Wiki here: 


That's all for now more to come soon!


Tagged in: video , Paparazzi , Outback , manual , Linux , Karmic , competition , Challenge , Borjet , airframe