Drift­ing drone

Mac Format - - APPLETALK -

I was re­cently treated to the Par­rot AR Drone for my birth­day by my wife. I have flown RC planes be­fore but this is my first quad­copter and I’m still get­ting to grips with the FreeFlight app. I have the drone in ‘flat trim’ mode, but I find it of­ten drifts quite badly in one di­rec­tion – and not al­ways the same one! I’ve tried com­pen­sat­ing with the man­ual trim set­tings but I have to ad­just the val­ues on each flight. Is this a bug or is my drone faulty? Alas­tair Crewk­erne

I haven’t played with the AR Drone my­self, but from the man­ual and the FAQ at ardrone2.par­rot.com/faq, I think you might be en­abling Flat Trim while your quad­copter is sit­ting on a slope. The Flat Trim mode ze­roes the trim val­ues for the on­board gy­ro­scopes, as­sum­ing the drone is sit­ting on a level sur­face. If you’re on the side of a hill, you are es­sen­tially pro­gram­ming in a con­trol bias that will try to move the drone in what­ever di­rec­tion was down­hill when you en­abled Flat Trim. To fix this, put the drone on a hor­i­zon­tal sur­face, open the FreeFlight app and tap the Flat Trim but­ton. You should be able to leave the Trim Se­lect set­tings on Auto and it will still fly level.

Drones like the Par­rot Be­Bop let you con­trol them through your iPad.

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