11.2 VTOL Flight Modes

AeroGCS KEA 2.3 provides support for the following flight modes for VTOL.

  • Auto Mode: In AUTO mode, the quad will help the aircraft turn at the speed that the navigation controller requires while also providing lift to get to the altitude of the next waypoint.

  • Loiter, RTL, or Guided Modes: The quad motors will attempt to help with any climb and turn rates that the fixed-wing LOITER, RTL, or GUIDED modes request of them.

  • CRUISE or FBW B Mode: When in CRUISE or FBWB mode, the quad will lift the user at the climb rate that the pilot specifies (pitch stick controlled). By combining aileron and rudder input, the quad motors will attempt to turn at the rate the pilot demands.

  • FBW A mode: Pitch stick input will be interpreted by the quad in FBWA mode as being proportional to the desired climb rate. Thus, the quad motors will attempt to climb if the user pulls back on the pitch stick, and they will endeavor to provide a stable descent if the user pushes forward on the pitch stick.

  • AutoTune Mode: The quad will offer the same assistance in AUTOTUNE mode as it would in FBWA, but using AUTOTUNE mode with a high value for Q_ASSIST_SPEED is not recommended because the quad assistance will obstruct the learning of the fixed wing gains.

  • Manual, Acro, and Training Modes: The quad motors will turn off completely in MANUAL, ACRO, and TRAINING modes. The aircraft will fly solely as a fixed wing in those modes.

  • Stabilize Mode: The quad motors in STABILISE mode will attempt to lift the user if assistance is activated.

  • Circle Mode: Similar to LOITER, circle mode makes no effort to maintain position. In order to turn the vehicle and hopefully regain radio control signal and pilot control, this is primarily intended to be used as an initial failsafe mode.

  • TAKEOFF Mode: Automatic takeoff can be accomplished via a mission control command or by directly entering the TAKEOFF mode.

  • QLOITER Mode: The QLOITER Mode automatically tries to keep the position, heading, and altitude constant. When the sticks are released, the QuadPlane will slow to a stop and hold its position. The pilot can control the QuadPlane in QLOITER mode as though it were in a more manual flight mode.

  • QHOVER Mode: QuadPlane maintains a constant altitude while allowing normal control of roll, pitch, and yaw in QHOVER mode.

  • QSTABILIZE Mode: The roll and pitch axes of your vehicle are self-leveled while in QSTABILIZE mode, which still lets you fly it manually.

Warning: While QRTL or RTL switching in an emergency requires GPS, QSTABILIZE mode does not always need it. Prior to arming, make sure you have a solid position estimate. A 3D GPS fix with enough HDOP typically provides this. In the arming checks, this is a default requirement. These checks should not be disabled.

Note: If the autopilot is unable to steer the vehicle, always enter a manual mode, such as QSTABILIZE. It is your responsibility to keep your copter under control.

  • QLAND Mode: QLAND Mode attempts to bring the QuadPlane straight down at the vehicle's current location, descending to Q_LAND_FINAL_ALT at Q_WP_SPEED_DN until it reaches Q_LAND_FINAL_ALT, at which point it continues to descend at Q_LAND_SPEED until landing.

  • QAUTOTUNE Mode: The same system is used as in the AUTOTUNE mode for copters. It should make it possible for you to tune without manually adjusting PIDs. Use of QAUTOTUNE is not advised for any axis requiring feed-forward pid contributions, including the yaw and pitch axes of the tailsitter.

  • Guided Mode: A QuadPlane can also be used in GUIDED mode, in addition to AUTO mode. The Q_GUIDED_MODE parameter needs to be set to 1 in order to use VTOL support in GUIDED mode. The position held at the destination will now be performed as a VTOL hover rather than a fixed-wing circle once the GUIDED mode behavior has been changed.

The above mentioned flight modes can be set through the list of modes from flyview as shown in the following image.

VTOL will wait for gaining the required altitude which was set by the user and then it will start flying with the desired speed. While turning on the plan lines it will follow the overshoot and lead-in values set by the user. It will not capture the images on the path from takeoff to the first point of the plan and from the last point of the plan to the landing points. The images will be captured on the plan designed only. The speed of the VTOL on the polylines will be according to the set speed by the user. On turns, the speed of VTOL may be increased somewhat, and again it reduces on entering the waypoint radius.

First Land point is also known as the Land Entry point from where the VTOL starts its landing by changing the speed. The speed of VTOL is not decreased to 0 directly but it will be increased to some extent firstly and then slowly decreases to 0 m/s at the second Land point.

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