Lee from the YouTube channel Painless360 recently released an informative video detailing the long journey to achieve a perfect tune for the popular Hee Wing Ranger VTOL FPV drone. As both a VTOL aircraft enthusiast and fellow content creator in the FPV space, I wanted to highlight some of the key takeaways from Lee's video in this blog post.
TL:DR Just give me the Parmeter files
Here are the direct links to the param files for the Hee Wing Rnager T1 for Ardupilot 4.4. Just click the link to download the param file for your flight controller.
For optimal results, upgrade your ESCs to Bluejay firmware. The new tuning is optimized for Bluejay's output grouping. Check the servo output tab in Mission Planner to see which servo wires need reorganizing. Upgrading to Bluejay is critical to gain the full benefits of the new tuning.
It Took 6 Months Of Iteration To Nail The Tuning
As Lee explains, what started as a simple 2-week tuning project for the Hee Wing Ranger turned into a 6-month marathon effort ##collaborating with Andrew Tridgell of ArduPilot fame. They ran into several issues that required code changes, filter tuning, and many iterations before arriving at a smooth tune.
Key Was Noise Reduction Through Telemetry & Notch Filters
A vital first step was adding ESC telemetry using BlueJay firmware to enable optimally tuned notch filters. This significantly reduced noise and oscillations.
Autotune & Angle P Improvements Boosted Hover Performance
Modifications to how autotune worked for tiltrotors plus tuning the angle P value delivered greatly improved hovering capability.
Separating Fixed Wing & Multirotor Tuning Was Critical
Initially poor transitions were traced back to fixed wing feedforward terms interfering with multirotor tuning. Isolating them into separate tunes was essential.
ArduPilot 4.4 Update Unlocked Better Performance
The final piece of the puzzle was the ArduPilot 4.4 update that incorporated many vital fixes and optimizations specifically for tiltrotor VTOLs like the Hee Wing.
Key Takeaway - VTOL Tuning Is Complex But Rewarding
Lee does a great job using this in-depth tuning journey to illustrate just how much complexity there is in properly tuning a VTOL aircraft like the Hee Wing Ranger. For RC enthusiasts looking to venture into the world of VTOL, it's a great case study on what's involved and how rewarding the results can be when everything comes together.