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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Quadcopter Drone Flying Tutorial 4: Turning (Banked Turns)

Quadcopter drone banking turns is a subject that's not obvious to most new flyers.  Most have to learn it through trial and error, and by doing such often go down the wrong path.  This article may help prevent you from learning bad flying habits, and may help accelerate your flying skills.  A quadcopter can be turned in one of three ways:

Pitch & Roll (Elevator & Aileron) Turning
The first way to turn is to use the pitch/roll controller alone to turn the quadcopter.  The quadcopter can easily bank thoughout all 360 degrees. Thus a turn can be achieved by simply using the pitch and roll controller, without any rudder (try it). This is the easiest way to turn, especially for beginners. But quick turns cannot be achieved by this method.  Additionally, the aircraft will always point in the same direction throughout the turn as no yaw (rudder) control is being applied.  

Yaw (Rudder) Turning
A second method is to use the rudder control alone while maintaining a forward pitch and velocity. You should learn how to do yaw turns first before attempting banked turns. Here's the lesson that you might have skipped (click here). Yaw turns are relatively easy to do, but are not very efficient for turning. Turning with yaw alone can require quite a bit of distance to complete the turn. Try it and you'll see that the diameter of the turn can be very large due to a phenomenom called "sideslip". The quadcopter will tend to slide outward from the turn, similar to trying to turn a car on a frozen skating rink. Although inefficient, it is the preferred way to turn when taking aerial video as the banking angle changes are minimal. Thus resulting video will not be tilted. It is also the easiest method of turning a 3-axis stabilized quadcopter. Although banked turns are possible with 3-axis quads, they are difficult to properly achieve due to the absence of accelerometers that would automatically compensate for sideslip.

Turning Using Rudder Control Only


Banking Turns (Pitch, Roll, & Yaw Turning)
The third method, banking turns, is the most preferred and efficient method of turning, particularly for a six-axis stabilized quadcopter. The included accelerometers that come with six-axis quads automatically can sense sideslip, and will also automatically compensate to minimize it. As a banked turn provides the quickest and smoothest way to change direction of a quadcopter, a six axis-quad tends to be the most nimble of quadcopters. It is highly recommended that you learn this method to turn for your 6-axis quad, as it will help you reduce crashes into obstacles. Please watch the following, noting particularly how quickly the quad can turn as compared to the above rudder turning video.

How to Do Banking Turns


A banking turn requires that you first start with some forward speed.  

1. Push the pitch (elevator) control forward to gain speed, and adjust the throttle to maintain a steady altitude.

Pitch (Elevator) Control Forward to Gain Speed


2. For a six-axis quad: Next to actually make the turn, while maintaining the same forward pitch control, you will also need to simultaneously apply both roll and rudder control in the direction of your desired turn.

For a three-axis quad: First apply rudder and maintain it in the direction of turn. When the quadcopter starts its turn, gradually apply banking roll control also in the direction of turn. Adjust the roll as needed to compensate for sideslip. Don't expect to get this right the first time as it is somewhat difficult for a three axis quad. It will take practice.

Example Right Banked Turn (Six Axis Quadcopter)
Simultaneously Apply Both Roll (Aileron) and Yaw (Rudder)


3. For both six and three axis quads: To make a tighter/quicker turn, pull back a little on the pitch while maintaining the position of the roll and yaw controls.
Example Tightened Left Turn
Pull Back on Pitch (Elevator) to Tighten Turn


Find a large open space to practice your turns.  In summary: Get some forward speed on your quadcopter, by giving and maintaining some forward pitch.  Next, while maintaining pitch, simultaneously and slowly apply both roll and yaw in the direction of the desired turn. (three-axis: apply roll first then rudder).  Watch how your quadcopter turns.  If the nose starts to skew awkwardly through the turn, adjust the rudder (yaw) to correct it. Pull back on pitch to tighten the turns. And now that you've read this, watch this second video taking note of how these movements are applied, and how the quadcopter reacts to these movement.

17 comments:

  1. Thanks for the lesson. Tried it yesterday with my V212 and it worked perfectly. Just need to practice more now.

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  2. #2 says for 3 axis apply rudder first then apply banking. #3 says apply roll first, then rudder. Which one is right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For three axis, apply rudder first. Then compensate for sideslip by gradually applying roll.

      Delete
  3. Quadcopter drone banking turns is a subject that's not obvious to most new flyers. Most have to learn it through trial and error, and by doing ... minidrohne.blogspot.de

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. English would be good!

      Delete
  4. Quadcopter drone banking turns is a subject that's not obvious to most new flyers. Most have to learn it through trial and error, and by doing ... equadcopter.blogspot.com

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  5. Great! Now I know how to get it right!

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  6. Thank you very much for your effort tu us, the beginner pilots, your videos are very helpful because you show your thumbs on the remote sticks.

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  7. "Thus a turn can be achieved by simply using the pitch and roll controller, without any rudder (try it)."

    Doesn't work for me, just slides even with decent FF. I have to add rudder. What am I missing??

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  8. Yo! It's me! You did a review on the Bayangtoys X5C-1 (which I have) and I got no manual with it. There are 2 calibration positions on the TX. Both sticks lower left, and both sticks lower right. I THINK both sticks lower right calibrates the accelerometer. I'm not sure what both sticks bottom left provides. Got any idea? (Bill from YouTube)

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  9. HI , i have skyhaweke quad copter it leans left side when flying. i re calibrate and then replace all 4 motors but issue still the same, do you have any ideas why this happening ?

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  10. Whats the 60-80-100% change do to the flight? when do you use each?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It changes how fast the quadcopter will accelerate, fly, and turn. The higher the number, the faster it will do each.

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  11. Very informative. I have found banking to be one of the biggest problems for me. I am going to attempt to utilize these points in my next flight.

    Thanks for the post.

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  12. I noticed you have increase the antenna lenght to get more control distance with your transmitter. What is the total lenght of your antenna from one end to the other?

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  13. Do you build that quadcopter ? can i have something like step by step articles that can help me to build my own quadcopter ?

    ReplyDelete