Pattern Flying

Pattern Flying

The RC Flight Assist System was designed for practicing pattern flying. The flight area is determined by the distance between the pilot and flight line and the angle as described in the picture:

areatop2            areaside

The RCFA allows pilot to maintain airplane in the proper flight plane. This is possible by sending the airplane position to the pilot’s telemetry receiver. The receiver converts the data into sound patterns which clearly indicates the distance from the pilot to the airplane. If the airplane is too close or too far to the flight plane, too high or too much to the left or right side (exceed margins) the pilot will be noticed in real-time. At the same time the transmitter can memorise the GPS path in the kml which can be viewed with Google Earth. Each flight will be stored in separate file. The flight area indicators are also stored along with the fly path.

The pilot can set custom area dimensions and flight plane width or use defaults (150m/60 degrees). Also some alarms (like exceed margins or too high altitude) can be disabled or enabled. All options can be set in text file rcfa.ini stored in SD Card.

To simplify the usage, the RCFA has option to automatically start and stop GPS Logger. The only thing the pilot must do is to wait for a GPS Fix and then to determine two points on the ground (P1 and P2). The P1 is the pilots position and P2 is the direction to the flight line. Both points are set by two buttons on the transmitter. To do this, pilot must go to the point where the airplane will be controlled from, and press button A. Then go few meters away (10-20 metes is usually enough) in the direction of flight line and press button B. After this, the system will calculate all remaining coordinates of the flight area and play certain music so the pilot will know that everything is ready to start flying.

The system will store last P1 and P2 coordinates in internal memory so it is not necessary to repeat this step every time from the beginning. Next time on the airfield, pilot is ready to start flying just after GPS Fix. The other way to determine the flight area is to put P1 and P2 coordinates directly in the rcfa.ini file but the ini setup overwrites coordinates from device’s internal memory.