FlightAxis Link - network access to RealFlight for developers.

Knife Edge software is pleased to release FlightAxis Link. This is a beta feature for RealFlight 8, and allows you to connect to the simulator over the network. This allows for autopilot development, creation of training environments for your flight control systems, and any number of other applications.

This technology has been in use by a group of ArduPilot developers, resulting in some exciting new flight modes. We are looking forward to seeing what else can be made with it.

Watch this spot for more information.

UPDATE 12/14/18: Unlock codes are no longer required if you join the appropriate beta branch. More information is available here.
 
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tridge

Member
ArduPilot and RF8 LINK

Thanks Jeremy!
You can see a bit more information about how ArduPilot can use RF8 here:
http://ardupilot.org/dev/docs/sitl-with-realflight.html
and here is a video showing a recent effort building a "thrust vectored belly sitter" model that can be flown in RF8 using ArduPilot:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-uZB3oN_tY
There is a discussion on our efforts to create new models here:
https://discuss.ardupilot.org/t/building-realflight8-models/23106
We're storing our models in github here:
https://github.com/ArduPilot/SITL_Models
the most recent model (which goes with the above video) is here:
https://github.com/ArduPilot/SITL_Models/tree/master/RealFlight/Tridge/TailSitters/Caipirinha
we've still got a lot to learn about building models, but we're delighted with what we've got working so far.

On behalf of the ArduPilot developer and user community I'd like to say a huge thank you to KnifeEdge and especially to Jeremy Sebens for making this possible. It really revolutionizes autopilot development for us. I've been using it for more than 2 years now in a beta form and it has been instrumental in the development of many new flight features for ArduPilot, especially for VTOL aircraft.
 

adcam

New member
unlock link functionality for realflight

Hello

following the instructions, I have this error message

Incorrect flight axis callback codeform

Is there any specific syntax to type ?

Thanks for your support
 
adcam, the callback code is of the form LINK-12345678. The numbers will be different for you, but it should begin with "LINK-"

If that doesn't straighten it out for you, send me a PM, and we can troubleshoot further.
 

BrokeDad

Well-known member
I had the same problem (error code) and I put in the LINK-(Numbers) code. This was a day after the original post. I eventually gave up trying.
 

Stevesies

New member
Hello all,

Are there any notes regarding how the Flight Axis interface works apart from the ardupilot SITL implementation? Summary of how variables, datatypes, flow?

Cheers,
 

Ryan Douglas

Administrator
Staff member
Are there any notes regarding how the Flight Axis interface works apart from the ardupilot SITL implementation? Summary of how variables, datatypes, flow?
I'm not sure what we have in the way of documentation. Jeremy Sebens is in a better position to answer this but is currently out of the office. Please check back in a day or so.
 
Some additional information is available in this Q&A thread. We don't have a formal set of documentation yet, but the ArduPilot implementation should give you a good start.

Thanks for the links, tridge - I've included a link to your post in the Q&A.
 

tridge

Member
Hi Jeremy,
What do you think we should do about posting models setup for use with LINK in the swap pages? The reason I ask is that the models when setup for LINK tend not to be suitable for flight without LINK (eg. elevon mixing, expo and dual-rates removed, tilt rotor setups etc). If we just post them as RF8 models then it could annoy people who download them and can't fly them.
For the tailsitter that Lorbass and I did recently I posted a manual-flight version (setup with an elevon mixer and expo), but perhaps we should have a LINK category in the swap pages for models and model variants that are setup for use with an external controller?
For now we've been keeping our models in a separate SITL_Models git repo on github.com, and maybe that is sufficient, but I wanted to check with you if you think having them on the swap pages too is worthwhile.
Cheers, Tridge
 
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That's a good question. For Link-only models, attaching .RFX archives of the EA (Entire Aircraft) to a thread here in the FlightAxis Link forums might work. We could consider adding a swap page category for Link models if there is enough demand.

For dual use models that can be flown manually, maybe it would be worth configuring the software radio to switch between manual and Link flight using the three-position switch? Those could certainly be added to the Swap pages without hazard, and the Link implementation could command direct control by sending a high signal on channel 8.
 

tridge

Member
For dual use models that can be flown manually, maybe it would be worth configuring the software radio to switch between manual and Link flight using the three-position switch? Those could certainly be added to the Swap pages without hazard, and the Link implementation could command direct control by sending a high signal on channel 8.
For some models that will be possible, but it will make for quite complex physics model setup as the method of doing conditional mixing is quite complex.
It also won't work for models that need all 8 inputs. I'm running into that limit quite a lot unfortunately, especially for tilt-rotors.
 

Stevesies

New member
Thank you for the great examples in implementing the SOAP interface. Is there a way that the RealFlight simulation can be reset externally by a SOAP envelope? In the ardupilot set up I saw three types of envelops the SITL simulator sends (Release Controller, Inject Controller, Exchange). Are there any others?
 

tridge

Member
hi Jeremy,
Will FlightAxis support be in the new Steam version of RealFlight8? That would open it up to a lot more people in the ArduPilot community i think.
It would also be great if it didn't have the sign-up to unlock FlightAxis. That is causing some issues with users.
Cheers, Tridge
 
FlightAxis Link will be available for unlock in the Steam version of RF8.

What sort of issues is the unlock requirement causing? We had a brief hiccup a couple of weeks ago, but haven't heard of any trouble other than that.
 
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