We are just settling down after an intense week of building and testing. 10 days ago we received our airframe of choice for the competition: the Applied Aeronautics Albatross. The intermediate goal was to bring PX4 fixed-wing support one step further by improving support for completely automatic missions from takeoff to landing on a runway.
PX4 core developers Simon, Roman and Andreas added and tested the code necessary: a new laser terrain estimator which makes these perfect landings possible, new wheel controller for steering on the runway on takeoff and after the landing, and improved takeoff/landing functionality in general.
Thanks to the support from a local airfield we were able to test the Albatross on a runway that deserves the name. We were coordinating our flights via radio with the responsible persons and pilots.
Over the last months we did several iterations of development on the runway takeoff and laser landing support. Initial testing was done on a smaller airframe, the Bormatec Maja:
Special thanks go to Applied Aeronautics for making this possible and the PX4 team for their input on functionality and for helping with debugging!
Of course we’re not quite finished yet with this plane. After all, we need to be able to start vertically soon