Flight instruments for an RC plane



There are products available that will overlay flight data into a flight camera’s video stream, but here’s a clever and simple hack to do it on the cheap(er). To provide in-video flight data for a first person view aircraft, just build a mini flight instrument panel and position it in front of the camera.

One of the main problem with FPV is that you can get lost very, very easily. We are not really used to know our environment from a bird’s eye view!

Here is one solution to find your way back home:
The device below includes a GPS receiver and a microcontroller (it’s inside the blue heatshrink sleeve) grabs interesting data like latitude, longitude, altitude and speed from the NMEA sentences, calculates bearing to destination (the pilot) and displays relevant data to the “instruments” (micro servos with a needle!)

  • On the left: speed, in km/h
  • In the middle: bearing to destination – if the needle is vertical, you’re on the way back home!
  • On the right: altitude, in meters (divided by 10)

This is something you could easily build yourself and you’d be able to add any features you wish. I’m thinking a data logging feature would be cool. That, or a geo-targeted pingpong ball deployer.

Aircraft Panel For First Person View

3 thoughts on “Flight instruments for an RC plane

  1. Corey Menscher says:

    Hey thanks for listing this! I would have included the generated .sco (score) file as well…but it’s about 2mb of text! You can download it at http://www.menscher.com/itp/blogmedia/aftp.sco.txt.

  2. Gavin says:

    See now that there is an asterisk link project for hamradio, I am waiting for someone to use asterisk to trasmit files like the New (and NOT opensource) DSTAR stuff….

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