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Maiden flight

This page is a chapter in 'AeroQuad Manual'

After completely assembling your AeroQuad and double and triple checking that everything works, it is now time to test it out. To assure safety, it is wise to test fly the copter in an open field, as far away from people as possible, the operator included.

It is now time to put on the propellers. Remember, the motors spinning clockwise when looking from above need clockwise propellers and those spinning counter-clockwise when looking from above need counter-clockwise propellers. If any of the motors are spinning the wrong way, then the only thing that needs to be done is to swap any two of the three motor/ESC wires of those particular motors. From this point on, the copter is potentially a very dangerous machine and must be handled with extreme caution.

After attaching the propellers, turn on the flight controller board and the main power by connecting the LiPo battery. If you have already experience in flying helicopters or similar models it's the best to start with rate mode first until your copter flies without any problems. If rate mode doesn't work, attitude mode won't either! Then, if you're satisfied with rate mode you can try to fly in attitude mode. But if you are completely inexperienced with flying, the best way to avoid crashes is to practice with a RC simulator (e.g. AeroSim RC, which also includes copter models) first and then when you're confident enough, start with flying in attitude mode as the flight software will help you with stabilizing your copter more than in rate mode!

Step back, arm the motors, and apply thrust slowly. Be cautious and apply thrust slowly at first to assure that all the motors are spinning equally. Take off, hover, and learn to fly. Good luck!

Note:
Make sure that the copter isn't moving each time when you plug in the battery in order to ensure a proper gyroscope calibration. Otherwise the software isn't able to complete the boot-up procedure and will refuse to arm the motors!
Starting with flight software v3.2 it's no longer necessary that the copter is on a level surface as the accel is not calibrated when you plug-in the battery. Make sure that you've performed the accel calibration via the Configurator before!
If your motors don't start to spin at a low rate when armed, disconnect the LiPo, connect to Configurator, open the "Miscellaneous Configuration" sub-panel, and increase "Minimum Armed Throttle" value slowly (suggested maximum value: 1250) until all motors turn on at the same time when you arm them. Otherwise, if they spin too fast, reduce this value.

Tuning

PID Tuning will be your next step. It will help you to get a handle on your AeroQuad, reduce/eliminate any oscillations you have, and improve the overall flight characteristics. From there, the sky's the limit.

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