Fixed Wing Control Surface Setup

Setting up the right mixing and direction for fixed wing can be confusing at times. This guide shows how to set up the system step by step to obtain consistent results in manual and stabilised / auto flight modes.

Never invert a remote control channel after calibration. Changing the remote control settings after calibration will lead to inconsistent results between flight modes and can lead to crashes.

Step 1: Check the head up display

Switch to the Flight view in QGroundControl and verify that blue (sky) is on top and green (ground) is on bottom, and that a level position of the plane corresponds with a zero pitch attitude. If not, use the “Level Horizon” feature in the sensor calibration to get it to match.

Step 2: Check Manual Control Input

Select the “Analyze” view in QGroundControl and put the vehicle in MANUAL mode while keeping it DISARMED. Enable the ACTUATOR_CONTROL_TARGET.controls.0 dimension. Put the roll stick to the right and check that the value becomes positive. A positive value lets the vehicle roll to the right.

Enable the ACTUATOR_CONTROL_TARGET.controls.1 dimension. Put the pitch stick down and ensure that the value becomes positive. A positive value lets the vehicle pitch up.

If any of these checks fail, re-do the RC calibration.

Step 3: Check the pitch to elevator / elevons mapping

Now that the manual input has been vetted and is known to be correct, its time to ARM the vehicle in MANUAL mode and check the control surfaces. When holding the pitch stick DOWN the control surface should go UP. If not, proceed first to the roll check before changing anything.

Step 4: Check the roll to ailerons / elevons mapping

When holding the roll stick right the right control surface should go UP and the left control surface should go DOWN. If they are doing the opposite motion but pitch was correct and the plane uses an elevon setup, try swapping the two servo outputs. If both roll and pitch are reversed, set the PWM_MAIN_REV? or PWM_AUX_REV? parameters for the corresponding servo channels to 1 to reverse the sign. They can be found in the setup view in QGroundControl in the PWM Output group.

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