Internal Combustion Engines (ICE)

Canberra UAV’s petrol powered tricopter. See blog post here

Internal combustion engines can increase flight times but care must be taken to handle the extra complexity and increased vibration.

What to Buy

Connection and Configuration

The engine’s ignition power switch and (optional) starter should be connected to the flight controller’s servo outputs

To allow the pilot to directly control the ignition and (optional) starter from the transmitter, RC pass through should be set-up:

  • Set SERVOx_FUNCTION (where “x” is the flight controller’s output channel connected to the ignition or starter) to RCINy (where “y” is the transmitter channel). For example set SERVO8_FUNCTION = 59/”RCIN9” to allow the transmitter’s channel 9 to control the flight controller Output 8

Be sure to check the engine’s behavior when the transmitter is turned off to simulate what will happen during an RC failsafe.

Vibration isolation

The high vibration from internal combustion engines means that vibration dampening is critical. It is often necessary to mount the flight controller on an plate with self adhesive lead weights added to increase its mass.