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How to setup HIL with APM

A tutuorial for HIL setup using APM Mission Planner, X-Plane, and Ardupilot Mega is available here: http://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-mega/wiki/Xplane

Note that successful HIL requires the following changes be made to the steps presented in the above article:

1. When setting up X-Plane, you must setup the network interface by going to Settings > Net Connections > Data. Make sure the checkbox for “IP of data receiver” is checked and enter 127.0.0.1 and 49005 in the boxes to the left. Set the UDP ports to 49000 (for receiving port), 49005 (for sending port), and 49105 (for iPad port).

2. You may also want to download and choose the airplane model for X-Plane that APM will be flying on. The Bixler model can be found at: http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/hilstar17-public-release Once installed (following the directions at the above link), the new airplane model can be chosen from the Aircraft > Open Aircraft menu.

3. When setting up APM Mission Planner, you should load the parameter file for the plane that APM will be flying on. The parameter file for the Bixler can be found here: http://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-mega/downloads/detail?name=bixler.param&can=2&q=

Software Downloads

APM Mission Planner - available only for windows: http://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-mega/downloads/list

  • Want to download MissionPlanner(bit)-(version).msi
  • Zip file might work OK as well

X-Plane Airplane Simulator – available Windows, Linux, Mac: http://www.x-plane.com/downloads/x-plane_10_demo/
X-plane Bixler model (HiLStar17): http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/hilstar17-public-release
APM Bixler param file: http://code.google.com/p/ardupilot-mega/downloads/detail?name=bixler.param&can=2&q=

Notes for Software

The link for the HIL tutorial is pretty good to follow. Make the following changes to X-Plane.
X-Plane Demo notes:

  • Says it will only run for 15 minutes, but have been able to run at least 30
  • Demo only in Seattle area
  • Default airport is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (KSEA)
  • Change Weather – environment/weather
  • Change Day/Time – environment/day_time

Mission Planner notes:
Upon start up, command prompt screen should appear. If there is a lot of writing on the command prompt and the program never loads, make sure you have DirectX downloaded (see manual/QuickStart)!!!