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Simulating with X-Plane
8/23/11 - Updated: 9/7/11

Knowing that the ability to run simulations with my INS would be invaluable, I've set out to integrate my current software and electronics with one of the most popular flight simulators out there... X-Plane!

The first step began with integrating my current Attitude Indicator software with X-Plane. I've put up a mini "tutorial" about communicating with X-Plane using C# written with Microsofts Visual C# 2008 Express edition.

Check it out here: Communicating with X-Plane using C# and UDP

My first test is shown in the video clip below. I am controlling the aircraft's elevator and ailerons based on the attitude of my IMU. Note: The displayed attitude indicator only represents the ANGLE of the sensor board I'm holding.... not the aircraft's attitude. This board controls the aircraft CONTROL-SURFACES, so it works like a "Yoke".... so just picture it like that.


I've been hard at work programming the core of my INS. It's working very well and is very stable. Right now, it's able to navigate based on the lat/long and altitude data I provide it, derived from my Flight Path Creator tool. GPS is fully simulated by X-Plane. That data is sent to and received by the INS in the same way it would be from my actual GPS module. Some extra data is added onto that for simulation purposes.

The aicraft is able to compensate for any reasonable wind. It's been successfully tested up to 40mph winds with excellent ground track and course alignment with virtually no drift once established on course. This following screen-shot shows the aircraft correcting for the 40mph crosswind. The green "flag" shows the active waypoint (middle of the approach-end of the runway).