Flight Simulator X – Arduino-driven autopilot controller

The Microsoft Flight Simulator X is a popular (though not open source) program used by many aeronautical enthusiasts and gamers. (There’s even a free trial version.) One aspect of the simulator is to allow the user to enter an autopilot mode, whereby various modes can be controlled using a 3D point-and-click interface. Practical use of this feature can be tedious, so the crew at Area51staff decided to design an Arduino-based workaround.

“This easily replicable piece of hardware consists of a Atmel microcontroller which drives a 2×16 LCD display, a buzzer, one encoder and some buttons. The firmware allows the user, by means of a simple text-driven user interface, to visualize and set all the most common autopilot parameters, such as Altitude, Speed, Engagement, Track, Heading, Direction, and so on. Audible feedback is provided through a buzzer to indicate disengagement.

The firmware is written in C and communicates to the simulator through the Arduino′s built-in USB-to-serial interface.”

The project also includes a driver written in C#, allowing the device to communicate with the FSX program.

The firmware is an Arduino sketch which compiles and loads to the board using the standard IDE. If you get a compile error complaining about Bounce, you can find the library here.

For project schematic and code links, visit Area51staff.

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1 Comment

  1. Hello, this autopilot construction interested me much. I shall desire equip FSX this realization.
    I asked several people who also have made an autopilot send me the wiring plans and the programming file of the Arduino board. and then tell me the site where I can buy
    Thank you for answering me
    Sincerely mailly.d@free.fr

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