Create a new flight plan

Learn how to create a new flight plan on WingtraPilot.

To start planning a flight, select "Create a new Flight Plan" from the welcome menu of WingtraPilot. You can open the welcome menu by clicking on the menu button on the top left.

WiP_MainMenue

Follow the wizard to set up the high-level settings of the flight plan. Create a new flight plan or start based on an existing one and enter a descriptive name. As a default, the current date and time are suggested.

WiP_CreateNewFlightPlan_FlightPlanName

Select the camera you will use, click "Finish" and enter the flight planning tab of WingtraPilot.

WiP_CreateNewFlightPlan_SelectCamera

The flight planning procedure contains these steps:

  1. (Optional) import KML
  2. Start flight plan creation
  3. Set home
  4. Add area(s) or corridor
  5. (Optional) Add loiter waypoints
  6. (Optional) adjust geofence

Step 1: (optional) import KML

KML_icon_3

You can plan your flight based on KML files that you import into WingtraPilot (see: KML for flight planning). 

KML import

Step 2: create the flight plan

PlanAll the tools to create a flight plan show up by clicking o the Plan icon. This is the starting point for setting up the mission.

Step 3: set home for take-off and landing

Home-2Add home by clicking on the first button on the left. If you are in the field with the WingtraOne powered on and connected to the tablet, home is set to WingtraOne's position automatically. If you plan the flight beforehand in the office, you can move it to the place where you intend to take off—it will be adjusted to WingtraOne's location once you are in the field.

If your take-off location is not in view when planning, navigate manually to the desired location or use the search function on the bottom left. Adjust "transition altitude" and "transition direction" on the right side such that WingtraOne will not collide with any obstacle. Landing is always identical to take-off.

WingtraOne will take off, rise to your "transition altitude" above home, transition into forward flight, fly to the drawn loiter circle, loiter up to the area altitude and start data collection. After finishing data collection, it will fly back to the loiter circle at the altitude of the last area, loiter down to "transition altitude," fly back to the home point, transition above home, and land.

Step 4: add area(s) or corridor

To map a region of interest, you have to add one or several area(s) to your flight plan. You can add them manually or by importing a KML file and transforming polygons of the KML file into areas.

AreaAdd area(s) manually: You can add one or several area(s) manually by clicking on the area item on the left. Move the corners until you have drawn the area(s) that you want to map. Additional corners can be added by clicking on points in between any two corners. By clicking on a corner you will remove it. Areas can be removed by pressing the cross in the top right corner of the area dialog box.

Add area(s) from KML: You can import and display KML files into WingtraPilot, and transform polygons of the KML into area(s) of the flight plan. How to import a KML is described in the KML for flight planning article.

After adding an area, define if you want to enable terrain following, set the desired GSD and overlaps, and define the connection between different areas.

Terrain following: For every area, you can define if terrain following should be enabled or not. This feature is explained in detail in the Terrain following article.

GSD, overlaps, flight direction: For every area, you can choose the desired ground sample distance (GSD), which defines the size of a pixel on the ground. It is directly linked to the flight altitude, which you can adjust alternatively. In most cases, it is advisable to adjust the flight direction. You can also adjust the side and front overlaps of the images. Decrease the side overlap to maximize the area/minimize the flight time. Increase the overlaps to optimize the final map quality. Reliable orthomosaics can be generated from imagery taken with as low as 60% front and side overlaps for areas without forest or buildings. For more sophisticated landscapes, you have to increase the overlaps.

Connection between different areas: When inserting more than one area, they are connected through a loiter waypoint. This is a circle the WingtraOne flies to adjust from the altitude of the previous area to the one of the next. Its location can be manually adjusted during flight plan set-up to enable a safe transition from one area to the next one.

loiter_waypoint

corridor-1Add Corridor: You can add a Corridor area for mapping linear features, such as roads, railways or other linear infrastructures. To manually add a corridor area, click on the Corridor icon and set the start and end point of the corridor. Move the corners in such a way that they follow the direction of the feature to map. This feature is explained in detail in the Corridor mapping article.

Step 5: (optional) introduce loiter waypoints

WaypointLoiter waypoints are automatically inserted between two areas, or they can be inserted manually to ensure the safe transition between areas or between the flight path and the Home point. More details about how to use the loiter waypoints are provided in the Flight planning tools article.

Step 6: (optional) adjust geofence and RTH settings

You can adjust the geofence, which is the maximum allowed distance from home, by clicking on the respective menu on the right side (see image above). Click on the triangle to unfold the menu. By default, the horizontal geofence is set to 1200 m and the vertical geofence is set to 400 m. Increasing the geofence size allows the user to operate WingtraOne beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). Before changing the geofence limits, make sure that WingtraOne will fly within the local legal boundaries. If the flight exceeds 3 km horizontal or 800 m vertical distance from home (note: high winds or high flight altitude can shorten these distances), successful RTH on low battery can not be guaranteed and requires expert planning.

Minimum RTH altitude defines the lowest altitude on which RTH is performed. You can change it from the default of 60 m if necessary. In case RTH is engaged in cruise and WingtraOne flies below the specified altitude, it will first climb to this altitude before flying back to the loiter circle and performing the planned landing. In case WingtraOne is higher than the value set here, it will return to the loiter circle at that altitude before performing the planned landing.

Furthermore, you can adjust the connection loss timeout. This value defines how long WingtraOne will continue its mission before triggering RTH if RC and telemetry connections are somehow lost.

Have a look at Safety parameters for advanced information about the safety settings of your flight.

 

Example flight planning

QuickstartGuide1.9_FlightPlanning

 

Flight planning on the field

As flight planning with WingtraPilot is very easy, we recommend planning easy flights directly in the field. Make sure you have internet access in the field, or download offline maps before going to the field.