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This is complete roadmap for paparazzi "go to fly" procedure with proper sequence.

Hardware considerations

Choosing main board

There are a lot of autopilots that run paparazzi software. Some of them have inbuilt GPS, others have inbuilt baro sensor and even IMU and some are designed to run on copters (although nobody says other's can't ;) ). Depending on what you choose and what you want to get, you'll need or need not add external components.

Adding proper external components.

Basically there are three types of components you can add:

  • Sensors - used for orientation, proximity, leveling, etc. purposes.
  • GPS - sensors that allow accurate positioning. There are lots of such sensors.
  • OMAP - which is portable computer used for on-board data processing.
  • There are lot of other hardware types possible.

Choosing interaction interface.


  • USB - stands for boards that have low level firmware that allow to connect and flash board via USB.
  • JTAG - debugging interface that allow direct chip programming (usually for development purposes). Has two channels: JTAG and RS232, which allows to use this interface for ground telemetry messages as well.

Wireless (RF modem)

  • RF modems - communicate with aircraft while it's in flight and to send various data both ways up and down.

GCS install

Preparing OS

Installing paparazzi libraries

Installing and compiling source code

  • First change to (create?) folder where you want paparazzi to be.

Keep in mind, that if you want to run as regular user it is better to place source under your home directory (for example: /home/mr_pilot/paparazzi). I myself use /opt directory, but first install is a bit tricky there because paparazzi libraries are already installed to that folder (/opt/paparazzi). In order to install, you should rename existing folder (/opt/paparazzi->/opt/pp), install source (/opt/paparazzi) and then move contents of renamed folder to new folder (mv /opt/pp/. /opt/paparazzi/.). In other words I'd not recommend to use it.

Assuring proper installation

  • After binary assembly is done, run binary to make sure it is working.

Airframe configuration

Planning airframe purpose and capabilities

There are two global classes of aircraft: Fixed wing and Rotorcraft

Fixed wing

  • Airplanes - here we have all standard airplanes: aerobatic, slowflying and so on.
  • Gliders - almost the same thing as airplane but with different flight concept. Unlike airplane, glider mostly relies on motor-less flight, which results in slighter turns and less throttle usage.

Configuration option sets are pretty the same with only difference in variables.


  • Helicopters - mere helicopters that have main and tail rotor.
  • Tri,Quad,Hexa,Octo-Copters - multirotor platfroms.

Unfortunately there are mostly multirotor config file examples.

Choosing all necessary modules for airframe

Putting whole config file together

Testing in SIM mode

Testing with a real hardware