APM & Pixhawk gets drift mode – aeroplane style control for multicopters

A recent firmware offering has brought a new flight mode, called drift mode which causes the flight controller to take over the yaw, the effect is aeroplane style flying with a single stick.

The APM wiki suggests drift mode will be good for:

  • FPV flyers who are looking for a dynamic, plane like flight as well as loiter-like position hold.
  • New flyers who want to try a more intuitive and easy to learn flight mode.
  • Anybody who would like to try an easy to fly and easy to learn and very fun mode.
  • Photographers and especially videographers who want a smoother and more coordinated filming result.

Mark Pratley a Canadian IRIS owner has been having fun with the new flight mode, despite a few crashes learning it, the IRIS with gimbal proving more robust than it looks, he has put his experience on YouTube.

An important point to note is:

  • Drift Mode relies on your GPS for control.
  • If you lose your GPS signal in flight while in Drift Mode, your copter will either land or enter altitude hold based on your failsafe_gps_enabled setting.
  • You should also be prepared to switch back to Stabilize Mode for manual recovery if necessary.

You can read more here:


A word of warning, before ever trying out a new flight mode, make sure other people and property are not nearby as the chance of a crash or mishap is more likely.

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