In the changing world of aviation, open-source projects highlight the power of teamwork and shared ideas. As the aviation scene becomes more advanced and connected, these projects link smart thinkers everywhere. At MakerPlane, we’re highlighting five open-source aviation projects and looking into their main goals and what they offer to the community.  We provide links to their sites as well as their GitHub if they have one.

 

Projects:

 

FlyOnSpeed

Website | GitHub

Aim: FlyOnSpeed endeavors to bolster aviation safety and precision through its innovative ONSPEED device. Venturing beyond traditional airspeed indicators, ONSPEED’s mission is to equip pilots with consistently accurate readings, unswayed by typical flight variables such as bank angles and aircraft weight.

Overview:  When we look at FlyOnSpeed’s project, one is immediately struck by its resources supporting the ONSPEED device. Their website features technical papers, user testimonials, and real-world applications. Moreover, the GitHub repository is a testament to their commitment to transparency and collaboration; it teems with meticulously maintained code, detailed schematics, and an active issue tracker that captures the vibrancy of its developer community.

The Gen 2 ONSPEED design is a completely self-contained unit and has on-board differential pressure, static and attitude sensors.  It uses a Tensy 2 processor and has 32 MB of internal data recording capability.  It has standard 1/4″ OD quick-connect fittings for pitot, AOA and static inputs. It uses an advanced algorithm for measuring AOA that can be adapted to different types of differential pressure sensors.  

 

 

 

huVVer

Website |Download Page

Disclaimer: MakerPlane proudly distributes huVVer AVI and the huVVer TBX. 

Aim: huVVer is a transformative solution that’s reshaping the landscape of aircraft visualization interfaces. Our shared ambition? To seamlessly integrate state-of-the-art technology with a user-centric design approach, culminating in a flight experience that’s both immersive and deeply interactive.

Overview: A visit to the huVVer website offers a great overview of the AVI and TBX solutions with a gallery showcasing interface demos which capture the product’s essence and capability in real-world settings. Their deep-rooted design philosophies resonate with our own beliefs at MakerPlane – that technology should serve the user, not the other way around.

The tech revolves around a custom made instrument with a sunlight readable display that includes an ESP32 open source board.  The ESP is a single 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth combo chip.   Code can be written to the chip using an Arduino sketch and developers are beginning to build their own custom instrument stacks using the huVVer architecture.  The unit also supports CAN and SPI.  Two versions of the software are available.  The first offers a range of flight and engine instruments that are connected to an installed EFIS such as a Dynon SkyView, D10 or Garmin G3X.  The huVVer TBX is a head controller for the uAvionix TailBeacon.

For the technically inclined, huVVer AVI’s download page is a gateway to innovation. It not only contains the core source code but also invites the global developer community to participate, adapt, and optimize. This open-door approach ensures that the product remains dynamic and continually evolves, keeping pace with the ever-changing needs of the aviation industry.

At MakerPlane, we’re thrilled to be associated with and distribute a product as pioneering as huVVer AVI and the huVVer TBX. Its forward-thinking approach aligns with our mission to provide the aviation community with tools that aren’t just cutting-edge but also holistically enhance the user experience. As industry adoption grows, we are excited to see the transformative impact huVVer will have on cockpits around the world!

 

Stratux

Website | GitHub

Aim: Stratux embarks on an audacious mission: to democratize the realm of flight data access. Stepping away from the constraints of expensive equipment, Stratux champions the DIY ethos by empowering enthusiasts to craft their own ADS-B receivers. This fusion of software and hardware is tailored to ensure real-time flight data is within everyone’s grasp, regardless of budget constraints.

Overview: The website includes detailed build guides that walk you through the creation process of the Stratux ADS-B device, ensuring that even those new to the aviation tech world can find their bearings. Coupled with this are precise hardware recommendations, catering to a range of budgets and specifications. The platform further extends its outreach with a vibrant Slack community which is a place where users and builders can ask questions and get pretty quick feedback.

Transition to their GitHub repository where all the source code resides for download and changes if required.  The actual code is relatively stable now so not many changes over the past couple of years, but the hardware list is maintained up to date for those looking to source parts. The presence of an active issue tracker and patch submission section underlines Stratux’s commitment to collaboration and iterative refinement.

The brilliance of Stratux is not without its challenges. Its core strength, the DIY nature, can also be a double-edged sword. The system’s effectiveness isn’t merely about the resources provided but is closely tied to the builder’s expertise and dedication. For aviation novices or those less tech-savvy, the journey might appear daunting. Navigating the use of a Raspberry Pi device, a number of resources and suppliers demands time and potentially a steep learning curve. Furthermore, the responsibility of maintenance, troubleshooting, and updates lies squarely on the builder. Worth it though.  We have built a couple of our own Stratux devices over the years and they have performed well.

 

Avare

Website | GitHub

Aim: Avare ambitiously sets its sights on becoming the go-to open-source aviation application for Android users. Beyond the realms of just another GPS navigator, Avare envisions itself as a pilot’s digital co-pilot. It aims to integrate everything from nuanced hazard alerts to detailed charts and critical weather data, ensuring that pilots have a holistic tool at their fingertips.  The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and is completely free.

Overview: A stroll through Avare’s website showcases the project’s depth. Each feature is meticulously detailed, reflecting the team’s commitment to user education. Newcomers and seasoned pilots alike can benefit from the user guides, which provide step-by-step tutorials, ensuring maximum utility from the application. The accompanying FAQ section and the app Help feature is a testament to the developers’ proactive approach, addressing common queries and potential challenges that users might encounter.  There are also YouTube videos if you search for them showing how to use the functions.

The app doesn’t have the feature set of more well-known Electronic Flight Bags (EFB), but it is still highly functional and does what it does do well.   The app is not bloated with specialized features that you will never use.  It allows you to navigate with a moving map, write and file a flight plan, download weather and ingest ADS-B In for inflight weather and traffic.  Another great feature is that it supports Stratux!

Dive deeper by visiting their GitHub repository, and you witness the beating heart of the project. It’s here that the source code resides, transparently accessible to all. The open-source ethos shines brightly, with the team actively encouraging contributions from developers across the globe. This collaborative spirit ensures that Avare isn’t just a static tool but is continuously evolving, informed by diverse perspectives and expertise.

Experimental Avionics

Website | GitHub

Aim: Experimental Avionics is an online resource that is dedicated to Open Source avionics for experimental aviation. At its core, Experimental Avionics seeks to light up the path of exploration and innovation by advocating DIY avionics endeavors, with Arduino controllers as the chosen medium.

Overview: One can sense the dedication and passion infused in the project right from the homepage. Experimental Avionics’ website features detailed project guides that provide information from conception to realization. An added bonus is the list of completed projects, acting as both an inspiration and a benchmark for newcomers.

The projects are LCD based instrumentation and sensors and include an EFIS, AHRS, EMS, AoA and even a Flight Data Recorder.  Nice!

The project extends its collaborative spirit to GitHub where the source code and information is available for anyone to download and use.

In conclusion, each of these projects signifies a step forward in the symbiotic relationship between aviation and open-source collaboration. They offer unique avenues for both learning and contribution. As the aviation landscape continues to shift, these projects and their vibrant communities stand as testaments to the power of shared knowledge and innovation.