At Flite Test we believe every aircraft has unique characteristics and we want every pilot to be able to fully experience them! The 6 Axis FT Aura 5 Lite board was created through a special collaboration between Flite Test and Flex Innovations to make a stabilization system that is flexible and does not eliminate the personality of the aircraft but enables you to get the most out of it no matter what your skill level is. For pilots that have experience with stabilization in their aircraft, the benefits of the FT Aura 5 Lite may be obvious, but to someone who is new to the concept, here’s what you can expect:
Easy configuration, powerful features, flexible design and simple set up - This stabilization system can be taken out of the packaging, and installed directly into an aircraft without advanced configuration. Multiple profiles come pre-installed on the board with a generic Sport profile ready for most aircraft. Simply plug your servo leads into the appropriate ports and mount the control board in the proper orientation indicated on the included Quick Start Guide. Using the two buttons on the control board, you can easily navigate basic features like servo reversing, gyro testing and even aircraft configuration (conventional, elevons, etc). Beginner Assist modes can even be activated without connecting the board to the Aura Config Tool.
Smooth Flight Experience - On a windy day or in less than ideal weather, stabilization helps to react to forces on control surfaces that are not being input by the pilot. This gives you an experience of more control and authority over your aircraft.
Clean Responses - The Aura is designed to enhance the pilot’s experience, while not interfering with the pilot’s control. Your aircraft will fly as if it were bigger, and in less wind, even though it is as agile as you want it to be.
Programming and Mixing - All the power of your mixing, subtrims, wing configuration and even differential thrust is contained within the board on your aircraft which makes it so even the most simple transmitters can fly an advanced configuration. It may seem intimidating but all of these features are configured through the Aura Config Tool. The configuration is as simple or as complex as you would like it to be based on your needs.
Small Hardware Size - It was important that the size of the stabilization board would be able to fit in even the smallest aircraft. With a 33x28mm footprint and weighing only 5 grams this control board is designed to fit in sub 250g micros all the way up to giant scale aircraft. (See notes below) Even with the small size, the FT Aura 5 Lite can control up to 5 outputs based on the configuration you need.
Flexibility - The FT Aura 5 like other Aura systems is capable of flying any protocol, such as Futaba, Spektrum, FrSky, Hitec, Graupner, etc. With multiple ports for a serial connection, many receiver brands can connect with just a single cable. (DSM2/DSMX Satellites, Futaba S.Bus, or SRXL (Spektrum, JR Mode B, Jeti UDI 12, Jeti ExBusand Graupner SumD)
Level Assist- This feature helps bring the aircraft back to a level position when the pilot is not actively giving input. A lot of work has been done with this tune to make sure it doesn’t feel unnatural or mechanical. Rather the pilot will feel like they are flying a well designed trainer that will smoothly correct to a level attitude. The speed and behavior of level assist can also be adjusted from it’s default in the Aura Config Tool. Level assist is disabled in the default setup.
Bank Limit Assist- Something we have found while training new pilots is the tendency to over correct a mistake which turns into an unrecoverable situation for the pilot’s skill level. Bank Limit Assist keeps the pilot from crossing a threshold while still enabling them to feel in control of the airplane. For pilots that fly in smaller areas, the default Bank Limit Assist can be adjusted easily in the Aura Config Tool. Bank assist is disabled by default.
Easy Profile Loading For Endless Possibilities:
Aircraft Profiles - One of the features we are most excited about is the ability to easily load a profile for a specific aircraft model. While the FT Aura 5 Lite will work it’s magic on any aircraft, having specific tunes, mixes and custom settings for specific airplanes will make this system shine even more. We anticipate providing easy configuration profiles for Flite Test aircraft but are also excited to empower our talented community to create and share custom profiles of their favorite model of any kind or brand. These profiles will be hosted online in a manner that is easy to find, search and share new profiles. The Aura Config Tool , a free Windows Application, can be used to fine-tune and perfect your model. It’s been designed with the Pilot’s ease of use in mind. With the ‘New Config File Wizard’ and example Aura Config Files available for download, you’ll be able to quickly setup the Aura specifically for your aircraft.
Flex Innovations is known for its world class gyro stabilization systems, but is also known for easy programmability backed by a deep feature set for advanced users. Flite Test’s goal was to combine our vision of making a board that not only gives a great flight experience but can help new pilots through our 6 axis modes. Level assist, launch assist and bank assist are all created to not remove the disciplines of flight but to give peace of mind and the best experience possible from wheels up to wheels down. The FT Aura 5 Lite is a great introduction to more advanced flight control systems. Starting with this board will help you understand the characteristics and features that we have come to love and you will be able to continue to grow with the Aura brand as your needs become more complex.
- Enhanced Stability and Control for all types of Fixed Wing Aircraft
- Connects easily to receivers or satellites from all major radio brands
- Custom tuning through Windows PC, Laptop, Tablet or onboard through Quick Change Mode
- 3+ Flight Modes allow precise or aggressive settings to be selected in the same flight
- All flight modes are selectable with gyros “on” or “off”
- 3 Axis Gyro modes for Precision and 3D Aerobatics. Gyro can be turned on and off and ships in "Gyro Off" mode
- 6 Axis Sensor and powerful 32-bit processor for Beginner Assist Features
- Quick Trim feature allows simplified storage of trim offsets inside of Aura for optimum flight performance
- 24 Channel internal architecture makes Aura powerful and allows the user to setup an incredible variety of control solutions
- The Aura 5 also supports Jeti ExBus and the manufacturer owns the code so new features such as SRXL2 and other new protocols can be added in the future
- Five Servo Ports can be individually configured as (PWM) Inputs or Outputs
- Dedicated port for Genuine Spektrum DSM® Satellites
- Dedicated input port for single wire digital connection via S.Bus® (Futaba®) or SRXL (Spektrum®, JR® Mode B, Graupner SumD) or analog PPM stream
- Micro USB Port for loading model programs, user programming, and firmware updates (Cable Included)
- (1) Aura Lite Stabilization Board
- (1) USB programming cable
- (1) Male to Male Servo lead
- (2) Adhesive foam mounting pads
Special considerations for use with giant-scale airplanes (80-inch span for monoplanes and 60-inch span for biplanes)
- A serial receiver (like SRXL on the AR8010T, or a Futaba SBUS RX) must be used
- The A5 must be ‘properly’ mounted for giant scale use. This means not just taped down, but secured with a Velcro strap around the Aura, and using the 3d-printed ‘platform’ for the Aura
- Power consumption must be considered. Each servo connector is typically only good for about 3A continuous. On giant scale aircraft some high-power servos can exceed 3A for a single servo. The Aura 5 will need to be supplied with ‘adequate’ power for the entire system
It was a no brainer to go with the Aura. I think it came out to be 50 or 60 bucks more than a regular cheap receiver. It was a little confusing for a beginner to deal with a satellite receiver but I figured that out. That's right, I went back to YouTube.
It couldn't have been easier to setup in my Simple Cub. I did have to go back and forth between 3 different build/setup videos but I found all the info I needed. Binded to my brand new DX6e on the 1st try.
Never having flown before, I was a little nervous. I checked my C.R.A.P. set the throttle, and gave the plane a toss and off it went. Had a great flight in slightly windy condition. The Aura worked great and gave me the confidence to fly. Crashed on the landing but I think that's to be expected.
Easy to install,
I run it with my FlySky I6x and IA6B - it does work!
Also, don't be intimidated by the Config Tool - it is very easy to set up your own airframe config, just take your time. Also: SAVE the default config when you load it up the first time, that way you can restore it if you don't like what you've done.
I can't wait to try it in more planes!
Followed a few YouTube videos to get Aura 5 working with a FlySky FS-i6X and FS-iA6B receiver (change transmitter to S-Bus instead of i-Bus). There are a few tricky parts with this transmitter and the Aura 5. If following the normal setup instructions for calibrating the accelerometers and servo directions, the elevator required servo reversal in the transmitter (and in the Aura 5). This allowed the stabilizing response of the Aura 5 to be in the correct direction for elevator. I believe this is likely only an issue with this transmitter? If I hadn't caught that, it would have been a destabilizing response, likely causing an immediate crash.
I thought the FT setup videos were great and enjoyed Josh's enthusiasm for the project. I wish the documentation was more thorough as it's much easier to navigate a document instead of going back and forth on a video. Overall I'm very impressed and will be buying more of these for future projects!
Overall when my experienced friend flew with it I was surprised how well it handled with the wind in such a small plane.
The stabilization was nice, very good.
I used it with a flysky I6X controller and IA10B receiver using SBUS.
Since I used it with a cheap brand it was a pain to set up in the software, and the software could be better, found it a little confusing and hard to orienteer. Oh and the software doesn't work with macOS.
The adhesive sucks, had to strap it in so it didn't fall of midflight, it impacted the ground and the gyro went flying to the front of the plane.
What I would suggest is not use it with cheaper controllers/ receivers if you don't want to spend 3 hours configuring it.
Update: Aug 6th 2020........So this has worked well with my cheap $16 Lemon RX satellite receiver i bought for this. The 3 different flight modes are great. The only problem I have now is oscillation at half throttle in both AS3X mode and safe mode. Does not oscillate in normal mode. So i need to turn the gains down on the Aura 5 by downloading the aura program tool and then connecting the supplied USB cable. Kinda of pain since I just wanted to drop this Aura 5 in and use the 3 provided programs without having to do any computer hookups to correct stuff. I will say this little Aura 5 works great. Plane flies great at half throttle or less. Any throttle above that and it oscillates way too much except on normal mode (3 position switch all the way down) I live in the country with very little internet service unless I use my phone as a hot spot to my laptop. Just kinda a pita imho but this does work very well and plane flies on rails. Launch mode is a great feature too!
Long review but pleased with the flight results and ready to buy more of these - manual could use some work to explain steps better but keep putting videos out as that was my path to success.
Nice ReMaiden, and I didn't have to adjust PIDs or Rates to get a "locked-in" stable flight. The Nano Goblin was flying like a much larger model aircraft.
The following day I drove up to the field again with my wife and I brought several airplanes including the Nano Goblin.
The wind was supposed to be 10mph - 20mph with gusts to 25mph. I figured it would be a perfect test. My wife shot the FOV video.
I figured a pure FOV video with view of the windsock and the Nano Goblin will show how stable it is..
Awesome! It's locked in and I didn't even need to adjust PIDs or Rates. Great job!
These Aura5 FT flight controllers have been a great way to make the transition to PNPs.
Binding to a remote Spektrum Rx was quick and easy.
Mounting (I used the little 3D printed base) was also quick and easy.
Setup (without a PC connection) has been easy following the FT youtube videos. But without the videos I'd of had a hard time figuring it out.
I also had to do a Vtail setup and used the Aura Config tool to set up that kind of tail, and it worked just fine.
The 3 stock flight modes: no gyro, gyro, flight assist help give me flexibility of maidening with flight assist on, checking out basic flight and then moving off the flight assist to either gyro or no gyro. As I get better with Aura I will be able to tweak these.
Aura Config tool seems to work (as far as I've used it), and has setup options beyond my skillset.
Launch assist is a good tool for launching (wings and such with no landing gear)
The 3D printed base works well. I used the screw down version (there is a clip in as well) and glue the base down and then screw the Aura in. I can move an Aura around easily (between planes) if needed, and the base is securely mounted, usually with hot glue around the edges)
TwistedHobbys sells a combo Rx/FC for $67.00 Not a bad deal, maybe there are better prices, but this works for me.
Aura Documentation and Videos could be better and more plentiful. But FT has been putting out new ones (flite test tech) and those have really helped. But there could always be more.
Switch position for modes is not my 1st choice. Flight assist is in the middle of the 3 position switch. I generally like that to be at the upper end of the switch. Not sure if that can be changed or not.
Don't purchase if you don't want to spend money for nothing!
I ordered this product in May 7, 2020. They claimed to have attempted delivery on June 2, 2020, but I did not receive any text or call. I have emailed FliteTest twice as the product is being held at a post office but I do not know which one but I have received no reply after TWO weeks.
I will update this comment if FliteTest addresses this issue.