Maps Made Easy Drones Made Easy

In App Simulator

Tudor -

With release of Map Pilot 2.0.0, a simulator feature is built in to allow users to see what will happen before venturing outdoors.

Map Pilot's built-in Simulator function to let you practice using the app before taking the aircraft out into the wild. The Simulator lets new (and experienced) users see what will happen for a given mission.

Simulating requires that the aircraft's position is known. You can simulate from the aircraft's current location if you are already outside or you can simulate inside without a GPS lock using a saved mission. When operating from the saved mission the aircraft will use the saved mission's anticipated takeoff location as the aircraft's initial position.

The following steps will demonstrate how to simulate a saved mission at your intended site without leaving your desk. If you are unfamiliar with saving missions please read the following article before attempting simulation:  Save a Mission

The video below will demonstrate how to simulate a saved mission as well but it assumes that a GPS lock is available. 

  1. Turn on the remote and aircraft as usual. Do NOT install the props on the aircraft.
  2. Connect the remote to the iOS device with a genuine Apple cable. 
  3. FULLY close all other drone related applications that may compete for the connection with the aircraft.
  4. Put the iOS device in Airplane Mode to keep the device's GPS from interfering with the simulated position.
  5. Open Map Pilot. 
  6. Open the saved mission from the Mission Management screen.
  7. Once the top status bar says "Connected" in it you can swipe down on that menu to open the Options Menu.
  8. In the Options Menu, tap the button That says 'Simulator: Off'.
  9. The Simulator button will show a loading symbol, highlight orange to show that the Simulator is active, and the text will change to 'Simulator: On' for both the Simulator button and the top status bar's text. 
  10. Two Key Checks: Make sure the red triangle that denotes the aircraft's location is pointing straight up and make sure that there are exactly 10 satellites available
  11. Agree to any Home Point warning that pops up which sets the aircraft's home point to its new remote location.
  12. You can now upload missions as you normally would by pressing the 'Upload' and 'Start' buttons in the upper right slideout panel's flight control buttons. 
  13. As of version 4.0.3 you can simulate Terrain Aware and Linear flights without purchasing the feature. 
  14. Since the flight is simulated, the motors will not move but the numbers will be changing in the Flight Stats panel (lower right) and the red triangle will proceed along the designated path.
  15. Remote controls will still work so you can practice using the Return to Home button or control sticks to see what effect they will have on your flight.
  16. We recommend simulating flights and using the RTH button to practice landing and battery swaps for multi battery flights. 
  17. Turn the Simulator off by using the button in the Options Menu. This will immediately discontinue flight and the position simulation.


Since the flight will be simulated and you are likely inside with limited light, we recommend turning off the 'Slow Aircraft According to Light Conditions' setting to keep the mission from slowing to a crawl. 

WARNING: We never recommend having a drone powered up indoors with the props on. If you forget to enable the simulator it will try to take off!!!


As you can see in the video, the flight is simulated and shows the progress along the planned flight path but the drone is on a table looking at a business card and is clearly not flying.

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    problem: Unable to turn simulator 'ON'.

    I tap or press the 'simulator' icon in the top menu bar. But right now the simulator is OFF. I am unable to turn it ON. Is there some other magic to do this seemingly simple task?

    No phantom is connected, just sitting at my desk. Planning a mission, with terrain awareness (purchased). I can adjust all the other menu settings, but not simulator.

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    Same here. "Simulator: Off", not selectable

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    William Patterson

    For the simulator to work, it appears you must be connected to the drone, with drone/controller powered on. Of course, as suggested above, do not connect the props when running a simulation just in case you forget to turn the simulator function on. If the simulator can be run without connecting the drone, please advise. Thanks.

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    Peter Caldwell

    Would be amazing if we could get those kind of Dev tools as a product / feature. designing up allot of surveys using a phone or tablet can be frustrating.

    Doing it via Browser / or desktop application ( like drone deploy) would make Map Pilot an be an out of the park product!

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    Tony Gilbert

    OK I have a drone connected but it wants to keep automatically setting my home point where I am, well away from the mission area I'm planning, and then refuses to load the mission because the home point is too far away. How do I stop it doing that?

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    Hmmm...the simulator might need a little work still. I am in MD and just loaded up my mission that is planned for a location about 130 miles away in PA. Terrain awareness on, mission loaded, got warning that RTH might be an issue and raised altitude to 40M above highest terrain. OK so far. Started mission OK. Video screen goes back (or already went back?) to my actual GPS location in MD even though the "mission" proceeds right along. The remote controller shows the distance and altitudes correctly as does the cursor in the Terrain Awareness flight profile box in the Map Pilot app. But can't see the aircraft path because, well, the screen satellite view left the PA location and shows my home location in MD?? Meanwhile the "flight" continues.

    So I hit RTH early and she comes home as seen on the remote controller and the small data box on the app, but of course still can't see the aircraft path. Then after she "lands" I get a pop up to change the battery for the next leg, even though I had only flown about 3 minutes.

    Simulator is a nice idea and it may work better if I were at the location. But clearly not here from a remote location.

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    Ray: You will need to turn on airplane mode to keep the GPS from your mobile device from confusing things.

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    Ah, I see said the blind man!

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