Introduction to linear waypoint mission

Linear waypoints can be used to make smooth flying route for stunning aerial filming, turn your drone into cable camera with a path of any shape in 3D, POI shooting or filming, repeated inspections and monitoring etc.

Let make a test mission to learn this great feature.

A mission can be made with or without drone connected. All changes are saved automatically and it can be reopened and modified at any time. Also data is automatically synced between your devices with the same iCloud account. So, you can plan your mission at office with one device and then fly it later with another.

Plan a flight

Create new linear mission

Tap on main menu button and select + New mission

Create new linear mission

Move map to desired location or use search field to find one, then tap Create here button. Next, choose Linear route and tap Create.

Create new linear mission 2

A waypoint template will be added to the map. Add new waypoints and move them to make desired path. When you are done with it, tap Done.

Edit waypoints

Here are your base waypoints of the flight plan. Now it's time to tune general mission settings.

General mission settings

Tap on the Tune button to open mission settings.

Tune general mission parameters

Auto Speed

The base automatic speed of the aircraft as it moves between waypoints. It can be overridden by waypoint's Speed parameter (see below). The speed of a drone during autopilot mission flight also can be controlled by the right RC stick (up - fly faster, down - fly slower, stop and fly back).

If you set this parameter to 0, the flight speed will be controlled only by the RC joystick.


Auto: aircraft's heading will always be in the direction of flight.

WP: aircraft's heading will be gradually set to the next waypoint heading while traveling between two adjacent waypoints. Set heading parameter in each waypoint.

RC: aircraft's heading will be controlled by RC joystick.

Flight path

Point-to-Point: aircraft will move from one waypoint to the next in straight lines.

Curved: flight path will be curved and the aircraft will move from one waypoint to the next in a curved motion, adhering to the Turn radius parameter in a waypoint.

If the flight path is curved, waypoint actions will not be executed, that is why Actions block in waypoint parameters is hidden if this option is set.

Control gimbal from waypoint

If this option is on, then you can set gimbal pitch value in each waypoint. During flight it will be gradually change to the next waypoint value (more details below).

If this option is off, then gimbal pitch will be controlled manually.

Repeat mission

How many times the mission should be automatically repeated before a drone performs a Finish action (described below). Maximum is 15 times.

OK, we're done with overall mission parameters, let's tune waypoints itself.

Waypoint settings

Tap on the first waypoint and then tap on menu button in its info popup.

Waypoint mission parameters

Waypoint parameters editor may look a bit complicated, but its content depends on general mission settings described above and all unneeded controls will be hidden. Take a look on it closer to understand it's very simple:


Target altitude at current waypoint. Relative to takeoff position.


Target aircraft heading at current waypoint. This parameter can only be set if mission Heading parameter is set to WP.

Gimbal Pitch

Target gimbal position at current waypoint. This parameter can only be set if mission Control gimbal from waypoint parameter is turned on.

Altitude, heading and gimbal pitch are target values. That means that aircraft will gradually change its position from one waypoint to the next.

Here are some illustrations on how it works:

How drone's altitude changes
How drone's heading changes
How gimbal pitch changes

Use Waypoint actions to change heading or gimbal pitch while a drone hovers in a waypoint.

Turn radius

Turn radius of the curved path near current waypoint. This parameter can only be set if mission Flight Path parameter is set to Curved.

Speed to next waypoint

If set to Auto a drone will fly to the next waypoint with Auto Speed from mission settings. Or a specified value can be set to override mission auto speed.

Take photo every...

Turn on to start taking photos with a specified distance or time interval. Set desired numeric value and select what kind of interval you need: feet (or meters) or seconds. While flying to the next waypoint a drone will automatically take photos every N (feet-meters-seconds-what-you-set).

Waypoint Actions

There are six types of actions available. Each waypoint can contain up to 15 actions (this is DJI controllers limit). Here is a list of actions types you can add:

  1. Wait for N seconds

  2. Take photo

  3. Start video recording

  4. Stop video recording

  5. Set heading to X degree (rotate aircraft) = North, 90° = East

  6. Set gimbal pitch to X degree (tilt gimbal). = look forward, -90° = look down

Waypoint actions are not executed in a curved path mission, so this option is unavailable in the waypoint editor if you set Curved path in general mission settings.

Add, remove or reorder waypoint actions:

Waypoint actions

Actions are executed one by one and the whole list can be repeated up to 15 times (see Repeat actions below). Also total actions execution time can be limited with a specified Actions timeout parameter.

Heading rotation

This parameter sets the direction of aircraft heading rotation for Set heading actions in the current waypoint.

Repeat actions

Actions list can be repeated up to 15 times before an aircraft will continue to fly to the next waypoint. Note Actions timeout.

Actions timeout

The maximum time set to execute all the waypoint actions (with repeats) for a waypoint. If the time while executing the waypoint actions goes above the time set, the aircraft will stop executing the waypoint actions for the current waypoint and will move on to the next waypoint.

Increase it to maximum if you have many actions and/or repeats and want them to be fully executed.

Curved flight path

Here is an example of a curved-path mission.

Curved waypoint mission

Set Turn radius in a waypoint's parameters.

Point of Interest (POI)

Placing Point of Interest (POI) on the map allows you to easily set up the orientation the aircraft will have during the mission.

Switch to edit mode:

Add POI to mission

Tap Add POI button, a POI market will be added to the map. Move it to desired location. Note orange arrows on the waypoints pointing towards POI.

Add POI to mission

Mission's Heading mode will be automatically set to POI.

POI mission

To remove POI, get into edit mode and tap Remove POI button.

Weather forecast

If you're planning your flight beforehand, you can check weather forecast and sunrise/sunset time at your mission's location.

Waypoint mission check weather forecast

Fly your mission

Connect your mobile device to the remote controller, place your drone to desired takeoff position and turn everything on. Open your mission if you made it beforehand.

Preflight settings and checks

Once your drone is connected to your device and detected by Copterus app, you will see its position on the map. If you need to skip some waypoints from the beginning or from the end, tap scissors button and move slider circles to skip N first or/and N last waypoints.

Waypoint mission adjust start and end point

Do not forget to check avoidance and safety settings of your aircraft, as well as overall systems state.

Tap any widget at the top bar to open drone's state and settings menu.

Waypoint mission safety settings

When you are happy with the settings and ready to fly, tap FLY button.

The last step before take off is to set what your drone should do after mission has been completed and in case of RC signal failure during mission execution.

Waypoint action after flight settings

Here is an explanation of the options:

After mission is finished action

  • Go Home - after the last waypoint is reached, an aircraft will turn into RTH (Return To Home) mode and start its way to home position. If RTH altitude (from safety settings) is larger than current one, a drone will first reach that altitude and then move towards home position.

  • Hover - an aircraft will hover at the last waypoint waiting for you to control it manually.

  • Land - an aircraft will land at the last waypoint position

Lost RC signal action

  • Go Home - an aircraft will stop mission execution and engage RTH mode to return to home position.

  • Continue mission - if your aircraft flies beyond RC signal radius, or you turn off your RC controller, it will continue mission execution fully autonomously and perform finish action (described above) at the end.

Take off

Slide to confirm your drone to take off.

Danger! Be careful!

Shortly after you confirm to take off, motors will start spinning, and the drone will take off to execute the mission.

During mission execution

An aircraft executes a mission fully automatically, you have no need to control it except for safety reasons.

The flight speed is set so that drone's camera has time to take and save photos in a certain distance, however you can control it with your RC controller's right stick.

Move up to increase the speed or down to decrease it to 0 (stop) or to negative (fly back).

Waypoint mission control

Controls available during mission execution:

  • Tap Go Home to stop mission and to engage RTH mode.

  • Tap Land to stop mission and land drone at where it is at the moment.

  • Tap Stop to completely stop the mission, hover and engage normal RC control.

  • Tap Pause to just pause the execution. Resume execution with Resume button which will appear instead.

If your drone runs out of battery during mission execution, it will automatically engage RTH (Return to Home) mode .

Learn about automated mapping missions with Copterus app and DJI drones.