Ferris Wheel Mission Maker for Litchi Instructions


This application will convert a Google Earth kml or kmz file to a Litchi csv file.

  1. In Google Earth Pro:
    1. Use Google Earth Pro to navigate to the mission area.
    2. From the ribbon select the "Ruler" tool.
    3. In the Ruler tool, select the "Line" tab (normally selected by default).
    4. Draw a line representing the top-down view of a Ferris wheel:
      1. Click once on the map to define one end of the Ferris wheel.
      2. Move to what will be the other end of the Ferris wheel making note of the length of the line (Map Length). This length will become the diameter of the Ferris wheel.
      3. Click a second time to save the endpoint of this line.
    5. In the Ruler tool click on "Save".
    6. The New Path window will open. Click OK.
    7. In the "Places" window pane (on the left), right-click on "Line Measure" and "Save Place As" a kmz or kml file.
  2. In page one of Ferris Wheel Mission Maker for Litchi:
    1. Select the desired units.
    2. Select the minimum height. The minimum height should be low, maybe 20 feet (7 meters) above the ground.
      • IMPORTANT: The minimum height plus the diameter of the Ferris wheel will determine the maximum height of the mission. Be sure the select these values appropriately.
    3. Select the number of waypoints. The default value is a good starting point. Using fewer waypoints may result in a poorly-shaped circle. Using more waypoints may not be necessary. The computed mission will end at the first waypoint completing a circle. Therefore, the final mission will have one additional waypoint to the number specified here.
    4. Select the starting location in degrees on the Ferris wheel. Zero degrees is at the 3 o'clock location. The default of -90 degrees is at the 6 o'clock position and will cause the mission to begin and end at its lowest point.
    5. Use the file chooser to upload your kmz or kml file.
    6. Select "Generate Ferris Wheel Mission for Litchi" button.
  3. In page two of Ferris Wheel Mission Maker for Litchi:
    1. Review (and understand) the parameters and calculations shown.
    2. Download the csv file to your computer.
  4. In the Litchi Mission Hub or Virtual Litchi Mission (VLM is recommended to preview the flight path):
    1. Use the Missions menu to import the csv file created by this web application.
    2. Litchi Settings
      1. Make sure that the "Heading Mode" is set to "Custom(WD)".
      2. Set the "Path Mode" to "Curved Turns". This will result in a smooth path appropriate for capturing video.
      3. Set the cruising speed to something appropriate like 8 mph (13 km/h).
    3. Add a POI (optional but very useful)
      1. Right-click to position a POI
      2. Set an appropriate height of the POI
      3. Select all waypoints
        1. Select one waypoint
        2. Control-click on a second waypoint
        3. Select All
      4. Select the POI number
      5. Set the Gimbal Pitch to "Focus POI"
      6. Select "Apply"
    4. Save the mission.
  5. Preview the flight in Google Earth Pro using VLM (optional)
    1. It is recommended to preview and verify the flight using Virtual Litchi Mission.
  6. Fly the mission
Ferris Wheel Mission

A "Ferris Wheel" mission is a path that causes the drone to fly in a vertical circle as if it is on a Ferris wheel. When used in conjunction with a point of interest (POI) and capturing video, it can result in interesting camera movement near the object of interest.

This utility is used to generate the flight path only. Once the flight path is completed, Litchi may be used to identify the POI and to define the drone's heading and gimbal pitch throughout the flight.

The flight path is defined by drawing a straight line using Google Earth Pro. Creating this straight line determines the following:

  • The location (latitude, longitude) of the Ferris wheel.
  • The diameter of the Ferris wheel.
  • The direction of rotation of the Ferris wheel (how the drone traverses its path).

Details are provided in the instructions.

Add Approach:
Minimum Height:
Number of Waypoints:
Starting Degrees:
Kml/Kmz File Upload:
Litchi Utilities dot Com
by Wes Barris