let me introduce you one of the most used technology in last few years.
The post begins by the basics information on drone & UAV terms, then describes different types of drones and their uses, and you will be brought through the main components and parts of a drone and how they are working. Finally, you will know the most popular drone brands and their famous models.
UAV and Drone technology
Drones and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial vehicles), are exactly the same. The terms mean similar things and often used interchangeably.
A drone or An Unmanned Aerial vehicle is anything without a human pilot on board like aircraft, rockets, quadcopters…
The drone is controlled from an operator on the ground and each drone operator is responsible for understanding and abiding by the drone rules implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
In the recent past, UAVs were most often associated with the military, where they were used initially for anti-aircraft target practice, intelligence gathering and then, more controversially, as weapons platforms.
Drones are now also used in a wide range of civilian roles ranging from search and rescue, surveillance, traffic monitoring, weather monitoring and firefighting to personal drones and business drone-based photography, as well as videography, agriculture and even delivery services.
Drones are becoming more and more popular over the last few years, they use highly sophisticated technology both software and hardware.
Here some questions you should know answers at the end of this post :
What are the types of Drones ?
What are the Components of Drones ?
How Do Drones work ?
What are the most popular Drone brands in the world ?
Drones Types and their Uses
The aim of this paragraph is to provide an overview of drones types currently used.
Just like with aircraft, you can gain experience by getting to know different drones used and get a glimpse on the impacts they have made in the film industry as well as for people alike.
This is a selection of four different types of drones that will be covered:
- Fixed Wing Drone
- Multi Rotor Drone
- Single Rotor Drone
- Hybrid Drone
Fixed Wing Drone:
A fixed wing drone operates the same as a fixed wing aircraft and that this type of drone uses the shape of its own wings to generate lift (while elevated in the air) or speed (while moving forward).
A fixed wing drone is designed this way to produce speed and lift while in flight just like an aircraft or airplane.
This type of drone is also more popular and is able to generate more speed while in flight due to the momentum produced by the drone forward air-speed. The lift occurs after the drone produces enough speed and momentum.
Fixed Wing Drones also have a longer flight time and stronger resistance to wind or other weather conditions, as this can be good for filming or videotaping at higher elevations and used for:
Photography and Filmmaking
It’s great to know that fixed wing drones have an advantage for longer flight duration and the ability to cover great distance while flying in areas that have stronger wind conditions.
- Longer Flight Time
- Greater stability against wind conditions
- Increased range and flight speed
- Improved Safety Features to prevent damage when landing a fall or losing power in a motor.
- More difficult and more required training to fly or operate.
- Tend to be more expensive
- More assembly (least likely to be portable)
- No maneuverability (Larger areas to turn or change direction)
A Multi-Rotor Drone is an Aircraft that usually has more than two rotors and multiple propellers.
This type of drone packs more stability than single or double rotor drones and you also achieve more vertical elevated lift because there are four propellers attached to the rotors, is also used in photography, and can be used to edit or create videos online.
It’s a great thing to know that some Multi-Rotor or quadcopters come with their own cameras as well which is a great deal if you’re looking to travel or explore to certain destinations in general.
- Highly equipped built-in cameras
- High-Maneuverability (tight areas/enclosed spaces)
- Detailed views and precision of geographical areas
- Possible change in picture motion used in the filming industry
- Greater Stability (more arms and rotors)
- Less battery life compared to other drones
- Not good for severe weather conditions (high winds or precipitation)
- Lightweight and more brittle (more prone to damage if not taken care of)
- Decreased flight time
- The most expensive out of all other drones
Single-Rotor drone :
A single-rotor drone is defined to be built the same way as a helicopter.
The larger propeller sits at the head of the front end of the interface, while a smaller blade or propeller is placed well at the tail-end where the head or front end connects to the larger rotor.
The larger or longer blades that are featured in the single-rotor drones save a-lot of energy and are more packed for longer endurance while in flight.
This can be great for those looking for longer air-time. Great for use outdoors and similar to fixed-wing drones, Capture videos for a longer duration, above any geographical areas at higher altitudes.
- More adaptable power.
- Electric powered motors
- Higher flight time
- More stability
- More difficult to operate
- Very expensive
- Longer and sharper blades
Hybrid drone :
A hybrid drone is similar to a fixed wing drone, except it has multiple rotors and propellers attached to the drone.
This is a great addition or feature to have in a drone because it can improve its stability and durability in any type of weather conditions.
Hybrid UAV Drones come in different models so keep that in mind as well, some mimic single-rotor drones while others look more complex and are also much like fixed wing drones but have more rotors or attachments to them to provide increased stability and flight time.
- Increased battery life
- Longer Flight Time
- Greater Stability
- Still in development
- Few models are shown or present.
Frame is the skeleton of the drone which all components are fixed to.
The chassis design is a trade-off between strength (especially when additional weight such as cameras is attached) and additional weight, which will require longer propellers and stronger motors to lift.
Frames are typically made from plastic or carbon fiber, and can be arranged with different arm variations (tri, quad, hex, octo).
The end of each arm houses the motor and propeller, while the center holds the flight controllers, gimbals, and other electronics.
As with each part, weight is an extremely crucial element, the heavier the frame, the less lift can be achieved. However, you don’t want a super lightweight frame that will break on you.
Carbon fiber tends to be a favorite because of its strength and light weight.
Drone propellers are the props at the front of the quadcopter, converts the rotational motion into thrust.
It can be made from carbon fiber or plastic, carbon fiber being the higher end choice, but also more expensive.
When picking propellers, be sure to check that your frame can house the size you are selecting.
Most frames will have a max propeller size to them. The size of the propeller should match your intended purpose.
Motor decisions are based on required power, and what you want the motor to do.
The motors chosen will have a huge impact on the flight time and how heavy of a load the UAV can carry.
There are multiple motors to choose from, most of the UAV motors are DC.
The key factor when looking for your motor is the KV rating.
The KV rating of a motor relates how fast it will rotate for a given voltage.
If the multi-rotor is being built to carry heavy payloads and have the best possible flight times, then a slower spinning, higher torque motor is ideal.
Faster builds will be upwards of 1400kv, while slower, longer battery life builds are roughly 300-900kv. These figures only work properly if the correct battery and propellers compliment it accordingly.
It is highly recommended that the same type of motor be used for all rotors so that they all do the same amount of work for the UAV and be sure the motor is compatible with the ESC and battery you have chosen.
Electronic Speed Controller(ESC) :
Drone ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) provides a controlled current to each motor to produce the correct spin speed and direction.
Using the ESC the flight controller can provide the correct amount of voltage at a time so that the entire UAV can stay stabilized.
Flight Controller (FC) :
Flight controller is the onboard computer which interprets incoming signals from the pilot and sends corresponding inputs to the ESC to control the quadcopter.
It is the brains of your UAV, it help stabilize your motors and synchronize them, so even if the motors give a different output of thrust the UAV can steady itself.
Transmitter & Receiver :
This combination is the “remote control” to operate your Quadcopter.
The transmitter “transmits” the signal, and the receiver “receives” it.
The receiver is connected to the flight controller delivering these inputs and outputting the responses to the motors.
Transmitters are judged based on how many channels they have.
The number of channels a transmitter has relates to the number of separate signals the transmitter can send.
For multi-rotors, the bare minimum is four (roll, pitch, yaw, and throttle), more is always a nice convenience.
A separate channel can be used for autopilot, operating a camera gimbal, retractable landing gear, etc…
Setting up the transmitter in either mode 1 or 2 needs to be considered.
Mode 2 is set by default for the US, but lots still prefer mode 1.
Mode 1 vs Mode 2 is the difference in what the control inputs on the transmitter do.
A receiver usually comes with the transmitter and will have to be binded or synced to the transceiver.
Generally Most of the Batteries used today are lithium polymer due to high power density and ability to recharge than typical Lead Acid and Nickel based batteries.
The battery pack’s capacity is measured in amp-hours (Ah) meaning that gives us how long we can last on the battery. But keep in mind the higher the capacity the heavier the battery will be.
The average flight time of a model UAV is around 10 – 20 minutes on a 2-3Ah battery.
It is important to play close attention to the number of cells your battery has and what your motor, ESC, and flight controller requirements are for the UAV; Further to these drone components, sensors can be used such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, GPS and barometers for positional measurements. Cameras are also frequently mounted for navigation and aerial photography.
Who does drone works ?
There is much to say about how drones operate and in this paragraph you will be shown some demonstrations on the parts of each drone as well as the controls that a Multi-rotor or Quadcopter drone has.
The picture below is a sketch of a multi-rotor drone and the individual parts shown for better understanding of how drones work.
In this rough sketch you will find that a multi-rotor drone has a clockwise and counterclockwise motor powered by a battery which is how flight achieved. Because of this the propellers spin in either motion to push the air molecules downward to achieve flight.
While airplanes and aircraft work differently, their motors normally run to push air forward, the shape of the wings will often dictate direction or air-flight.
The 4 propellers of a quadcopter are fixed and vertically oriented. Each propeller has a variable and independent speed which allows a full range of movements. The quadcopter is controlled manually with a hand-held radio control transmitter which manually controls the propellers.
So, based on that, when we operate the motors using remote control, it generates thrust which produces lift too.
Sticks on the controller allow movements in different directions Right – left, up-down, forward – backward, front direction change and trim buttons allow the trim to be adjusted to balance the drone.
Screens can also be used to receive live video footage from the on-board camera and to display sensor data.
Most Popular Drone brands
The industry is constantly evolving with the biggest drone companies investing billions of dollars annually to design the finest handsets and maximize their customer base.
The best drone brands, including the most popular, inexpensive, safe, and effective brands for everyday and occasional use.
This list answers the question, “What are the best Drone brands?” The goal of this part is to provide a list of all the major UAV brands.
Purchasing the drone brand that is the best fit for the consumer is a key.
It’s a matter of customer satisfaction: drones that are too expensive or that have limited range and battery life can lead to unhappy users.
Over time, UAV wear out, so it’s important to find a long-lasting drone brand that is also a consumer favorite brand, a sure sign of a quality product.
Prices for drone brands may vary, depending on the materials used and the durability of the products, but the makers of the top drone brand have what’s best for consumers in mind.
It’s good to keep in mind that the best drone brands for one person might be the worst for another, and thoroughly considering drone consumer feedback is crucial for your shopping satisfaction.
So Let us have a look at these Best 5 drone brands globally.
DJI is a Chinese technology company headquartered in Shenzhen, founded in 2006 by Frank Wang. It also design and manufacture camera gimbals, flight platforms, cameras, propulsion systems, camera stabilizers, and flight control systems.
They are the most popular Drone Makers in the industry, they produce the phantom series quadcopters with GPS FPV (First Person View). Their products are aimed at both hobbyists and professionals.
A New compact drone Mavic Air with a new obstacle avoidance system that DJI calls APAS (Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems) enrolled to the line-up.
Parrot SA :
Parrot SA is a French wireless products manufacturer company based in Paris, France.
It was founded in 1994 by Christine/M De Tourvel, Jean-Pierre Talvard and Henri Seydoux. Is a new entrant into the UAV/ quadcopter market.
Parrot has seized a large part of the consumer UAV/ quadcopter market with the AR Drone and its successor the AR.Drone 2.0.
They are now on to the Bebop 2 an advanced quadcopter with lots of features.
Less known in their lineup on fixed wing craft, the Parrot Disco FPV is a fixed wing drone that has 45 min battery life and FPV goggles.
With a larger selection of well thought out toy drones than you might imagine, Parrot has a drone for almost any child, and for the adults as well.
Yuneec is the world leader in electric aviation.
Headquarters are in Kunshan, Jiangsu, China. Founded in the year 1999.
In 2014, Yuneec introduced the world’s first ready-to-fly, out-of-the-box drone the Typhoon Q500 quadcopter.
In 2015, Yuneec improved the Typhoon by adding a 4K camera and introducing a SteadyGrip that turns the Typhoon into an “Air and Ground Imaging Solution.” Innovative features such as Watch Me, Follow Me, and Dynamic Return Home make capturing the perfect video easier than ever before.
Hubsan is based out of Dong, China, is one of the top manufacturers of toy-class drones. Has become well known with its Hubsan X4 models, including the popular entry level Hubsan Zino Pro and the Hubsan H117S Zino Quadcopter.
They do offer higher-end solutions, but their sub-$100 offerings are some of the best machines you can fly.
They also have 2 popular FPV models the H501S with brushless motors and the H502S, both have GPS Positioning, Follow Me, Headless and Altitude hold modes, they also feature a LED display built into the controller.
With popular models and reasonable prices have helped make it a household name in the drone hobbyist market.
Walkera is a drone manufacturer located in Guangzhou City, China.
Walkera offers a range of drone models. Originally selling quadcopters like the QR LadyBird V2 Mini Quadcopter and Walkera QRX 350. But now seem to be concentrating more on Racing Drones.
Their best machine, the Voyager, is employed by police forces for surveillance and more.
Their Models Include:
- Walkera Rodeo 150 RTF FPV Quadcopter
- Walkera Rodeo 110 Racing Drone
- Walkera F210 Quadcopter
They also make a few professional models:
- Walkera VITUS 320
- Walkera Voyager 4 Drone
- Walkera Aibao WIFI FPV Quadcopter