A Drone Device – Not an AirPlane or Helicopter.

March 26, 2019 2 By Graham

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Were you out and about recently and you saw a something, you couldn’t identify, flying about that made a constant buzzing sort of noise?. Did you see a program on the television showing aerial views of buildings or landscapes, that looked different from the usual aerial views taken by airplane or helicopter ?

Has someone you know told you they have bought or seen a fantastic flying “thing” that is not an aeroplane or a helicopter that does amazing things in the air?

All of those descriptions were made possible by the invention of a device called a Drone. You are probably, by now, thinking what is a Drone device?, what is a drone good for? and how does it work?. Read on to find the answers to those questions and more, so, here goes.

What is a Drone?

If you are not sure what a drone is I will give a brief description without being too technical (‘cos I’m not that techy), and a little about the many uses of a drone.

What is a Drone and how does it work. In the insect world, male bees do not collect pollen or nectar and do not have a stinger. Their sole purpose is to mate with an unfertilised  queen bee. They are called drones. In the world of man made machines that fly without a human on board, and are remote or auto controlled, these are also called drones.  The correct name for a Drone is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or UAV. The first Drones were remotely flown aircraft used as targets for battleship gun practice. In the 1920’s the name Drone was used for these aircraft.By War Office official photographer, Horton (Capt)This is photograph H 10307 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums. 1941.

Today Drones are used extensively by the Military for missions that would be highly dangerous or impossible with a piloted craft. They are also being trialled for use as carriers of goods, medical supplies etc.

What is a Drone-how does it work?

Unlike an aeroplane that has fixed wings and must go forward at a speed to make the wings give lift, most non military drones use fast rotating, vertically mounted propellors to give lift. Military Drones are more like aircraft and have fixed wings. The small Drone, or Quadcopter we are talking about, uses the same lift method as a helicopter-it has several sets of wings that rotate fast enough to give lift. How does it work if it doesn’t have a tail rotor to steer by? Those small rotors give enough lift to fly and by changeing the speed of individual rotors it can be manouvered in ways that an airplane or conventional helicopter cannot.

What is a Drone Used For?

In a previous topic, I explained how small Drones work. Calling them small is only compared to the main Military type of Drone. Commercial Drones can be big enough to carry large items. So, what is a Drone used for?, well Amazon is trialling them for parcel delivery as are several Postal services. Pizza deliveries and other delivery services are using them. Real Estate developers, Land Management, Ecological Surveys, farming and agriculture and also the hobbyist. The list is huge and growing daily as more and more uses are found for this unique and fascinating invention. Uber has just announced, June 12 2019, a person carrying drone for passenger use between the Airport and City of Melbourne in Australia

Rules for Flying a Drone

Drones have the potential to create security and safety concerns. They can be a threat to airspace security. This includes accidental or unintentional collisions or interfering with the safety of other air space users. There have already been instances of mid air collisions between drones and manned aircraft. When you buy and fly a drone, you need to make yourself aware of the rules for flying a drone in your country or state or territory. There are severe penalties being imposed upon those who ignore or do not know the rules, especially near airports or any restricted airspace.For example: In the United States, if you fly a drone near a wild fire you can be fined up to US$25,000.

In Canada if your drone weighs more than 250 grams, you have to be over a minimum age, pass an exam to get a licence and your craft must be registered and insured. In the USA, if your craft is heavier than 250 grams, it must be registered with the FAA

How To Buy A Drone

In this topic we will look into purchasing a hobby Drone. Purchasing a Drone for Commercial use is a whole different ball game, and will not be in this series. We have seen that there are a lot of areas that Drones are used for, but, you have decided to have a hobby drone. So, how to buy a Drone, what do I need to consider before I spend my hard earned dollars on a machine with so many variables in its use. The logical thing to do is to write down what attributes you are looking for and the maximum dollar amount you can spend. I will briefly list some of the attributes or abilities of hobby Drones to give you an idea what to look for, not in any particular order, because that is what you must decide as a “must have” feature.

  • What size is it, will it be for indoors or outside.
  • Will I want a Return to Home feature, in case it goes out of sight.
  • Do I want to take photo’s, will the camera be remote controlled.
  • Will I want to do aerial stunts with it.
  • Can it have a collision avoidance system, to miss obstacles in its flight path.
  • Will it have a smartphone app capability, so I can see what the Drone camera can see.
  • Do I want to fly it from my smartphone via a video link to the drone.Hobby Drone

Finally

As you have seen in the previous topic, there is a lot to be aware of before committing to buy. Nobody can make the decision for you, or  tell you that this is the best drone for you,  everyone’s situation and desires are different. I hope that you have been entertained and informed about Drones or UAV’s and that you will make the best choice of Drone for you and have many hours of enjoyment in flying a marvellously awesome little flying machine.

 

Updated 12 June 2019