Short Glossary for Drones and Camera Quadcopters

Unmanned aircraft are more and more commonly used in a vast area of situations. They span over everything from military reconnaissance, firefighting and investigation, police surveillance, inspecting pipelines and power lines, search and rescue missions, and a whole lot more.

Not least as of lately ever so speedily increasingly as a recreational hobby and leisure activity for regular hobbyists, civilian and for commercial purposes as well. The list is long, and will be getting longer and longer each and every day that goes by..

So with the ever so increasing presence of drones, quadcopters, and other small, unmanned aircraft, for commercial, official and every form of professional and personal use, it is more and more important that you know the jargon around these aircrafts, drones and quadcopters.

Below is a short list of some of the most usual terms needed for comprehending the new terminology in this field, some of which you may or may not be familiar with.

RC“; in the world of quadcopters with or without cameras and drones, the RC is short for Radio Controller (or Remote Control), which is used to control and operat the aircraft remotely with. In essence RC is used for everything radio or remote controlled in the RC world, like but not necessarily limited to; remote controlled cars, boats, airplanes, helicopters and so on.

Drone”; the common term used to describe unmanned aerial vehicles and aircrafts, or UAVs. They span over many different kinds of unmanned aircraft and various sizes, used for various reasons, from military aircrafts to hobbyists taking amateur photography for their personal blog etc.

UAV”; unmanned aerial vehicles. UAVs are also known as remotely piloted aircraft, or RPA. These aircraft use a system of electronic control and electronic sensory processes to help stabilize the craft while it is in flight.

RPV”; Remotely piloted aircrafts (also known as UAV’s)

UAS”; Unmanned aerial system, or UAS, indicates not only the aircraft itself but the whole system that is required for the smooth running of the craft.

FPV”; FPV, or first person view, is used to describe the viewpoint that comes with a camera on your UAV. The name is used because the image from the camera is streamed in real time to a display for the pilot to watch immediately as is seen by the camera.

The display might be a computer screen, and there are also technology that stream the video straight to a pair of goggles to optimize the view for the pilot. This allows the pilot to see the same thing that the UAV is “seeing” and make adjustments to the flight as necessary in real time. There is some argument that this even means that a seasoned pilot can let the UAV leave their line of sight, although this is debateable and caution should always be used. It also allows for more personalised control of what perspective and angle is being filmed.

A rotorcraft; is an airborne or aerial vehicle that gets its propulsion and lift from rotor blades, rather than the fixed wings that you have on an airplane.

Multirotor aircraft: When a rotorcraft has two or more rotors providing propulsion it is known as a multirotor aircraft.

Quadcopter: A quadcopter is a UAV rotorcraft that is also known as a quadrotor helicopter. These aircrafts are made of a more simple design than similar sized remote helicopter, and are propelled by four rotors rather than two.

A hexacopter; is a multirotor aircraft that uses six rotors for flight and propulsion.

An octocopter; uses eight rotors to achieve liftoff and propulsion.

LOS; is short for line of sight, which is an important rule in flying an UAV. In general if the aircraft is not in your sight, then it is susceptible to loss of control resulting in personal or property damage.

VTOL: Vertical takeoff and landing is known as VTOL, and refers to the ability of an aircraft to make vertical takeoffs and landings, rather than a horizontal ascent or descent that can be seen with airplanes with fixed wings.

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