The use of quadcopters or radio-controlled drones as they are more commonly known, have taken center stage in the media these days. Everyone from online retailers, government agencies, law enforcement professionals and filmmakers have taken to using these unmanned flying machines. They permit aerial views of property that could not ordinarily be obtained without risking human lives or using larger aircraft.
A quadcopter or quadrotor is a heliocopter that uses a multirotor build to lift it from the ground. Usually produced with four working rotors, the lift is caused by these rotors working much like propellers but on a vertical basis. This leaves drones or quadcopters to be generally defined as rotocrafts rather than fixed-wing aircraft.
Further distinguishing a quadcopter from a heliocopter is the fact that each one uses a double set of propellers that are pitched forward in an identical set. Two of these rotors are placed clockwise and the remaining two rotors are placed in a counter-clockwise position. When working in tandem, these rotors use a series of rotations per minute to lift the drone and control its torque when in the air.
An operator controlling a drone by remote control is able to achieve motion of this quadcopter by alternation of the rate of rotation of one or more of these active rotors. This allows the operator to change its lift and thrust while aloft, and change its torque as required for direction.
The use of drones or quadcopters are an integral part of UAV or “unmanned aerial vehicle” research. Because of their diminutive size and extreme maneuverability, drones can be flown both outdoors and indoors when necessary. Their sensors and control systems contain electronic components that stabilize its flight, giving an operator full control of the quadcopter for safety in the air.
Up until recently, quadcopters have been used in the United States strictly for aerial photography. This usage gave government photographers greater financial savings rather than hire a large scale airplane for their needs. The exclusivity of this usage was challenged by an online retailer who has publicly stated that they will use quadcopters or drones to deliver their products to consumers at their home addresses.
Although the use of drones by private parties has been seriously debated, they are widely available for purchase. Before buying any drone, consumers are urged to check out these drone reviews and make sure they understand the implications of their actions.