What makes a radio control aircraft a Drone?

Drones are widely recognized for their military uses and names such as, Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). The FAA calls them Unmanned Aircraft (UAs) I would like to add a name to the new breed of Sport and Recreational Drones.  Recreational Service Drones (RSD), Drones used entirely for recreational purposes.

Find out more about the Drone pictured above here.

Characteristics of a Drone
There is no on-board pilot, and the aircraft can operate autonomously.

Use of Drones
Until recently drones have been associated with their military uses. Now many are recognizing the potential commercial and recreational benefits of drones. Aerial photography, home delivery, and a host of Scientific uses are now beginning to be realized.

What are the common elements of a Drone?

The Aircraft:

–       Camera:

–       Video transmitting equipment

–       Receiver (for control inputs)

–       Autopilot

The Ground Control Station (GCS)

–       Video display screen

–       Video receiving equipment

–       Transmitter (Remote control)


–       Range extenders: Satellite receivers, On Screen Display (OSD)

Drone Resources:

–       Drone User Group Network (<a “http://www.dugn.org/”>http://www.dugn.org/</a>)

–       Quadrocopter is a Montana based company that sales, and teaches multicopter usage.

–      DiyDrones, I love these guys, if you want to do it yourself, this is where you should start.

–      RC explorer, David at RC explorer was my first inspiration. I really didn’t know where to begin, I had tried things like video cameras on RC planes that were aimed at handheld GPSs, very heavy, unreliable, and not very useful.  But after seeing some of David’s work (a really smart guy) I began to realize what I had dreamed about was possible.

–      Infinitejib an Canadian (Ontario) multicopter manufacturer and online retailer