As you start your quest to find out more about drones, there will be some facts that you’ll ultimately want to learn.
Here are some basic questions about drones that everyone asks sooner or later:
How do drones work?
The driving force behind a drone is its four rotors. This is what separates drones from other radio-controlled aircraft like planes and helicopters.
As the four rotors turn, the air is forced downward. The amount of downward force determines what it does along its vertical plane. There are three options: hovering, climbing, and descending.
Movement along the horizontal plane of the drone is determined by the direction that each rotor is turning. There are only two options here: rotating and moving forward.
How do drones climb, hover, and descend?
To hover at its current position, the drone’s rotors need only to exert enough wind force to overcome gravity. If the drone wants to climb, then the rotors have to increase speed to exert more wind force than the force of gravity – and air drag.
Finally, to descend, the drone’s rotors only need to slow down to a wind force that is less than gravity. The rate of its fall is determined by how much the rotors slow down.
How do drones turn?
Drones do not turn; they rotate along their horizontal plane. If all four rotors on a drone rotated in the same direction, the drone would spin like crazy because of the excess angular momentum.
To keep the drone stable, rotors 1 and 3 spin in one direction, while rotors 2 and 4 spins in the opposite direction. This gives the drone a net-zero angular momentum.
In order to rotate, one of the four rotors will decrease its speed. The drone must then rotate to counteract the increase of angular momentum. The direction that the drone rotates depends on which of the rotors reduced its speed.
How do drones move forward or backward?
Now that we understand how a drone moves vertically and rotates, we will address how they move forward. Technically, they do not move backward – they rotate and move forward in the desired direction.
Remember that the drone is still working to keep itself in flight by overcoming gravity and drag. And its four rotors are working to do this.
Moving in a given direction requires that each of the drone’s four rotors manipulate the proper spin rate. When the drone moves along its chosen path, the two rear rotors have increased speed, while the two front rotors have decreased speed.
This causes the back end of the drone to tilt up and the front end to tilt down. Since there are two rotors in the rear spinning in opposite directions and two rotors in the front doing likewise, its vertical position is stable and maintained.
And since rotors 1 and 3 are spinning together, and rotors 2 and 4 are also spinning together, there’s no angular momentum either. The drone has no choice but to move forward.
How far can a drone fly?
The distance that a drone can fly is a function of its battery life. Most experts recommend that beginners get batteries with at least 15-20 minutes of operating time.
A recreational drone can travel up to 1/3 of a mile with those kinds of batteries.
How high can a drone fly?
Most air authority agencies forbid drones to fly over 400 feet in altitude. But there was a case where a drone hobbyist flew his drone over 10,000 feet.
What is the biggest drone?
There’s a massive disparity between commercial drones and recreational drones when it comes to size and weight.
Commercial drones weigh in as much as 80 tons.
However, drone manufacturers try to keep home drones as light as possible. Even some of the top-end drones only weigh around 32 ounces. Lighter weight extends the charge life of the battery – and that means more profits!