What Does a Drone Look Like?
New to drones? Confused by some of the names associated with drones? Are you asking yourself “What does a drone look like?” You’re not alone.
Drones are in the news almost daily with terms like UAV or UAS or quadcopter being tossed around.
Below, we’ll explain some of the basic terms and give the word drone meaning beyond “a machine that flies itself.”
The US military has used drones like these (shown here are Global Hawk and Northrop Grumman B-2A Spirit) in its armed forces engagements for years. The commercial drone industry wants to distance itself from this drone definition but we show it here because it is likely the first thing that comes to mind for the term drone.
This photo from 2011 shows sailors prepare drones on the deck of USS Tortuga before an air defense gunnery exercise for U.S. and Royal Thai Navy ships.
To the right, we’re showing the Hubsan X4 RC Quadcopter With Camera RTF at Amazon.com that has a $55 price.
Another popular quadcopter is the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0. Also referred to as a “quadricopter”. This is the product shown in the image with the cow above. Price point is $300. Photo & info via amazon.com.
Equipped with true HD, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision + is another popular commercial quadcopter that caters to aerial photography enthusiasts. In fact, the term “dronies” is replacing “selfie” with DJI customers. Amateur filmmakers have jumped all over this.
In fact, this spectacular video from the folks at DJI showcases what is possible with one of these UAVs:
When flying FPV, the pilot sees from the aircraft’s perspective, and does not even have to look at the aircraft. As a result, FPV aircraft can be flown well beyond visual range, limited only by the range of the remote control and video transmitter. FPV became increasingly common throughout the 2000s and early 2010s.