What is a drone?

This question has been floating around the internet for a while, hence the reason why over 200 people in the UK are searching for this answer monthly. This article aims to decipher what a drone is and the purpose it serves. So we hope this article finds the people in search of this question.

As you have wiggled your way around the internet in search of the meaning of a drone, you might have quickly realised that there are several names for this special equipment. A drone can be classed as an aircraft that does not have a human pilot on board. Drones are sometimes referred to as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles [UAVs] which is a word most commonly used in the  military. While drones in the military have helped avoid putting pilot's life at risk, they have quickly been commercialised, serving various industries. Drones are great for reaching places that humans cannot, therefore is now been used in several industries such as cinematography, photography, agriculture, oil & gas, policing and many others. Another popular name is quadcopter, because it is considered the most popular type of drone for consumers. Quadcopter is a type of drone that uses four propellers to fly. Newton's third law of motion says every action has an equal or opposite reaction, so two propellers spin in one direction whilst the other two spin the opposite way.  The quadcopter usually has an accelerometer and a gyroscope to help with gps signal. Ahh I will stop now before I bore you to sleep; so let's move on.

 

Flight time

Cheaper drones tend to last for around 5 - 10 minutes in the air. At the higher end of the scale, slightly more expensive drones such as DJI has 20 - 30 minutes flying time on a fully charged battery. Most drone operators usually have an extra battery and will change once the flying time is up. Lithium batteries are considered to be better when flying a drone, so if you want to spend more time in the air, ensure to get a drone with lithium battery. It will cost more, but you will spend more time flying and less time charging.

 

UK laws of drone flying

In UK, the law does not permit flying of a drone higher than 120 metres or in restricted airspace such as near an airport. For more information on permission, check dronesafe.uk, a website operated by the national air traffic control department. It is important to keep drone in eyesight when flying.  So if drones are so great, why all this hoo-hah about flying next to an airport? Unfortunately, a few bad apples do indeed spoil the barrel! Any mid-air collision with with a plane can cause a plane crash. Check out our recent post on the recent troubles caused by drones to UK airports.

For security reasons, DJI and other manufacturers are adding 'No Fly Zone' features that stops unauthorised personnels from flying in secured zone. It is possible to unlock DJI geo-zones if you are authorised to fly in these restricted areas.

 

Future of drones

You've probably heard of different companies planning to use drones to deliver packages to customers, so I will refrain from writing too much here. Amazon is at the forefront with their Prime Air delivery service. This means that a package that will normally take one day to arrive could get to you in one hour. With almost 90% of Amazon's product weighing 3kg or less, they can certainly appease their customers with this service in the future. By the way did you know that most of our products are cheaper than Amazon? Moving on, although these drone delivery services are not yet available and still on trial, Dronescend predicts that we will start to see drones being used for delivery within 10 years.

 

To avoid information overload, this article has been kept short intentionally. If you still have any questions, feel free to email us at: [email protected].

1 comment

Excellent post .. appreciate the precision.

Chris March 11, 2019

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