Air Frames - Drone Frames
Consumer drones are classified in terms of being fixed wing, helicopter, or multirotor and by size (micro and mini) as a function of maximum distance between any two rotors. Most consumer drones are micro multi-rotors (under 1meter inter-rotor distance) and come in a variety of forms described in terms of airframe (V-tail, X configuration, Y configuration, asymmetric), the number of rotors (tri, quad, hexa, octo), and by qualities of respective command and control interfaces. (Figure 1) These vehicles are further grouped according to functional abilities. ARF indicates “Almost Ready to Fly“, that is a UAV which comes assembled with most components necessary to fly and may not include a controller and receiver. BNF refers to “Bind and Fly “where the drone comes fully assembled, includes a receiver, but must be coupled with a compatible transmitter. DIY (as you might have guessed) describes “Do It Yourself” custom builds which involves varying degrees of mechanical, electronic, and computer programming abilities depending on the flight and control sophistication of the desired platform. The DIY approach is in many ways homage to the spirit of the original RC aircraft hobbyists going back 60 years.
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