fueled by remote

Learn how drones have become way more than just a remote control novelty.

Learn how drones have become way more than just a remote control novelty.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… nope, it’s a drone. And it seems like those little guys are everywhere these days. All that amazing aerial video over the ballpark or the long luxurious footage of a car driving down a country road surrounded by a canopy of colorful autumn leaves. Used to be that those were filmed by a cameraman inside a chopper or blimp. But not anymore, thanks to our lightweight, remote-controlled, HD camera-packing little buddies.

But it’s considerably more than pretty pictures. Drones are now used in all kinds of applications — from fun toys that zip around the living room to extremely complex machines that can get to places a person can’t.

Got the drone buzz? Here are a few facts to fuel your flight:

  • A drone — or more accurately, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) — is any kind of unmanned ship piloted by remote or computer.
  • Most modern drones — both for professionals and hobbyists — are made out of carbon fiber, plastic, rubber, PVC and other lightweight synthetic materials for a great strength-to-weight ratio. This means they’re light and nimble and can withstand the occasional crash landing.
  • Whether they use one single rotor and fixed wings or a collection of balanced rotors, the basic idea is that a motor spins a plastic blade and pushes air in a direction to defy gravity. Simple… sort of. There are several types of drones, ranging from those with one rotor and one fixed wing that fly in a straight line (like a simple plane) to those with an intricate balance of several rotors that spin in opposite rotations to hover and climb and twist and turn and flip on command (like a crazy sci-fi alien helicopter).
  • Today, advanced drones are used in motion pictures, real estate, construction, farming, surveillance and even disaster relief.
  • Some gas-powered drones are capable of lifting hundreds of pounds. Others are capable of flight at altitudes where you can see the curvature of the Earth.
  • One thing that’s super important to know: It’s best to check FAA regulations to see if you need a license to fly your drone. Safety first!