It is generally recognized that operator error and unairworthy aircraft are the principle factor in sUAS (drone) system failures and accidents. But looking just at the hardware, are there published studies on the aircraft systems components which cause the greatest number of system failures?

For example, batteries. Or motors.

Has anyone done any kind of a large scale study of failures and published it?

  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps failure knowledge of traditional RC aircraft might lend some insight. $\endgroup$ – mongo Oct 20 '17 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ From own experience after leading a drone detection test campaign with over 500 flights of various drone types, the battery is a weak spot (sudden drop in capacity require early landing) , electronic failures (either in radio transmitter or receiver, or on board electronics). In this series of 500+ flights we had one motor failure leading to 100m altitude loss. The drone then recovered its stability and then lost stability again shortly before landing. This was the only crash with extensive damage we encountered. Ina previous test we lost a drone due to an electronics glitch. $\endgroup$ – DeltaLima Oct 18 '20 at 21:09

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