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Questions tagged [unmanned-aerial-vehicle]

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. Its flight is controlled either autonomously by computers in the vehicle or under the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle.

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89 votes
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Why do we still use pilots to fly airplanes?

With the recent advances in drone and remote control technology, why are there still commercial and military pilots? I understand that there can be some serious tactical advantages to human pilots in ...
Keegan's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
849 views

What indication has the FAA given that phrases like "surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport" do or don't include E4 "extensions"?

This question pertains to the airspace of the USA. The dashed magenta shape on the sectional chart around KGUP depicts the horizontal extent of the Class-E-to-surface at KGUP. Inside this perimeter, ...
quiet flyer's user avatar
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2 votes
6 answers
2k views

Can commercial airplanes be converted to drones?

Is it possible to convert a commercial airplane into a drone, such that if a pilot fails to respond to ATC it can be remotely piloted?
polyglot's user avatar
  • 165
2 votes
1 answer
447 views

What are all the US airports where E4 "extensions" change to E2 and become part of a larger E2 "surface area" when the tower closes for the night?

Of all the US airports with part-time control towers and with E4 "extensions", in which cases are the airspace definitions written so that the E4 "extensions" change to E2 and become part of a larger ...
quiet flyer's user avatar
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19 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the purpose of these odd "control surfaces" on the BAE Taranis?

I was looking at a video of the BAE Taranis, and noticed these weird control surfaces: There is a matching pair on the underside. They don't seem to move at all throughout the video, even on landing, ...
0xDBFB7's user avatar
  • 322
70 votes
8 answers
37k views

Why are military drones shaped so strangely?

Military drones, such as the Predator drone or the Global Hawk, tend to have a weird shape with a whale-like head, and engines concentrated at the back. The wings tend to be of very high aspect ratio, ...
ithisa's user avatar
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20 votes
2 answers
8k views

Does the Predator drone's design make a tail strike more likely on takeoff and landing?

I was reading an article about drones and happened to glance at an included 3-view of the General Atomics Predator series UAV. The inverted-V tail appears to leave, at most, around 6" of clearance to ...
egid's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
928 views

What are the factors considered while placing a propeller on a plane? [duplicate]

I have read the post where it describes about the push and pull configurations of the engine, advantages/dis-advantages in them but not the purpose. I have seen images of a figter where the ...
user285oo6's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
4k views

What restrictions apply to flying RC and UAV planes in India at very low altitudes?

We are working on a UAV and will soon get to the testing phase. We intend to fly at a maximum altitude of 300-400 meters. I wanted to know as to what restrictions apply to the airspace in India (...
asheeshr's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
3k views

Can the lift equation be used for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter?

I am currently working on a basic simulation of the Mars Helicopter Ingenuity, and I am having trouble interpreting the outputs I am receiving from the lift equation. The equation reads as follows: L =...
marsman's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
541 views

May the Class-E-to-surface airspace near Eagle County Regional airport (KEGE) and Marshall AAF (KFRI) be ignored when the tower is open?

May the Class-E-to-surface designation indicated by the dashed magenta lines outside the dashed blue circle at Eagle County Regional airport (KEGE) be ignored when the tower is open? Likewise at ...
quiet flyer's user avatar
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17 votes
5 answers
4k views

Can a UAV defend itself?

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was shot down by Turkish aircraft, which made me wonder, whether the Turkish pilots faced any defending moves from the UAV, or once they found it, taking down was a ...
gsamaras's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
3k views

How can a sUAS operator contact ATC/identify themselves when contacting ATC?

In a comment, abelenky offered some words of wisdom which I personally agree with regarding sUAS ops near a surface Class C: When in doubt or close, call Tower and state your intentions. They'll ...
UnrecognizedFallingObject's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
30k views

Why don't drones use ducted fans?

If efficiency of converting battery power to lift or thrust is paramount, why don't drones use shrouded or ducted fans, instead of unshrouded propellers? This is the only image I could find to ...
Bohemian's user avatar
  • 275
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

How AeroVironment's Switchblades steer their flight?

I'm very intrigued with how AeroVironment Switchblades: SW-300, and SW-600, steer their flight. There are plenty of images and animations and to my observation, none of the Switchblades have ailerons, ...
armando's user avatar
  • 91
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

What constitutes a flight review for the purposes of eligibility for a remote pilot certificate under 14 CFR 107.61(d)(2)?

An applicant for the Remote Pilot Certificate who already holds a pilot's license can forgo the knowledge test required by 14 CFR 107.61(d)(1) if they have a current flight review. The regulation ...
J W's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
451 views

Can we bring a rotorcraft like Ingenuity to an altitude of the same pressure as the one on Mars?

At Perseverance's and Ingenuity's location the atmospheric pressure is about 750 Pa (0.11 psi). On Earth, we find that pressure about 110,000 ft high. If we built a copy of Ingenuity, could we bring ...
Giovanni's user avatar
  • 193
60 votes
5 answers
11k views

Why would a fighter drop fuel into a drone? [closed]

According to the BBC: A feed from a camera fitted under the fuselage of the surveillance drone shows a Russian SU-27 making two extremely close passes while releasing, what appears to be, fuel as it ...
Elerium115's user avatar
26 votes
4 answers
23k views

How do drones overcome latency?

The US Military's use of drones has become commonplace, and widely known at this point. Although these vehicles are operated from nearby bases during these attacks, it seems like the latency (time of ...
Sargun Dhillon's user avatar
24 votes
5 answers
4k views

Do I need to register my drone?

Recently the FAA released some new regulations that require drone operators, including hobbyist, to register drones with the FAA. As I am a novice in both aviation and legalese, can someone please ...
David says Reinstate Monica's user avatar
20 votes
6 answers
4k views

What's the minimum number of sensors for a hobby GPS waypoint-following UAV?

I would like to develop my own guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) flight software on a Raspberry Pi, for a small hobby fixed-wing UAV. From a physical standpoint, what is the minimum set of ...
Greg McNulty's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
1k views

How precisely are airspace borders defined?

I'm studying for the commercial drone certificate. In Tucson, AZ the class C airspace covers about half of the city, but the charts don't list the exact point that it ends. Here's a portion of the VFR ...
Mitch's user avatar
  • 181
15 votes
4 answers
6k views

What damage can occur and what penalties will you face for flying a quad rotor into a restricted airspace?

I live near the Cleveland International Airport. I have a Quadrocopter and the fence doesn't seem to be very high. I could probably fly my quadcopter into the airport. Is this legal? Can I crash a ...
0xcaff's user avatar
  • 257
13 votes
7 answers
15k views

Can a drone travel beyond the range of its remote control signal?

In a hobby drone, is it possible to set up the autopilot so that the drone travels to a distance far beyond the range of the remote control device and then comes back to the starting point? When I see ...
Victor's user avatar
  • 385
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

How do you contact ATC if you want to do RC flying in the US?

This question talks about flying RC models in US and latest "guidelines" to follow. One of them is contacting ATC tower if you are within 5 miles of the airport The seems pretty simple but I'll ask ...
KORD4me's user avatar
  • 1,779
11 votes
1 answer
9k views

What FAA rules govern tethered, outdoor UAV flight?

This question is concerning the possibility of operating an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) outdoors—a commercially available quadcopter, for example—but with the distinction of operating the UAV while ...
J W's user avatar
  • 16.6k
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

What legal actions would be taken against a drone pilot if they flew a drone into class B airspace?

Let's say someone has bought one of those quad copter camera UAVs and wasn't completely aware of FAA rules regarding airspace and where they can fly their drone, etc. Then let's say that they flew it ...
Jae Carr's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
884 views

What is this object that followed me up the street?

I saw my first UAV last night as it followed me up the street in Lancaster, PA. Does anyone know what type of unit this is or who would own one? I am guessing it was the police? I am curious.
Lynnette Hamaker's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
3k views

Was the unmanned flight and landing of the Buran spacecraft in 1988 exceptional?

The Buran had a very sad fate. But in 1988 it has undertaken its first and last flight, which was unmanned and landed with a precision of three meters in a crosswind of 60 km per hour. It lost only 8 ...
user3624251's user avatar
  • 1,679
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

What equipment is used by Boeing to convert the F-16 into an unmanned aircraft (QF-16)?

How exactly does this equipment convert the F-16 into an unmanned aircraft? Is it possible to use this equipment on any other fighter (like the F/A-18 Hornet for example) in order to convert it into ...
CSinha's user avatar
  • 1,321
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

How did Northrop Grumman propose to make the Global Hawk nuclear powered?

Reading further after receiving this answer, I saw the section on nuclear power in the Wikipedia article on the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk: Nuclear power Sandia National Laboratories and ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 6,028
7 votes
1 answer
9k views

What is the best design for a small flying wing with special flight envelope?

I'm designing a small, light and portable flying wing UAV that will launch and land vertically via a Tilt-rotor system. I'm attempting to use the program XflrV5 but am having difficulty understanding ...
jeff delvecchio's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
477 views

Why does Google's Wing drone have dimples?

The question What operational aspects of Alphabet's Wing drone delivery service will be the same as that of an airline? includes a cropped photo of a google drone from FAA Certifies Google's Wing ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 6,028
5 votes
2 answers
873 views

What kind of drone might be able to fly so high that it "operate(s) outside national boundaries"?

In the question What is a propellant burner trailer? I mention that CNN and NPR have pointed out that the US president recently tweeted a surveillance photo of an explosion of a rocket on a launch ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 6,028
5 votes
3 answers
909 views

Can a drone hitting a plane be mistaken for a birdstrike?

Could a bird-sized consumer drone be digested by a jet engine, and not be recognized as a drone, mistaking it as a bird strike? I'm thinking of the situation during the flight - like an engine ...
Volker Siegel's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to design a propeller for UAV?

I need some advice on designing a propeller for a UAV and choosing the right motor for it. I am doing a project which requires the fix-wing UAV to travel at cruise speed of 20 m/s and weighs a total ...
user16799's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
184 views

What operational aspects of Alphabet's Wing drone delivery service will be the same as that of an airline?

The NPR News article and podcast FAA Certifies Google's Wing Drone Delivery Company To Operate As An Airline begins with: The Federal Aviation Administration has certified Alphabet's Wing Aviation to ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 6,028
4 votes
1 answer
632 views

What is this NASA UAV, and what is its function?

For the question What's up with the “What's Up at Wallops” app? I was reviewing the What's up at Wallops website and drifted to the launch photos page where I saw this aircraft. I did not find a ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 6,028
4 votes
1 answer
190 views

How do small unmanned fixed wing aircraft protect themselves against lightning strikes?

I'm asking this question after doing a small research project to see if a small UAS can fly through thunderstorm and trigger lightning strikes. I've googled a bit, and all I've seen are large aircraft ...
user11377's user avatar
  • 935
4 votes
1 answer
965 views

How to calculate the number of blades?

Inspired by building a new drone, I got lost in curiosity. What if I have a fixed length of rotor blades and a target amount of lift I want to, well, lift. How do you calculate the number of blades? ...
Arie's user avatar
  • 117
4 votes
1 answer
796 views

How to compute quaternions from raw IMU and magnetometer data?

I have raw accelerometer data (w_ib^b) and magnetometer data from a UAV test flight. I would like to reconstruct the quaternion dynamics of the UAV without accumulating error from integration. The ...
user2480019's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
341 views

What are the FAA regulations on operating UAVs in class E airspace above FL600?

What are the regulations on flying UAVs (commercial or experimental) above FL600, i.e. in class E airspace above class A? I want to make a HAPS (High Altitude Pseudo Satellite) and operate it in the ...
user9742946's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
914 views

Where could I find a MATLAB implementation of TCAS algorithms?

Where could I find a MATLAB implementation of TCAS algorithms and simulation? My research work deals with collision avoidance of a multi-UAV scenario in a small airspace.
MalSim's user avatar
  • 41
2 votes
2 answers
376 views

Is there really anything to be gained by placing the propeller at the top of the vertical stabiliser?

I am currently designing an electrically powered RC plane with one propeller. The wingspan is c. 2.5 m and the length c. 1.6 m. Right now the plan is to put the propeller at the top of the VS where ...
valaistunut's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does it make sense to use a canard in combination with a conventional aft elevator control surface?

I am designing a UAV and have settled on a canard design. However, I’m curious whether it would be helpful to have a typical horizontal stabilizer behind the wing as well as a canard wing in front of ...
Tristan Semmelhack's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
64 views

How do AeroVironment's Switchblades steer their flight? [duplicate]

I've recently been to a defense expo and saw a previewed Switchblade 300 at the AeroVironment booth. It got me questioning how the Swtichblade, and similar fold-out drones steer their flight. The ...
noise noise's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
229 views

How does the control-board on small drones govern their flight?

I saw this YouTube clip for a light weight drone, under a few ounces, with very impressive maneuverability. They used styrofoam for frame and taped the rotors and battery and the control chip to it. ...
kamran's user avatar
  • 995
1 vote
3 answers
1k views

UAV project in aerospace department [closed]

I am 2nd year PhD student in Physics. Can you think of any UAV project which won't contribute to army? UAV designing is a career of my dream, but I want to serve the greater good. However, all ...
stinglikeabeer's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
923 views

How to calculate aerodynamic efficiency at minimum power conditions?

The drag polar of a propeller driven aircraft is $C_{D}=0.039+0.071 C_L^2$. The lift curve slope of the wing ($C_{L_\alpha}$) is 0.09/deg and zero lift angle ($\alpha_{L=0})= -1.5^o$. Stall angle of ...
Shishir Maurya's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
695 views

How does scaling of UAV size impact range?

Lets say you have two autonomous small aircraft, one with a wingspan of 200 cm and one with 400 cm. Both have the same general design. They are both optimized for travel distance on one full tank (gas ...
Björn Morén's user avatar