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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88
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6answers
23k views

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 ...
66
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8answers
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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, ...
27
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4answers
18k 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 ...
25
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5answers
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 ...
21
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6answers
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 ...
20
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3answers
5k views

Why would only a specific model of drone be allowed to fly over crowds?

The FAA allowed CNN to fly a drone over crowds at extremely low altitudes. Its scope is within the UAVs. Only a specific model/type is allowed to operate on these flights. Why is this model of drone ...
20
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2answers
6k 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 ...
19
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2answers
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, ...
17
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2answers
3k views

Why are predator drones being used over civilian California?

A couple of months back I was going on a road trip through California and stopped by a dry lake called El Mirage Lake. It's a very tacky area requiring a permit to enter. My friend and I showed up ...
17
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5answers
2k views

What exactly is a “drone”?

I was under the impression that things like this: and soon this and even this Are drones. When and how did the media and the general public get the idea that these: Are also drones? I'm not ...
17
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3answers
2k views

Would a drone strike be more dangerous than a bird strike?

Let's say you have a seagull and a drone of a comparable size. Pretend either one was going to be ingested by large turbo fan engine, like the one found on a 737 (eg., the CFM-56) Which would cause ...
17
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2answers
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 ...
16
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5answers
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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 ...
16
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4answers
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 ...
15
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1answer
2k views

What does the “remote control” for a QF-4 look like?

As I understand it a QF-4 is a Phantom which is converted to a remotely controlled plane for use in weapons testing. (Apparently in non-destructive runs, a pilot is still on board for safety, ...
13
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2answers
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 (...
12
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1answer
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 ...
12
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1answer
265 views

How do you communicate with a military drone operator over radio?

This article (and other similar ones) states: In remarks at the White House on Thursday, US President Donald Trump said the drone had flown to within 1,000 metres of the USS Boxer and had ignored "...
11
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7answers
14k 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 ...
11
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5answers
21k 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 ...
11
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1answer
399 views

Could a larger consumer drone “take down” a passenger plane?

As a frequent flier, I'm just concerned about my own safety. Could a larger consumer drone, such as DJI Inspire, (intentionally) "take down" a passenger plane? When I say take down I mean causing ...
11
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3answers
410 views

How is drone (UAS) traffic regulated in the US?

Does the FAA regulate drones at this time? Maybe they regulate only a certain class / size of UAV / UAS? Is drone regulation to the level that traffic is managed through ATC?
11
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2answers
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What qualifies a UAV as an MAV?

Micro aerial vehicles are a special class of UAVs that have gained a lot of attention and research focus in the past few years. These are generally smaller in size ranging from 3m to 15 cm depending ...
11
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2answers
2k 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 ...
10
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6answers
1k views

Have there been any cases of collision/airprox of small drones with manned aircraft?

Small civilian mini-drones such as the DJI Phantom or professional surveying drones are becoming increasingly widespread, raising concerns about the potential collision/airprox with manned aircraft (...
10
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3answers
1k views

How does a combat aircraft handle the recoil force of a mounted gun?

How is the recoil momentum distributed or countered for smaller aircraft or drones while using a mounted gun? Is there any hydraulic mechanism to counter it and how it is distributed across the entire ...
10
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1answer
783 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.
10
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1answer
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 ...
10
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1answer
929 views

How do large drones communicate with ATC?

For large drones like the Reaper, X-47, and aircraft like that, how do the "pilots" communicate with ATC when they need to?
10
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1answer
3k views

How exactly am I supposed to notify ATC when I fly my drone? (UAS)

I recently registered my new 250 class Quadcopter with the FAA under the Part 107 sUAS code. I want to fly within the regulations, and the only one that I'm really unsure about how to abide by is the "...
9
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3answers
3k views

Can I choose whether hobbyist or Part 107 rules are more advantageous when flying a UAV for fun?

According to the FAA's UAS getting started page, if I'm flying a drone for fun within a 5 statute mile radius of an airport, I need to contact the airport and any air traffic control tower before ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Can “a drone” damage the wing of “an aeroplane” to the extent it actually threatens its ability to fly?

I stumbled across this video by the University of Dayton, showcasing the amount of damage a certain type of drone can do to a wing, and they wrote a whole article about it. While most of said article ...
9
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3answers
1k 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 ...
9
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1answer
262 views

How do airports detect drones?

Recently, there's been a lot of coverage in the news of drones disturbing operations at airports. Do airports have a method to detect drones? If yes, how does it work? If it's still an emerging ...
9
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1answer
969 views

Which countries (if any) allow beyond-line-of-sight drone use?

I was recently thinking about starting up a non-profit that would use large drones (full scale aircraft, not those dinky quadcopters) to deliver humanitarian aid to difficult locations. It was shot ...
9
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1answer
8k 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 ...
9
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1answer
733 views

Is there a way to fly an UAV over a roadway?

With an FAA Section 333 Exemption, they will permit you to fly up to 400' above ground level. But they also restrict you to flying at least 500' away from people and vehicles unless you have their ...
8
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4answers
2k views

Can quadrotors be used for commercial passenger flights? [duplicate]

Recently, I have been conducting research on more efficient means for vertical lift transportation. One direction I was thrown in was the use of a quadrotor system with vector thrust and artificial ...
8
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2answers
1k views

How do engineers make sure UAV don't land on their front propeller?

Take, for instance, the following UAV: and suppose you have a payload with a very big volume that fits exactly in the fuselage (and there is no more space), but is extremely light. Thus, the heaviest ...
8
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1answer
2k 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 ...
8
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2answers
382 views

What are the failure mode(s) for flying cars in case of power loss?

There seem to be lots of plans (and even some working prototypes) for various autonomous flying cars and flying taxis. Most of these seem to be based on vertical take-off using some variety of an ...
8
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2answers
942 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 ...
8
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1answer
303 views

How do I properly report sighting a drone or hobby UAV to ATC?

How would one go about reporting a drone (hobby UAV) sighted in the airspace of an airport on frequency, specifically to Tower? For example: I am doing patterns around the airport when to the ...
8
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1answer
507 views

Can foreigner fly model aircraft (quadcopter) in US without being part of an organization (like AMA)?

The title says pretty much all. I'm visiting Guam very soon and I just found out the FAA is enforcing some rules that are mostly common sense. However, one rule states "the aircraft is operated in ...
7
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1answer
716 views

What is this Lockheed Martin plane?

It's on a Lockheed Martin banner showcasing the company's iconic planes. The plane to the left on a crimson background is the U2, and the plane to the right on a blue & tan background is the C130. ...
7
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4answers
653 views

Non-fueled, bladeless, minimally-noisy aviation engine — Science fiction or real theoretical science?

As a non Aeronautics expert I ask if non-fueled (electric?) vehicles which are minimally-noisy only science fiction or a real theoretical scientific concept aimed for close or very far future ...
7
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3answers
8k views

Can radars detect small drones?

I've just started working with weather radars and such. With weather radars, it is possible to detect bird migrations with a specific algorithm and a lot of information about birds, but it would be a ...
7
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1answer
357 views

Are there any plans to make the QF-16 into a drone for actual combat missions, or a fully autonomous fighter?

It appears to a naive layman like myself that the QF-16 is an excellent platform to use for remote controlled missions akin to that of other drones. Except that the F-16 appears to have a broader ...
7
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2answers
483 views

How would a low-airspeed fixed-wing drone be designed to reduce effects from gusts and wind shear?

In a story I am working on, the characters need a fixed-wing drone that can rendezvous with a blimp, where by "rendezvous" I mean "come within a very short distance at low relative airspeed". The ...
7
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1answer
7k 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 ...

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