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

CNN has applied for and received multiple waivers for 14 CFR § 107.39 Operation over human beings as allowed by § 107.205 List of regulations subject to waiver. Issued August 29, 2016 — This ...
Dranon's user avatar
  • 778
38 votes

What is the largest aircraft ever successfully flown and landed with no pilot on board?

Depending if you go by wingspan or mass, that would either be a Boeing 720 flown by remote control for a full-up crash test (investigating how jet fuel fires start in a crash), the (slightly longer, ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
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37 votes
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Why are there still fighter pilots in cockpits?

That's a great way to make a fighter jet even more fantastically expensive while being less effective. One obvious problem is latency. 1000 miles is about a 10 millisecond round-trip delay alone even ...
Chris's user avatar
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36 votes
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How do airports detect drones?

The number of drone sightings near airports is increasing (apart from last year), and frequently this results in temporary interruption of operations at airports, with enormous economic consequences. ...
DeltaLima's user avatar
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28 votes
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Hovering for free

... wondering if you could hover while not using any power by flying downwind. If you're anchored to the ground like a kite, then yes. Otherwise not of course, the relevant airspeed for a flying ...
Koyovis's user avatar
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27 votes

Why aren't swarms of cheap consumer-level drones a viable anti-aircraft tactic?

If a drone has a one-in-five-thousand chance of bringing down an aircraft, that makes it a serious danger on a civilian airport, but useless as a weapon for attacking military planes. And if you want ...
Michael Kay's user avatar
27 votes

Can you put a propeller on the back of a plane, and have it go forward?

Yes, in fact airplanes with pusher propellers were flying before those with tractor propellers: Photo Credit: Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine
Ralph J's user avatar
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27 votes
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Why would a fighter drop fuel into a drone?

I read about four possibilities which the SU-27 pilots wanted to enforce: a) Covering the drone in fuel and then igniting it with the afterburners which should have lead to a fire and subsequent ...
U_flow's user avatar
  • 3,840
26 votes
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What is the largest aircraft ever successfully flown and landed with no pilot on board?

Following along on the wingspan idea, the Helios had a 247 foot wingspan.
Organic Marble's user avatar
24 votes
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What does the "remote control" for a QF-4 look like?

Here's a photo: Retired Lt. Col. Thomas Mudge, a ground controller for the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, remotely pilots a QF-4 during a Combat Archer mission May 12, 2015 at Tyndall Air Force Base, ...
Gerry's user avatar
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23 votes

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

Special permissions can be granted for platforms with sufficient redundancy. For example, if you have 4 props and one fails you'll crash. But if you have eight (in the correct pattern) and one fails, ...
Guest's user avatar
  • 231
23 votes

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

The absolute minimum for a generalized vehicle that needs to know its position and attitude (orientation) in space is one per degree of freedom. This can be reduced if we have information about the ...
AEhere supports Monica's user avatar
23 votes

Why aren't swarms of cheap consumer-level drones a viable anti-aircraft tactic?

Great. But what advantage does this offer compared to just designing a missile with an expanding rod fragmentation warhead to take out an aircraft? While your comments are true that small drones have ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
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22 votes

Why are there still fighter pilots in cockpits?

1. Demand The problem isn't just that fighters are manned. It's also the concept of aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat that's getting less relevant. After Vietnam and Yom Kippur (1970s),...
Therac's user avatar
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20 votes
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How does drone reliance on GPS make it 'semi-stealthy'?

For being remotely controlled, drones need to emit and receive a radio signal. If the outgoing signal contains a video feed, it will be high bandwidth and be like a beacon announcing the location of ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
19 votes

Can quadrotors be used for commercial passenger flights?

The three most important factors in passenger air travel are safety, safety & safety. So that is where most of the questions will focus on, and where most of the engineering effort will be put ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.8k
16 votes

How precisely are airspace borders defined?

The boundaries are defined more precisely than the chart can show. What you see on the chart is a visual representation of the text published in JO 7400.9Z (or the most recent version of it): AWP ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.8k
16 votes

Why aren't swarms of cheap consumer-level drones a viable anti-aircraft tactic?

Payload. Inexpensive quadrotors have a very limited carrying capacity. I have a HolyStone HS720E. ~$300. A measured 200 grams lifting capacity, and that with reduced control in flight, and much ...
WPNSGuy's user avatar
  • 9,037
15 votes

Why don't drones use ducted fans?

The reason not many drones use ducted fans is efficiency. Ducted fans are great for fast forward flight but not for static lift. Explanation: Yes, the 'duct' reduces losses at the blade tips, However,...
user34052's user avatar
  • 159
15 votes
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What is this Lockheed Martin plane?

Lockheed Martin Sabre Warrior UCAV (concept): Source Source From Defence Forum India: The Sabre Warrior drone is 46 feet long, with a 36-foot wingspan, capable of taking off with 30,000 pounds ...
mins's user avatar
  • 74.5k
15 votes

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

The most likely explanation is that CNN has a waiver from the FAA for certain operations. A waiver is a limited permission to deviate from the regulations and they're very common. In fact, for some ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.8k
15 votes

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

It's probably possible with only the GPS receiver, but it wouldn't be easy and you might have to make some compromises on the airframe design to achieve the necessary passive stability. The ...
pericynthion's user avatar
  • 4,640
15 votes

Why would a fighter drop fuel into a drone?

I don't know about catching fire, although they might get lucky, but I'd imagine that dumping a hefty quantity of liquid into the engine intake might well upset the engine enough to turn the drone ...
nick2491's user avatar
  • 151
14 votes

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

According to the FAA's own FAQ, you can do either (emphasis mine): There are two ways for recreational or hobby UAS fliers to operate in the National Airspace System in accordance with the law ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.8k
14 votes

Is it possible to get permission to fly in the DCA “no drone” area?

Yes. This page comes up on a quick Google search. Flying an unmanned aircraft within the 15-mile radius inner ring is prohibited without specific FAA authorization. Experienced Part 107 and public ...
60levelchange's user avatar
13 votes
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Was the unmanned flight and landing of the Buran spacecraft in 1988 exceptional?

Your question is very subjective, but I think there are two ways to look at it: Building a working space plane is pretty exceptional. or There's really nothing it did that wasn't done by something ...
Bret Copeland's user avatar
13 votes
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Would a drone strike be more dangerous than a bird strike?

There is a numerical study on the topic at VirginiaTech, where they simulated a 5kg drone being ingested by a turbofan, some pictures related to the study below: On the same Aerospace America ...
GHB's user avatar
  • 1,406
13 votes

Could a UAV ever be hacked and piloted?

Not only is it possible to hack a UAV, but it has already happened. In December 2011 a US RQ-170 recon drone landed in Iran after being hijacked by Iran's security services, possibly with Russian help....
GdD's user avatar
  • 54k
13 votes
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How do engineers make sure UAV don't land on their front propeller?

Due to center of gravity limitations, it would be impossible for any type of aircraft to be loaded so that the front became the heaviest part. The aircraft would not be able to fly. These UAVs are ...
Mike Sowsun's user avatar
  • 37.8k

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