A quadcopter is a kind of aircraft with two rotors that is used for applications such as aerial photography, radio imaging and surveillance. It is generally flown as an electric-powered remote control airplane. A quadcopter has four blades that are swept back and hence the name. These four blades operate independently thus enabling the user to adjust the speed and pitch of the machine in line with the flying conditions.
Some quadcopters are fitted with extended wings, while others have fixed wings. All the types however, employ four electric motors to power the propellers at the rear of the plane. There is a provision for an additional battery pack placed behind the wings if need be. All the four motors are then connected to a controller and the battery. The controller is also known as the transmitter, as it is what controls the movement, altitude and direction of the quadcopter.
The controller enables the user to regulate the speed and pitch of the quadcopter. The controls can be used to control either the horizontal or vertical pitching movements. A rotor disk or a wind screen usually reduces the noise produced by the motors.
A helicopter is another example of a rotary wing aircraft. These too use a shaft and a rotor to control the movement. The advantage of helicopters is that they can be flown indoors. However, they are unable to be flown outdoors as there is not enough lift for the rotor blades to generate adequate lift. Most helicopters rely on the propeller to provide the thrust. The rotor blades also generate thrust but are mounted on the outside of the aircraft.
Propane fuel is used to power these helicopters as they tend to have longer flight times than the electric models. When the propeller does not have enough fuel to propel the aircraft in the correct direction, it will turn away from its intended path. In this situation, the user has to find another way to direct the quadcopter. It is very common to find these devices at sporting events and extreme outdoor activities. They make good hobby models as well.
Racing quadcopters are the most popular types of quadcopters. These are commonly used in indoor racing competitions. There is one drawback with these models and that is the lack of responsiveness when the propeller is not spinning at full throttle. The fan motor is usually located on the rear of the aircraft. This provides sufficient cooling for the device and makes it very quiet.
A counter-balance fan motor is often used to provide additional stability in aerobically spinning aircraft. This is particularly helpful when one-side of the quadcopter is spinning fast and the other is not. The fan motor is mounted in such a way that the electrical load is evenly distributed across the motor assembly. It helps to counterbalance the forces applied to the propeller blades during flight. It is also helpful in providing controlled stability during critical maneuvers.
A radio transmitter is also used on some RC vehicles to control the motor performance. Most advanced radio transmitters have fine-tuned channels to send commands to the radio gear. They are usually input by a PC based on the Remote Controller. A PC Remote Controller can be computer based or it can be software based. Most pilots find software based remotes easier to use for complex and high altitude fly patterns and other applications where there are more controls needed to control the performance of the aircraft at various altitudes and flying distances.
A tail rotor is a rotating wing or shaft that props the helicopter up while it is in flight. When the helicopter spins the tail rotor does as well. A quads main rotor blades spin in a clockwise rotation about its axis. A counter-rotating blade on the other hand rotates in a counter-clockwise direction. Because of this there is a difference in the amount of thrust created by the rotors.
The purpose of the remote control is to program the exact configuration of the aircraft, its speed, flight time, altitude, and other parameters into the quadcopter. Once the program is programmed into the RC robot, then that same program will control all of the other RC robots on that same quad copter. The quad copter then becomes a fully autonomous vehicle, controlled exclusively by its own battery powered remote control unit. The remote control thus is a highly responsive device, allowing the user to program a full sequence of commands for the robot to carry out every time the quad is in flight.
Each of the motors on a Quadcopter are generally made up of three primary components. The first (and often most expensive) are the blade arm, which consists of two sets of propellers spun by electrical motors. The other set of propellers are located inside the body of the vehicle and are also spun by electrical motors. The final set of props are located on the bottom of the vehicle and spin in a counter-clockwise rotation. The combination of these three components results in a high level of agility and maneuverability for a Quad copter.
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