What Are The Different Types Of Drones?

Last updated: August 25, 2020
Published 3:11 pm

Multi-Rotor Drones

The remote control multi-rotor drones are the ones that most used by hobbyists and professionals. These drones are capable of performing aerial surveillance, photography, and photography. There are different types of this particular drone as professionals use the higher-end ones to take professional images, videos, and use it for surveillance.

The lower-end ones that are less expensive are for hobbyists that enjoy taking aerial photographs or videos. Perhaps these lower-end ones are ideal for students that are in fields that use multi-rotor drones. There is no sense in buying a top-of-the-line drone while learning how to use one. The students can graduate to the more expensive drones after they have gotten enough experience with using the cheaper ones that are basic.

Hobbyists can use these drones for leisure flying as well as drone racing as well. The drones used for those activities can be the cheapest and most basic multi-rotor drones.

These drones differ based on how many rotors on the vehicle. There is one type that has three rotors, which are known as the tricopter, similar to an RC helicopter. Then there is another type of this drone that features four rotors known as the quadcopter. Then there are ones that have six rotors, which are called the hexacopter. Finally, there is a type of multi-rotor drone that has eight rotors, which are known as the octocopter.

The most popular multi-rotor drone is the quadcopter because it is inexpensive, easy to use, and can offer many great features. Any type of multi-rotor drone is relatively cheap and easy to use, even the top-of-the-line ones. You don’t need any real training for using this type of drone. However, the negative aspect of any multi-rotor drone is that endurance and speed are limited, and so is the flying time.

They are also not ideal for the use of aerial surveillance or mapping projects that are considered large-scale. The primary issue with this drone is that they use up most of their energy to fly and stabilize one they are in the air. They can only fly for half an hour at most. That is something to consider when using a multi-rotor drone. The next type of drone to cover is the fixed-wing drones.

Fixed-Wing Drones

Fixed-wing drones are quite different from the remote control multi-rotor drone through the build as well as design. These drones have wings the same way an airplane does. They fly with the help of the wings for stabilization, and these drones do not utilize the energy to remain in the air, unlike multi-rotor drones. They move in a forward motion through a guide course, which could involve the use of remote control operated by someone. That is the case as long as their energy source allows them to do that.

Insider Tip: if you are looking for something simpler, then check out some of these drones as they are fixed wing drones.

The majority of fixed-wing drones can fly in the air for about two or three hours, or possibly longer. The drones that are gas-operated can fly for over 16 hours. That is why gas-operated fixed-wing drones are the best fit for operations involving long-distances and a lot of time, including surveillance or mapping. Their fuel efficiency is better as well. These drones, however, cannot be used for photography.

However, be aware that fixed-wing drones are expensive, and they involve a lot of skill training and time. Additionally, it is challenging to launch a fixed-wing drone into the air. The only way to start this drone is to either use a catapult launcher or use a runway as you would for an airplane. A parachute or track is required to land the drone correctly and safely—this drone is for professionals who have to complete mapping and surveillance projects for long distances. Hobbyists should stick with the quadcopter. The next drone to cover is the single-rotor drone.

Single-Rotor Drone

One of the different types of drones is the single-rotor drone, and it has the appearance of a helicopter. There is a significant difference between the multi-rotor drone and the single-rotor drone, and that is that it features one large rotor. It also features one on the drone’s tail to have the ability to control the heading. The one thing to keep in mind with single-rotor drones is that its efficiency is higher than its multi-rotor counterparts. That is because they are more efficient when it comes to flying and can stay in the air for long periods. They also can be ignited by gas-powered engines.

The other fascinating thing about why quadcopters are known to be more stable than octocopters is that if there are fewer rotors, the object won’t spin as much. That all boils down to aerodynamics. That is the simple explanation as to why single-rotor drones work better and easier than the multi-rotor ones.

However, the drawbacks to single-rotor drones are that even though they are highly efficient, they are involved. Additionally, they also come with many risks when you operate them. Their rotor blades are quite large, and that alone can increase your risk of becoming injured if you are not careful with them. And fatalities have been caused by accidents involving these particular RC drones. That’s why handling these specific drones, especially carefully, is critical.

Their multi-drone counterparts have small blades, and fatal injuries are very less likely to occur with them. Ending up with cuts and scars can happen at the worst if you end up having an accident involving a multi-rotor drone.

Because single-rotor drones can be dangerous, you need to go through specialized training to operate one in the air carefully and adequately. The only thing is that they do not require a catapult or a runway to launch.

If you want to invest in a remote control single-rotor drone, you must take these pros and cons into strong consideration. The last type of drone is hybrid VTOL.

Hybrid VTOL

The hybrid VTOLs are a mix of rotors and fixed-wing. The purpose for them is that they gas-powered and, at the same time, can fly efficiently for more extended periods. There is a mix of automation and manual gliding when it comes to hybrid VTOLs. This drone is lifted into the air from the ground through a vertical lift This done can go into autopilot mode through the accelerometers and gyros, which is how stabilization occurs while it is in the air.

You can guide this drone remotely, whether it is programmed or controlled manually. However, there are not that many hybrids around. The hybrid concept has been around since the 1960s, but at that time, it was not successful. Modern technology has made it possible for this particular drone to be more successful than the ones tested decades ago.

Even though the hybrids are known to have high flying and endurance efficiency, they also can be dangerous. Those who want to invest in hybrids must prepare themselves for spending a lot of money on one as they are expensive. Extensive training for using one is also required, as they are complex to use. They are not easy to fly, and they are not perfect when it comes to hovering or flying forward.

Even though hybrids today are more successful than they were several decades ago, more work is required to make them safer and more efficient.

How Do You Find The Right Type Of Remote Control Drone?

You are now aware of the different types of drones. You are wondering which one is the best one to purchase. It all depends on what your purpose is for using the drone, if for example you have children then these drones will be ideal for them, once they have graduated from being masters on these, then you can upgrade the RC drone accessories as needed. If you are a hobbyist and want to use it for leisure, you will want to go with the multi-rotor drone. Hobbyists will want to stick to the quadcopter because it is quite easy to use.

For professional reasons, which also depends on the profession, the other type of drones is more practical. If you are in a job where you are required to do surveillance or mapping for more extended periods, then you will want to stick to the other drones. However, if you are required to take photography, you cannot get the fixed-wing drone as this one lacks the capability for it.

When it comes to deciding on what type of drone to buy for professional reasons, this is not a decision that only you can make. Your team must help you and shoulder some of that responsibility by guiding you on which type of drone to get. Keep in mind that the drones that are highly efficient in the air and have high endurance require you to be trained carefully on how to use them. Keep in mind as well that they are not easy to use. Weighing each one’s pros and cons for the type of job you want to use the drone for is what needs to be done before deciding to invest in one.

Conclusion

What are the different types of drones? Now you know what they are and their features. The multi-rotor drones come in many forms as the lower-end ones are great for hobbyists (mini RC car users as an example), and the higher-end ones are ideal for professionals. They are also inexpensive but have their limitations.

However, the other drones are more powerful and can stay in the air for much more extended periods than the multi-rotor drones. The drawback is that they are more expensive and are more difficult to use. Proper training is required to use them as well, which is not necessary for the multi-rotor drone. As time goes by and as technology evolves further, new types of drones may emerge in the future that is easier and safer to work with for the most part.