a students' magazine

Drones are the future!

A common dream of many people has always been to fly freely so as to see the world in a new great perspective.

Well, this wish has been partly fulfilled thanks to the inventions of airplanes and helicopters and other technologies still in development, like the project of a “jetpack”, which actually it doesn’t use any fuel, using instead the more efficient electricity, and which we will see in a far future from now. These machines, which have evolved very quickly in the last 200 years, are fascinating and especially the helicopter gives you a wide freedom of movement.

Here is some history: the attempt of improving the helicopter concept dates from the early 1900, in particular when sir Louis Breguet built a first functional prototype of a quadcopter in 1907. We have more information about the oehmichen No.2 (1920), which raised the record of covered distance to 1 km. Dr. George de Bothezat and Ivan Jerome built another prototype in 1956, called Convertawings Model A Quadcopter, which was the first that had 2 independent engines connected to the 4 propellers with v belts. The last model the Convertawings proposed was the Model E, that could carry up to 5 tons and had a maximum speed of 278km/h. Not bad at all!

And here we are now with the recent developments that electronics and computers have led to. The basic idea hasn’t changed, but the technology applied is pretty much a huge difference.

It’s necessary to create different categories for the multi-rotors (this is how a “flying machine” is called if it has more than 1 rotor) :

  • Quadcopter (4 rotors)
  • Hexacopter (6 rotors)
  • Octocopter (8 rotors)

Here’s a professional octocopter

The reason why the quadcopter is the most popular is because of the cheap cost of each part needed and because of the longer duration of the battery in flight. Today we are going to deal with the first group.

These fantastic drones began to be known by most people when Parrot produced its first model of smartphone-controlled quadcopter but a long time before more and more hobbyists had already built their own drone for aerial photography or, simply, for fun. Then big companies made capital from this situation and produced their models to bring this interest to more people (even those who didn’t want to spend much). And here we are, trying to find the best drone for us, but with an infinite list of possibilities at hand.

Actually I decided to write this article because I also bought two…

Here’s my last jewel : RC Eye One Xtreme


…and I absolutely have to suggest you at least to try one of them and become a good pilot because, yes, it’s really funny (also dangerous sometimes) and, if you really get good at flying it you can also try to buy some equipment and mount an action camera on it, you won’t have any limit exploring the sky then. But for now, if you’re still a beginner (like me 😉 ), I suggest you to buy an inexpensive one from any online or local store and try to make it fly. I also suggest you to drive your drone in the outdoor (the garden could be a good start) and remember to buy at least 2 sets of replacement propellers (look out for the type of propeller, in one set there are 2 clockwise and 2 anti-clockwise ones!)

I hope I’ve made you interested in quadcopters, see you in my next article! 😉


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