A quadcopter is a quadrotor helicopter, which means it has four rotors and four propellers. Two of the rotors spin clockwise, the other two spin counter-clockwise.
The propellers are at a fixed pitch, so the quadcopter movement and speed is controlled by simply adjusting the rotation speed of one or more rotors.
This makes quadcopters much simpler, because a regular RC helicopter needs special gears and linkage to control the blade pitch (angle).
Also, a regular RC helicopter controls spinning (twisting) motion (yaw) with the tail rotor.
A quadcopter doesn’t need a tail rotor – it controls the yaw by having two propellers spin clockwise, and two spin counterclockwise.
Quadcopters tend to be easy to fly, especially if you already have experience flying RC helicopters.
Another thing people like is that they can lift from about a pound, up to 10 pounds, depending on the size of the copter. This means they can hold cameras for aerial photography.For information on any quadcopter shown in the slideshow above, click on the image.
Quadcopters – The Next Generation
Two of the copters shown in the sideshow above are hexacopters.
Because these copters are more expensive and can fly higher and farther, you should be an experienced flyer and follow all laws regarding outdoor flying.
With their extra power they are able to carry more sophisticated and expensive cameras, such as the Go Pro Camera.
Another advantage – by having six or eight motors, if one or two fail, an experienced flyer may still be able to land safely without damaging the copter.
Although they are much more expensive, the best choice for an experienced flyer is an octocopter (8 motors and propellers). If you have a suitable area that’s legal to fly in, an octocopter has a lot more power, agility, and wind resistance. They can hold expensive camera equipment and are great for videography, as can be see in the video below.
Here is a great video showing the DJI Spreading Wings S1000 Octocopter. This video is professionally done, with fantastic music and beautiful scenery. Notice the Gimbal Mount that holds the very expensive Canon camera during flight, with no trouble at all.
Tips For Buying and Flying a Quadcopter
If you want some great tips on flying your quadcopter and taking pictures and video, A Beginner’s Guide to Successfully Flying and Choosing the Right Drone is an excellent book.
This book will help you choose the quadcopter (drone) that’s right for you. It will also teach you how to fly and use a camera mounted to your copter.
Quadcopters can be expensive, and this book will help you prevent crashes which can cost a lot of money in repair and replacement costs. It’s written for beginners, but even experienced pilots will find a lot of useful tips.
It includes lot’s of real life pictures and covers everything – choosing the right quadcopter, terminology, pre-flight safety, how to fly – basic and advanced maneuvers, equipment and spare parts you will need, and aerial photography techniques.
It gets great reviews.