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Are Quadcopters The Same As Drones?

By December 16, 2015Education

If you’re new to the drone industry then you might be a little confused like I did with all of the different terminology and you just want to scream out “WHAT IS A DRONE”?  Is it called a UAV, a drone, how about a quadcopter.  And what the heck is a UAS?  Don’t worry, after reading this, you will have everything sorted out and be a drone wiz!  

Is it okay to say drone?

Some people get scared of using the word “drone” because of the negative perspective that comes along with it.  They act like they are in Harry Potter and it’s the same as saying “Lord Voldemort” which is forbidden.  For Soaring Sky that is not the case at all!  We encourage people to use the word drone because in reality the positives heavily outweigh the negatives and they are actually life savers!  parrot-bebop-4000x2733-dji-inspire-one-drone-quadcopter-hi-tech-news-3040

Some may think that saying UAV or UAS is less offensive, when in reality all three of the terms can be used interchangeably.  I looked up all of the words on dictonary.com and found the definitions below.  A quadcopter is also a drone, but a more specific kind, we will get into that later.  

  • Drone: an unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond line of sight.
  • UAV or unmanned aerial vehicle: an aircraft that can navigate without a human pilot onboard; a drone.
  • UAS or unmanned aerial system: an unmanned aircraft along with the equipment necessary to operate it.  Check out the Ultimate UAV dictionary here for more terms! 

Drones Vs. Quadcopter

Now let’s soar into the details!  When using the term quadcopter you are getting a little more specific into what kind of drone it is and how many motors it has.  So when you are talking about a drone with four motors and 4 propellers, you are talking about a quadcopter.  This is the most popular type of drone for recreational purposes.  The DJI drones that are sold on our website, such as the Phantom 3 and Inspire are both fall under this category.  

There are also remote helicopters that are considered drones, which has two propellers and motors.  Can you guess how many motors are on a tricopter?  You got it… three! The list goes on and on for all of the different types of drones that you can purchase! Check out the Soaring Sky’s ultimate UAV dictionary and become a pro at drone terms and see the extended list.  

The moral of the story is that drone is a general term that can be replaced with UAV or UAS to mean the same thing.  A quadcopter is a little more specific and refers to how many rotors are on that vehicle.  Click here to check out our online store and get your quadcopter today!  Soar with the best.