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The Ultimate UAV Dictionary

By December 2, 2015Education

Become a Pro With This UAV Cheat-Cheat

If you are new to the drone community, then you might be like me and get so confused by all of the different terminology.  There are countless ways to say UAV or drone that all pretty much mean the same thing.  To help you out and make things a little easier for you, we have included every different name that you can call drones and what the acronyms stands for, as well as some basic drone terms.

Other Ways to Say UAV:

  • Helicopter: drone with only two motors and two propellers.
  • Multicopter: Same thing has multirotor.
  • Multirotors: a helicopter designed for unmanned flights that has more than two motors.
  • OCTO: Aka octocopter, a drone that has 8 motors all on the same level.
  • Quadcopter: Drone with 4 motors all on the same level.
  • RC: Radio Control, can be used to describe any type of vehicle in the radio controlled hobby family. Including RC cars, boats, planes, or multirotors. 
  • Tricopter: drone with 3 motors, all on the same level.
  • UAS: Unmanned Aerial Systems.
  • UAVs: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
  • V-Tail: drone that has 4 motors, 2 are tail motors that form the shape of a V.
  • X8: drone with 8 motors in the shape of a X, with two 4 on the top and 4 on the bottom.
  • Y4: drone with 4 motors, it looks like a tricopter because the two tail motors are on top of the each other in the back.
  • Y6: drone with 6 motors, 3 on the top and 3 on the bottom.

 Terms and Acronyms:

  • ACC: Accelerometer, a device that is used to measure forces of acceleration.
  • AH: Altitude hold, a flight mode that keeps the aircraft at the same height using a BARO sensor.
  • AIL: Ailerons, another way to say roll, a flight control.
  • ALT: Altitude, this is the vertical distance that you are from the ground, sometimes shorted in your drone apps.
  • ARFT: Almost ready to fly, this type of package usually includes all of the equipment that you need to fly but requires some type of easy assembly.
  • AUW: All up weight, the max weight of the drone including the battery and all other parts that are attached when in flight.
  • ELEV: elevator, another way to say pitch, a flight control.
  • FAA: Federal Aviation Administration, The department of Transportation Agency that has the authority to oversee all parts of American civil aviation.  They regulate and construct the guidelines for flying drones that must be followed.  
  • FOV: Field of View, measurement of how much of the observable world or the environment that you can view through your camera lens, measured using sensors.
  • FPV drone: First Person View, a popular technique using a first person camera you can see through the camera of the drone all that it is capturing.  By streaming live video to your monitor or FPV goggles you can see it all.  
  • GCS: Ground Control Station, how you monitor your flight, for example the DJI Pilot APP.
  • Gimbal: a special camera mount that helps keep it stable and the footage smooth when in flight.  It allows the camera to stay in the same position even when the drone is moving.  It can be controlled by the gimbal controlling on your transmitter, when using a drone like the Phantom 2.
  • Props: another way to say propellers, the blades that are put on over the motors to have lift off during flight
  • LIPO: Lithium Polymer Battery, aka LiPoly, the most common type of battery for drones now a days because they offer a high energy storage density to weight.  
  • LOS: Line of Sight, when you fly your drone by watching it directly in the sky versus in first person view.  The FAA guidelines also state that without the 333 exemption you must be able to see your drone at all times when in flight, keeping it in your line of sight.  
  • OSD: On screen display, hardware that shows data and the live video streaming.  For example when using the DJI Pilot App the OSD is on your smartphone or tablet placed on the transmitter.   
  • RTF: ready to fly, when you buy a drone package it comes with everything that you need to start flying right when you take it out of the box.  Just open it up and charge the batteries and you’re ready for flight.
  • RTH: Return to home, a GPS feature that allows your drone to automatically fly back to the “home” position.  For example, on the DJI Phantom 3 and DJI Inspire One there is a RTH button on the transmitter, it will also RTH if the battery is about to die or the connection was lost with the transmitter.  
  • RTL: Return to landing, same thing as return to home.
  • RX: Radio receiver, devices on the drone that receives the information sent from the transmitter.
  • Throttle: control from the left joystick, ascends the aircraft up and down.  
  • TX: Transmitter, the remote controller for the drone.
  • Yaw: control from the left joystick, spins the aircraft left and right.

What to learn everything there is to know about drones and how to fly them?  Call 239-333-2447 or sign up for the Soaring Sky Academy today!