Guide on Quadcopter – Definition and Types


Quadcopters are advanced, small rotorcrafts which are used as drones by the military. These are commercially available for varied uses, and people can use it as toys for hobby flying as well as serious aerial vehicles that can easily be controlled with remote. If you are a beginner, understanding quadcopters can be initially confusing for you. This guide will be useful for you in using quadcopters for hobby flying, serious flying and even for gifting purposes.

What are Quadcopters?

Also referred to as quadrotor helicopters or quadrotors, quadcopters are aerial vehicles which stand out from standard helicopters due to the presence of 4, and not 2 rotors. The rotors of these copters are usually at an equal distance from each other. The rotors are generally used to generate control pitch and thrust.

It was in the 1920’s when quadcopters were invented first. However, the quad technology has only recently been polished enough for general consumers. Quadcopters can be availed in kit-based as well as RTF (ready to fly) varieties from retail stores. These are available as control line or RC (remote control) vehicles.

Choosing a Quadcopter

Quadcopter Kits

Quadcopter kits consist of everything from blueprints to RTA (ready to assemble) kits. Blueprints need hobbyists to construct or get all the required parts. All or part of the components can be provided by an RTA quadcopter, and flyers then need to assemble them together. For experienced flyers, kits are ideal as these allow personalization and more complicated customization. Making innovative designs need more effort.

RTF vs. Kit

Beginner flyers, as a thumb rule, need to buy an RTF quadcopter as their first 4-rotor aerial vehicle. It needs to be light in weight and constructed mainly of plastic, which is livelier and easier to regulate. Kit-based copters usually need flyers to get hold of various specialized supplies and equipments. These are ideal for regular hobbyists as well as long-term flyers.

RTF Quadcopter

With RTF quadcopters, the primary benefit is that these are sold almost ready for flying. These only need small amount of preparation, like control calibration, battery placement and rotor attachment.

RTF options are especially loved by young and beginner flyers, as these need little expense of time and money. Those models which are light in weight and are comparatively lower in cost are perfect for beginner flyers, considering the fact that it can be tough to regulate standard quadcopters and these can break easily.

Radio Control Quadcopters

This type of copter comes with an on-board radio receiver. A handheld radio transmitter is used by the flyer to operate this kind of drone. With an RC quadcopter, the primary advantage is the fact that the range of the drone can be restricted only with the transmitter’s power. But the possibility of the drone to fly out of range can be an actual concern for amateur or beginner flyers. A remote controlled car stops once it moves out of range. However, when an RC copter goes out of range, it can crash eventually to the ground.

Control Line Quadcopters

Also referred to as U-control, control line quadcopters are attached with a couple of wires to a control device. There is also another benefit in the sense that these drones cannot fly out of range. Vehicles in this series also allow special kinds of acrobatics, which would be impossible otherwise.

RC vs. Control Line

These drones are more common, as these come with greater versatility. These are usually used only in particular situations and offer a varied type of experience. These are not designed to be flown in groups. At flight fields, these are often disallowed.

Quadcopter GPS

One of the most popular accessories for quadcopters is a GPS device, which is used often along with a camera. With a quadcopter GPS, there is also the added benefit that the videos and images can be geo-tagged by the camera. Also, users can get more details even while flying the copter out of the range of their visual field.

Quadcopter Camera

RC quadcopters are more attractive options over RC helicopters or airplanes due to the fact that they can support a camera with the help of a camera mount. FPV quadcopters are assembled and used in order to offer a first-person view. In a few cases, these are able to deliver a feed to a larger display that is available on the transmitter. As GoPro cameras are very popular, quadcopters specially designed for specific models of GoPros are also available.


To sum up, quadcopters offer a really enjoyable and challenging time to people. The experience differs a lot from flying general drones that are designed for hobbyists. Given that these come with GPS and cameras, quadcopters have become a more popular option. These can also stream feeds to social networking and video blogging websites such as Facebook and YouTube with the help of internet.