[Lab] Time Magazine Special Edition: The Drone Age

Jason Cobill jason.cobill at gmail.com
Tue Jun 5 09:39:11 EDT 2018

   Reply from Jonathan Edwards:

Planes and helicopters both require elements other than strictly the
propulsion system to control their direction. With quadcopters, the
propulsion system and steering system are one in the same. No flaps,
nothing to have to tilt, simply vary how quickly each of the four
propellers is spinning.

That simplicity, coupled with the fact that they are incredibly agile yet
stable flying machines are why I think they took off.


On Mon, Jun 4, 2018 at 9:40 AM, Jason Cobill <jason.cobill at gmail.com> wrote:

>    I have to make sure to pick one of these up - Time Magazine's latest
> edition examines the impact of drones on a number of contexts - border
> security, environmental conservation, military strategy, emergency relief
> efforts, and hollywood film-making.
>    I feel like the breadth of the topic really demonstrates how a broadly
> accessible tool can have incredible impact in unexpected domains - both for
> good and bad, and I find that really fascinating.
>    http://time.com/collection/drones/
>    Question: Does anyone have an intuition about why quad-copters became
> such a successful chassis? Remote control planes (move too fast for
> cameras?) and helicopters (too shaky? too difficult to fly?) have been
> around for a long time, and hobbyist RC aircraft technology is moving along
> at a brisk pace. (Tiny jet engines are so cool!
> http://www.chiefaircraft.com/radio-control/turbine-engines/jetcat.html )
> I expect more diversity in drone designs but quad-copters seem to have an
> overwhelming share of the consumer market.
>    -Jason
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