Drones and quadcopters belong to aerial vehicles. They are called UAVs because they are unmanned. The vehicles can fly in the air without control by a pilot. This is why it is regarded as flying robots.
They have revolutionized the aviation industry. They have witnessed tremendous improvements in the last decade, as could be seen from their enormous capabilities over the years. The manner drones and quadcopters were developed is amazing.
The invention begins… in 1907!
The development started with a rotor flight. The belief is that combining many rotors seemed more appropriate and could solve the problem associated with VTOL flight. The first attempt was done in the year 1907 by two French brothers by name Louis and Jacques Breguet. The two brothers were able to build and test gyroplane. This was regarded as the first quadcopter ever produced. The product was able to take off, but could not do much because they were not stable.
However, by the year 1924, another French man Etienne Oehmichen developed the first quadcopter that could fly high on the sky. He was an engineer. His quadcopter was able to fly a distance of 360M up the sky. This was impressive because it was able to beat the world record. Later the same year, he was able to fly another 1KM in less than 8 minutes.
So, who was first, France or USA?
About the same period, a US citizen named George de Bothezat developed another quadcopter as part of the US Army military hardware development of that time. The quadcopter was able to carry some flights before a decision to scrap that program was taken.
It appeared that early developers of drones and quadcopters were more successful with quadcopters, because it was much easier for them at that time. The technological development at that time would not have produced anything more the quadcopter.
It doesn’t matter – the evolution continues.
The pioneer quadcopters designed at that time were remarkably different from what is available these days. The engine was situated in the copter fuselage; this is why the four four rotors drive the system through shafts or by belts. However, this was a problem, because the shafts and belts were found to be very heavy and this that it could break at any time, and that was not good for the system. Moreover, the four rotors were discovered not to be the same and that makes the quadcopter unstable, this is because running the four rotors on the same speed is not easy, although it could lift the copter up, it could not produce a stable flight. However, as technology improves, quadcopters were stabilized, it was difficult for pilots at that time, because there was no computer. It could be said that it was these challenges that changed the interest toward helicopters.
However, the advent in science and technology especially the development of electronic motors made it easier to develop efficient and more reliable multi-rotors. Modern multi-copters are operated by electric motors, which were put on each rotor. The invention of flight computer has helped a lot because it helps to monitor the operation of the copter and corrects it once it becomes unstable.
The design of modern VTOL drones is more successful than the previous designs. These days, because of the successes achieved over the years, people now prefer the multi-copters for leisure and hobby than helicopters. The development is ongoing as the scaling of the multicopters to passenger plane may be on the way. This is evident from the manufacture of krossblade.