When you first get into drones, you probably go online and do as much research as possible, and the drone lingo can be confusing. Drone companies list the awesome features of their drones, making the flying machines look shiny and unique. And they are shiny and unique! But before you get hooked into the cool features, it’s important to understand what the features and extra specs mean so you get exactly what you want from your drone.
Here we provide a list of drone jargon so there is no confusion while reading reviews and guides about drones!
RTH- stands for Return to Home. This is a feature on drones where the drone will return to either it’s take off point, or other programmed location with the press of a button. Drones use WiFi, GPS, or GLONASS for this feature to work. Check out RTH drones here.
RTF- Ready to Fly. Drones that are literally ready to fly when you open the package. No assembly needed.
BNF- Bind and Fly. A drone/quadcopter that is ready to fly once you connect it to your own transmitter.
ARF- Almost Ready to Fly. A drone that needs some assembly once taken out of the package.
FPV- First Person View. Refers to viewing your drone’s aerial flight through a screen. View FPV through a smartphone, tablet, screen on the transmitter, or goggles. Not all drone’s have the capability to use FPV. Check out FPV here.
Headless drone- There is no “front” or “back” with the headless feature. It doesn’t matter what angle or degree it is pointing at, if you command it to go forward, it will go forward. Non headless drones will go forward according to where its nose is.
Brushless motors- Electromagnet coils in the motors of the drone. Brushless motors give a much more stable flight.
Toy grade: Toy drones are usually small, nano, micro quadcopter. Toy drones are usually cheaper and have less features than non toy drones.
Hobby grade: These are mid-size drones hobbyists fly.
Professional: High end drones; used for professional paid purposes like aerial photography, real estate, farming, and more.
RPA- Remotely Piloted Aerial Aystem
UAS – Unmanned Aircraft System (drones!)
LOS- Line of Sight; being able to see your drone during flight with the naked eye
LiPo- Lithium Polymer; a common battery used in drones because it is used in drones because it is light weight. It is important to be careful with these batteries because if they are overcharged, they can catch fire. When you fly with LiPo batteries, put them in a fire-proof bag.
No Fly Zone- Areas the government doesn’t allow unmanned aircraft systems to fly.
Payload- This refers to anything extra the drone is carrying. Some drones can lift and carry items. It can refer to an attached camera and gimbal to the drone.
RC- Radio Controller; a device that controls the drone.
sUAS- Small Unnamed Aircraft System
UAV- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Aerial Photography- Taking photos and videos from the air. A camera drone is needed for aerial images.
AGL- Altitude Above Ground Level
Altitude Hold Function- A feature on a drone that keeps it flying at the same altitude.
Gimbal- An attachment to add a camera to the drone. Good gimbals keep the camera stable for clear images.
FAA- Federal Aviation Administration
2.4 FHz spread spectrum- GHz represents the radio frequency rate used by a drone controller.
Tx- stands for transmitter
RPAs- Remotely Piloted Aerial System