Not sure about drone types? 

Not sure about drone types? You will understand after reading this!

As the functions of drones become more and more powerful, the use scenarios are also deepening. Today we will learn about the types and characteristics of UAVs from the dimensions of platform configuration, purpose, scale, task execution height, and activity radius.

Classification by flight platform configuration

01Fixed-wing UAV

An aircraft with airfoils fixed on the fuselage that generates lift through relative motion with the incoming air. Fixed-wing UAVs have the characteristics of long endurance, stable flight, long distance, etc. They are fast under cruising conditions and have higher operational requirements. They have been widely used in surveying, geology, agriculture and forestry and other industries.


02Multi-rotor UAV

A multi-rotor UAV is a special unmanned rotorcraft with three or more rotor axes. Multi-rotor drones are becoming more and more mainstream and have a variety of applications. Multi-rotor drones are relatively low-cost, simple to operate, and have very little flight vibration.


03Unmanned helicopter

An aircraft powered by one or two powered rotors to provide lift and perform attitude control. Unmanned helicopters are highly flexible and can take off and hover vertically on the spot. Generally speaking, the payload, endurance time, wind resistance and other indicators of UAV helicopters are better than those of multi-rotor UAVs.



Other small types of UAV platforms include paraglider UAVs, flapping-wing UAVs and unmanned spacecraft.


Classified by use

01Military drone

Military drones are unmanned aircraft controlled by remote control equipment or self-prepared programs. They can be divided into reconnaissance drones, decoy drones, unmanned fighter aircraft, etc. Military drones are easy to use, flexible, can reduce casualties, and are playing an increasingly prominent role in modern warfare.


02Civil UAV

Civilian drones can be divided into aerial photography drones, inspection drones, agricultural drones, meteorological drones, etc. As drone technology gradually matures and manufacturing costs and entry barriers decrease, the civilian drone market is exploding and is increasingly used in aerial photography, power inspections, environmental monitoring and other fields.


Classified by task height

According to the mission altitude, UAVs can be divided into ultra-low-altitude UAVs, low-altitude UAVs, medium-altitude UAVs, high-altitude UAVs and ultra-high-altitude UAVs.

The mission height of ultra-low-altitude UAVs is generally less than or equal to 100 meters;

The mission height of low-altitude UAV is greater than 100 meters and less than or equal to 1,000 meters;

The mission height of medium-altitude UAV is greater than 1,000 meters and less than or equal to 7,000 meters;

The mission altitude of high-altitude UAV is greater than 7,000 meters and less than or equal to 18,000 meters;

The mission altitude of ultra-high altitude UAV is greater than 18,000 meters.


Classified by activity radius

According to the radius of activity, drones can be divided into ultra-short-range drones, short-range drones, short-range drones, medium-range drones and long-range drones.

The activity radius of ultra-short-range drones is generally less than 15km;

The radius of short-range UAV activity is greater than 15km and less than or equal to 50km;

The activity radius of short-range drones is greater than 50km and less than or equal to 200km;

The activity radius of medium-range UAV is greater than 200km and greater than or equal to 800km;

The activity radius of long-range drones is greater than 800km.


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