Velos UAV is as simple to fly, while offering more reliability, flight time and payload capacity than any Quad or Multicopter in the same class today.
Undoubtedly, multicopters, quads, etc, have rule the market the last few years and have been used for numerous different applications like commercial, recreational and fun purposes. We have seen an exponentially growing trend to use multicopters for videography, photography, fpv racing and many more applications.
But are these aircrafts really outperforming traditional helicopters? Let us analyze that a bit.
Multicopters as their name suggests are using multiple motors coupled to a fixed pitch propeller. In terms of mechanical complexity they are very simple thus able to implemented in really small sizes something that is not possible with traditional helicopters. That is why drones with relative small weight up to 5 kg (11lb) are usually multicopters, as they can achieve flight times of about 20 minutes while carrying small payloads such as small cams and small gimbals. Multicopters in this category are quite successful.
Things are different when we are referring to bigger scales. In fact there is no comparison in the efficiency of a single rotor helicopter of 20 kg (45lb) and a corresponding weight multicopter. The reason for that is that as the rotors are getting larger the efficiency goes up. Lift is proportional to wing area. Considering that the outer 30% part of a blade – rotor – propeller produces more than 60% of the total lift it is clear that as the propeller gets smaller we will have to use more propellers rotating at much higher RPMs in order to compensate for the reduced wing area and produce the same thrust. The efficiency goes down and energy is being wasted in rotating many small props at high speeds. Also according to the Reynold numbers, the larger a wing – rotor – propeller gets,the more the lift coefficient increases. In other words you get more lift for less energy.
So increased efficiency means more flight time and more payload capacity. And lifting a specific weight with a single rotor is always the most efficient way to do it compared to two, four or more. But benefits do not stop here. Helicopters are much more stable in windy conditions compared to multicopters. The reason for that is that the angle of attack of the helicopter blades is constantly changing, adapting to the environmental conditions instantly, compensating any external forces and keeping the ship in a complete balance.
That is also the reason that helicopters are able to fly with much higher cruising speeds while saving energy in comparison with the multicopters that spend more in order to fly fast. So even if a helicopter and a multicopter have the same flight time with the helicopter you are able to travel much longer distances, cover more area and finish your mission in less time or do more in the same time.
Another benefit of the helicopters is their ability to decend with the same rate they ascend by varying the pitch of the blades. This is not possible with multirotors as they are using fixed pitch propellers and the only way to descend is to reduce rpms. Doing so you loose stability and you can only descend at very slow rates.
Helicopters vs other type of drones
FLIGHTs under WINDY CONDITIONS
Helicopter drones are able to fly under various weather conditions and tolerate high wind turbulences unlike the multicopters that can only fly in mild weather conditions. As a result of the above a helicopter drone is capable to safely and accurately follow the flight plan even under windy weather conditions.
Helicopter drones are capable of carrying heavier payloads and stay in the air for long flying times unlike multirotor drones that can carry light payloads with reduced flight times. This capability combined with fast cruising speeds and hovering ability makes helicopter drones a one-way option for execution of demanding missions such as Search and Rescue.
High Speed Flights and agility
In contrast with multirotor drones, helicopter drones are able to cover long distances quickly, accurately, consuming minimum energy with full payload even in windy weather conditions. Because of the variable pitch of the rotor of helicopter drones, the ascending and descending movements can be achieved in equal time unlike the multirotor drones that the descending movement is by far slower than ascending. Thus the actual useful flight time of a drone is less than the advertised due to the restricted max forward speed and to the slow descending that consumes useful flight time.
Accurate Flight Plans
Helicopter drones can do more accurate and efficient flight routes than airplane drones even if flight routes include square, triangle or any polygonal paths. This results a fast and accurate mission implementation with the minimum energy consumption.
SMALL TAKE OFF/LANDING AREA
Helicopter drones do not require large space/airfield for take off or landing unlike airplane drones that require runway or extra equipment for taking off and a suitable large area for landing. This capability makes drone helicopters ideal for taking off or landing on any type of ground terrain or from a mobile platform like a boat.
Easy to trasport and deploy
When considering a versatile UAV solution, easy in transportation and storage you will come to the following conclusion: Helicopters UAVs require less space for transportation or storage than the corresponding multicopters or airplane drones. Furthermore the deployment process of a helicopter drone is so easy and fast, instead of assembling wings or propellers all you have to do is to mount the main blades and the helicopter UAV is ready for the next mission.
VELOS UAV ADVANTAGES
WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE VELOS UAV?
Velos UAV offers very high levels of stability. Helicopters are by nature more stable than any quad or multirotor platform.
The custom designed variable geometry blades, together with the full body fuselage, further increase the performance of the ship making it not only very stable in strong winds, but also capable of very high cruising speeds. Big multicopters lack both of the above.
Performing flight times of more than one hour with payload, Velos UAV is able to accomplish the most demanding missions.
For example, being able to fly with a lidar sensor for double the time compered to a similar class multicopter enables the pilot to better perform on a demanding mapping mission, save time, reduce operating cost and increase the quality of the work.
Also, long flight times can be crucial in a search and rescue missions where you can not afford to lose time going forth and back for replacing batteries.
SAFETY - REDUNDANCY
Velos UAV is one of the safest UAV helicopters ever made. Equipped with a robust, low maintenance, competition grade drive train taken from the Velos 880, a competition 3D machine.
Fully redundant thanks to twin motors, ESCs, drive belts, pulleys, bearings and four servo swash plate, it is almost impossible to lose power on main or tail rotor or lose control due to a component failure.
Other UAV helicopters, that are using one independent motor to power the tail and second one to power the main rotor, are more vulnerable and the chances of crashing are doubled, as any of the motors or ESCs malfunction will lead to a crash.