Drone questions

If one wanted to communicate with a drone from a remote location, would it be possible using a 3g internet device, like virgin mobiles broadband2go so that your drone could receive commands? If so, this would greatly add to the distance a drone could fly. One could conceivably set up points along a route where your friends could receive the drone, recharge it or refuel it and then when you were ready, have it ascend once again.

What is the maximum flight time with a drone either fixed wing or helicopter?

Has anyone built a gas powered drone? Has anyone built a jet powered drone?

what civilian uses are there for drones? Is it possible to use a drone for business purposes?

What could one reasonably expect to spend building a fully functional yet modest drone?


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  • basically I'm wondering what the limit of this technology is. I'm not sure what line of sight means. Is it that I have to physically be able to see the drone or is it that it has to be within range to control it? because a 3g or other internet based drone would be within communications range anywhere in the world that it had access to the internet. Someone would need to or maybe there already exists software to control an rc plane or helicopter from a laptop, i'm not sure, but it could be done.
  • Well, I'm new around here but I think I can answer most of the questions that you have. I'm sure more of the veterans will be chiming in.

    Theoretically, you could do a 3G Device or even better an EVDO device (basically US is entirely EVDO Capable but 3G is spotty in some areas) to control the UAV, sending / receiving commands, data, and whatnot. However, in the US, FAA has some restrictions on what you can do - generally speaking no higher than 400 feet above the ground elevation and cannot be beyond your line of sight when controlling a RC Plane, autonomous or not. (To be capable to do more than that, you will need to prove its air worthiness and to obtain a COA or EAC to allow a much freer degree of control - this is not easy to obtain and likely prove to be costly.)

    The maximum flight time with fixed wing can vary depending on your designs and goals. For instance, there has been a civilian UAV of which flew over the Atlantic ocean in little under 48 hours and then we have some huge military UAVs that can do 24 hours or more or less depending on its mission profiles. I would suppose high endurance time will be made affordable if the UAV were designed for that alone and even less if it has more devices onboard and weight to conduct its missions. (I suppose the same is true for helicopters.)

    I know there has been gas powered drones, I don't know about a jet powered drone. If you're asking for the specific members here on DIYDrones, I can't help you with that.

    As for its uses; it can go in many directions - land surveying, hobbyist like us, ariel photography, weather study, and so many more. (On a business purposes - I suppose it would cover the same range of uses.)

    For hobbyists like us, I would say reasonably at least 1k USD at the minimal and it gets more expensive down the road depending on the size, and the grand scale of your UAV itself. Somethings are thankfully reusable such as the ArduPilot board and such. You're only really limited to two things, money and your imagination.

    Best regards!
    Index of /
  • #1 Flight time depends on the size and mass. 1 hr to 1/2 hr MAX, may be 2 hrs with extream efficiency.
    #2 I haven't butI'am sure it has been done.
    #3 Photography, But I don't think that is your goal ??
    #4 Your cost in time spent learning and testing, priceless, Stuff to buy $1000 usd min to many millions.
    The unknown is your purpose. What's the mission/function?
    Drones have been around for a long time. If you want to build a fast turbine powered drone to carry a heavy payload many miles I would say you may have nefarious intentions.
    Basically you need to fallow the rules for RC aircraft all ready in place.
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