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The Basic Drone Terminology That Every Beginner Drone Pilot Must Know

By the time you are reading this, you probably own a drone already. And if you do, you may have realized that flying a drone is very different from controlling the conventional RC planes and copters. If you haven’t bought your drone yet, then it is fine. You will get to know the basics before you can fly a drone properly, anyway. 

In this article, we’ll start at the very first step of drone proficiency, learning the terminology. We’ll discuss FPV, controller’s parts, flight modes, and maneuvers.

FPV (First Person View)

Not all RC helicopters and airplanes are equipped with FPV technology, but I believe I can’t find quadcopter drones that don’t have the FPV feature included. In fact, flying fpv at night has become the newest cool thing you can do with drones.  

And as the name suggests, drones with FPV allow you to fly them as if you were inside. They have a small camera mounted on the front side, and it is connected to a headgear. You can see what the drone sees by using that headgear. 

The Controller/Transmitter Parts

Drone controllers’ parts are more or less similar to the traditional RC controllers. The controller consists of sticks (left and right), trim buttons (power trim, elevator trim, aileron trim, and rudder trim), flaperon, and gyro switch. From this list, the trim buttons are probably the ones that confuse you. They function exactly as they are named, which is to trim certain controls when the drone is not balanced mid-air. Watch this video to learn more: 

Flight Modes

There are three flight modes of a drone:

a video droneManual- When you throttle your drone forward, it won’t auto-level itself, and the control becomes manual. You’ll know this because the drone will still be tilted even if you let go of the stick. 

Attitude (Auto-Level)– If you center both sticks, your drone will level itself automatically. 

GPS Hold– Just like the older tech of return stick, GPS hold commands your drone to return to a certain point set on your GPS after some maneuvers. 

The Maneuvers

Maneuvers are essential to your drone piloting skills, especially if you want to capture aerial footage. There are many possible maneuvers, but here, we’ll discuss only the most common three. 

drone shotFirst, there is the drone reveal shot. The key to a successful drone-reveal shot is to be steady with your hands while flying the drone to approach the target view. Then you fly past it and reveal the background scene. 

Second, you must know how to do a tracking shot. For this, the skills needed are not difficult, but they can be tricky. You must be able to track a moving object (can be a car, bike, or a motorbike) by flying in parallel to it. Your speed must be constant, or the shot will not be good. 

Third, you have to learn the orbiting maneuver. The basic idea is to move around an object in an orbital direction. Steady speed and angle are the keys here. This maneuver is best if you want to take video footage of a person surrounded by majestic scenery.