Quadcopter Terminology

Quadcopter and Drone terminology can be a bit confusing, especially with all of the acronyms.  Our Quadcopter Terminology  Guide below will help define many of the terms commonly used with both quadcopters and drones in general.

  • Accelerometer
    A device that measures acceleration forces in a specific direction.  Used to help stabilize quadcopters, often under windy conditions.
  • Controller
    The controller is the handheld device used by the drone pilot to control the , , and of the quadcopter.  Controllers are also called Transmitters. Here’s a photo of a higher end controller:
  • Drone
    An unmanned aircraft that is guided remotely by a pilot.  For military use, these aircraft have weapons and/or surveillance gear.  For personal use, these aircraft often have HD cameras.  The term is popular in the media.  These aircraft are in many cases .
  • First Person View
    See .
  • FPV
    Short for First Person View, this technology allows the pilot to see through the eyes of the camera on the drone in real time.
  • Gimbal
    A specialized mount for a camera, which have the ability to swerve and tilt using servos. This allows the camera to stay in the same position, regardless of the drones movement, making for a very still and smooth looking image.
  • Gyro
    See .
  • Gyroscope
    Provides the angular velocity around 3 axes of space in degrees.  Assists with keeping a quadcopter level and facing the same direction.
  • Pitch
    Flight term used to describe the angle of flight along an axis.  Controls which end of the quadcopter that moves higher.  
  • Quadcopter
    A type of helicopter that uses four rotors instead of one. Currently the most popular form of
  • Ready To Fly
    Refers to drones or quadcopters that have everything you need, “in the box”, to start flying.  This generally includes: The Rechargeable batteries Instruction manual Controllers require batteries, and are generally not included in the box.
  • Roll
    Flight term for rotation along an axis.  Provides a side to side motion.  
  • RTF
  • Throttle
    Controls the speed of the rotors.  Provides lift and descent.
  • Transmitter
  • Yaw
    Flight term used to describe the rotation of a drone around it’s center axis.  Controls which direction the quadcopter is facing.  

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