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Pumpkin drop event

Do you think the general public view multi-rotors and fixed-wings differently?

#1
Just a question - With all the hype about FAA drone registration, what do you think the average person (who is not in the hobby) considers a drone? Do they view multi-rotors differently than fixed-wing aircraft?

From what I've seen in the media, all the current coverage seems to be focused on multi-rotors yet the drones used by our military seem to all be fixed-wing...

I am not knocking multi-rotors or fixed-wing RC aircraft - I personally have both. Neither am I knocking the military - I served in the US Army. It is just something I am curious about.
 

bhursey

The Geeky Pilot
#2
I think the media, police, and general public thinks drones are multirotors. In a way on the registration page the FAA is trying to convey that also.. All other RC aircraft are thrown in the sUAS pool.
 
#3
I think the vast majority of people who are aware that the regulation exists will have no idea that it also covers fixed wing model airplanes. I include the average local law enforcement in that group. People haven't called model hobby airplanes "drones" or "UAS" much in the past so there isn't the same stigma. They think of a harmless Piper Cub-looking high wing trainer when you tell them you build and fly planes. :)
 
#6
I used to fly ultra-micro foamies in my front yard. The neighbors didn't even notice.

But when came the time that I first flew my tricopter, the first question they asked was "Is that a drone?".

It was a Tricopter 2.6HV with wooden booms, obviously home-built (and it looked that way), and they still asked.

Also asked me if I had a camera, and without waiting for a response, told me to face it away from their home

and to never fly close to it in order to protect their privacy.
 
Last edited:

Capt_Beavis

Posted a thousand or more times
#7
People see a bird flying and want to do that. They see a model airplane up in the air and the get the same feeling and enjoyment. Generally they a quiet and look peaceful in the air. MRs are like mosquitoes and no one wishes to fly like a mosquito. They sound intimidating and they generally don't look as graceful in the air and they look scarier.
 
#9
People see a bird flying and want to do that. They see a model airplane up in the air and the get the same feeling and enjoyment. Generally they a quiet and look peaceful in the air. MRs are like mosquitoes and no one wishes to fly like a mosquito. They sound intimidating and they generally don't look as graceful in the air and they look scarier.
Absolutely. Another neighbor said: "You know, it's a little noisy; I thought that a drone would be more like... stealthy".
To my fixed wing aircraft, she says something like "Wow! What plane is that? Did you build it or was it pre-built?" etc.
A much warmer reaction.
 

StuartPB

Senior Member
#10
MRs are like mosquitoes and no one wishes to fly like a mosquito. They sound intimidating and they generally don't look as graceful in the air and they look scarier.
Got to agree. The first time I powered up a 500 sized quadcopter with the rotors attached, I was scared of it, my kids were and the wife gave me a massive safety lecture too. I remember the first flight, I was that nervous I didn't enjoy it and landed it after 5 minutes. I did get a buzz but it was the type of buzz you get when you see a fist coming your way in the ring:D

I'd flown a nano quad before that and I had no fear of it. It took a while to build the courage to actually be able to enjoy the experience. I definitely think people can easily be intimidated by quadcopters.
 
#11
In a word YES! I have had a dozen people ask me about the FAA rule in the past week and the first thing they say is "so that doesn't apply to you because you fly airplanes not those 4 bladed jobs" and then I have to explain the definition of drones as the feds see it and they go "well that's a bunch of crap" Yes,Yes it is! Don't get me wrong, I am not against the helis or multi rotors at all. I think that all responsible r/c pilots are getting shafted in this deal. Rules are made based on the irresponsible few because of political correctness that says we cannot offend the offenders by singling them out and dishing out punishment on the ONE who did wrong because it might offend them! BUT If they offend a whole group of responsible people that's ok. No one is being singled out! Ok Sorry I'm off the soapbox now.....back to building!
 
#12
People absolutely view multi rotors differently. When you have media reports of quads stopping fire planes, crashing into hot pools at Yellowstone, and interfering with police helicopters, it really sullys the reputation of the hobby. In most instances, it would not be practical to do these things with a fixed wing craft. And honestly, even with things like as3x and SAFE, fixed wing is a bit harder to fly than a gps guided gyro stabilized quad copter. Most of the new camera platforms, the primary craft causing the problems, practically fly themselves.

I fly my UMX planes in my backyard, and in the culdesac, and no one minds at all. A 2 ounce foam plane won't do much when it hits someone, but a quad or tri copter packing around a gopro and a couple 2200 mAh batteries can do some damage if something goes wrong.