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News Link • Drones

Flying Robots 101: Everything You Need To Know About Drones


When an unmanned aerial vehicle reportedly flew within about 200 feet of an airliner earlier this week, outlets like Time and CNN chose to accompany their stories with a picture of the RQ-9 Reaper--this, despite that initially, there was no concrete description of the unmanned aircraft.

It's not terribly surprising that news outlets would default to an image of the Reaper; it's perhaps the most widely recognized drone in operation. But as more details of the incident surfaced, this simplification proved incredibly wrong. The unmanned craft is now described as a 3-foot-long quadrotor--a four-blade copter--which is wildly distinct from the 36-foot-long Reaper; a bit like the difference between a Johnny Seven O.M.A and an AK-47.

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