Rotary-wing aircraft

A rotorcraft or rotary-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine that uses lift generated by wings, called rotary wings or rotor blades, that revolve around a mast. A rotor is a setup of 2 to 8 blades mounted on a mast. The mast is a shaft connected perpendicular to the rotation plane of the rotor blades, connected to a power source(engine).

Rotary-wing aircraft are of the following types:
a. Single rotor
b. Two rotors
c. Three rotors
d. Multi-rotor

Rotor-based aircrafts work under the same principle as a fixed-wing. A multi-rotor aircraft is a mechanically simple aerial vehicle whose motion is controlled by speeding or slowing multiple downward thrusting motor/propeller units. The most common multi-rotor aircraft/drone is a Quadcopter.

Multi-Rotor are further sub-classified based on the number of rotors:
a. Quadcopter (4 rotors)
b. Hexacopter (6 rotors)
c. Octocopter (8 rotors)
d. Decacopter (10 rotors)
e. Dodecacopter (12 rotors)

Advantages:

  • Vertical take off and landing (VTOL) ability
  • User can operate within a smaller vicinity with no requirement of takeoff/landing area
  • Ability to hover and perform agile controlling tasks
  • Precision flying

Disadvantages:

  • Comparatively complicated structure and programming

  • Aerodynamically unstable system, thus it requires an on-board computer (flight controller)

  • Low energy efficiency compared to fixed wing counterparts