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Drone Parts & Components' Overview

Bhushan MapariBhushan Mapari wrote 05/18/2020 at 10:16 • 6 min read • Like

Nowadays, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are becoming popular with their high flying capacities, image capturing & video recording features, and most importantly, their parts & components which play a vital role in this small yet powerful Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), which you normally call as “Drone”! 

It's very important for a drone beginner to know the anatomy of this aircraft system. So, in this article, we are going to discuss various parts & components of a drone w.r.t. an illustrated image given below.

Anatomy of a drone
Fig. 1. Anatomy of a drone

Following are all the drone parts & components which are noted alphabetically in the illustrated image fig. 1. anatomy of a drone. 

A. Standard Prop

B. Pusher Prop

C. Brushless Motors

D. Motor Mount

E. Landing Gear

F. Boom part (replacement arm) of drone

G. Main Body Drone Part

H. Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC)

I. Flight Controller

J. GPS Module

K. Receiver

L. Antenna

M. Battery

N. Battery Monitor

O. Gimbal

P. Gimbal Motor

Q. Gimbal Controller Unit

R. Camera

S. Sensors

Let’s begin to understand each part one by one.


A. Standard Prop

These standard propellers (also called as props) which are used at the front of the quadcopter. A quadcopter/quadrotor helicopter/quadrotor, is a multirotor helicopter that is lifted and propelled by four rotors. Most drone propellers are made up of plastic, nylon, and the better quality made up of carbon fiber. These standard props pull the quadcopter through the air like a tractor, hence they are called tractor props.

B. Pusher Prop

These props are used at the back of the quadcopter. They push the quadcopter forward, hence the name “pusher”. These are also made up of plastic, nylon, and the better quality made up of carbon fiber.

C. Brushless Motors

Practically, all the latest drones use a brushless electric motor of “out-runner” type. The reason behind it is that it’s more efficient, more reliable, and quieter than a brushed motor. So, brushed motors are not preferred that much in case of drones. To view various brushless motors, you can explore them here. More efficient motors save battery life and gives more flying time, which is what every pilot wants. 

D. Motor Mount

The drone motor mount is sometimes built into the combination fittings with landing struts. Or, it can be part of the UAV frame. There are quite a few parts which are easy to replace on most drones. 

E. Landing Gear

Landing gear basically represents the legs of a drone. In most cases, there are either 2 or 4 legs, depending on the model. They are there to ensure the safety of your camera gear. Thus, they’re only present in drones that serve the purpose of aerial photography platforms. Many fixed wing drones which cover large distances don’t have landing gear and land perfectly fine on their belly.

F. Boom part (replacement arm) of a drone

Boom is referred to a replacement arm of the drone. Some also call it as drone arm. Shorter booms increase maneuverability, while longer booms increase stability. Booms must be tough to hold up in a crash, while interfering with prop downdraft as little as possible. In many drones, the boom is part of the main body. Some have a definite boom as a separate part.

G. Main Body Drone Part

This is the central hub part of the drone. It is the part from which booms radiate like spokes on a wheel. This part of drone houses battery, main boards, processors avionics, cameras, and sensors.

H. Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC)

An Electronic Speed Controller or ESC is an electronic circuit with the purpose to vary an electric motor’s speed, its direction and possibly also to act as a dynamic brake. It converts DC battery power into 3-phase AC for driving brushless motors. Electronic Speed Controller is an essential component of modern quadcopters (all multirotors). It offers high power, high frequency, and high resolution 3-phase AC power to the motors.

I. Flight Controller

The flight controller is central to the whole functioning of your UAV .Flight controller interprets input from receiver, GPS module, battery monitor, IMU and other onboard sensors and regulates motor speeds, via ESCs, to provide steering, as well as triggering cameras or other payloads.

J. GPS Module

The Global Positioning System (GPS) module often combines GPS receiver and magnetometer to provide latitude, longitude, elevation, and compass heading from a single device. GPS is an important requirement for waypoint navigation and many other autonomous flight modes.

K. Receiver

It is often a standard R/C radio receiver unit. The minimum number of channels needed to control a quad is 4, but 5 is usually recommended. There are many manufacturers of receivers on the market if you are building your own drone.

L. Antenna

It’s nothing but a metal device made to send or receive radio waves. Many electronic devices like radio, television, radar, wireless LAN, cell phone, and GPS need antennas (also called as aerials) to do their job. Depending on your receiver, antenna may be a loose wire whip or helical “rubber ducky” type.

M. Battery

Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries offer the best combination of energy density, power density, and lifetime on the market. LiPo batteries are easily available in the market. You can view some of the good LiPo batteries here.

N. Battery Monitor

It provides in-flight power level monitoring to flight controller. Your battery is critical to flying safely. If you fly too far out and your quadcopter runs out of battery then it will either make an emergency landing or will crash.

O. Gimbal

The drone gimbal is the pivoting mount. It rotates about the x, y, and z axes to provide stabilization and pointing of cameras or other sensors. The gimbal is all important for taking great photo and video shots.

P. Gimbal Motor

Brushless DC motors can be used for direct drive angular positioning, which require specially-wound coils and dedicated control circuitry which have only recently become commercially available.

Q. Gimbal Controller Unit

It allows control of direct-drive brushless gimbal motors as if they were standard servo motors.

R. Camera

The latest drones are all in one, which come with an integrated gimbal and camera. These cameras and lens are specifically designed for aerial filming and photography. 

S. Sensors

The sensors of a drone can be considered as its eyes and ears. A drone can determine its location and orientation in 3D space with the help of these sensors. Following are the basic sensors used in drones.

1. Gyroscope

2. Barometer

3. Accelerometer

4. GPS

5. Magnetometer

6. Rangefinder

7. Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)

8. Obstacle Avoidance


Some more parts of drone:

Now, after getting all this information about various drone parts and components, are you eager to buy a new drone parts/kit for yourself? Here’s a link for you, drone parts from Robu.in

Well, that’s it! I’m sure that you’ve learnt a lot about drone parts, components, how do they work in functioning of a drone, and I hope this article is helpful to you.


For information regarding tips related to drone parts, you can visit my article "Drone Parts Overview — A Beginner’s Guide". The illustrated image (Fig. 1) is referred from Makezine’s article named “Anatomy of a Drone” by Sean Michael Ragan. Some information about drone parts is referred from Dronezon’s blog named “Quick Drone Parts Overview along with Handy DIY Tips” by Fintan Corrigan.
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