RC plane/helicopter (radio-controlled aircraft or plane) is a portable flying machine that is controlled by an operator, using a remote control/radio transmitter that is handheld. The transmitter will deliver a signal to the receiver (it is in-built to the RC plane), which moves its control levels. Most people consider a drone and an RC plane to be the same, but even though they are controlled by remote, there are a couple of significant differences between them. The major difference between the RC planes and drones is in the manner in which they are controlled and put to use.
Drones have better specialization in the way they are used, applied, and controlled. Drones are presently even more sophisticated and can carry different kinds of load, depending on their use. Drones can fly independently and have been designed to be more flexible than an RC plane.
RC planes and drones may belong to the same family. However, their usage varies.
MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A DRONE AND AN RC PLANE
RC planes are mainly used for sporting and leisure activities. Most of these planes are made from affordable/cheap materials like cardboard and Styrofoam, which allows the operators even to create one themselves. It can also be used for experiments by the military, government, and other organizations, even scientific use. It is also used as aerodynamic modeling.
On the other hand, drones can be used to maintain and inspect infrastructure in power, oil, and gas industries. Since drones are capable of carrying various loads, they are also used by the military and in the agriculture industry, it is used to apply fertilizers. People also use drones to take professional pictures and also in the filming of movies.
The same jurisdiction regulates drones and RC planes, so they don’t have differences here. Most countries control their use under the national civilian aviation authority
These restrictions and regulations on RC aircraft or drones also include those for non-professional use. The operator or user will have to get permission and knowledge about which approval or license is needed from the national aviation authority. Seedo small drones need to be registered
In the USA, uncrewed aircraft and RC aircraft, along with drones, are put through regulation by the Academy of Model Aeronautics, the National park service, Federal Aviation Administration, local and state governments, and Federal Communications Commission.
There isn’t much difference here because the type of engine to be used depends majorly on the requirements and application of the RC aircraft or drone. Many aircraft require the use of a power plant. Some of the most common kinds of power plants for RC aircraft are rocket engines, internal combustion engines, jet engines, and electric motors. Internal combustion engines generally use either diesel, oil, petrol, or methanol as fuel. Electrically powered drones, usually with Lithium polymer batteries, are engines that are also quite common, and they are regarded as a cleaner option for the environment.
Generally, drones are not as cheap as RC planes. However, the use of RC planes is limited to specific experiments and leisure, as well as sports.
In comparison, drones are for operators who prefer a drone’s sophistication and designs rather than just watching it fly. Drones can be more entertaining and have a longer list of uses. It is used for military and industrial purposes and can also be used in the movie industry and so on.
Drones are mostly used for both essential and recreational purposes, so they are built with stronger materials, which is one of the reasons why it may be costly. Most RC planes are made from cheap materials(it is used for recreational activities)and can even be made from the comfort of your home, hence its affordability.
RC planes and drones are both parts of the RC aircraft family. Their major differences are in the number of rotors that they possess. For example, a drone has four rotors and is also referred to as a quadcopter, while an RC plane has just one rotor or two, sometimes. Some people believe that an RC plane is more fun, but that is for the operators to decide. Drones are also way more sophisticated and can do a handful of other things apart from recreational purposes.