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Draganfly X6 UAV RC Helicopter news
29 August 2008

Canadian company, Draganfly Innovations, has launched an unmanned, miniature helicopter - the Draganflyer X6. This remotely operated  helicopter is designed to carry wireless video and still cameras and is intended for commercial/industrial aerial video and still photography.

Amongst its many innovative features is the fact that this unmanned helicopter can be piloted  very easily.

Draganfly X6 UAV RC HelicopterThe Draganfly X6 helicopter operates autonomously and differs in appearance from the conventional helicopter. It's design utilizes six horizontal rotor blades which allows the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to hover efficiently.

The UAV will now displace full-sized aircraft, used earlier, for commercial photography and industrial inspection. It will be used for filming high-definition video and high-resolution aerial still photographs.

The X6 has an innovative, six-rotor, co-axial design. This is arranged as three counter-rotating, co- axial pairs mounted at the end of three arms having matched set of counter rotating rotor blades.

The differential thrust from these three equally spaced points allows the X6 helicopter to take precise pictures quickly.

The Draganflyer is small enough to fly indoors, and also large enough to operate outdoors in winds up to 30km/h (18mph).

The X6, which can operate at altitudes of 2,100 feet, produces very little sound and does not require noisy gearing as the motors directly drive the rotors. The rotor blades are designed for maximum efficiency. At hover, the X6 produces less than 65dB of sound at one meter (3 feet), and less than 60dB at three meters (9 feet).

The unmanned rotorcraft can fly autonomously, or operated by users with minimal pilot  training.

The helicopter is three feet wide, two feet nine inches long and has a height of ten inches. Weighing about 1kg it has a payload capacity of 500 grams.

Onboard processors
It achieves stability by using an on-board processor which runs more than ten thousand lines of code and receives data from eleven on-board sensors, including three accelerometers, three magnetometers, one barometric pressure sensor and one GPS receiver. The GPS receiver allows it to track a  maximum of 16 satellites simultaneously.

The miniature rotorcraft can handle complex altitude adjustments by determining its own motion.

The 'GPS hold mode' enables the vehicle to remain in position without any user input. It also allows the user to focus on other tasks, such as aerial photography.

Cameras
Draganfly X6 UAV RC HelicopterThe Draganfly X6 helicopter accepts multiple, inter-changeable video and still cameras, allowing different functions to be performed. A high-definition video camera provides 1080 pixel resolution.

The low light (0.0001lux) video camera can be used during dusk and dawn.

For night use or search and rescue operations, the thermal FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) camera provides heat vision.

High-resolution photographs can be captured with the 10.1 mega-pixel digital still camera.

Safety features
Even if one of the UAV's six motors should fail in an in-flight collision, the helicopter is would still be able to fly using the remaining five motors, making it durable and safe.

Draganfly X6 UAV RC HelicopterThe X6 has built-in LED navigation lights for safe flying at a distance or in the darkness. It also has a automatic self-landing feature should the radio link controlling the helicopter be lost.

An on-board flight recorder (black box) stores telemetry and flight data in a removable memory card, which can be used for post-flight analysis.

The hand-held controller passes the videos received from the UAV to the video goggles enabling the operator to view what the helicopter is seeing and also keep an eye on the helicopter itself.

The UAV can fly for 25 minutes at a stretch and its batteries can supply the vehicle with 450 watts of power. This allows the machine to climb 23 feet per second, turn 90 degrees at the same time, or do fly-bys at 30mph.


TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS   

Helicopter Size

Dimensions
Width: 91cm (36in)
Length: 85cm (33in)
Top Diameter: 99cm (39in)
Height: 25.4cm (10in)

Dimensions
(Without Rotors)
Width: 55cm (22in)
Length: 49cm (19in)
Top Diameter: 63cm (25in)
Height: 25.4cm (10in)
Folded Dimensions
Width: 30cm (12in)
Length: 68cm (27in)
Front Diameter: 35cm (14in)
Height: 25.4cm (10in)

Folded Dimensions
(Without Landing Gear)
Width: 13cm (5in)
Length: 66cm (26in)
Front Diameter: 14cm (5.5in)
Height: 13cm (5in)
Folded Dimensions
(Without Rotors or Landing Gear)
Width: 13cm (5in)
Length: 51cm (20in)
Front Diameter: 14cm (5.5in)
Height: 13cm (5in)
 
RF Communications
2.4GHz Data Link
Link Type: Helicopter to Ground & Ground to Helicopter (Two-Way)
Helicopter Antenna: Wired Whip Antenna
Controller Antenna: Omni-Directional
Transmission Power (North America): 50mW (+17dBm)
Transmission Power (International): 10mW (+10dBm)
RF Data Rate: 250kbps
Receiver sensitivity: -102dBm
Transmission Technique: DSSS (Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum)
Frequency band: 2.4000 - 2.4835 GHz

Data Link Channel Selection:
Automatic (13 Channels)
5.8GHz Video Link

Link Type:
Helicopter to Ground (One-Way)

Transmitter Antenna:
Omni-Directional

Receiver Antennas:
Omni-Directional & Flat Patch

Transmission Power:
12dBm

Transmitter Power Consumption:
500mW
NTSC and PAL Compatible
 
7 Selectable Channels:
5740MHz, 5760MHz, 5780MHz, 5800MHz, 5820MHz, 5840MHz, 5860MHz

11 Onboard Sensors
3 Solid State MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) Gyros
3 Solid State MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) Accelerometers
3 Magnetometers (Magnetoresistive Sensors)
1 Barometric Pressure Sensor
1 GPS Receiver
GPS Battery Backup: 75mAh Lithium Polymer
GPS
 
GPS Used For:
Position Hold, Location & Velocity Data
Maximum Satellites Tracked Simultaneously: 16
Position Update Rate: 4 Hz
GPS Antenna: Ceramic Patch
Battery Backup: Lithium Polymer
Black Box Data Recorder
Flight Data Recording: On-Board
Stored To: Removable 1Gb MicroSD Memory Card
Data Recorded: Onboard Sensor Flight Data (Link quality, Orientation, Altitude, Speed, Direction)

Weight & Payload
Helicopter Weight: 1,000g (35oz)
Payload Capability: 500g (18oz)
Maximum Gross Take-Off Weight: 1,500g (53oz)

Flight Characteristics:
Climb Rate: 7m/s (23ft/s)
Descent Rate: 4m/s (13ft/s)
Turn Rate: 90/second
Cruise Speed: 10km/h (6mph)
Maximum Speed: 50km/h (30mph)
Minimum Speed: 0km/h (0mph)
Launch Type: VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing)
Maximum Altitude: 640m (2,100ft)
Maximum Flight Time: 25 minutes
Sound at 1m (3.28ft): 65dB
Sound at 3m (9.84ft): 60dB

Rotor Blades
Three Counter-Rotating Pairs (Six Rotors Total)
Rotor Blade Material: Molded Carbon Fiber
Upper Rotor Diameter: 40cm (16in)
Lower Rotor Diameter: 38cm (15in)
Upper Rotor Weight: 12g (0.42oz)
Lower Rotor Weight: 11g (0.38oz)

Electric Motors
Brushless Motors: 6
Configuration: Direct Drive (One Motor per Rotor)
Safety Features: Stall Protection
Ball Bearing: 2 per Motor
Rotor Mounting Points: Integrated
Nominal Current Draw Per Motor: 1.04 Amps
Nominal Power / Motor: 15.4 Watts
Nominal Total Helicopter Motor Power: 92.4 Watts
Peak Total Helicopter Motor Power: 450 Watts
Motor Speed at Hover: 2000 RPM
Voltage: 14.8V
Weight: 38g (1.34oz)

Camera Attachments
10MP (Mega-Pixel) Digital Still Camera with Remote Controlled Tilt, Zoom & Shutter
1080p HD (High Definition) Video Camera with Remote Controlled Tilt
Thermal FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) Camera with Remote Controlled Tilt
Low Light (0.001lux) Dusk/Dawn Black & White Video Camera with Remote Controlled Tilt

Position Navigation Lights 
Type: 1 Watt LED Variable Brightness Emitters
Luminous Flux at Full Brightness: 40lm
Purpose: Helicopter Orientation Confirmation
Visible Condition Range: Full Darkness to Direct Sunlight

Standard Aircraft Colors
Red: Left
Green: Right
White: Tail/Rear

Rechargeable Helicopter Battery 
Cell Chemistry: Lithium Polymer
Voltage: 14.8V
Capacity: 2600mAh
Cell Configuration 4s2p (4-series 2-parallel)
Connectors: Integrated Balance and Power
Recharge Time: 30 minutes (after typical flight)
Length: 7.5cm (2.9in)
Width: 6.7cm (2.6in)
Height: 2.7cm (1.0in)
Weight: 228g (8.0oz)

Landing Gear 
Installed Height: 18cm (7in)
Stance Width: 30cm (12in)
Skid Length: 30cm (12in)
Landing Gear Material: Molded Carbon Fiber
Materials
 
Carbon Fiber
Glass Filled Injected Nylon
Aluminum & Stainless Steel Fasteners
RoHS Compliant

Operating Requirements
Operating Temperature: 10 to 35C (50 to 95F)
Relative Humidity: 0% to 90% Noncondensing
Maximum Windspeed: 30km/h (18mph)

(INFORMATION GIVEN AS PER THE COMPANY WEBSITE)


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Draganfly X6 UAV RC Helicopter