Getting to Know the QuadSPW
July 19, 2016
July 19, 2016
The “QuadSparrow” is a small-scale demonstrator intended to allow pilots to build familiarity with the concept of “Missile Mode Flight.” It operates on the same principles as the larger aircraft but at a size and weight that absolutely does not require registration, poses little or no safety risk, and therefore can be flown indoors easily. Although it flies at a mass of just 22 grams and fits in the palm of your hand, it is ideally suited for both roles: conventional hovering flight in small areas like living rooms and garages or pitching forward into missile mode flight in large open spaces such as gymnasiums and yards.
The airframe is made of lightweight, durable polycarbonate – the same material used to build bullet-resistant windows in larger thicknesses. Polycarbonate is able to stop bullets in a unique way: rather than crack or shatter like conventional ceramic plate armor, polycarbonate bends and stretches to absorb the bullet’s energy. Coupled with its smooth surface finish, this makes it ideal for an aircraft structure. It can withstand bounces and crashes that brittle carbon fiber airframes cannot. The polycarbonate simply absorbs the energy and bounces back.
Polycarbonate was essential in making the QuadSparrow shape as well. The entire airframe is vacu-formed which allowed us to rapidly evolve the design. More than ten different designs were iterated through to reach the final design now available. It features a protective shell around the electronics, a fixed battery plug mount beneath a removable (and therefore interchangeable) nose cone which ensures the aircraft is stable in forward flight, and low drag, molded wings with integrated engine pods. All together the QuadSparrow represents the lowest-drag, highest performance quadrotor at its scale and offers unmatched maneuvering capabilities.
As a precursor to the larger QuadHawk aircraft, the QuadSparrow offers the unique experience of Missile Mode flight at a lower cost and risk. It allows pilots to practice in the comfort of their home or yard until they feel proficient enough to try a larger, faster aircraft. The QuadSparrow is being prepared for high rate production and should be ready for delivery this year!
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