Palmerston North Aeroneers

Model Aero Club (inc.)

So, you may find yourself watching a video of or hearing about these miniature flying helicopter-like things… and you may ask...

What is a quadcopter?

Quadcopters oftentimes are referred to by different names, including: quadrocopter, quadrotor, quad copter, quad-copter, quadrokopter, UAV, UAS, or drone.

A quadcopter is multi-rotor copter with four arms, each of which have a motor and a propeller at their ends. Quadcopters are similar to helicopters in some ways, though their lift and thrust comes from four propellers, rather than just one. Also, helicopters have a “pitch” or tail rotor that helps stabilize the craft, whereas quadcopters do not. In a quadcopter, two of the propellers spin in one direction (clockwise) and the other two spin the opposite direction (counterclockwise) and this enables the machine to hover in a stable formation.

There are a wide range of quadcopters out there – from the $40 mini or micro-quadcopters, to moderately priced models with integrated HD video capabilities, to multi-thousand dollar professional rigs.


Quadcopters are great fun for folks of all ages, from kids playing around to adults utilizing them for photography and video filming. Additionally, quadcopters and multirotors have been utilized in disaster management and recovery efforts, police operations, military engagements, and agricultural applications. As technology has advanced and costs have come down, many industries are finding that quadcopters can offer innovative solutions to their problems and help them reduce costs as well!