nov 26

How does a drone work?

In this article, I will explain how a drone, or multirotor, works. On a multirotor, the only control surfaces are the propeller blades themselves. If the drone is just flying in the air without moving itself (hovered) then all the propellers spin at almost the same speed. To keep it from spinning on its own axis, the motors rotate alternately against each other’s direction.

De luchtvideo's van Aeriallive zijn van de beste kwaliteit.
  • De werking van een drone
  • de motorsnelheid bepaalde de vliegrichting van de drone


Once the propellers change in rotational speed relative to each other, the drone will move in the direction where the propellers rotate the slowest. With a drone, it does not matter in which direction this happens, and therefore you can fly a drone in any direction you want. So you could actually say he has no front or back. This fact, therefore, makes it quite easy to fly compared to a regular helicopter or airplane.


The flight controller is the heart of a drone. The flight controller processes all the data it receives. These include input from the pilot, location via GPS, air pressure and most importantly, data from the gyroscopes. All this data is translated at a rate of 400 times per second by the motor controllers into speeds the motors should be running. Once the flight controller receives no input from the pilot, it uses all the sensors to ensure that the drone stays in place and maintains the same flight altitude.

Mikrokopter multirotor Flightcontroller
  • zo houdt een video drone zijn locatie vast.
  • De video drones houden hun locaties met behulp van gps


Most aerial recording drones are equipped with a GPS module. This module allows most drones to determine and maintain their location down to the meter. With a GPS aboard the drone, it is also possible to program locations prior to a flight. These are also called waypoints. The drone can perform them fully authorized flights.

The GPS function is also used by drones to ensure safety. Because a drone remembers its initial position before departure, the drone will also return on its own if problems occur such as a low battery, or if the pilot becomes unwell and the failsafe (coming home) button is pressed.

The image above shows a typical setup of a multirotor.


The image above shows a typical setup of a multirotor. Of all the well-known drone brands, DJI Innovations is the best-selling brand. In recent years in the quality and reliability of DJI drones advanced by leaps and bounds. Some of DJI’s professional quadcopters come with dual flight controllers, 2 flight batteries and various distance sensors. All these extra gadgets make these multirotors one of the safest commercial drones. The type we ourselves use for most aerial shoots is also equipped with all these safety measures. This is the DJI Inspire 2 and has been on the market since 2016.


The system that all drone recording companies use to stabilize their cameras is also called a gimbal. The principle of a gimbal is actually similar to a ship’s compass.
A gimbal usually consists of 3 axes. A yaw, roll and pitch axis. The yaw axis hangs directly from the drone, the roll axis from the yaw and the pitch from the roll. The gimbal features 3 step motors controlled by gyroscopes. Any deviation is caught and corrected by the motors at lightning speed. These corrections are made so quickly that even small vibrations are captured. As a result, the image result is always tight and the horizon is always neatly level.

Since several years back, cameras are fully integrated into the gimbal. This development has made the systems much more user-friendly. It also reduces the total weight (MTOM) of the drones.

Een drone gimbal wordt over 3 assen gestabiliseerd
Inspire 2 Drone huren met piloot