Q: How Much Do Falcon Unmanned aircraft cost?
A: We know most professional UAVs don't list their prices and that is because they have something to hide. We are very open about our pricing (See our pricing page) as we want our customers to know that we are a great value on their first visit. Understand that Falcon UAV is not an RC plane. It is a professional grade unmanned aerial vehicle which flys under autonomous and semi autonomous control. Users are never "flying" the aircraft. That is what the autopilot is for. Your job as the operator is to direct the aircraft where to go, point the camera, and make sure that your are operating safely.
Q: Do you break anything with the parachute landing on the motor?
A: No. The aircraft is designed to take the landing and has 1000's of landings using this method. the central tube of the aircraft which the motor is attached to is the strongest part of the Aircraft. By coming down on the strongest part of the aircraft we protect the most expensive parts of an unmanned aircraft, the cameras and the avionics. The electric motor has a very short shaft which cannot bend or break under parachute landing loads. The propeller is a folding propeller which folds back so it doesn't break. If the motor takes in mud it can be cleaned with water and/or compressed air. Dirt and sand are easily cleared by spinning the prop.
falcon unmanned aircraft are meant to operate in all terrain including rocks, snow, wooded, and scrub brush. if you are operating professional uavs you will not be able to operated from nice grass fields. if you have expensive cameras and avionics in the belly of the aircraft and you do a belly landing on a rock you will most likely cause damage. with our landing method your investment is protected.
Q: Why do you do a parachute landing?
A: Falcon UAV was originally designed to meet the needs of public safety organizations who may be required to operate the Falcon over populated areas. By having a parachute the Falcon is inherently safer than any aircraft without a parachute. The parachute also allows Falcon to land slowly and vertically in areas where most fixed wing UAVs cannot such as wooded areas, parking lots, parks, etc.
Q: How do you launch a Falcon?
The Falcon is bungee launched. The bungee launch uses a length of latex tubing stretched to between 15lbs which is hooked onto the bottom of the Falcon. To bungee launch you simply pull back to the correct full force and push the aircraft up into the air. The bungee pulls the aircraft forward which generates lift. The bungee launch allows for greater climb rates at launch to help clear obstacles. For instance with a full pull length you can clear 30 foot trees, powerlines, etc. The bungee launch also ensures that the aircraft travels down the length of the bungee when you have to launch from a narrow road or near powerlines/trees.
Bungee launches are autonomous and do not require more than one person to operate. At launch the Falcon senses the launch acceleration, turns on the motors, and flys itself to the first waypoint or the takeoff waypoint.
Q: Why shouldn't I buy a flying wing UAV for my live video or mapping missions?
A: Let us answer your question with another question....how many glider designs do you know of that use a flying wing planform? The answer is probably zero. Flying wings may look nifty but in the real world they will never be as aerodynamical efficient or as stable as a conventional aircraft with a tail. Given that video or imagery are the primary reasons to fly a UAV we recommend you choose a stable design capable of providing more stable imagery for longer flight times. Finally flying wings do not have alot of directional stability (yaw) therefore in a crosswind a flying wing may have to hold a constant roll angle which is not ideal for a live video or mapping mission.
Q: Why is the Falcon the size it is?
A: The Falcon is the size it is because it is the right size for tactical operations. Smaller UAVs are more susceptible to winds and other flight disturbances. The Falcon design also allows for more payload options including an day/night camera gimbal, a wide range of point and shoot cameras up to some of the newer DSLR models, and other custom payload options. But don't be intimidated by the large wing span. The Falcon is a modular design which assembles/disassembles in a minute or two to fit in a custom soft bag that is 36" long, 14" wide, and 6" deep. Two Falcons fit in a ruggedized which may be checked as luggage. Also don't worry about hand launching the Falcon. Falcon UAV can also be bungee launched so you do not need to have the strength for a hand launch. If you can pull back 20 lbs you can launch a Falcon.