Home Engineering Small Unmanned Fixed-Wing Aircraft Design. A Practical Approach
Color can have a significant functional role in unmanned aircraft design, mostly in terms of making the aircraft less conspicuous (camouflage) or more conspicuous for easier tracking from the ground (bright, contrasting colors, red/green wingtips to allow better judgment of attitude); but are there other concept-level choices we can make here? For example, could an externally placed camera (source of parasitic drag!) be replaced with one placed inside a fuselage or payload pod covered with transparent skin panels? Can a transparent “canopy” over the payload or the avionics bay expedite preflight visual system health checks?
Discarding (and Recovery?)
In the intensely weight-conscious mind of the aircraft engineer, the possibility of discarding components once they have fulfilled their function should always be present.
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