Fixed Wing UAV Propulsion Types
Fixed-wing UAVs fly by utilising the lift generated by the aircraft’s forward motion and the shape of its wings. Fixed-wing UAVs can be self-propelled, pure gliders (vehicles whose free flight does not rely on a method of propulsion) or a mixture of the two.
Self-propelled fixed-wing UAVs typically rely on forward thrust generated by a propeller turned by an internal combustion engine or electric motor, and gliders are launched either by a winch launcher or by being towed by another aircraft. In both cases, the ailerons, elevator and rudder control the roll, pitch and yaw of the drone.
In addition to batteries and conventional petrol or diesel engines, powered fixed-wing UAVs can operate on other energy sources such as solar power and wireless power delivery using lasers.