Chapter 2. Airframes

What Is an Airframe?

The airframe is the main body of the aircraft. All other components—propellers, batteries, computer, etc.—are mounted to the airframe. Airframes can vary greatly in size and complexity. Some of the airframes we built when we first got interested in flying were very simple designs sketched on the back of a napkin, and cut from pressboard with a jigsaw. Today, we use computer-aided design (CAD) software to design our frames before cutting them out with a computerized numerical control (CNC) machine. We will touch on many of the popular design types in this chapter, but first let’s take a quick look at how these actually fly.

Thrust Vectoring

One common trait you will see with all of these airframes ...

Get Make: Getting Started with Drones now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.