A Guide for Maintaining Drones

Aircraft drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are aircraft that fly without the need of a pilot on board. While many individuals may be familiar with the drones that serve defense applications and hobbyists, there are also numerous types that are used for science endeavors, search and rescue missions, environmentalism, and more. Regardless of what a particular drone is used for, it is important that they are well maintained and inspected on regular intervals to ensure their longevity and performance.

Every component within standard aircraft drones are charged with a specific role and functionality, and all parts need to work together for the vehicle to be able to be efficiently controlled and flown by an operator. While there are numerous drone types available on the market, most will share common parts such as propellers, motors, mounts, landing gear, booms, electronic speed controllers, housing, flight controllers, GPS modules, antennas, batteries, and gimbals. As the failure of drone propeller parts or damage to the drone body can quickly result in an inoperable device, it is paramount that drone maintenance and repair is practiced.

Before operating aircraft drones, it is important to run through a pre-flight checklist to see if there are any issues that warrant maintenance or repair as well as to ensure that the aircraft can safely be flown. Before checking over the drone body and parts, one should conduct a weather and site safety check to ensure that there is proper visibility, optimal weather conditions, set areas for take-off and landings, and whether there are objects, animals, or people around the area to avoid. Once that is done, the drone itself can be visually inspected and cleaned as necessary, and all powered components should be tested when turned on to guarantee their functionality. After the initial start-up check is finished and the drone has commenced flight, last checks should be made while hovering the vehicle at a safe distance to discern any possible abnormal sounds, irregularities in control, or other issues. If there are any damaged components or malfunctions present, maintenance is needed. 

While maintenance should always be conducted when any issue is present, routine maintenance is also important for the replacement and repair of parts that are aging or beginning to wear down. For aircraft drones, maintenance scheduling should be based on flight hours rather than calendar dates. During the maintenance process, the entire drone body should be cleaned of any dirt, insects, pollution, or other substances that may affect performance. As the UAV is composed of numerous electronic components, one should be careful to avoid static shock or damage to sensitive parts. Drone propeller parts and motors should both have an increased amount of focus for inspection as they are paramount to the drone’s ability to fly. If there are any cracks on the propellers, a fix should be implemented before flight as such damage can quickly result in a crash.

Depending on the type of drone, it is also important to monitor and manage power sources. If the UAV is electric, the battery assembly should be checked over to see if it has proper functionality, efficiency, and undamaged connections and cables. Drone batteries can often be damaged by fluctuating heat, and thus should be stored in controlled environments when not in use. For fuel powered quadcopters and other drone types, inspection and maintenance should be conducted for the drone fuel pump and fuel system. 

When undertaking maintenance endeavors, it is important that aging or damaged components are replaced as necessary to guarantee safer and more efficient operations for aircraft drones. At NSN Purchasing, we can help you secure all the new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts that you require for drone maintenance and repair. NSN Purchasing is an online distributor of aircraft parts, and we provide customers competitive pricing and rapid lead-times on over 2 billion items that we sell. If there are particular items from our inventory that you are interested in, begin with a quote for your comparisons upon the submission of a completed RFQ form as provided on our website. Begin the part procurement process today with NSN Purchasing and see how we can serve as your dependable sourcing solution for all your operational requirements.

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