RC Dictionary

I have made a small dictionary with words and acronyms that are common in RC and Aerial photography


Aerial Photography. Taking photos from the air.


Electronic Speed Control. An ESC is an electronic device that controls the speed of electronic motors. It’s the link between the receiver, the battery and the electronic motor, because the receivers signal output is to weak to power the motor. Many ESCs are programmable using either your RC transmitter or a special ESC programming card.


Kite Aerial Photography. Taking aerial photos from a kite.


RC is short for Radio Controlled.


Ready To Fly. If you buy a RTF product, you can normally take it out of the box and use it. Everything needed for a take off is included in the box. When talking about RTF weight, it kinda means the same as TOW (Take Off Weight).


First Person View. When you have a camera and a live video link from your multicopter (or other RC device) so you can watch the live video on a screen or with video goggles.


A hexacopter is a multicopter with six rotors. It can be configured “Y” or flat. The “Y” frame is similar to the tricopter, but it has two coaxial mounted motors on each arm. The flat hexacopter frame is more like a quadrocopter but with six arms.


An octocopter has eight rotors. It can be configured flat with eight arms, or coaxial on a quadrocopter frame with two motors on each arm.


On Screen Display. You can present data and text etc on your FPV screen.

PPM – Pulse Position Modulation

Is a way to transmit and receive information on the radio waves. You can use the PPM signal on a serial interface, so you don’t need as many ports as when you use PWM signals. Wikipedia PPM


PWM – Pulse Width Modulation

Is a way to send and receive information on the radio waves.




Quadrocopter AKA quadcopter is a multicopter with four rotors. It can be configured in “+” or “x”.


Telemetry is when you are sending data between the multicopter and the ground control. Eg a live video link and OSD.


The throttle curve is the ratio between the throttle sticks position and the throttle signal sent from the transmitter. When it comes to RC helicopters and multicopters, you normally want to flatten out the curve around the hovering point. That makes it easier to make soft landings etc. It’s also handy to have the multicopter hover when the throttle stick is exactly in the middle (50%).

TOW – Take Off Weight

The multicopters weight including everything needed for take off. Batteries, receiver, frame, cables, motors, propellers etc. Simply the weight you would read from a scale right before it takes of. Also referred to as RTF (Ready To Fly) weight.

Y6 frame

Y6 is a hexacopter frame shaped as a “Y”. There are two coaxial mounted motor on each of the three arm. It’s almost the same frame as a tricopter, but you don’t need any servos on the rear arm.

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