There are lots of words and phrases that are unfamiliar for beginners… Here we go! I’ll try to update this list often. Any suggestions? Get in touch!

TLA: Three-Letter Acronym 😉

ARF: Almost ready to fly. Probably this means that the multicopter you’re buying needs an additional item – probably a controller/transmitter, FPV screen, or something like that.

BNF: Similar to ARF. BNF means “bind and fly”. Open the box, and just “bind” the aircraft with a transmitter, and you’re ready to go.

Bind: The act of pairing a transmitter and receiver so they are inter-operating.

RTF: Ready to fly. The drone you’re buying comes with everything you need. Open the box, insert the batteries, and start flying. God help us all 😉

PNP: Plug and Play

ESC: Electronic Speed Control. This is the component that is connected from the flight controller to the motor which controls the speed of each motor.

Vortex Ring State: If you descend too quickly, your copter can get caught in its own downwash, and essentially start falling. Move away from this column of “dirty air” and/or descend more slowly to avoid vortex ring state. You can read more about it on Wikipedia:

FPV: First-person view. This means that there is a camera on the quadcopter which transmits its view with very low latency (i.e. without any real delay) to a monitor (or glasses) that the pilot is using in order to fly the drone. Using FPV, you can fly your drone out of line-of-sight, up to a couple of kilometers away. Note that in most places it is illegal to fly a drone that is not in line-of-sight, so be aware of your local laws.

Tx: Transmitter

VTX: Video transmitter

Rx: Receiver

VRX: Video receiver

LOS: Line of sight

LHCP, RHCP: Left-hand circular polarization / Right-hand circular polarization. This applies to circular polarized antennas like this one:


When you use this type of antenna, both the Tx and Rx antenna have to be the same (either left- or right-hand circular polarization). If your transmitter is left-hand polarized and the receiver is right-hand polarized, the signal will be virtually invisible between the transmitter and receiver.

SMA, RP-SMA: this is a type of antenna connector. Pay attention to which type of connector your Tx and Rx uses so that your antennas will fit properly. Here is a visual reference (the sma plug and the rp-sma jack have a pin sticking out – the other ones have a socket for the pin):

Note: it is possible to get an adapter from one type to another on ebay or other places.




More to come…. found a term you don’t know? Contact us.