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UAS vs. UAV vs. Drone – What’s the right term?

July 2, 2018

Whether it be from the media, recreation, or commercial use, drones are making themselves known all across the world. However, when researching drones, you’ll probably come across two other terms that are just as important–UAS and UAV. UAS stands for “unmanned aerial system” and UAV stands for “unmanned aerial vehicle.”

What exactly is the difference between these two terms, and how do they both differ from the definition of a drone? If you’re going to start using a drone for your own commercial use, now is the perfect time to find out.

UAS vs. UAV vs. Drone – What's the right term?

What is a Drone?

You will see the media refer to any unmanned aerial craft as a drone, because the definition is simple and can appear to cover every aspect. A drone is commonly known as a device that can be remotely controlled to fly through the air–for recreational use, this often means flying short ranges for entertainment or using the drone to film areas that are difficult to reach.

You can buy these drones from simple supply stores for a low price, and while the quality may not be too fantastic, it doesn’t have to be. Drones are, realistically, used for more low-key recreational purposes, and not everyone will need to obtain any sort of license to fly one. It would be more appropriate to refer to these devices as “quadcopters”.

What is a UAV?

An unmanned aerial vehicle can be thought of as a more advanced version of a drone. Most often, they’re used to shoot video footage. UAVs are not necessarily used for recreation, and are considered the go-to for commercial use.

When searching for drone insurance, you’re going to want to look for UAV insurance. You’ll be using an unmanned aerial vehicle to capture video for your commercial usage. This is especially important if you’re looking to use your UAV for financial gain–UAV insurance is even needed if you’re a YouTuber using drone footage regularly!

What is a UAS?

An unmanned aerial system is what the government wants you to start using as terminology for all drone-like operations. It’s not often that this term is used for recreational use or even for commercial use. Often, it is used for more advanced unmanned aircraft that is operated by the military. However, UAS is a term that can be applied to all unmanned aircrafts.

It’s understandable to be confused when referring to these devices–drone, UAV, and UAS are all terms that can be used, even interchangeably. While these terms are important, it’s equally as vital to remember that you’re going to need insurance for your unmanned aerial craft.

The quadcopter you purchase from the supply store isn’t a candidate for insurance, but if you’re using a drone, UAV, or UAS for commercial purposes, you’ll have to go through the proper legal channels. American Heritage is here to help you find the best insurance plan that will protect your drone from potential liability. Call us today, and we can answer all further questions.

What Our Clients Say...

Over and above the time, effort and saved dollars that you put into earning our business – your careful attention to detail in getting our coverage right is what mattered the most. Thank you for educating me about the differences in coverage and for reallocating our insurance dollars to minimize our exposure while maximizing our policies.

- Eric L, President of Jeffrey Press, Inc.

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