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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


How long before we can take delivery?

A system can be ready in as little as two days provided if it is a standard, off the shelf package and delivered to a country that has no special export requirements. However, for some parts of the world, the export paperwork may take up to six weeks to complete. Also if the order is a custom order this can take one to two months to complete depending on what sensors require to be imported and airframe design changes are required.

What is the normal process for purchasing?

Normally customers get an email or phone exchange, having spent time looking at this website. We go through a consultation phase to understand as closely as possible what your needs are and, if you like our products or services, we issue a quote.  Following this, if all goes well,  we supply an invoice and normally take 50% deposit to start a build. Just before delivery we take the final payment and ship the order.

Do I really need the laptop that comes with the package?

You can use a laptop as an alternative machine, but we still insist on providing a laptop that is dedicated to your system. We have learnt from experience that introducing other laptops can cause software and hardware issues that take days or weeks to solve and prevents the real training taking place. Talk to us if you have concerns about this.

Does everything come in one box?

If you order a DATAhawk, yes. If you order a typical package such as the Surveyor or Agri package the answer is that comes in one large and one small rugged box that can be easily transported by air or ground. If you order extras or a custom solution then there may be extra boxes involved.

We have to start on a major project in two weeks time and know nothing about UAV’s or drones. This should be possible, right?

We occasionally get these kinds of enquiries.  The answer is generally no. The pressure to complete an important task in a short timeframe always leads to unacceptable risks being taken by inexperienced crews. We consider that it takes at least a month to become competent and certainly a few weeks to progress through ordering and initial training.


The UAV/drone does the flying and takes care of all the decisions. So we should be able to do it straight away, make a coffee, and relax whilst the aircraft does its work?

Not quite. This is why flying regulations are coming in across the world. Things can go wrong in the air for many different reasons. With a crew alert to what is happening with an aircraft, accidents can be avoided. If the crew is busy having a coffee and something minor goes wrong, how soon will it become a major problem and become a threat to other aircraft or people on the ground? Things do go wrong and we promote quality training and awareness to prevent accidents.

What are the big things that go wrong?

The biggest thing that goes wrong come about from pilots not paying attention to training or the checklists, ie taking shortcuts. Propellors go on back to front, cameras incorrectly setup, flight plans try and fly the aircraft into the ground.  We provide excellent and detailed checklists to help prevent things like this, but at the end of the day avoiding mistakes is up to the professionalism of the operator. 

The next big thing that goes wrong comes about from trained operators failing to prepare a good, orderly maintenance and operations area, and maintenance procedures.   Motors fail prematurely, aircraft navigation deteriorates through poor propellor awareness, parachutes fail because of poor maintenance, spares and tools aren't available to hand so risks are taken to continue flying with an aircraft that has problems.  This subject is covered carefully in training,  but some clients do forget its importance. 

The final big thing that goes wrong is not having a good, easily accessible site to do training and air testing on. The result is distraction from the focus on the airtest / training by other considerations (too small a site, closeness of built-up areas or trees, unexpected turbulence, worry over permission to use the site etc).   Distraction causes accidents and/or poor or missing data.    Again this is clearly covered in preparatory reading but  some customers don’t think that this is important enough to worry about! 

Can I just get the equipment without the training?

It’s not a wise decision. There is a lot to learn. Would you expect to drive a car without taking lessons? Or want someone else to drive a car without taking lessons? The training process starts long before you ever meet an instructor. Online training is the first stage, then the hands on training phase with your instructors, and then follow-up training and support. Training will ensure that you are safe and your investment is safe in the weeks, months and years ahead.


Are there any export regulations that will stop us or slow us down?

Yes, there are export regulations. Exporting to Europe and places like Canada and Australia is an easy process. Africa and the Far East is a longer process to complete. Apart from an initial form that you are required to complete, we complete the rest of the process.

I’ve heard that exporting LIPO batteries is illegal. Is this right?

No this isn’t the case as long as the correct Air Transport rules are followed. We are skilled and used to this process and have all the paperwork and procedures in hand.

We are planning a major trip to a remote location and we will be away for a month with little contact with the outside world. What should we think about?

Redundancy is the keyword here. There are a number of key equipment items that, if they fail, your operation will come to a halt. Talk to us about redundancy, spares, and advice. You may consider purchasing another complete UAV system or partial system.


Why Do Airtests Cost Extra?


In an attempt to reduce the overall costs of repairs to our customers we provide the option of air testing as a chargeable service.

Any  equipment or repair that leaves QuestUAV undergoes significant functional (bench, ground) testing.  This ensures that our clients are receiving safe and airworthy parts. 

On new UAS  systems part of this stringent testing will includes a full airtesting regime in the overall cost.

However we often have a question that comes up when customers return aircraft or parts for servicing or repair, or want to purchase new components that will be fitted into a current aircraft and the aircraft is sent to us for integration. The question is "Why should I pay extra for an airtest?".  The belief is that airtesting should be similar to testing a car, or a computer, and should just involve a quick check to make sure everything is working. 

Unfortunately it isn't this simple. Remember, everything goes through benchtesting or manufacturer Quality Assurance Checks and there is no charge for this.  An airtest is much more complex and involved though.   Also, Air testing can go way beyond safety and airworthiness testing.  Some of our clients want to ensure that with absolute confidence the full system is operating correctly.  

An "Airtest" might just take a block of three hours  for two people.  It might be much longer though, include cancellations at the flying site, lengthy processing analysis and reflights. 

The air testing requires the resource of a current, fully insured,  UK CAA qualified remote pilot and a ground control station commander – we always deploy either a UAV engineer or a Surveyor for the commander role.  Preparing the aircraft, completing the on-site risk assessment, performing the air testing, maintaining specialist vehicles to transport the aircraft, crew and ancillary equipment to an authorised flying site, dealing with weather windows, processing data, generating flight and data processing quality reports all require significant resource and incur costs to QuestUAV.  The flights are solely the responsibility of QuestUAV so any damage incurred during testing is the responsibility of QuestUAV to cover.  Also, any additional flights required are also covered by QuestUAV. 

Finally, an airtest is not compulsory. Not all of our clients choose the option of air testing as some of our customers are happy to perform air testing themselves. Some are willing to accept the completion of bench testing. 

If you have any questions about the need for an airtest or what it involves then please contact us.