Does volumetric payload capacity make our fuselage look fat?

A question that keeps popping up is why does a UAV with a 2kg payload capacity need such a large fuselage volume? To answer the question, we need to go back to why the TR200 was designed and where it was designed to operate.

There is a good reason why UAVs battle to perform in the harsh unforgiving South African bush and when we set about designing the TR200 many factors were considered including that a camera payload may not be all that the TR200 would need to carry.

Rhino and endangered species conservation is not just about spotting poachers from the air, it’s also about responding quickly if an animal or ranger is injured. In the bush travel across the ground is slow and the need to deliver antivenom, bandaged, drips and a host of other conceivable cargos had to be carefully evaluated.

Too many seem to think of payload capacity simply in terms of mass, in fact many brochures only list payload capacity in kg, but what about payload volume? Not everything one may want to carry is dense and heavy, some objects may be light with a large volume.

A small sleek fuselage with a low wetted area may have low drag and be visually appealing but what happens if the UAV needs to carry a payload with a volume that exceeds the airframes capacity?

So yes the TR200’s fuselage may be a bit on the chunky side but was a careful balance between an increased wetted area and volumetric payload capacity.