I've been looking at the CASA RPA rules (specifically under 250g and under 2kg non-commercial) and there doesn't seem to be a section on fixed-wing aircraft. Do the rules for 'drones' (for instance these) apply to fixed-wing aircraft. I assume they do but I just want to be sure.

I'm trying to get into model aviation, so expect more of these small questions from me.


2 Answers 2


Strictly speaking, "Drone" refers to any unmanned aircraft that can fly autonomously. Usually, however, a drone is classified as any unmanned aircraft even if it requires a remote pilot's control. By this definition, yes, a fixed wing would be classified as a drone because it is an unmanned aircraft.

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    $\begingroup$ Not sure about CASA, but the CAA in the UK has clarified this to say that 'uncontrolled' object in the air, such as balloons, frizbees, boomerangs and free-flight models are not considered 'aircraft'. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 12, 2020 at 8:15

In case you would prefer an answer with citations (as different regulators have different views on this), at the following link is CASA web page regarding "Recreational unmanned aircraft (including models)". There is a link on this page to the "... rules for flying model aircraft and drones." - this phrasing demonstrates CASA consider model aircraft and drones to be subject to the same regulations.

However, there are some differences in Australian regulation between commercial and personal/recreational use - follow the links above for the latest information.


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