Unmanned Aerial Systems have rapidly reached the maturity allowing them to be used in many civil applications. Open-source communities and research laboratories have played an important role to this breakthrough in aviation history.
I will present the Paparazzi UAV system, a research oriented fully open-source hardware and software project dedicated to mini and micro drones. Through its rich history of collaborations, I will show how our laboratory and our community have been able to contribute to various HMI innovations, rich flight plan concepts, novel aerodynamic designs, efficient and robust control algorithms and many multi-disciplinary applications spreading the usage of drones in various scientific fields. This has been made possible by seeking the right balance between innovations, experimental needs, real world operations and more fundamental contributions. Finally, I will point to some of the future challenges for light UAV systems.