Types of Drones and What You Can Do With Them

Types of Drones and What You Can Do With Them

If you’re new to drones, you might be a little confused about what counts as a drone. The broadest definition includes anything that flies without an onboard pilot and is controlled, either directly or indirectly, by a human. This can mean anything from unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, used by the military to spy or deploy weapons, to radio-controlled aircraft flown by hobbyists for fun. That’s a lot of types of drones!

Writers on the topic have categorized drones by range, size, capabilities and method of lift. Method of lift is a good place to start because it has the biggest impact on what a drone can do. And since you’re probably interested in a type of drone you can use for recreational or professional purposes, this article won’t spend time on big military drones. Instead it will focus on drone types available to the public and all the cool things you can do with them.

Know Your Methods of Lift

There’s more than one way to get airborne, and different types of drones make use of most of them. If you have a mental image of a drone, it might be of a quadcopter, or quadrotor. These are the most popular, and there are good reasons for that. But drones come in many shapes and sizes, and which one is the best depends on what you want to do with it. Here’s a breakdown of the different drone types based on their method of lift.

1. Multirotor Drones

These drones use multiple propellers to fly. They can have as few as a three or as many as eight. You might find one with more, like NASA’s Greased Lightening GL-10, a 10-rotor drone that hovers like a helicopter but flies like a plane, but they aren’t common. While your typical battery-powered multirotor can’t fly as far or as fast as other types of drones, multirotors have the advantage of being very stable and easy to fly. They’re also easier to care for and less expensive than other types.

One of the limitations of multirotor drones for professional applications is that they’re battery-powered and propellers require a lot of power. If you try to fit it with a bigger battery, it ends up using the extra power to carry that heavy battery. The end result is most can’t fly for more than 30 minutes or carry more than 5 pounds. But brand new hybrid gas-to-electric multirotor drones are changing that. These types of drones can fly around 100 miles carrying 20 pounds, making them more practical for delivering goods.

2. Helicopter Drones

Also called single-rotor drones, these look and fly just like manned helicopters. They’re faster and more efficient than drones with multiple rotors, which means they can stay in the air for longer stretches of time. So why aren’t they more popular? Probably because they’re harder to fly, and that means easier to break. They tend to require a little more maintenance and cost more, too.

3. Fixed Wing Drones

Before everyone started talking about drones, there were radio-controlled airplanes. Also known as fixed-wing drones, these remotely operated planes can’t hover like rotor drones and, just like real airplanes, need a lot of space to take off and land. On the plus side, they can fly a lot faster and farther and for longer periods of time.

Some estimates suggest these types of drones have 10 times the endurance of multirotor drones. That’s one reason they’re still the most popular for surveying and other scientific applications. There’s also a community of hobbyists who fly them, although it requires more commitment than multirotor drones. Fixed-wing drones tend to be expensive, and they require a lot more skill to fly.

4. Hybrids

Drones that combine the vertical lift-off and landing of rotor drones with fixed-wing flight aren’t very common — yet. Besides NASA’s GL-10, the most famous one is Amazon’s delivery drone. You’re not as likely to run across one of these at your local hobby shop, but they’re around and will probably gain in popularity. Innovations in drone design are at a fever pitch right now, so don’t be surprised if you see newer, faster and more efficient types of drones coming out all the time.

Know Your Goals

The best drone depends entirely on what you want to accomplish and how much you can afford to spend. Method of lift is just one aspect of a drone. There’s also its size, how you fly it and what type of equipment it can carry. Here are some of the things you can do with a drone and the type of drone you should do it with.

1. Learn To Fly a Drone

If you’re interested in learning to fly drones, don’t go out and buy a $1000 drone kit, unless you can afford to crash $1000 into a cliff just to watch it burn. There are some terrific ready-to-fly, or RTF, drones on the market for around $100 or less. These types of drones can be flown right out of the box, no assembly required except maybe snapping the propellers into place. There are even a couple drones in this price range that come with cameras already installed.

Not only are they easier than more sophisticated drones that you have to assemble yourself, you won’t feel so bad about breaking them when you accidentally fly one into a tree. Once you’ve learned the basics of flying and maybe a few tricks, you can buy something bigger, more expensive and with cool capabilities.

DJI Spark Fly More Bundle - Meadow Green
$549.00
DJI Spark Fly More Bundle - Sky Blue
$549.00
DJI Spark Fly More Bundle - Sunrise Yellow
$549.00
DJI Spark Fly More Bundle - Alpine White
$549.00

2. Learn Tricks, Goof Off and Drive Your Pets Crazy

For as little as $15 you can own a quadcopter that you can park on the palm of your hand. Some of them are so small you can park two or three on your hand! Nano and microdrones are smaller than 250 mm (about 10 inches), cheap and incredibly fun. The tiniest ones can only be flown in the house, and none of them can fly for very long before being recharged, but who cares? Buy a few of these types of drones and you can have hours of fun tormenting your cat and learning how to do barrel rolls without feeling too bad if you crash and burn.

3. Race or Just Know How It Feels To Be a Bird

Even if you hadn’t heard of it, you had to guess drone racing was a thing, because of course, it is. But it’s even cooler than that, because racing drones use FPV, First-Person View. That means a tiny camera on the drone broadcasts a live view to a screen or pair of goggles worn by the pilot. You see what the drone sees. If you want a preview of just how insanely awesome that is, go watch some videos on YouTube.

These types of drones are built to be fast and maneuverable, so the cameras they carry usually aren’t good enough to make quality videos. They are, however, good enough to let you see what the world looks like from above and make you feel like a bird, or in some cases, a bee. You can spend a lot on racing drones, and the people who take it seriously end up building their own, which can run into real money. But for a couple hundred dollars, you can race a tiny drone around your house and see what the top of your head looks like.

WALKERA F210 Racing Quad
$399.00
Rodeo 110 Racing Drone RTF, W/ HD Camera, Radio and Battery
$189.99
Carbon 210 Race Drone
$299.99
Carbon 210 Race Drone Propellers
$6.49

4. Make a Movie

Remember that scene in Skyfall when James Bond is chasing a guy over the rooftops on a motorbike? Or how about pretty much any battle scene in Game of Thrones? Those were all shot by mounting a camera on a drone. In fact, drones are so good for filming that there’s an entire film festival devoted to drone footage: the New York City Drone Film Festival.

The types of drones used for serious filming need to be able to carry a heavy camera and stay in the air for a while, which can run into the thousands of dollars. However, even amateurs can have some fun and create beautiful footage for as little as $100. If you’re willing to spend a few hundred more, you can get image quality good enough that you’d have hard time telling the difference from more expensive setups.

5. Make Maps, Deliver Things and Other Serious Stuff

Most of the applications mentioned above fall partly or mostly into the recreational category, but drones are used for a whole host of professional applications as well. You can get drones with GPS capabilities for mapping, search and rescue, and delivery, as well as a host of other tasks that are just beginning to be explored. They’re even being used to carry critical medical supplies to remote locations that would be difficult to reach otherwise.

The term drone encompasses a vast array of flying robots with applications limited only by the imaginations of their users. Although they may seem like they’re from the future, many of the types of drones mentioned above are available to anyone who wants to buy them. Whether you’re looking to have fun, need aerial surveillance for your field work or want a way to spray your crops, there’s a drone type that can get the job done.

References:

  • https://www.nasa.gov/langley/ten-engine-electric-plane-completes-successful-flight-test
  • https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2015/07/29/multirotor-or-fixed-wing/
  • http://news.mit.edu/2017/hybrid-drones-carry-heavier-payloads-greater-distances-0804
  • https://www.auav.com.au/articles/dronetypes/
  • http://www.rotorcopters.com/sub-50-multirotor-drone-mini-reviews/
  • http://bestdroneforthejob.com/drones-for-fun/racing-drone-buyers-guide-2/
  • http://www.techradar.com/news/photography-video-capture/the-best-5-movie-scenes-shot-using-drones-1302565
  • https://www.digitaltrends.com/photography/new-yore-city-drone-film-festival-2016-montage/
  • http://www.thedrive.com/aerial/7354/the-8-best-filming-drones-of-2017
  • https://www.wired.com/story/zipline-drone-delivery-tanzania/
Drones’ Pilots Are Getting Jobs, and Here’s Why

Drones’ Pilots Are Getting Jobs, and Here’s Why

Have you ever considered trying to make some money while you’re having fun flying drones? Pilots of these high-tech devices get to take to the skies as early as their sixteenth birthday, but people of all ages are fascinated by prospect of unmanned flight. These days, they’re doing their flying in some amazing, inspiring and surprising ways.

Since the tech is so new for civilians, the full capacity of these versatile machines is mostly unfamiliar territory. That means there’s a lot of exploration going on, but it also means that it’s a little difficult to get a bird’s-eye view of the drone situation.

Drones’ pilots are often best served by starting with the basics: What are drones, who is allowed to fly them and how do they work? Whether you’re thinking of taking the FAA test to become a drone pilot, you’re curious about the capacity of the devices or you just want to know if it’s legal for you to operate one, here’s some information that can help you out.

What’s a Drone?

It seems like a simple question: “What is a drone?” However, the issue might not be as clear as it appears at first. Pilots of these vehicles aren’t really what you would traditionally consider a pilot at all. They’re more like operators, guiding the drone from a safe distance. However, the opportunities and excitement of flight are all still there. There’s a dizzying variety of brands, types and grades of these devices available. For technical specs and specific data, it’s best to consult a retailer, manufacturer or training center directly, or visit one of those businesses’ websites. For general info, read on.

DJI Matrice 200 Quadcopter
$5,299.00
DJI Matrice 210 Quadcopter
$8,999.00
DJI Matrice 210 RTK-G
$14,999.00
Matrice 600 Pro Flying Platform
$4,999.00

The Drone, Generally Speaking

In the loosest sense of the term, you might classify almost any unmanned craft by the term, from a trench-exploring submarine to NASA’s Mars rovers. But most drones’ pilots aren’t exploring the depths of the ocean or flying spacecraft, so it’s probably more useful to restrict the definition to the increasingly familiar helicopter-style remote-controlled devices. The Federal Aviation Administration calls them unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS for short.

Now that science has caught up with designers’ imaginations with new materials, energy sources and aeronautics engineering, nearly anyone can own drones. Pilots come from all walks of life, from kids to college professors, and they’re all doing some interesting things. Here are some of the ways people are using drones for fun, profit and community service.

Photography

Some of the most striking examples of great drone use in the past few years came from a pretty simple concept: attaching a camera to a flying object. With quite a bit more accessibility, stability, range and grandeur than possible with older methods, such as hiring helicopters or tossing a cellphone in the air while recording, drones have quickly become a favorite of professional and amateur filmmakers alike.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like on the inside of a volcano? While drones’ pilots can’t quite access the magma chamber yet, there has been some impressive footage recorded of craters, plumes of spewing ash and super-heated lava floes. Too hot for you? Drones have also captured images of glacial caverns and vast icy expanses in Antarctica. Looking for something a little closer to home (assuming you don’t live in Pompeii)? Even getting an aerial view of a local sports match wouldn’t be beneath these devices, figuratively speaking.

Community Service

Drones’ pilots aren’t all artists, photographers or explorers. Some are focused on more local issues. In fact, community and government organizations generate many of the opportunities that come from learning how to operate drones. Politicians, political parties and campaigns often hire pilots for drones to create stunning and motivational overhead images of rallies and speeches.

Police and fire departments use drones to great effect as well. Law-enforcement organizations with limited staff can monitor multiple troublesome areas at once through drone images. Fire control and safety centers can use the technology for routine building inspections, investigations of emergency calls and almost nearly instant assessment of fires for appropriate response sizes. Any or all of these types of government bodies might hire freelancers or regular staff to operate drones. Pilots for drones might also find opportunities in other community service capacities.

More Infrastructure Opportunities

With increased coastal populations, the need for oversight, preparedness and high-tech responses to natural disasters has become more and more apparent. Hurricanes and other tropical storms create havoc on the ground when massive flooding ensues. The old way of boating around just doesn’t work in the context of contemporary urban population density.

Luckily, we have something to fill in the widening gap between the efficiency of response techniques and the number of people who need help. That ‘something’ is drones. Pilots of unmanned aircraft truly make a difference in dire situations like major floods or disasters. These FAA-approved technicians work with first responders to methodically seek out people in need and inform response teams of rescue locations.

Entertainment

People sometimes rent out drones to explore the skies, but this requires professional instruction. Driving a drone without learning the basics first is a recipe for disaster. That’s why many rental outlets also double as flying schools. People go to these licensed businesses to purchase or rent a piece of equipment, but also to learn more about the proper use and capabilities of drones in general. Whether it’s to get an even higher view while mountain climbing, scout fishing opportunities or explore an urban park from the air, people want to get the most out of their free time. To do this, they need to know how to have fun safely with their tech.

Learning To Fly

With all these cool and helpful applications of drones, pilots should have been flying them since their invention. However, that’s not the case. The reason why is pretty simple: FAA guidelines. The FAA only issued rules for civilian drone use in 2016, and only under the following conditions:

  • The pilot is at least 16 years old.
  • A written test about the rules and basic drone operation is passed.
  • The drone in question weighs less than 55 pounds.
  • Flight speeds can’t exceed 100 miles per hour.
  • The drone has to be registered.
  • The drone must stay in visual range at all times.
  • Only daytime operation is permitted.
  • Pilots are expected to report drone-related injuries (similar to driving a car).

Speaking of that last point, most of the rules and regulations discussed in drones’ pilots’ tests are pretty familiar to anyone who’s ever obtained a driver’s license or taken a driver’s ed class. You even have to take the exam at an approved testing center, similar to visiting the DMV. It’s easy to find an updated list of these locations if you check out the FAA website. There are also some good resources offered through schools, retailers and training centers if you feel like something a little more straightforward than your typical government website. In fact, you might even get two tasks done at once: Some training centers double as approved testing sites.

A Gateway to the Sky

It’s overgeneralizing a little to say that a drone’s pilot’s license is like a car’s driver’s license. Pilots for drones need more specific knowledge, but that’s a good thing in a way. Establishing the context necessary to understand the terms in the drone flight requirements (and therefore pass your test) puts you one step closer to aviation expertise. That’s valuable if you have ambitions beyond unmanned flight. If you’re a young flier, having experience with the rules and terminology of the FAA puts you ahead of the competition when it comes time to apply yourself to your long-term goals, such as military service, piloting aircraft or even space travel.

Drones by the Numbers

If you’re wondering whether you can make money from operating drones, pilots all over the country have already answered that question for you. While competition for many current positions is tight, there are definite benefits to securing a place in what looks to be a booming industry. Getting a position flying a drone or establishing your own organization could get you in on the ground floor of something truly exciting.

To give you an idea of the potential of this business, here are some figures you can really sink your teeth into. PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the largest professional firms in the world, projects huge growth in the unmanned aviation industry. They estimate the value of the emerging global market for drones at $127 billion — that’s a lot of opportunities for those drones’ pilots. They split it up even further into some interesting and surprising industry sectors:

  • Mining: $4.4 billion
  • Entertainment: $8.8 billion
  • Insurance: $6.8 billion
  • Agriculture: $32.4 billion
  • Transport: $13 billion
  • Infrastructure: $45.2 billion

Most people are talking about transportation and delivery when it comes to drones. However, the numbers from this international analysis firm seem to suggest that there’s a lot more opportunity in farming.

With new technology being developed every day, drones are at the cutting edge of many industries. Drone pilots can find employment in anything from taking high-altitude photographs to helping out during natural disasters, and likely many more places as the field continue to advance.

5 Ways Drones Are Changing the Landscape of the Future

5 Ways Drones Are Changing the Landscape of the Future

You may have seen the drones flying around Lady Gaga during her 2017 Super Bowl halftime performance, or you may have heard about Amazon using them to deliver packages on the same day that they are ordered.

However, you may not fully understand what they are or how they might affect your future. In essence, a drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle. Despite popular belief, a UAV does not have to be small, like a remote plane; rather, it can be any size. Think of blimps and robot planes, each of which can be controlled via remote or autonomously.

Inspire 1 V2.0 Quadcopter 4K Video (DJI Refurbished Unit)
$1,499.00
Mavic Pro Drone with 4K HD Camera (DJI Refurbished Unit)
$799.00
DJI Matrice 200 Quadcopter
$5,299.00

Though unmanned aerial vehicles are just recently gaining attention, UAVs are nothing new — at least, not the concept of them. If you have ever been in a hobby shop, visited a park on a beautiful sunny day or had an uncle who was into building model planes or helicopters, then you’ve likely seen an unmanned aircraft in action. The reason they’re gaining so much attention now, however, is because of the many ways in which they are changing the world.

It’s hard to escape all the conversation surrounding UAVs today. Whether you get your news from CNN or Facebook, you’ve likely heard about UAVs being used for everything from weapons of war to same-day delivery. If you’ve delved a little deeper, you might even be worried about how this technology could violate your privacy or be interested in how it can be used to prevent acts of terrorism from occurring at major events.

While none of that information is necessarily wrong, it is only the beginning of the very big and very real impact this technology is having on our world. Below are just five ways that UAV technology is being used to change life as we know it:

1. Philanthropic Efforts

According to the United Nations, over 5 billion people in the world lack the essential medicines they need to live long, healthy and prosperous lives. This is in large part due to many people of the world continuing to live in rural and hard-to-reach places.

One California drone maker, Zipline, aims to change that. Zipline recently teamed up with the Rwandan government to deliver medicine to parts of the country that are difficult to reach by land or large aircraft. Now based in central Rwanda, the company flies its aircrafts within a 50-mile radius to help those in need. In addition to bringing much-needed medicines to people of the world who would otherwise have no access to it, Zipline has shown the industry that drones can be used for more than recording ball games, dropping bombs or highlighting pop-stars — they can be used for good and to change the fate of people less fortunate. Organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and UNICEF have teamed up with governments of other impoverished nations such as Malawi and Madagascar to provide the same type of services for citizens in need.

2. Insurance

As one of the greatest and most recent natural disasters in the nation’s history, Hurricane Harvey is a relevant example of how the technology can be used for insurance purposes. The hurricane is expected to cost insurance agencies and the city of Houston billions of dollars in damages. To gain a thorough assessment of the damage, insurers plan to deploy UAVs. Both Allstate and Farmer’s Insurance have prepared their aerial vehicles to do the incredible — assess billions of dollars’ worth of damage without actually setting foot in the disaster zone. Though a huge undertaking, drone technology is so advanced that the unmanned aircraft are expected to be able to complete the task without fail and in a much safer and more efficient manner than any other human intel could.

Harvey is not the first time UAVs have been used for insurance inspections. Though most insurance agencies are still experimenting with the technology, the bigger players like Allstate and Farmer’s have put their vehicles to the test before, such as when severe storms ravaged the roofs of homes in New York this past April. According to USA Today, these larger insurance agencies have previously used the technology to investigate claims associated with weather damage. Not only is it more efficient, but it also negates the use of the ladders and prevents injury to agency employees.

3. Extreme Weather Forecasting

It is estimated that approximately 1,000 tornados occur in the U.S. each year. While many of these tornados go undetected, the larger F3s, F4s, and F5s wreak havoc that is hard to ignore and that costs local and federal governments billions of dollars each year. Hurricanes are less common, but as Hurricane Harvey has recently proved, they can be just as deadly and just as costly as several tornados combined. Though we can roughly estimate how many tornados and hurricanes to expect in any given year based on previous weather patterns, it is difficult to forecast, and therefore plan for, these natural disasters. Drones are expected to help with that.

UAV makers have the common goal of making their technology meteorologist friendly. While the technology is not yet fully there, developers hope to soon release fixed-wing crafts that can be sent into the atmosphere to measure air pressure, temperature, humidity and wind direction. They hope that by catching changes in these conditions as they occur, they can accurately gauge how a storm might move and what type of damage it can be expected to cause. This will allow cities and states to better prepare for storms and to evacuate in a timelier manner.

4. Photos and Videos

From football games to marathons, from growing storms to renowned landmarks, there are birds-eye perspectives of countless events and places that we, as humans, could never be privy to, at least not without setting foot in a plane or helicopter. But with drones, that is all about to change. UAV technology is being used to capture images from above, creating one-of-a-kind panoramas that are changing the way photographers and videographers alike approach their art. Movies such as The Wolf on Wall Street, The Expendables 3 and Captain America: Civil War used aerial footage to enhance the films’ effects. CNN used the technology to report on the earthquakes in Ecuador and Italy, and real estate agents use aerial photography to really sell a home to prospective buyers.

That is not all, though. Drone technology today can be programmed to follow their “owners.” Now, surfers, kayakers, paddle boarders and other extreme sports enthusiasts everywhere are using UAVs to capture epic moments on film that will impress their followers and sponsors alike.

5. Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Until recently, it was difficult for conservationists to gauge what kind of impact humans have on hard-to-reach places such as the middle of the ocean or a rainforest. Moreover, it was hard to see just how much of Earth’s wildlife has been negatively (or positively) impacted by our presence on this planet. Drones, however, are changing that.

In recent years, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts has used UAV technology to track the migration patterns and monitor the health of humpback whales off the coast of Cape Cod. The U.S. Geological Survey employed similar technology to observe sandhill cranes in Colorado. And most notably, UAVs have been deployed in Africa, where they are being used to track poachers and put an end to the illegal activity of hunting endangered wildlife such as rhinos and elephants. Sadly, the tusks and horns of these majestic creatures go for thousands of dollars on the black market, and previous conservation efforts have been virtually useless. However, with UAVs, local law enforcement agencies can be ready to catch criminals in the act before any harm is done.

Poachers are extremely dangerous, which is why the “sport” has prevailed for so long. Park rangers were hesitant to head out into the brush at night for fear of being attacked and possibly even killed by these dangerous bandits. With drone technology, they no longer have to worry about this though, as the technology acts as their eyes and ears. The vehicles are programmed to patrol a certain area, collect data and predict poacher movement. This is done by watching the animals’ movements, tracking water sources and observing weather patterns, each of which can help Rangers and the local governments predict where and when the poachers are going to be before the criminals even make a move.

UAV Technology Is the Way of the Future

Although there are some understandable concerns about how UAVs might be deployed, it’s important to note all the good that can come from drone use. UAV technology, like any other technological advancement, has the potential to be destructive. However, with clear guidelines set forth by the federal government and set safety regulations, drones have the very real potential of changing the future for the better. From aiding in humanitarian efforts to assisting in insurance claims, predicting major storms, advancing the visual arts and helping with wildlife conservation efforts, it’s safe to say that this technology is on the path of doing far more good than harm.

Racing Drones Vs. Regular Drones: A Comparison

Technical Characteristics

Racing Drones

Regular Drones

Speed: The top speed can go over 50 mph Average speed is around 35mph
Battery voltage: 14.8v 11.1v
Camera: FPV camera, frame rate – 60fps, wide FOV Frame rate – from 30fps to 60fps, depending on the playback device the video is targeting
Controls: Each motor has its own channel controlled by the sticks. This results in maximum agility and easier control of pitch, roll, incline, and yaw. Can be controlled via hardware controller or an RC app. The latter may result in a less fluent drone steering.
Focus: The main focus of a racing drone is to move forward as fast as possible. Camera drone is focused more on hovering in order to get a clearer image or a high-quality video.

The Differences in Design

Regular drone:

A video/photography quadcopter usually has 4 motors configured in an X-pattern with an equal space between each motor.

Racing drone:

A racing drone has its 4 motors in an H-pattern to help the drone move forward and not upward. Due to the lighter weight and electric motors, the drone can move with a greater speed and swiftness.

Components of a Typical FPV Racing Quadcopter

  • Air Frame
  • 4 motors + spares
  • 4 ESCs + spares
  • 4 props + lots of spares
  • RC Flight controller
  • Lithium-polymer (LiPo) battery + spares
  • FPV Video transmitter (vTx) and receiver (vRx)
  • Radio Control transmitter (Tx) and receiver (Rx)
  • Antennas
  • Battery straps
  • FPV goggles
  • Board camera for FPV feed
  • HD camera for recording (optional, adds weight)

Durability And Repairability

Regular drone:

In normal flying conditions, the crashes are very rare. Unless you’re planning on piloting the drone somewhere with extreme weather conditions, you can go for a more budget-friendly drone option that puts less emphasis on damage resistance.

Racing drone:

During races, you’re bound to crash your drone at least once. Thus, drones designed for racing come with a lot of extra features like wind stabilization, carbon-fiber struts, prop guards and frame padding.

Fun fact: around 25% of people who buy their first drone manage to crash it within the first week.

4 Toughest and Most Durable Drones on the Market

  • DJI Phantom 3 Quadcopter
  • DJI T600 Inspire 1
  • Blade Nano QX 7680
  • WL Toys V262 Cyclone Quadcopter

Financial Side of the Question

Price range for regular drones:

  • Amateur – from $40 to $500
  • Professional – from $400 to $1500

Price range for racing drones:

  • Amateur – from $200 to $700
  • Professional – from $1000

What’s So Special about Racing Drones

Contrary to the usual drone piloting experience, when you observe your flying friend from the ground, racing drones give you a whole different perspective. It is almost a VR experience. Your headset allows you to receive live pictures from the camera, which helps you make split-second decisions during races.

Top 5 Picks for Racing Drones

  • Walkera F210 Professional Racer
  • Arris X-Speed 250
  • Arris FPV250
  • Vortex 250 PRO
  • Eachine Wizard X220

Piloting a drone is a unique experience, no matter what type of drone you go with but it is important to pick the one that suits your needs the best. So choose wisely.

 

Racing Drones vs Regular Drones

Racing Drones vs Regular Drones

Overview of the DJI Drones Range

Mavic Series

Mavic Pro Platinum

This compact model with a sleek design is both powerful and alluring. It is one of the best DJI’s portable drones yet. Its main features are:

  • Noise reduction by 4dB (60% noise power)
  • Increased max flight time – 30 min
  • 4K camera
  • 7 km control range
  • 3-axis gimbal

Mavic Pro/Mavic Pro Alpine White

A portable and foldable model that has a great precision and environment orientation. Its main features are:

  • 4K camera
  • 12 MP photos
  • 7 km control range
  • 65 kph max speed
  • Up to 27 min flight time

Phantom Series

Phantom 3 SE

Phantom is one of the most well-known drone series and is a number one choice for both beginners and experienced drone operators. This model boasts excellent flight performance, high image quality, and intuitive controls. Main features include:

  • 4K camera
  • 4 km control range
  • Vision positioning system
  • 25-minute flight time
  • 94° field of view

Phantom 4 Advanced

Though slightly heavier than the previous one, this model is equipped with a Front Obstacle Avoidance and Flight Autonomy system which guarantees a smooth navigation around complex environments. Main features include:

  • 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor
  • 4K/60fps video
  • Mechanical shutter
  • 30-minute flight time
  • 7 km control range
  • 2-directional obstacle sensing

Phantom 4 Pro

This is an entry-level professional drone with powerful obstacle avoidance, titanium alloy/magnesium alloy construction, and dual rear vision sensors. Main features include:

  • 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor
  • 4K/60fps video
  • 5-Direction obstacle sensing
  • 30-minute flight time
  • 7 km control range

Spark Series

Spark

Spark is a mini drone that holds all of DJI’s signature technologies – intelligent flight control options, a mechanical gimbal, and a camera with excellent image quality. Main features are:

  • 2-axis gimbal
  • 50 kmh speed
  • 16-minute flight time
  • 2 km transmission distance
  • 30 m VPS range
  • 12 MP photos

Matrice 200 Series

One of DJI’s most durable wind and water resistant models, it can automatically heat its batteries in sub zero temperatures, which allows you to operate flights in a wide range of environments.

Matrice 200

  • 38-minute max flight time
  • 7 km operation range
  • FPV camera
  • Dual-battery system
  • Flight autonomy

Matrice 210

  • 38-minute max flight time
  • 7 km operation range
  • FPV camera
  • Dual-battery system
  • Flight autonomy
  • Multiple payload configurations
  • Universal ports

Matrice 210 RTK

  • Built-in RTK
  • Dual-battery system
  • Flight autonomy
  • FPV camera
  • Multiple payload configurations
  • Universal ports
  • 38-minute max flight time
  • 7 km operation range

MG-1S Series

AGRAS MG-1S

This is a unique model designed for efficient agricultural utilizations. Despite the fact that it continuously spraying liquid, it ensures a stable flight in a pattern you can define manually. Its main features are:

  • A3 Flight Controller
  • Radar Sensing System
  • 5-hour working time
  • MG-1S controller with a bright 5.5 inch/1080p display

Inspire Series

Inspire-2

Inspire was the first filmmaking drone to ever incorporate HD video transmission system, 360° rotating gimbal and a 4K camera, combining it with the simple app control. Main features are:

  • Records at up to 5.2K in CinemaDNG RAW, Apple ProRes and more
  • Goes to 50mph (80kph) in 5 sec, max speed – 58mph (94kph)
  • 27-minute working time
  • Two directions of obstacle avoidance
DJI Drones Range

DJI Drones Range

Overview of the Yuneec Drones Range

Breeze 4K

This convenient and compact flying camera is easily controlled with the help of your iOS or Android device. Five automated flight modes allow you to capture unique shots. Plus you can instantly share all the footage via different social medias. Model’s main features are:

4K Ultra High Definition

  • 13 MP photos
  • 720 HD live stream to your device
  • Optical flow and infrared positioning sensors
  • Weight under 1 pound

Typhoon H

Despite its compact size, Typhoon is an advanced aerial photography and videography quadcopter that offers high-level professional capabilities at a consumer price. You can view the live footage on the screen of the ST16 transmitter with the integrated digital video downlink with a range of up to 1 mile (1.6km). Model’s main features are:

  • 25-minute flying time
  • 4K UHD camera
  • 12 MP images
  • 360° range of motion
  • Remote camera settings

Typhoon 4K

One of the best systems to capture 4K videos with the help of a simple Android touchscreen controller. The ST10+ Ground Station allows you to apply simple in-flight adjustments from the ground. It is also much quieter compared to competing models. Model’s main features are:

  • 12 MP photos
  • 25-minute flying time
  • Captures 1080p/120fps slow motion video
  • 4K UHD camera
  • “Follow me” mode

H920 Plus

This multirotor hexacopter is perfect for taking professional high-resolution photos and videos. It’s very easy to assemble and disassemble – no screwdrivers required. The retractable landing gear helps you to have a full 360° view during the flight without anything blocking the lens. Model’s main features are:

  • 4K-resolution video
  • 16 MP photos
  • Automatically goes up as far as 90 m
  • “Follow me” mode
  • ST24 transmitter with 7″ Android device

H520

A great solution for commercial usage. With its enterprise-grade cameras, mission planning software, and data storage to SD card in 4K/2K/HD video, H520 is a perfect option for aerial inspections, security, construction and mapping. Model’s main features are:

  • Six-rotor systems that allow for stable, precise flight
  • 12Mp still images
  • 1 mile (1.6km) flying range
  • ST16S transmitter with the integrated digital video downlink
  • Data storage to SD card
Yuneec Drones Range

Yuneec Drones Range