Drones, multi-rotor helicopters and quad-copters are a very hot topic at the moment. More and more people are coming to realize that they can enjoy having their own remote control aircrafts that come with autonomous navigation capabilities.Whether you are an aerial photographer, a professional land surveyor or a simple guy whose hobbies include trying new stuff, a drone could prove to be exactly what you’ve always dreamed of.
Most people who learn to fly one of these devices (also called UAV – Unnamed Aerial Vehicle) said that they have quickly became hooked.
Because the drone industry is rapidly changing, you need to know all the information available about drones in order to make a good choice when purchasing your next toy. Here is a complete drone buying guide that will teach you how to select the right drone for your needs.
Top Factors to Consider when Buying a Drone
Each drone is unique and has been specially created to meet a certain need of 21st century users. Here are six of the most important factors to take into consideration when looking to buy a quadcopter.
1. Wingspan: wingspan represent the size of a drone. This factor is of paramount importance, as it determines what your quadcopter is capable of. You need to know precisely what you will be using the drone for.
For instance, if you just want to fly indoors, in a warehouse or a larger room, a drone with a small wingspan should do (around 100 mm).
If you need it to fly outdoors and capture footage, you should choose a drone with a wingspan of more than 300mm. Obviously, the larger the drone, the more expensive it gets.
2. Skill level: this is another important factor to consider when hunting for a quadcopter. If it’s your first time buying a drone, it is recommended to buy one that is specially made for newbies. You should definitely not purchase a DJI Phantom as your first drone, as its skill level is way more advanced than you can handle.
A good drone for beginners is the well-famed UDI U818A. This model is extremely reliable, easy to use and can definitely take a beating. As a rule of thumb, start with a cheap drone and work your way up to a more advanced aircraft.
3. Controller: also known as the transmitter, the controller is the actual joystick you use to control your drone. There are various types of controllers, with different features and uses, each of them having its own benefits and drawbacks. Most controllers transmit on the 2.4gHz spectrum, which is the same speed used by WiFi connections. Additionally, most of the controllers you can find on the market are equipped with LED screens. Some controllers even come equipped with a few fancy buttons for doing cool tricks and flips. The controller is one of the top factors to consider when looking to buy a new drone.
4. Flight time: the flight time is another important characteristic of a good drone. The flight time is the actual time a quadcopter can stay in the air without having to land for being charged. Flight time is determined by several factors, including flying maneuvers, battery efficiency, size and weight.
If you want to fly your toy to a cool location, you need to choose a quadcopter with an average flight time of over 15 minutes. You may buy an extra battery that can make your drone last up to 30 minutes in air.
5. Sensors: this feature is typically found on more expensive drones or on the newer models. One of the best sensors your drone can have is GPS. You can set your drone to follow pre-definite paths in the air, or go to a certain location as fast as possible.
The most advanced copters come with the return-home feature, which gives you the peace of mind that your drone will never get lost.