June 09, 2016

The sky is the limit when you find the perfect drone for you. Whether you're looking for a fun remote control toy or a professional-grade quadcopter camera drone that captures all your adventures in stunning detail.

What are Drones?

A quadcopter also known as a Drone is a multirotor helicopter that is lifted and propelled by four rotors. Quadcopters are classified as rotorcraft, as opposed to fixed-wing aircraft, because their lift is generated by a set of rotors (vertically oriented propellers).

Drones generally use two pairs of identical fixed pitched propellers; two clockwise (CW) and two counter-clockwise (CCW). These use independent variation of the speed of each rotor to achieve control. By changing the speed of each rotor it is possible to specifically generate a desired total thrust; to locate for the centre of thrust both laterally and longitudinally; and to create a desired total torque , or turning force.

With their small size and maneuverability, they can be flown indoors as well as outdoors.

Drones are suitable for indoor/outdoor flying, but do make sure that the outdoor wind force is not very strong, and then you can enjoy a perfect performance

Camera or no Camera? 

Aerial drones come in two basic types: with a built-in camera and without a camera. If you already own an action camera  that you'd like to use with your drone, make sure it's compatible with the gimbal on the drone you're interested in before you buy. However, many drones come fully equipped with a built-in camera which eliminates any compatibility issues. This can get you flying faster.

What is the flying and or charging time?

Typically, you can expect between 10 and 20 minutes of flight time between charges, which themselves take around an hour. You should also budget for a couple of sets of rechargeable AA batteries as most controllers take four of them, and those with live video screens will burn through a set of alkaline batteries in under an hour.

What is the flight time?

The flight time of a quadcopter is the amount of time the vehicle can stay in the air on a single battery charge. Several factors such as weight, flying maneuvers, and battery size greatly affect this. For someone who wants to mess around flying a small aircraft inside, this isn’t as big of a deal. But if you’re someone who wants to drive out to a cool location to capture aerial footage then it’s a different story. It’s safe to say that pretty much all quadcopters have a short flight time. In order to save yourself from this frustration you should buy an extra battery, or even several. That’s what we always do. The recharging times range from 45-90 minutes. Keep in mind that doing tricks and flips or changing altitude drains the battery because of the increase in power used on the motors

What is the range and where can we fly them?

Realistically, you can’t easily fly a quadcopter in your home. The rooms are too small and the rotors can be dangerous to people and pets. Plus, pets and children are scared by them. Only the tiniest models can really be flown in small spaces.

Even a garden is likely to be too limited on space, and it’s all too easy to lose control and end up crashing your drone into a neighbor’s garden. Even worse, you may not know exactly which garden it landed in, and won’t be able to get it back (we know this from unfortunate first-hand experience). In fact, it’s well worth putting some contact details such as an email address on a label stuck somewhere on the drone just in case.

The best place is a field, park or other open space where there are no trees for the drone to get caught in, and no people or dogs to hit. Bear in mind that you can only fly (safely) in relatively windless conditions, and don’t forget that it might be a lot windier up in the air where the drone is flying than your controlling position on the ground!

What are the regulations?

As the flyer you are responsible for any collisions and that it’s illegal to fly your drone “over a congested area.” You should also “think about what you do with any images you obtain as you may breach privacy laws.” Basically, you need a big open space away from roads, people, buildings and animals and pets. You shouldn’t post any aerial video which would allow anyone to be identified on YouTube or social networks unless you have their permission.

What does the transmitter do?

The controller, often referred to as a transmitter, sends your input commands to the copter. This allows you to maneuver the vehicle. Most controllers are 2.4GHz and come with two analog sticks . Some come with an LCD screen, which provides you with real time diagnostics while the copter is flying. Remember, every drone is different, so make sure you check out the features before purchasing. For example, some have buttons that allow you to do cool flips and other tricks.

What are the safety precautions? 

Quadcopters are basically flying lawnmowers. They can be dangerous if not operated carefully.

Some quadcopter safety precautions to keep in mind:

  • If you’re about to crash into something, turn the throttle down to zero, so you don’t potentially destroy your quadcopter, injure somebody, or injure yourself.
  • Keep your fingers away from the propellers when they’re moving.
  • Unplug/take out the battery of the quad before doing any work on it. If it turns on accidentally and the propellers start spinning, you might have a tough time doing future flights with missing fingers.
  • If you’re a beginner learning to fly indoors, tie the quadcopter down or surround it by a cage.

Is this right for me?

You might ask yourself who would actually want to buy a drone? And if this is right for me? You might be surprised to learn that the number of drone pilots taking to the skies is growing at an exponential. If you have been to your local park lately, odds are likely that one of these flying robots has captured your eye. Drones have the power to draw crowds and and make people ‘oooo’ and ‘ahhh’ with wonder and astonishment.

Drones aren’t just a blast fun to fly, but the entrepreneurial applications that civilian drones provide are endless. Everyone from movie studios to real-estate agents are eager to utilize drones because of the stunning and inexpensive footage they provide. Companies like Amazon are beginning to experiment with drone delivery, journalists are safely gaining access to dangerous natural disaster zones, and soccer moms are capturing little league games like never before… all because of drones!


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