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Table of Contents FAQ about High Altitude Drones Best High Altitude Drones For Sale DJI Phantom 4 Autel X-Star Premium Yuneec Typhoon H Hubsan X4 H502S Ionic Stratus Conclusion about High Altitude Drones
Many people think that flight range and altitude are the same. But just because your drone can fly 300 meters away from your remote doesn’t mean that it can fly 300 meters straight up in the air. A drone has to be specifically built to work at high altitudes.
How does it work? Well, thanks to a huge boom in the commercial drone market in the past few years, drones are cheaper than ever to manufacture and to purchase. This means that they can be made extremely light, which allows them to gain a high altitude quickly. More importantly, the motors can be made very light without losing too much power, which gives the quadcopter the thrust it needs to hold those high altitudes and makes the propellers go fast enough to maintain its height.
There’s lots of applications for high altitude drones – from photography to construction to simple recreational use. We’ve compiled a list of the five best – each one tested and vouched for by the Dronethusiast staff. Whether you’re an experienced pilot looking for advice or a first-time user who doesn’t know where to start, this list is sure to help you find the high altitude drone that’s right for you.
FAQ about High Altitude Drones
What are drones?
A drone is simply an unmanned aerial vehicle. The most common drones are quadcopters, which simply means that they have four propellers. Drones are usually controlled with a radio transmitter (just like an RC car), but more recently may also be controlled with a mobile device via WiFi.
Why would I want a high altitude drone?
There’s lots of reasons, but high altitude drones are mostly used in aerial photography or videography. Drones are a cheaper alternative to helicopter or airplane shots. Because they’re lightweight and most of the models on this list have 6-axis gyroscopes, they’re also extremely stable – often moreso than a cameraman hanging out of an helicopter can be. And finally, small drones can take footage of places that traditional aerial photography can’t reach. This is why high altitude drones have been used in major motion pictures like Skyfall and Captain America: Civil War.
What are some non-photography uses for high altitude drones?
Drones are often used in construction to monitor the project site and for mapping and modeling tasks. High altitude drones are also very useful for roof inspections, as we wrote about here. And for recreational fliers, it’s just fun to point the drone straight up and see what it can do.
How high can a drone fly?
Depends on the drone, as we’ll get into below. The record for the highest drone flight ever was a DJI Phantom 2 that was taken up to 11,000 feet. Please note that flying that high is illegal – without a waiver, you can only fly up to 400 feet in the US and 500 feet in Europe. Much higher than that, and the drone can seriously hurt or even kill someone if it falls – not to mention the fact that it may collide with an aircraft.
(Note that we’re only talking about consumer drones here – military drones operate very differently.)
Do I need to register my drone?
It depends where you’re located. If you’re in England, yes. In America (as of 2017) you usually only have to register your drone if you’re using it commercially – that is, if you’re using it in some capacity that makes money. You also have to meet specific pilot and aircraft requirements. It’s best to look up your local laws and regulations and make sure to comply with them.
Best High Altitude Drones For Sale
Here’s five of the best high altitude drones for sale on the market today. Obviously the main factor that influenced a drone’s placement on the list was how high the drone could get and how stable it was at high altitudes, but we also factored in other considerations. There’s no “one size fits all” in the modern drone market, and we want to make sure you find the altitude drone that’s right for you.
#1 – DJI Phantom 4 Pro
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro is widely considered one of the best – if not the best – drones on the market in every category. It’s not just that it can climb to 6000 meters in altitude (though it’s limited to the legal limit of 400 feet without a waiver.) It also has incredible five-directional obstacle sensing, which is very important at high altitudes where you’re likely to run into things you can’t even see. It’s also very, very stable and has an incredibly high-quality camera that’s perfect whether you’re taking photos or keeping an eye on a construction site. All in all, it’s hard to “top” the Phantom 4 when it comes to high altitude drones for sale (get it?)
Tech Specs: 5350 mAh 15.2V LiPo battery 1 hour and 20 minutes approximate charge time Weighs 14 pounds Wingspan is 350 mm 3-axis gimbal 8 channels Plastic
Obstacle sensing system (OSS) means that the drone is smart enough to steer itself away from buildings and other obstacles. High quality camera takes HD video in 120 frames per second. New gimbal keeps the drone stable in almost all weather conditions.
It’s difficult to set up and the manual is missing some assembly instructions The battery only lasts 28 minutes in the best conditions, which makes it difficult to film long scenes The OSS has difficulty recognizing trees that don’t have a lot of branches or leaves.
#2 – Autel X-Star Premium
The Phantom 4 is great all around, but the Autel X-Star Premium is one of the best camera drones for the money. It has a 4K camera and can take video in Ultra HD, displaying an HD live view to your mobile device from up to 1.2 miles away so that you can see exactly what you’re filming. The X-Star Premium can also go about 1,000 meters in the air and most of its features focus on remaining completely stable. And all this for only about $800 – much cheaper than the DJI flagships.
Tech Specs: 14.8V LiPo battery 1 hour and 30 minutes approximate charge time Weighs 3.2 pounds 25 minutes of flight time 3-axis gimbal 8 channels Plastic
Extremely cheap considering the amount of features on offer Gorgeous 4K photos and videos Live HD feed that remains stable from 1.2 miles away makes it easy to keep track of what you’re shooting.
Only 25 minutes of flight time makes it difficult to film long scenes No obstacle detection
#3 – Yuneec Typhoon H
The Yuneec Typhoon H can supposedly go up to 1000 meters in the air, but its operating range is only 800 meters, so you won’t be able to control the drone beyond that. That’s still pretty impressive. Like the X-Star Premium, the Typhoon’s main feature is a 4K camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal, but where it really sets itself apart is its ability to take slow-motion footage in 120 FPS. Also, unlike the two entries which precede it, the Typhoon is designed to require no previous experience to fly.
Tech Specs: 2 hours approximate charge time Weighs 12 pounds 25 minutes of flight time 3-axis gimbal 8 channels Plastic 4K wide-angle camera with a full 360 degrees of motion
High-quality video, excels at slow-motion footage GPS stabilized flight control, 5 Rotor Fail-Safe, 8 smart flight modes, and 1-touch takeoff and landing mean that the drone can be flown even by pilots with no prior experience.
The number of features on offer probably won’t justify the $1300 price for experienced fliers. The drone is large and inconvenient No obstacle detection
#4 – Hubsan X4 H502S
The Hubsan is on this list not because it can go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Phantom 4, but because it’s the best high altitude drone for those on a budget. For only $180, you get a 720p camera for photography and videography that streams live to a 4.3 inch display built into the controller, which makes it very handy for roof inspection jobs and similar tasks. You also get a highly durable brushless design, some handy flight features like headless mode, a GPS-based “Follow Me” mode, and 20 minutes of flight time per battery, which is absolutely unheard of at this price point. If you’re looking to take to the skies without breaking the bank, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than the X4 H502S.
Tech Specs: 30-40 minutes approximate charge time Weighs 2.7 pounds 20 minutes of flight time 720p wide-angle camera 4 channels Plastic
The best high altitude drone available for less than $200 Good for beginners to pick up and learn
Missing several of the key features of other drones on this list Not recommended for professional photography or important construction work because of the low-quality camera and lack of safety features.
#5 – Ionic Stratus
If the H502S is still too expensive for you, the Stratus is an excellent low-end high altitude drone for sale with a wide array of features. It can reach an altitude of 80 meters. That may not sound like much when compared to the rest of this list, but it’s still high enough that you’ll barely be able to see it. It also doesn’t come with a built-in camera – you’ll have to buy a GoPro separately and attach it. However, this is still a stylish and highly durable beginner drone that can reach incredible heights and stays stable with a 6-axis gyro system that’s pretty rare in drones under $100. It also has a 1-button 3D roll function, which is always fun to see.
Tech Specs: 150 minutes approximate charge time Weighs 3.8 pounds 10 minutes of flight time Action camera mount 3 channels 6-axis gyro Plastic
The best high altitude drone available for less than $100 Easy for beginners to pick up and learn to fly Extremely stable flight thanks to being one of the few cheap drones with a 6-axis gyro
Missing several of the key features of other drones on this list Does not include a built-in camera or any way to stream a live feed while recording, making it all but worthless for any monitoring tasks
Conclusion about High Altitude Drones
Thanks for reading our ultimate guide to the best high altitude drones for sale. Whether you’re ready to take your photography for the next level – literally! – or are just looking for a great toy to play around with, we hope we’ve helped you find the quadcopter that’s right for you. If you have any questions, or if you’ve got a great altitude drone that we missed, please leave a comment below!
5 High Altitude Drones for Sale – [Winter 2017] Best Long Elevation Drones was originally posted at https://www.dronethusiast.com/high-altitude-drones-for-sale/ by
$1,000 is Up for Grabs Every Week – AirVuz Drone Video of the Week Contest!
$1,000 is Up for Grabs Every Week – AirVuz Drone Video of the Week Contest! was originally posted at https://dronelife.com/2018/04/08/1000-grabs-every-week-airvuz-drone-video-week-contest/ by Miriam McNabb
The Alliance for Drone Innovation
The new organization will address the same issues – but the coalition has now expanded to include suppliers and software developers of both personal and professional drones “as well as the innovative Americans who fly them for recreational, artistic, and business purposes,” says the Alliance.
“ADI is focused on promoting innovation and the growth of the unmanned aircraft industry for both personal and professional use,” says ADI. “…ADI promotes awareness among policymakers, media and the general public of how drones help society, ensuring that government policies allow everyone to achieve the benefits of safe and responsible drone flight.”
“We look forward to working with Congress, the administration, and other stakeholders on policies that promote innovation and allow the drone market to flourish in a responsible and safe manner,” said ADI Executive Director Jenny Rosenberg.
In addition to legal protections for recreational operators as mentioned above, the ADI supports a micro-drone classification exempting very small and lightweight aircraft from certain laws, and the preservation of FAA preemption. FAA preemption refers to the idea that the FAA should maintain ultimate authority over the airspace, preventing state, tribal and local governments from passing their own drone laws.
The Alliance for Drone Innovation was originally posted at https://dronelife.com/2018/04/07/alliance-drone-innovation/ by Miriam McNabb
Firefly Drone Shows: The Team Behind That Viral Video Expands Their Fleet
Press Release: Firefly Drone Shows, founded by Kyle Dorosz and Ryan Sigmon, is expanding their fleet to 200 custom-built drones and booking for a variety of outdoor events this summer. They are the third company in the United States to gain approval for performing across the country, and one of the few in the world to also possess a night waiver from the FAA for drone shows. Routines are pre-programmed, choreographed, and automated by a computer to create any design imaginable in the sky. This level of customization makes light shows an ideal alternative to traditional fireworks for corporate, private, and special events.
Firefly recently made headlines in regional news outlets, including MLive and ABC 12, after a video of their first test performance, recorded by Grand Blanc resident Kaylin Adams, went viral. Dorosz was operating 30 drones at dusk, from Holly Cloud Hoppers flying field, which piqued the curiosity of Adams plus 10-15 other drivers who parked on the shoulder of the I-75 highway to safely view the synchronized light show.
Traditional fireworks are loud, costly, can be used only once, and emit various harmful toxins. Drone shows don’t leave a carbon footprint and can be executed repeatedly, something co-founder Dorosz believes will appeal to to eco-conscious industries including music and entertainment. “We are able to create bright, impactful displays in the sky without the significant pollution or steep costs generally associated with fireworks.”
A light show can last up to 20 minutes. However, additional drones can be launched to replace drones with depleted batteries, creating a seamless and continuous light show. Anyone attending a music festival, county fair, or corporate event this summer will be relieved to know that if they spot groups of lights performing mesmerizing routines, it’s likely a Firefly Drone Show at work and not a visit from extraterrestrial beings.
About Firefly Drone Shows
Firefly provides synchronized drone light shows for corporate and private events, as well as custom applications. One of the only FAA-approved companies in the world, Firefly offers the latest technology operated by the most experienced pilots.
Firefly Drone Shows: The Team Behind That Viral Video Expands Their Fleet was originally posted at https://dronelife.com/2018/04/07/firefly-drone-shows-team-behind-viral-video-expands-fleet/ by