When you buy a drone, there are many features you should look for. Many questions run through your head, such as how far can it fly or maybe how to avoid losing it. An important question you should never overlook is how long can you fly a drone. Will the battery shut off in 5 minutes or 20? Looking at flight time will keep you prepared for the worst. Some of the best quality drones can fly up to 30 minutes where as lower, cheap quality ones may only fly for 7 minutes. The following are all factors of how long your drone will be able to fly.
Factors Affecting Drones’ Flight Time
The next time you are browsing a drone, go ahead and take a look at the specifics of its battery. This will determine how long a drone can fly without recharging. A more powerful battery is ideal. This will keep your drone in the sky for a much longer period of time compared to a cheap battery. Just like any other battery, drone batteries will also degrade over time. Make sure you get the best of its life by maintaining it properly.
To keep your battery maintained for a proper flight, make sure it is always fully charged. Sometimes when a battery has been sitting for a bit, its performance can be affected. So, get its energy running with a quick power up beforehand!
Some general tips to keep your battery in good condition is to also keep it away from any liquids. This can lead to permanent damage, which means you will need to buy a brand new one. Never remove or insert the battery while your drone is turned on. Make sure to keep it in proper temperature, if it’s too cold or too hot outside, the battery can shut down completely. Finally, always make sure your charger is not damaged.
Lithium batteries last much longer because they are able to hold more energy. Which means that they can be used many more times before they begin to degrade. These batteries cost a little bit more than average, but it’s an investment for your drone.
It’s recommended to purchase multiple batteries to keep on hand during when you fly. This will ensure you get the most of the location that you are at instead of having to head back home to recharge every 20 minutes. Also, when a battery has finally dried up, and it may as well be claimed dead, get rid of it! Do not try to save it. Using a battery on its final minutes can end up with you having a lost drone.
Aside from the battery, the weight alone can affect your drone’s flight time. Not all drones are made the same, some are bigger, and some are smaller. Some even carry multiple motors, two or four, and others only carry one. The added weight affects how hard your battery needs to work to keep the drone in the air. A heavy drone with a weak battery won’t last long.
Speaking of weight, any add-ons also play a role in how long you can fly a drone. Your battery may be perfect for your drone now, but with the weight of any extensions attached, you might need to look into upgrading. One of the biggest interests in owning a drone these days is being able to fly it with a camera attached. The heavier this camera is, the less time your drone’s flight time will be.
Now that we’ve talked about the main factors that correlate with how long a drone’s flight time is, here are some things you can regularly practice to ensure that you get the max flying time with your drone.
Try to fly in calm weather. It doesn’t have to be the perfect temperature outside, but avoid strong winds, rain, and any other unsuitable weather. Strong winds can majorly affect your drones’ flight time because the battery works harder to power through.
Avoid using add-ons when possible. The excess weight can wear down your battery quicker than expected. Instead, only attach the add-ons when you know will use them. Give your drone a break every now and then.
Examples of how long popular drones can fly
Here’s some popular models with a breakdown of their flight time. Keep in mind this number varies with how hard you push them and wind condition. A moderate drone like Traxxas Aton has a flight time of 15 minutes. A DJI Spark has a max duration of about 16 minutes while Autel Evo (a high-end drone) can fly for around 30 minutes. For an average flight time of 25 minutes, the Parrot Bebop 2 is spot on, with double flight time than its previous model.