Drone / August 10, 2018 / Sanni Pekkarinen
The design of a drone is an important consideration. You would have to decide whether a quadcopter design would be suitable or whether you require a drone having more than four rotors. While a quadcopter is best for balancing and finer control it would not be safe to use in rough weather and wont be able to lift heavier payloads. On the other hand a hexacopter or an octocopter consumes more power but can fly in much more severe weather. Speed and elevation are also factors that you need to keep in mind when it comes to buying drones. Most small drones cant fly as high are larger drones. So if you want to take good quality aerial photographs then you will have to get an advanced drone that is capable of reaching heights of 300 feet or more. Moreover a smaller drone wont be able to go as fast and would be unsuitable for drone racing. For that you would require a speedy drone for racing which can clock in high speeds.
Flight Time - consider flight time and battery capability. Small Drones may have less then 10 minutes flight time while bigger Drones fly up to 25 minutes. For casual videos 10 minutes flight time may be enough however if you plan to use the Drone to locate schools of fish or remote moorings then consider purchasing a Drone with longer flight times. Camera- Many Drones come equipped with their own camera while others are able to make use of external cameras like a Gopro or DSLR. Included cameras range from low resolution with images stored on a memory card while others are capable of 4K resolution (broadcast quality) and relaying live images via WIFI to a smart phone tablet or controller LCD screens. External cameras generally offer the owner more options and higher resolutions but may not be fully integrated with the included controller system. An example is the Yuneec Typhoon G set up to use the GoPro Hero3 or 4 4K cameras. This is a great set up capable of unusually stable video in most windy conditions. However while the operator can see what the camera sees on the Typhoon controller LCD screen the controller is not able to control any of the features of the GoPro camera- and the operator needs to activate the video record button on the GoPro prior to taking off and then can only shut off video recording after the Drone is retrieved. Integrated cameras usually can be controlled from the controller.
Longevity and Insurance: Powerful drones do not come cheap so you need to get your racing drone insured before taking part in a contest. This is because in a racing event crash episodes damages and collisions are quite common. If your drone isnt repairable you are going to lose a good amount of money. Once you get your hands on a racing drone you first need to learn its controls. Basic controls are required for a normal just-for-fun flight but when you are taking part in a race with world-class drone pilots as your competitors you need to master some advanced level skills as well. Fine tuning your drone to keep it stable when taking off and flying in mid-air is also a very important step. How to change the altitude how to fly through the trees and how to avoid obstacles or even collide with small objects during flight and getting back on the track again are some of the things you need to learn.