Drone technology is changing rapidly and people looking to buy a drone are wondering what’s the best way to get started. This beginner’s guide will tell you what you need to know about buying your first drone, how it compares to other types of drones on the market, how it works and how safe it is.
Is it legal to fly where I live?
The first thing you should do before flying your drone is to check the local laws in your area. It’s important to know which areas are off-limits, so you can avoid them while flying.
For example, it is illegal to fly within five miles of an airport and above 400ft (122m). If you don’t want to risk a fine or worse, it’s best not to fly at all when near an airport. If you’re unsure whether or not an area is allowed for drone use then just play it safe and stay clear – better safe than sorry!
In addition to checking rules and regulations on where you can operate a drone legally, another thing that needs consideration is privacy and safety concerns as well as property damage liability claims on behalf of others.
What are all the different parts?
Let’s take a look at the parts of a drone.
First, there is the frame. This is what holds everything together and keeps your drone from falling apart in midair. Next, there is the battery. The battery powers your drone and allows it to fly for longer periods of time without having to recharge it. Then, there are motors and propellers (the blades). The motors rotate the propellers so that they can lift up into the air when you want them too, while also working together with other parts such as gimbals or cameras so that you have smooth footage when filming with your drone! Last but not least we have our last major component: radio transmitters/receivers or radios – these transmit data between devices over radio waves which let us see live images from our camera onto our screen so we know where exactly everything is located on our map while flying around up above.
How big are they?
The most common sizes of drones are listed below.
- Micro: 0.3 to 1 meter (1 foot) long, and weighs less than 1 kilogram (2 pounds)
- Mini: 1 meter to 2 meters (3 to 6 feet), or 2 kilograms (4.5 pounds) or less
- Standard: 2 meters to 3 meters (6 to 10 feet), or 4 kilograms (8 pounds) or less
- Large: More than 3 meters in size (10 feet), or more than 8 kilograms (18 pounds)
Can they fly indoors?
You can’t fly a drone indoors. But you can fly drones outdoors, and some indoor spaces will allow you to do so. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says that “there are no restrictions on flying an unmanned aircraft in any airspace that is open to public use.” But the agency also notes that “if a property owner or tenant does not want [you] to fly an unmanned aircraft on his/her private property, it would be prudent for [you] to respect their wishes.”
What is the safest way to fly?
While there are many things to consider when flying a drone, some of them are not all that important. For example, you can fly your drone inside or outside, but if it’s a nice day and you live somewhere where the weather is agreeable, then flying outside is probably preferable.
However, there are some things that should be considered regardless of the situation. These include:
- Using a spotter (someone who watches you while you fly to make sure no one gets hurt)
- Flying during daylight hours
- Keeping your distance from people and property
- Traveling at safe heights and speeds
What can go wrong?
Even if you follow all the rules, drones still have a few glitches. Drifting is a common problem that occurs when your drone loses its signal to the remote controller and flies away from you. You don’t want this to happen! You can reduce the risk by flying in open areas where there aren’t many obstacles or people around to interfere with its flight path. If your drone does lose connection with your remote control, try flying it back into range before moving on with your next activity.
Another thing that could go wrong is running out of battery mid-flight. A good rule of thumb for beginners is having enough battery power for about 20 minutes of flying time—which should be more than enough time to take some great photos or videos without any mishaps! If you notice that your battery is running low before finishing up what needs doing, land it gently so as not damage anything else while changing out batteries. And always carry extra batteries so that they’ll be ready when needed (and always charge them fully before using).
Does it have GPS and other sensors to avoid obstacles?
GPS is a satellite-based navigation system. It’s used to navigate drones, but also to return to home in case of an emergency or to avoid flying into restricted areas. Some drones use GPS exclusively, while others also have other sensors that let them avoid obstacles as well.
Should I pay more for a model that has a camera?
To answer the question of whether you should pay more for a drone with a camera, it’s worth considering how much you’re willing to spend on your first drone. If you want one that has everything but the kitchen sink (and then some), it might be worth investing in a high-quality model. But if you’re just looking at getting into hobby drones, and aren’t sure about how often or where you’ll use them, think about purchasing an inexpensive model that can be upgraded later as needed.
If money is no object and/or flying isn’t something that interests you very much but taking pictures with your new drone does, consider buying an entry level camera drone—one which has basic controls and doesn’t require any flight experience whatsoever—and then upgrading later when the time comes. That way if anything happens while flying this simple setup without any camera attached (like losing control mid-flight or crashing into something) won’t cost too much money in repairs.
How long do they take to charge and how long can they fly?
You’ll want to know how long they take to charge and how long they can fly before you buy.
It depends on the battery:
- Charging time: Some batteries will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or two, depending on their size and capacity. This is just a rough estimate; it really depends on the specific drone in question.
- Flight time: The smaller a drone is, the longer its flight time will be (as a general rule). But if you choose a larger battery for your drone, then that might increase its max range or endurance without also increasing your overall size too much—which could result in more stability during flight than with smaller models using smaller batteries! And similarly, if you use lighter materials like carbon fiber instead of aluminum for building components such as arms or landing skids, then this will help prolong overall flight capacity too because these lighter materials won’t weigh down as much when carrying additional cargo such as cameras/gimbals etcetera…
How high and far will these drones go?
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to flying. The first is safety, and we’ll discuss this more later on. Another important consideration is how high and far your drone can go. Most drones are limited by law to flying below 400 feet above ground level, but some models allow for higher flights. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ model has a maximum altitude of 1609 feet (500 meters) and the DJI Mavic Air reaches up to 5000 feet (1500 meters).
The distance you can fly will depend on what kind of drone you have as well as local regulations. Most drones can reach about 3 miles away from the pilot, but there are some exceptions—for example, the Yuneec Typhoon H has an impressive range of up to 22 miles!
Don’t buy a drone unless you know this basic information.
- Buy a drone that is legal to fly in your country.
- Buy a drone that’s safe to fly.
- Buy a drone that’s easy to use.
- Buy a drone with the features you want, like cameras and other accessories.
If you buy an expensive, high-end model and then crash it within the first few weeks of owning it—and who hasn’t done that?—you’re going to hate yourself for not getting something less fancy but more durable instead. And let’s face it: if you’re a beginner, crashing is inevitable anyway! You might as well go for something cheap and cheerful in order to avoid having buyer’s remorse later on when your kids are older (or even worse: adults).
If you’re really considering getting yourself a drone, there are few things you should know first. If you do decide to take the plunge, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy your new technology!