Quads, as quad-copter drones are popularly known, have weaved their way into our everyday lives and the craze is catching on really fast. It maybe the breathtaking videos posted all over the internet or just the incorporating an outdoors aspect to the leisure times, but people are snapping up quads in their thousands.
Before we get into the things to know before using a quadcopter, here is a quick summary of each quadcopter drone available.
Types of Quadcopter Drones
Toys/ Beginner Quadcopters – they feature 6-12 inches wingspan. They are lighter, smaller, more resistant to crashes and well suited to both outdoors and indoors. Read our article about quad copters for kids here.
Hobby Quadcopters - they have a 12-24 inches wingspan; they are pricier, more technologically advanced and can mount cameras.
Professional Quadcopters - their wingspans are approximately 25-30 inches; cost quite a bit, feature state of the art systems, have great speeds and marvelous functionality.
However, before rushing off to snap up that quad copter there are a few things you might need to know.
What Do You Need To Know?
1. Though quad copter drones do not (as yet) carry passengers, they are regulated by the FAA. However, that does not imply that you need a license – to avoid getting into trouble with them or the authorities, always keep your drone under 400 feet in the air, five miles from the major airports and never under any circumstances should you fly it over a federal building.
2. The ease of flying is directly proportional to the pricing range. Just like cars, the more bread you shell out for your quadcopter, the more amenities you are entitled to. The quadcopter on the higher end feature advanced technologies that boost stability, intelligent flying systems as well as a higher payload.
3. Some brands are Ready-To-Fly (RTF Drones) - just charge the battery and fly away. Others are Bind-And-Fly (BNF Drones) –completely assembled but without the controller. You may have to purchase the controller separately. Some are Almost Ready to Fly (ARF) these varieties have no controllers or transmitters and might require partial assembly. If you are not keen on tinkering with mechanical things, always settle for RFT, this one here is the best RTF quadcopter drone.
4. Some quads are compatible with android and IOS devices. However, these are only the toy/beginner quads and will negatively affect your performance handling on the hobby grade quads.
5. Flying a quadcopter takes practice and dedication. Remember how awkward it was handling your first driving lesson? Flying a quadcopter might evoke a similar scene only this time you’ll smack into walls, people, pets and plasma screens. You might want to try out a flight simulator first – no matter how badly a craft is mangled, the rest button repairs it instantly.
6. The standard batteries and rotors blades supplied with the quad crafts are okay but for enhanced performance you’ll need to invest in better equipment – batteries, charges, and controllers; especially if looking to keep the quad habit for long time. It won’t do to have to charge your quad for hours just to enjoy a ten minutes flight.
7. Invest in research. This might be a bummer, but the excitement to rush off to acquire a quad might end up a great disappoint. There are many products in the market and unfortunately not all of them amount to scratch. Fortunately there are great resources on the internet such as this site that can serve as guides, if you take your time to research.
8. Join a forum or a drone community. Not taking you back to college days and asking you to join a fraternity, but these are great places to meet and acquire firsthand knowledge from established players in the drone field. Such forums offer insight into best buys, solutions to minor problems and might obviate the need suffer through obnoxious music when tech support puts you on hold over ten minutes.
9. Observe safety. As a beginner, the fledging flight skills are shaky and might result in property damage as well as body injuries. Such occurrences might land you in trouble just dampen the overall experience. As the old adage goes, better safe than sorry..