7 Common Drone Buying Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
The drone industry has taken off in the last five years. In 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted hundreds of exemptions and eased limitations for companies and citizens to fly drones in the US.
According to the Drone Service Market Report, the drone service market size is expected to grow from $4.4 billion in 2018 to $66.3 billion by 2025.
Drones were once thought of as luxury toys, but that’s not true anymore. Businesses from real estate, yacht rental and tourism, to the sports industry have turned to drones to grow their brands.
Whether you’re a drone hobbyist or a business owner looking to use a drone for profit, you don’t want to make any drone-buying mistakes. Keep reading to learn the mistakes you need to avoid.
1. Not Knowing Types of Drones
One of the biggest mistakes new drone buyers make is not understanding the different types of drones. They don’t do enough research, or they don’t know exactly what their needs are.
The basic drone categories are:
- Single Rotor (Helicopter)
- Fixed Wing
- Fixed Wing Hybrid
The single-rotor drone is self-explanatory. It has one rotor like a helicopter. They’re able to use gas and have long flight durations. They’re more efficient due to the slow-spinning rotor.
Helicopter-type drones are the least popular in the drone community. If you’re mostly flying forward on a long flight or you need to carry a heavy payload, a single-rotor drone works for you.
Multirotor drones are the most popular. They’re used by professionals and hobbyists alike.
You’ll get much more control for picture and video framing with these drones.
Advancements in technology have allowed multirotor drones to become cheaper and more accessible. They’re the most economical and easy to manufacture.
Fixed-wing drones take off similar to airplanes. Rotor drones generate vertical thrust, whereas fixed-wing drones generate vertical lift with wings. The winged lift is more efficient.
Winged drones and get closer to objects and map out wider spaces while traveling long distances. They use gas engines and can fly for up to 15 hours at a time.
Although you can get closer to objects with these types of drones, their method of picture-taking isn’t easy. You have to stitch together many images to get a broad view.
Fixed-wing hybrid drones are the same as fixed-wing drones, except they can hover. And they have several different designs.
They have a fixed-wing design with a vertical lift motor. The propellers go horizontal during flight and upwards upon lift-off.
2. Not Knowing Drone Sizes
If you don’t know what size of drone you need, you can make a big mistake. You need to assess your needs and proceed accordingly. The different sizes of drones are:
- Mini Drones
- Nano/Micro Drones
- Medium Drones
- Large Drones
Mini drones are perfect for indoor use. They can also be used in confined outdoor areas. They’re great for beginners.
Mini drones have excellent cameras and are good to capture photos and videos of smaller live events. They’re not recommended for delivering packages and other professional use.
Nano/micro drones are best indoors as well. They’re tiny. You can hold them with two fingers. Beginners do well with these drones, and they only travel shorter distances.
Medium-sized drones are when you start getting more into commercial or professional usage. They’re much more sophisticated in design than smaller drones.
These drones are heavy. They can be over 400 pounds, so you need to consider that when buying one. However, they’ll give you top-of-the-line performance while being durable.
Large drones are pretty much only used by the military. These drones are used for spy missions and military drills.
3. Not Comparing Prices
This may seem obvious, but often people don’t take the time to compare the prices of drones. They see what they like and get too excited, and pull the trigger before finding a better option.
4. Not Knowing State Drone Laws
You can get in serious trouble if you violate state or federal drone laws. It’s probably best to focus more on state laws but knowing federal regulations can’t hurt also.
5. Not All Drones are Plug and Play
Not every drone is ready to fly right out of the box. There are three types of assembly requirements for drones; RTF, ARF, and BNF.
RTF means ready to fly. You typically only need to charge the battery and snap on the propeller.
ARF stands for almost ready to fly. You’ll need a transmitter and have to do some assembly but not much.
BNF means ‘bind and fly’. The controller comes separately, and after you get one, you’ll need to sync it with the transmitter so they can communicate.
Don’t forget to check if the drone you’ve got is compatible with the controller you buy.
6. Not Investing Time and Money
You should realize you’re going to have to put some time in to figure out your new drone, even if you’re not a complete novice.
The more you practice, the better you’ll get, and you’ll have more fun. Plus, you’ll be able to help your business much faster with quality shots.
You don’t want to jump in and buy a drone that’s too expensive. Do your research and find out what you absolutely need and what works for your experience level. You can always upgrade when the time’s right.
On the other hand, you will need to invest money in replacement parts and potential accessories you might find out you need.
7. Not Getting Involved in the Drone Community
Most people don’t realize that it’s easy to get involved in the drone community. You can do it from home.
There are tons of online forums where other hobbyists and pros like Dr. Drone are more than happy to answer any questions or share drone talk.
No Drone Buying Mistakes
You’ve learned about the different specs of drones and what they are. By using this list, you can eliminate any drone-buying mistakes. Plus, you know some tips for enjoying your drone quicker, whether it’s for business or pleasure.