As a drone pilot, you must have a clear understanding of drones before flying them. One of the key aspects you must understand in the drone is their flight time, i.e., how many miles they can fly. An understanding of this will be given in this article.
A toy drone will fly within the range of 20 to 100 yards. However, a high-end consumer drone can fly for about 2.5 to 4.5 miles, while a mid-level consumer drone has a flight range of 0.25 to 1.5 miles. This is how far a drone can fly from its controller.
The number of miles a drone can fly depends on the type of drone, its use, and the manufacturer. So, before purchasing a drone, you must know how far it can go and whether its flight range suits the need you have. We will be talking about how many miles a drone can fly as we proceed.
Will A Drone Fly Many Miles?
Yes, a drone can fly many miles. Some manufacturers create a drone that can fly for as far as five or more miles. However, a drone cannot fly too far from its controller even if it can go for nine miles. It is necessary that when flying a drone, you move along with it so that it can go farther because it is within distance with the remote controller.
The type or brand of drone you are flying determines how many miles the drone can fly. Recreational or hobby drones have a limited range of miles because it is used for fun flying or personal reasons.
Commercial drones are used for different reasons; hence they can fly for many miles than hobby drones. They are used for filming, photography, mapping, agriculture, security, and other commercial purposes, so they are expected to fly for farther miles.
However, some factors can affect how far a drone can fly, so even if a drone can fly for ten miles, these factors can shorten the flight range. These factors include:
- Weight of the drone: The heavier the drone, the shorter it can fly for. When a drone is heavy, the propellers will have to work twice as hard than usual, which will drain the drone's battery quicker, causing it to shut down.
- Battery life: If a drone has a flight range of ten miles but has a weak battery life, it cannot go for more than that because it will shut down. When a drone has a battery life of ten minutes, it will take five minutes to go and another five to return; this will prevent it from flying far as it should.
These are some factors, among others, that can affect how far and how many miles your drone can fly.
Top Long-distance Hobby Drones And How Far They Can Fly
Here are some hobby drones that fly for a long distance.
DJI Mini 2
The DJI Mini 2 Quadcopter is an update of the previous version, DJI Mavic Mini. This drone has a lightweight of fewer than 0.549 pounds, weighs about the same as an apple, and can fit into the palm of your hand. This particular feature makes it one of the fastest drones.
It has a maximum battery life of thirty-one minutes which is more than enough to take the perfect picture or video. The DJI Mini 2 takes off at a maximum altitude of four thousand meters and can resist five wind levels. It also features a 4K resolution 30fps, making it easier to take pictures from a long distance and shoot videos at a higher quality.
The DJI Mini 2 can fly for as far as 6.2 miles when free of interference and unobstructed. The drone is one of the few drones with great stability while hovering in the air, and this is the major reason you can capture clear and smooth photos and videos.
The DJI Mini 2 drone's total flight time is about 31 minutes, and the motor is also an upgrade to the previous version making it faster and more efficient during flight. It has a maximum speed of around 24mph.
The Hubsan Zino is a 4K camera drone with some intelligent features and is sold at an affordable price. This drone takes some high-quality pictures and videos that professional photographers will be satisfied with. It also has a dual GPS and different smart flight modes.
Some of the accessories that come with the drone include powerful brushless motors, a pair of propellers, an AC adapter, a gimbal protector, a balance charger, a propeller wrench, a USB charger for the transmitter and aircraft batteries, and some connector cables.
This drone weighs 1.543 pounds with a battery inside. If you are living in the USA, UK, or Canada, it is necessary that you register the drone with the FAA to avoid any trouble. Transporting the drone is made easy with the foldable design it comes with.
The Hubsan Zino is made with high-grade ABS plastic, so it will not break easily when a light crash occurs. The drone's powerful brushless motor allows it to fly faster, have better control, make less noise, and require less maintenance. The drone has a flight speed of 36k/h.
The LED light placed underneath each rotor of the drone makes flying at night safer and easier. This drone comes with a 3000mAh battery which charges in 180 minutes. The flight time of the drone is twenty-three minutes.
The Hubsan Zino can fly for as far as 4.9 miles. The drone's camera is supported by a 3-axis gimbal that prevents it from constantly shaking, and it also prevents distortion or jello effects on your images and videos. The 3-axis gimbal also allows you to rotate the camera in different directions to get the desired angle.
Xiaomi Fimi x8
The Xiaomi Fimi x8 might not be as popular as the DJI drones, but it also has some amazing features that make it a good drone for flying. Piloting this drone is quite easy due to its independent, smart flight mode feature.
This drone has a high-quality 4K camera AT 30FPS, which helps you capture some amazing pictures and stunning footage. It also has a three-axis mechanical gimbal that enables you to have a stable recording and protects your camera from damage.
The drone was designed to be foldable so you can securely and conveniently carry it without damaging it. It can fly for as far as 3.107 miles and has a flight time of thirty-three minutes. The camera is placed at the drone's front, and it also has some LED light placed under each arm.
The Xiaomi Fimi X8 has a controller that looks like a Nintendo switch. On the controller's sides is where the buttons are, while the middle is meant for your phone, which acts as a screen for the controller giving you an FPV view. This makes the controller a single piece, although it is quite big.
Given this drone's flight distance, one has to be very careful when flying so that you do not crash the drone or lose sight of it. On the drone's remote controller are access features like recording, landing, take-off, and others.
You have to connect the drone's controller to your phone before accessing the FPV view. The connection is not a wireless one, so it is made through a cable. Some flight modes of the drone, such as follow me or orbit mode, can only be accessed through your phone, but only when you have downloaded the drone's application on your phone.
DJI Mavic Pro
The DJI Mavic Pro's flight time is between twenty-seven and thirty minutes, depending on the weather and flight conditions. This drone is one of the best models of the DJI industry. It is a portable and powerful drone.
The drone has a three-axis gimbal clamp and a 4K camera that captures an accurate and clear image and video. It also comes with a remote controller and an extra intelligent flight battery. With the drone also comes a charger, a power cable, and a micro USB cable.
The DJI Mavic Pro can fly for as far as 4.3 miles, and its maximum speed is 64kph. The drone's weight is 4.43 pounds, and it can be carried in a cargo pocket. The drone was designed to be a folding robot and also has an amazing solid flight feature.
This drone was one of the first drones in production and inspired other drone manufacturers to start making drones, but it remains one of the best drones in the market.
The DJI Mavic Pro is about nine inches long but becomes 3.5 inches when it is folded. Its propellers are also foldable, so you can tuck it in nicely to make it easy to carry wherever you go.
This drone's battery life is for about half an hour, and its camera is one of the smallest. You can manually or automatically control the camera angle of the drone. Its storage capacity is up to 64GB.
Learn More: Mavic Mini 2: Specifications, And More!
Top Long-distance Commercial Drones And How Far They Can Fly
We will look at some of the best long-distance commercial drones available and the distance they can cover.
DJI Matrice 100
The DJI Matrice 100 is a flexible, stable, and powerful drone, and it is one of the most versatile drones produced by DJI. The drone is equipped with a propulsion system, flight controller, GPS, a remote controller, DJI Lightbridge, and a rechargeable battery.
The total fight time you can achieve with this drone is 40 minutes; the range of control using the remote is about 1.2 miles. The drone's maximum speed is 22 m/s, and it can fly a distance of up to 3.1 miles.
The DJI Matrice 100 is equipped with the best sensors, and it is considered one of the best drones in terms of design and durability. Equipped with a Zenmuse X3 Camera and Gimbal, the DJI Matrice 100 can shoot stabilized videos and capture 12MP images.
The drone also has some additional features like the "responsive flight controller," which helps the drone stabilize in mid-air; it also has an "automatic collision avoidance," which is able to avoid collision with and crashes into objects thanks to its sensors and top cameras.
The drone also supports full mobile application support, you plug in your mobile phone, and you can fly, take control of it, view life preview, and access real-time map all from your mobile phone.
DJI Mavic Air
The DJI Mavic Air is one of the best drones for travel. The drone is portable, foldable, and also has an amazing camera. With the drone comes a remote controller, an intelligent flight battery, a charger, a power cable, a carrying case, a set of extra propellers, some propeller guards, a USB adapter, and some cable slider.
This drone has lots of accessories, as listed above, making it a very suitable drone. The flight time of the DJI Mavic Air is twenty-one minutes, and it weighs 0.948 pounds. It also has a 4K video 12MP camera that gives you crystal clear and sharp photos and videos, so you do not need to edit the drone's pictures.
The drone also has a 3-axis gimbal protector that can be adjusted in the drone's application so you can take any picture from any location suiting your taste. The drone's camera also features different modes and filters. The drone has an internal storage of 8GB and also uses an SD card.
The DJI Mavic Air has some obstacle avoidance sensors that help keep your drone safe. These sensors will alert of any obstruction either at the front or the back of the drone. The drone has lots of intelligent flight options and a cinematic camera mode to make smoother videos. It also has an auto-landing and a return home feature that can activate itself when the battery is low.
This drone is one of the smallest drones in the market. Regardless of its size, it still has a stylish look and is available in three colors: flame red, onyx black, and arctic white. The DJI Mavic Air is made out of plastic but still of high quality. Its flight distance is 6.214 miles.
DJI Mavic Air 2
The DJI Mavic Air 2 is one of the high-quality professional drones that you can fly easily regardless of experience, and it can also capture high-resolution videos and photos. It has a battery life of thirty-four minutes and a maximum flight speed of 42.3mph.
The controller of the DJI Mavic Air 2 drone has a range of about 10,000 meters. This drone's total flight time is 28 minutes, so if you have more than one battery, you get more flight time. It takes about two hours for the battery to be fully charged.
This drone has an auxiliary light that improves visibility. It also an obstacle avoidance feature that keeps it safe from crashing. The drone also has a low-noise propeller, so it is ideal for flying at night.
A powerful camera that can capture 48MP photos is also part of the features of the DJI Mavic Air 2. The drone can fly for as far as 6.2 miles as long as the battery is fully charged.
The DJI Mavic Air 2 also features a new photo called "SmartPhoto," a design by DJI, it is a technology used in smartphones, and it is an automatic scene recognition that adjusts the camera setting based on the scene you are in so you can capture the perfect photo or video.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a long-range professional camera drone and was launched and released in August 2018. This drone is the first drone with an integrated Hasselblad camera.
The drone is equipped with a 4K HDR camera making it one of the best drones to capture quality images and videos. In comparison to the original DJI Mavic Pro, you have many improvements.
It has a total flight time of 31 minutes, and it has an improved system to sense the environment, which prevents it from a collision. The drone can sense objects below and behind it, unlike the original Mavic Pro that senses only objects in front of it.
The software that makes this possible is the new ActiveTrack 2.0 that allows the drone to follow moving objects with better precision than before. It can fly faster, quieter, and longer than some other drones.
The second generation of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro is equipped with an Omni-directional sense and avoid system, largely due to the 10 sensors positioned on the top, bottom, back, front, right, and left part of the drone.
It also has a 44mph maximum speed, 8GB internal storage, and an SD card support of 128GB. The drone comes with two extra flight batteries, a charger, and 2X low-noise propellers. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro weighs 2.01 pounds and can fly as far as 6.2 miles.
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
If you are looking for the best drone with a good camera, great video footage, and other creative features, the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is what you should buy. The abilities and the features of this drone are incredible. For any form of creativity, you can use this drone, and you will not be disappointed.
This drone has better flying skills which make them more suitable for flying even in windy weather conditions. It also has more sensors, especially the six-directional obstacle avoidance sensor that keeps it safe and prevents it from any form of collision or accidents,
The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom has a flight time of thirty-one minutes, and its propellers are in a new design that transforms them into a quiet drone, making them one of the quietest drones out there. With the 2.0 video transmission signal of this drone, you can get a very clear and sharp image from a distance.
This drone can fly as far as 5 miles. This drone's extraordinary zoom feature makes it one of the most suitable drones for professional photographers and videographers.
DJI Inspire 2
The DJI Inspire 2 is a drone designed for commercial purposes, and it is an expensive drone because of the advanced features that come with it. It is twice as powerful as some of the other DJI drones. It offers you high-quality footage, a cinematic shot, and a great flight time.
This drone has an amazing 5.2K camera that takes a clearer and sharper view of pictures and videos, so a professional photographer will probably want to use this drone for their job. It also has a gimbal that rotates 360 degrees, making you take a picture or video from any angle of your choice.
Its flight time is twenty-five minutes. The speed at which this drone fly is very fast; it can go from 0 to 80kph in just five seconds, and its maximum speed is 94kph. The DJI Inspire 2 has self-heating technology that makes it possible for flying to occur in low-temperature areas.
The flight distance of the DJI Inspire 2 is 4.35 miles. The speed of this drone makes it good for cinematic shots. The drone is also suitable for low-light flying and has an obstacle avoidance feature. Although this drone battery does not last long, as long as you have some spare batteries with you, you can still fly for a decent amount of time.
If you want to use a drone for professional reasons, the DJI Inspire 2 is one of the best-recommended drones for you as its amazing features will help you achieve what you want to do, even if it has some flaws.
DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is a drone designed for professional use. The drone has a 20MP camera and records videos at 4K with a maximum of 60 FPS. This drone is sold for a thousand and five hundred dollars, so it is not a budget drone; it should only be bought for professional use.
It has forward and backward-facing obstacle avoidance sensors that help prevent accidents and collisions in any form. It also has a downward sensor that helps stabilize the drone, so if you fly at a low altitude, there will be no problems.
The drone also has a terrain follow flight mode that allows it to safely fly at a low altitude without crashing even if some terrain has hills. It also has infrared sensors. This drone weighs 3.06 pounds and is pretty big, so you might have to put it in a bag pack when transporting it.
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has a remote controller with an in-built screen that grants better control and precision when flying. This drone has a pretty high flight speed at 50 kph when used with the GPS assistant flight mode. It can fly as fast as 73 kph. You can also use the drone to track a person or an object.
This drone has a maximum flight time of thirty minutes. It also has a mechanical shutter that removes any form of rolling shutter distortion when capturing fast-moving subjects or flying at high speed.
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 also has some amazing features like return to home, active track, gesture mode, draw mode, and tap fly. This drone can fly as far as 4.2 miles when in good condition, and it has five-hour battery life.
Autel Evo II Pro 6K Drones
The Autel Evo II Pro 6K Drone is one of the best drones from Autel, a drone designed to give you the best video and picture quality as you hover in the air. You get to fly for a long time, with maximum control and the best visual quality.
This drone has a 360-degree obstacle avoidance that prevents collision and a maximum flight time of forty minutes. The Autel Evo II Pro 6K weighs 7.13 pounds and uses just one lithium polymer battery.
The drone provides you with a camera that captures an incredibly smooth 6K ultra HD video and 20MP photos. It has a 1" CMOS sensor that offers you superior image quality in any conditions, including low light.
It also has a battery life of four hours and an 8X digital zoom that helps you maintain clarity. You can have 3-dimensional maps and fly without encountering any issue, thanks to the 12 visual sensors it is equipped with.
This drone has a 5.5-mile transmission range and flexibility in shooting both during the day and at night. It has a flight distance of 4.3 miles when there is no wind interference. The maximum flight speed of the drone is 19 m/s.
As an enthusiastic hobby drone pilot, you might find it difficult to select the best long-distance drone that will be perfect for you. However, this is also a problem commercial drone pilots have.
With many drones available in the market, you do not know the ones that can fly the farthest, and to start looking at the specifications of each drone will be time-consuming.
Nevertheless, with more accurate and complete documentation like this, finding the best long-distance drone perfect for your intentions is easier.
Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.