Droney Bee http://www.droneybee.com Become a better drone pilot! Wed, 27 Feb 2019 14:12:46 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 106075982 Drone fly aways: Causes and how to prevent them http://www.droneybee.com/drone-fly-aways/ http://www.droneybee.com/drone-fly-aways/#respond Sat, 18 Nov 2017 11:28:56 +0000 http://www.droneybee.com/?p=2227 A drone fly away is the worst thing that can happen to you in your drone flying career other than crashing your drone. Drone fly aways are one thing but something more painful will be if your drone goes away to some place else and wrecks into someone or creates a fire (LiPo batteries are […]

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A drone fly away is the worst thing that can happen to you in your drone flying career other than crashing your drone. Drone fly aways are one thing but something more painful will be if your drone goes away to some place else and wrecks into someone or creates a fire (LiPo batteries are to be taken care of very seriously, btw).

Now personally, I have never had a drone fly away thanks to one of my friends (though I have crashed drones many times) . The gal had her $500 drone fly away before I got a chance to screw up, so I ended up researching and putting my attention into avoiding it as much as I can.

Most new drones that come out today (the prosumer level ones and above) have safety mechanisms built in to them that will prevent fly aways in most instances. But even then, you never really know! In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common ways that you can cause a drone fly away. We’ll also cover how you can find a lost drone if you do. Still, I suggest that you pay attention to avoiding ways you can cause a drone fly away more than anything, in this article. Prevention is certainly better than cure!


What causes drone fly aways and how common is a drone fly away?

drone fly aways

With better technology in the latest drones, drone fly aways are becoming less and less common. Still, it is certainly not a hundred percent zero. So what causes a drone fly a way then? How do you prevent them?

Here are some reasons:

  • Relying on the FPV completely and flying as far as you can with a drone: Flying far away, beyond visual line of sight is one of the most common reasons for a drone fly away and/or losing a drone. In most countries, this is illegal but if it isn’t in your country and you want to have a long distance FPV experience, make sure you know what you are doing or at least, do it on a craft you are willing to lose. Make sure you do not harm others doing so though!

  • Not setting up the home point correctly: Most drones today will set the home point automatically for the return to home function. However, you should make sure that the particular model that you own has this feature. If not, make sure you set it up correctly. If you are going to be on the move while flying your drone (being on a boat, for example), make sure you have dynamic home point setup.

  • Poorly calibrated compass: Most of us have little patience with anything in our lives. Calibrating your drone compass is likely going to be one of them. This is the #1 sin made by people who travel often with their drone. Sure, you can get away with not calibrating your compass once or twice but if you are travelling often, your drone compass is going to get unaligned with the electromagnetic field of different areas.

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    Atti mode: Flying far away and switching to Atti mode (GPS turned off) is almost a sure-fire way to watch your drone fly away from you for every unless you absolutely know what you are doing. However, we see no reason why you should be doing this anyways.

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    Hardware failure (GPS, receiver etc.): This is something you have little control over while your drone is up in the air. The only thing you can do on a regular basis to avoid a fly away from problems like these is to check if everything is working properly at a low altitude, near you before letting your drone fly away at a distance from you.

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    Flight controller misconfiguration (if you are building your own drone): If you are building your own drone or you are assembling one from a DIY kit, make sure your flight controller is configured properly. If not, you can expect a drone fly away (among many other things that may go wrong).
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    Electromagnetic interference: Flying near power lines and cell phone towers can have a huge electromagnetic interference effect on your drone. It is extremely likely to cause a drone fly away and to lose your drone if you do this.

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    Flying too low and close to objects: Flying too low can have your drone’s connection with the controller interfered. Losing a drone like this is extremely likely if you are flying at a long distance away from you. Remember – flying too high isn’t the only mistake you can make. Flying low and far away from you is an even bigger blunder.

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    Setting up the RTH altitude too low: Make sure you set the RTH (Return to home) altitude for your drone at a decent altitude, well above any potential obstructions from obstacles like trees, buildings and hills on the way back. Fail to do this and your drone might crash into an obstacle on its’ way back, especially if it doesn’t have a full obstacle avoidance system.

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    Not taking care of your LiPo batteries and pushing it beyond its limits: This is common sense. I already linked to an article you must read about taking care of your batteries at the beginning of this article. Here it is again.

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    Being plain stupid and not paying attention to the drone while flying: Again, common sense. When you are flying don’t do the following – paying attention to a hot gal/guy that is walking by, chatting with someone, being drunk etc. It amazes me how many times I’ve heard of people crashing or losing their drone from lack of applying common sense.

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    Not being skilled enough and used to flying a drone: This is a combination of all of the above, plus more. Please, if you think you are unskilled, don’t fly a drone out in the wild yet. This is a sure-fire way to cause a drone fly away. Learn to fly a drone with a toy quadcopter first, in a safe environment (ideally even indoors) first. 


Finding a lost drone

Tactics to preventing a drone loss: First we’ll discuss some tactics to preventing a drone loss. Though it is not “finding” a lost drone, it is still relevant enough to discuss as a precursor to that.

Here are some things you should remember all the time, as a drone pilot, to minimize the chance of losing a drone completely from the time you start losing the signal (do this every time you start losing signal): 

  • When you have an indication that you are losing signal/control of your drone, make sure that you do not turn off that controller and hit the return to home key. Most drones today will have an auto RTH, but doing this regardless might be helpful if it is nonfunctional, just in case. Your controller will always be trying to establish a connection with your drone so when you venture out searching for it, make sure it is turned on and pay attention to the telemetry data on the controller.

  • Another thing you can do when you have an indication that you are losing control of your drone, especially if your FPV video is starting to fade away, is to make a screen capture of the area your drone is in, immediately. Even better, if you can take two different screen captures, one with the camera directly facing downwards. If you have this in your arsenal, you now know where to look for your lost drone. 

Tips to finding a lost drone: Now that we have the prevention tactics out of the way, lets discuss some clever ways to actually find your drone: 

  • If your controller keeps telemetry data about the last known location of your drone, this is a good place to start. Usually, with drones like the ones from DJI, the controller that comes with it will tell you the rough direction and distance from you where the drone was last seen. The another awesome thing about drones like the DJI is that it keeps track of the course of the flight on the map. With this, you can see the last known location of the drone on the map! 

  • When you hone in on the rough location of the drone, look for pay attention to lights. Most drones that come out these days have a feature in-built in them that if they crash and get into an obstructive position (like in between a tree branch), will still make them flash red lights if they still have battery life. 

  • Another thing to do when you hone in on the rough location of the drone is to gently throttle up the motors of the drone with the controller. If your controller establishes a connection with the drone, and you are able to hear the sound of the props/motors around, you now have a better understanding of where to look for your drone and hone in on the exact location! Make sure that you only throttle up GENTLY enough to hear it. DO not go overboard because if your drone happens to be in a dangerous position, it can not only crash and burn, it can also be potentially dangerous to others.


How to track a drone? The best drone tracker you can get

Tracking a drone is one of the best ways to mitigate potential problems with drone fly aways. There are three types of trackers out there that you can get:

  • Bluetooth tracker: This is the simplest type of tracker on the market. They are the least expensive but at the same time, the least accurate. You have to be within a certain distance near your drone to detect it with these and the distance between you and your drone has to be quite close. If you want to hold back on spending, you may get one of these, but we if you are serious about preventing a scenario of you losing your drone, we highly recommend something else.

  • Cellular tracker: This type of tracker uses the cellular network to track your drone which increases the accuracy and reliability. These have associated monthly/yearly cost to them and have a sim card in it that will constantly broadcast the location information of your drone. You can also put your own sim card in with pay as you go plans. They are sightly pricier than Bluetooth trackers. If you have poor cell phone coverage in your area, then I recommend you go for the next type of tracker.

  • Dedicated tracker: These are the most expensive trackers on the market and are also the most accurate (like the Marco Polo tracker). They fit on your drone and come with a dedicated hand held device with a screen that will show you the direction of the location of the drone with extremely high accuracy in a large search area radius. They also don’t come with a monthly/yearly charge even though they are more expensive relative to the cellular tracker.


Conclusion

When it comes to a drone fly away or even losing your drone by having it crash land in an unknown area, we recommend you take every precaution possible to avoid losing your drone. Even the cheapest DJI drones are around $500 today and it is certainly not worth losing them!

So please, take every little precaution you can. Avoid the 12 blunders I have listed above, follow the precautionary tips and get a drone tracker. This will make sure that the chances of you losing your drone is next to none.

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Drone Pilot Ground School Launches STEM Scholarship for High School Students http://www.droneybee.com/dpgs-scholarship/ http://www.droneybee.com/dpgs-scholarship/#respond Sun, 29 Oct 2017 09:40:51 +0000 http://www.droneybee.com/?p=2144 Drone Pilot Ground School, a leading remote test prep course for the FAA’s Part 107 exam, recently launched the High School STEM Scholarship for Aspiring Commercial Drone Pilots to support high school students who want to become certified commercial drone pilots. The scholarship provides free access to Drone Pilot Ground School, and will also pay […]

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Drone Pilot Ground School, a leading remote test prep course for the FAA’s Part 107 exam, recently launched the High School STEM Scholarship for Aspiring Commercial Drone Pilots to support high school students who want to become certified commercial drone pilots.

The scholarship provides free access to Drone Pilot Ground School, and will also pay for Part 107 test fees (up to $150) for the first 100 students to take the test.

The idea for the scholarship first came from an informal relationship between Alan Perlman, CEO and founder of Drone Pilot Ground School, and Matt Ernst, founder of the drone club at the Robert A. Taft Information Technology High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Perlman has known Matt Ernst since he first became interested in using drones for education. Over the years Perlman has donated drones to the Taft Drone Club, and also provided free access to DPGS for Matt’s older students to help them prepare for the Part 107 exam. Recently, Ernst received a grant for $100,000 from the state of Ohio to support his efforts in STEM education using drones.

Out of this relationship has grown a new, first of its kind scholarship for high school students, which aims to support young people trying to break into the drone industry, and also to help spread the use of drones in STEM education.

We know the drone industry has the potential for creating new jobs for young people, and can help students get excited about STEM subjects,” said Perlman. “Providing a scholarship to interested, qualified high school students just seemed like a natural outgrowth of the support we’ve given the students at Taft High.”

One of the primary motivators for Matt Ernst in forming his club was to offer his students opportunities for making a good living. As drones get cheaper and drone applications proliferate, the potential for high school students to create a foundation for future careers in the drone industry seems strong to him.

The research I’ve done indicates that commercial drone pilots can make anywhere from $40 to $75 an hour, and I want our students to have the opportunity to work in this emerging field,” Matt Ernst said recently regarding his motivations for starting the Taft Drone Club.

More and more, drones are being used to help students learn—and get excited about—STEM subjects in middle, high, and even elementary school (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Across the U.S. drones have become a part of robotics classes, coding classes, and even lessons on longitude and latitude. New platforms like DroneBlocks actually provide curricula materials for educators who want to use drones in the classroom.

The drone industry itself is growing, and there promise to be many new jobs on the horizon for drone pilots who hold a remote pilot license, from aerial cinematography to work in agriculture, forestry, mapping, and much more. And even broader than the drone industry, jobs in STEM have been forecasted to grow at an exponential rate over the next several years.

About the Scholarship

The High School STEM Scholarship for Aspiring Commercial Drone Pilots was launched to support high school students ages 16 and up who are serious about becoming certified drone pilots by helping them prepare for the FAA’s Part 107 test.

An additional goal is to help further the use of drones in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. Drones have been used in the classroom in a variety of STEM settings over the last several years, and one aim of the scholarship is to support that usage in growing even further.

Scholarship recipients get free access to Drone Pilot Ground School’s remote test prep course for the FAA’s Part 107 test (value of $299), and the first 100 students to take the test will have their test fee covered (up to $150), for a total value of approximately $450.

Who’s Eligible?

Eligible students must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Be currently enrolled in high school
  • Live in the U.S.

How Many Students Can Apply?

There are an unlimited number of scholarships available, but only the first 100 students accepted will also have their Part 107 testing fee covered.

What Is the Deadline?

There is no deadline—applicants will be accepted on a rolling, case-by-case basis.

About Drone Pilot Ground School

Drone Pilot Ground School is UAV Coach’s flagship remote course. The course was designed to help drone pilots prepare for the FAA’s Part 107 Aeronautical Knowledge Test (the Part 107 test) to gain a remote pilot license.

Over 7,000 commercial drone pilots from companies like Intel, NBC, and GoPro have been trained by Drone Pilot Ground School, and over 99% of Drone Pilot Ground School students pass the Part 107 test on their first try.

To learn more about the scholarship, go to https://www.dronepilotgroundschool.com/scholarship/

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[ULTIMATE 2019 GUIDE] MAKE MONEY WITH A DRONE http://www.droneybee.com/make-money-with-a-drone/ http://www.droneybee.com/make-money-with-a-drone/#comments Fri, 27 Oct 2017 12:24:46 +0000 http://www.droneybee.com/?p=2114 Drones are becoming ever more popular and with it come new opportunities. Want to make money with a drone? Now is certainly the time!How would you like to make money with your cool little flying machine? Let’s face it – driving around with your drone completing drone flying “missions” and earning a nice chunk of […]

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Drones are becoming ever more popular and with it come new opportunities. Want to make money with a drone? Now is certainly the time!

How would you like to make money with your cool little flying machine? Let’s face it – driving around with your drone completing drone flying “missions” and earning a nice chunk of money for it can be extremely fun and rewarding.

But how do you get there? How do you get your first paying gig? What are the equipment you will need? What is the groundwork you need to lay before you can make money with a drone?

This article will answer all of the above questions. Read on, if you want to make money with your drone!



Requirements

FIRST, we’ll discuss what you will actually need to possess to become a professional worthy of making money with a drone – Your equipment (drone and accessories), certification and flying skill level.

Your equipment

make money with a drone: Drone pic

Do you need the most expensive drone out there to get started? Most certainly not!  In fact, if you are just getting started, getting the best drone possible is probably not the best decision in terms of budgeting, especially if it is limited. If you want to make money with a drone, you have to plan wisely as a beginner.

That being said, a hobby grade quadcopter will definitely not cut it even if you are starting out in the advertising line and you will need something powerful enough to handle marketable photography and video. So what are your options, really? The following are some examples of minimum budget (as of 2017) you

  • Real estate and other types of advertising, wedding photography and video: $600 - $ 1000 (think DJI Spark, Phantom 3 4K and upwards).
  • Action sports and film making: $1000 + (think Phantom 4 and upwards). It is recommended that you get something similar to the likes of the DJI Inspire series, however
  • Inspection, mapping, topological surveys: $25000+ (think Delair-tech drones, for example)
  • Agriculture: $10000 + (think DJI Agras MG-1, Sensefly eBee).

These are of course, rough examples and prices are subject to change but as you can see, the budget varies significantly. What niche you intend to go into to make money with a drone will ultimately determine how much you end up paying for your drone.

Of course, if you get a cheaper drone like the Phantom 3 4K, you may have to upgrade rather quickly in order to expand your client base and to be able to fly year-round in every possible weather conditions. If your budget is limited, you can get away with it, but getting something in the Inspire series will make you future proof, in case you want to quickly expand the work you do into action sports and film making.

Like the drone itself, the accessories you need to make money with a drone will entirely depend on the niche you will get into. Below is a rough list. With many drones, you’ll get most of them:

  •  A decent carrying case
  •  Lens protection, lens hood and ND filters
  •  Additional batteries (2 will do)
  •  Additional propellers
  •  Sunshade for your transmitter
  • · Additional memory cards
  • · Propeller balancer
  •  In case of late evening/dusk photography: LED lights


Certification

make money with a drone: Certification

Do you need to get certified to make money with a drone? Do you need the Part 107 certification? Short answer is, yes. Making money with a drone is classified as “commercial use”. This includes the selling of photos and videos taken using the UAV, providing contract services like factory inspection, agricultural inspection, wildlife survey operations and providing security and surveillance operations with the UAV –essentially anything you’d do to make money with a drone.

Effective August 29, 2016: If you want to use the UAV for these commercial purposes, according to FAA: “The person actually flying a drone must be at least 16 years old and have a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating, or be directly supervised by someone with such a certificate. To qualify for a remote pilot certificate (Part 107), an individual must either pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center or have an existing non-student Part 61 pilot certificate.

So what do you do? Simple – study and pass for the Part 107 certification exam and get certified. The FAA has put up a study guide here.  However, this might not be enough and some questions can take you by surprise. We highly recommend the Drone Pilot Ground School. Though it costs some money, it will almost certainly guarantee a pass which is far better than spending money and time to retake the test multiple times!


Flying and niche specific skill level to make money with a drone

While you do not have to be a drone Jedi master, we recommend you at least have a year worth of practice flying under your belt before you try and sell your services in order to make money with a drone. In the meantime, you should focus on building relationships in the niche of your picking.

Another skill recommended while going about trying to make money with a drone is to know how to maintain and repair your drone in case something goes wrong. Think of it this way - Consider that you have the option to hire two drivers. Both of them are great drivers, but one of them has the skill to work under the hood and fix things if something goes wrong with your car. Who would you hire? Most of us would pick the one with the extra skill!

Drones are much like vehicles in this regard. While flying to make money with a drone, any number of things can go wrong to impede your project including broken or unbalanced props, broken motors, gimbal obstructions, body imbalances and many other malfunctions.

While you do not need to have the technical know how on how to engineer a drone or program a flight controller, you will be at a significant advantage if you know how to assemble a drone kit into a fully functional drone.

Flying skills are of course, not the only thing you will need to have in order to make money with a drone. Whatever niche you pick, you need to develop specific skill sets for that niche. This is where you should start small. For example, unless you have been doing aerial videography for a long time, you should probably steer clear of trying to get into action sport cinematography.

The ideal place to start for a beginner with absolutely no niche specific skills would be something like real estate photography and other types of advertising.


Marketing skills

You could be the best drone operator in the world and be the best in your niche in terms of technical skills but if you are not willing and cannot market and sell your services you are probably not going to make money with drones. At least not much

Starting a drone service business is no different from other businesses. You need to have a framework for getting clients, closing the sale for your services, retaining them and scaling to ensure that your business grows.  Landing a few gigs here and there may be great to make some pocket money to buy a new TV, but if you want to make a living, you NEED to know how to market and sell.

If however, your goal is to simply make some pocket money, you may try out online services like DroneBase. With this, you pick “missions” in your local area, complete them, upload the work and if it gets accepted, you get paid.

This is not to say you can’t make a lot of money with something like DroneBase, but you’ll be better off if you have your own business. Not only because will you earn more, you will OWN your clients and your business.


Insurance and other legal considerations while making money with a drone

Making money with drones: Insurance

I don’t know about you but the vast majority reading this are humans. As humans, we make mistakes. This is true even for skilled, professional pilots in the business. Playing around with drones as a hobby itself is no risk free joke, let alone flying for commercial use!

The last thing you’d want is your drone to crash into a power line and then onto someone’s pet dog. Large lawyer fees and spending a fortune on paying fines is a risk that drone pilots will always be taking, just by merely flying.

Getting a drone insurance will provide you protection against accidental damages caused by your drone (third party liability claims) and to the drone itself. In most cases these days, clients won’t even work with you unless you are insured!


How much does drone insurance cost?

First, you need to understand that there are two types of drone insurances:

  • Hull insurance: The insurance coverage for the drone itself. This is mostly useful if you are flying a higher end, expensive drone that is used for agriculture or power line inspection (typically worth $10000 +). For photography type drones, companies like DJI offer their own insurance for the drones they offer.
  •  Liability coverage: There are many factors that determine the cost of drone insurance. Namely:
  • · Whether or not you are certified under FAA part 107. You have to pass the test anyway, to operate legally!
  • · The location where you will be most using the drone
  • · Your past experience flying and logging habits
  • · The purpose of your drone use:  Power line inspection for example, may cost very differently than photography
  • · The model of your drone

If you are starting out with a $1000 drone, you should expect to pay around $700 - $1000 per year for$1 million liability coverage. How much coverage you should go for will entirely depend on the type of clients and the type of work you do, of course. It is important then, to consider potential risks and go for a policy that reflects your needs.

If you are using multiple drones, you will have to cover them separately!


Where can you get drone insurance?

There are many companies that offer drone insurance policies. Following are some examples (we are not affiliated with any of them and it is by no means a comprehensive list). Some of them like Verifly even offer hourly payment plans!

  1. Verifly (On-demand insurance)
  2. AIG
  3. Avion
  4. SkySmith
  5. Skyward




How to make money with your drones? : Top ways to make money with a drone

Make money with a drone: Money


Now that you have the groundwork laid out, in this section, we’ll now go over the different ways to make money with a drone after you have put in the time and money to get your equipment, certification and insurance in place.

In the next two sections, we’ll actually dive deep into the two main ways that we recommend:  setting up your own drone service business and getting a drone job (you may choose to read the sections depending on your goals).

Here, we’ll just glance over the different ways you can make money with a drone, some of them not involving flying your drone:


TOP recommendation: Starting a drone business

If you love flying drones and RC crafts and love the idea of making money flying a drone, there is no better time to start your drone service business.

The FAA has finally regulated the commercial drone market under part 107. Aspiring commercial pilots have to take the FAA part 107 test and pass it, in order to operate drones legally. This has removed the skepticism in hiring drone pilots. Moreover, since the regulation has only been passed, the industry is still in its early stages and the competition has not peaked as of yet.

The barrier to entry in terms of initial costs is at an all-time low. You can get a drone with a 4K camera for about $600 (without the extra accessories, of course). You also do not even need an office or a bunch of employees. With proper client-getting framework in place, you can be a successful lone-wolf drone pilot and make money flying a drone.

The following are the top drone business services you can provide in order to make money with a drone (we’ll go into more detail in the next section):

  • Photography, videography and cinematography
  • Mapping and surveying
  • Inspection
  • Security and surveillance
  • Agriculture


Getting a drone job full time or part-time

One of the most common and lucrative ways to make money with a drone is to get a job. For many of you out there, marketing and running your own business might be a challenge. If this is the case, then you might want to get a drone job instead.

There are many online websites you can check out for finding “drone jobs”. Here are some:

Indeed.com and other job portals

Drone base (Excellent for part-time gigs)

Dronejobs.org

Join online forums and local meetups. If you want to make money flying a drone independently in the sUAS world, you will need to build your reputation!


Become a drone instructor

With the increase in demand for piloting instructions, becoming a drone instructor is an excellent path to take to make money with a drone if you have the necessary skills, certifications and reputation.

If you go the independent route, you can either choose to instruct your clients in a one on one basis or setup an online course or start a blog of your own. Online course platforms like Udemy are a great way to market your course materials.

You can also choose to work full time as a drone instructor for a drone institution, provided you have built the necessary portfolio. Companies that manufacture drones for different fields like agriculture, search and rescue operations and military look for drone pilots capable of instructing their clients on how to fly their crafts safely.


Become an engineer

If you have a background in electrical and electronics, software or aviation engineering and have the necessary qualifications, (a degree and in most instances, a master’s degree) becoming a UAV engineer is a highly lucrative, highly paid path. With engineering qualifications, you can work in product development, technical support, UAV maintenance technician or QA. Research is another option.

This is not a “drone” job in that it may not involve flying the craft as much as some other jobs, but you may have to fly the craft, especially if you work for the QA department!



Drone business opportunities


Recommended: If you are just starting out and want to get a feel for the type of work you might have to do AND you are in the US, check out DroneBase.

Building a drone business is the most lucrative way to make money with your drone.

How to start a drone business?

How do you start and get successful in the drone service business industry? Pick a niche and focus all your efforts into it. If you want to make money with your drone, you must build your skills, relationships and build clients in that niche. Do not think you can do everything at once, especially if you are just starting out. The biggest mistake you can do is to dilute your efforts by spreading too thin.

If you are just starting out and do not have spectacular flying or other skills specific to a niche, then you should pick a niche that is suitable for you. Real estate photography for example has a much lower barrier to entry in terms of skill compared to action sports cinematography or power line inspections.

The amount you can charge your clients will of course, be directly proportional to your skill set, but remember that there is always a starting point to everything. You absolutely do not have to wait until you learn every possible skill before you can start your own drone service business. In fact serving customers is probably the best way to improve your existing skills and build your portfolio. You can always move into a different, more skill demanding work later on in your drone career.

Next, we’ll look at some drone businesses you can get into and the respective skill level (rated out of 10) you will need.


Drone marketing ideas: How to get customers for your drone business


Offer some services for free (at first)

If you are just starting out, the best way for you to get into the game of making money with drones is to offer your service to potential clients for free or for an incredibly low price. Obviously, you are not running a charity so you will have to make it clear to your clients that they will have to pay for your services if they want more from you.

This step is commonly known as the lead acquisition stage and the goal is to build trust with your customers. You have to look at things long-term if you want success in business. Do not expect anyone to pay you $100 an hour if you if they do not know your work and especially if you are no one in the industry.

In-person

The quickest way for anyone to generate new customers for their new business is offline. Think cold calling and attending networking events, trade shows and conventions where your ideal customer hangs out. For example, if your potential clients are realtors, think about attending networking events where realtors hang out and presenting them with an opportunity to help them advertise with your drone. After you have built a relationship with a few realtors this way, chances are you will have a list of regular customers and a drone business that will sustain your lifestyle.

Online

Online marketing of your services is recommended to scale your business after you have built a list of regular customers. This is where you will be driving traffic to your website via organic search, search ads and social media ads.

The key to tremendous online marketing success is similar to what you would do offline. Offer some value at first and THEN sell your services. You will also need to develop at least the following skills to succeed online (or hire someone who can):

  • Designing landing pages that convert
  •  Writing ad copy and targeting the right customers on the right channels to drive traffic to that landing page


Your drone business model: drone business ideas based on your skill level


Photography, videography and cinematography (Skill level: 6 to 8/10, depending on the type of job)

6/10
Skill Level

Aerial photography and videography has to be the most common application of drones and in the next few years, we will probably still see photography and cinematography as the leading applications for drones. However, you should consider that there are a myriad of different clients you can serve in this sector and that includes:

  • Real estate and other types of advertising (think resorts and hotels) (Most recommended for beginners)
  • Weddings (Recommended for beginners)
  • News agencies
  • Film making
  • Action-sports

The flying, photography, videography and editing skills you will need in this line of work will vary greatly with the type of client you serve.


Mapping and surveying (Skill level: 8/10)

8/10
Skill Level

Drones are extremely capable of surveying land data from air and relative to hiring land survey teams, time and costs are much lower. With drones at our arsenal, it is now possible to gather three dimensional cartographic data with extreme accuracy due to their ability to maneuver, compared to traditional aircrafts.

The following are the industries you will need to look forward to building relationships in, if this is where you want to get into to make money with a drone:

  • Archaeology
  • Forestry
  • Construction and urban planning
  • Mining
  • Topographers
  • Oil & Gas


Inspection (Skill level: 9/10)

9/10
Skill Level

We recommend you only get into making money with a drone in the inspection line of work if you have advanced flying skills and have been flying for a while. While the pay rate may be higher, the risk of liabilities is proportionally higher too. The last thing you want is to crash into a power line. The following are the kind of areas you will be working in if you go this route:

  • Power line and cable inspections
  • Building inspections -- Rooftop equipment, chimneys etc.
  • Cell phone tower and antenna inspection
  • Rail line monitoring
  • Bridge inspections
  • Pipeline monitoring
  • Wind farm inspection

It is easy to see why we recommend steering clear off this line if you are just beginning commercial drone operation. If your flying skills are less than spectacular and you still want to get into this line of work, we recommend starting with something like rooftop inspection.

Also, make sure you have your insurance and spectrometer properly setup and that you are logging your work.


Security and surveillance (Skill level: 8/10)

8/10
Skill Level

Drones are being used to secure sensitive areas from trespassers. Video capture can detect such intrusions and it is easier than ever to document them. Instead of hiring 10 different security professionals and posting them at different locations, it might be much easier and cost effective to hire one security professional skilled at piloting a drone.

It might not be possible to run a service business in this industry if you are a one-man show but if you are a security professional, then this is an area you might want to look into being employed in, to increase your portfolio strength.


Agriculture (9/10)

9/10
Skill Level

This is another niche we recommend you only get into if you have the necessary skills specific to gathering and making sense of agricultural data.

 If you are an experienced farmer with knowledge of how to make sense of data of things like variations in soil compositions, pest infection, crop progression and hydration and create workable strategies for better crop rotation and planting strategies, then this is the niche you should DEFINITELY get into.

Some of the ways drones are used in precision agriculture are:

  • Crop health imaging
  • Detecting soil composition variation
  • Pest control
  • Optimizing planting strategies
  • Crop spraying
  • Crop planting


Drone company name ideas: A word of advice

Do not choose a name with words that are popular. This is only asking for disaster. Your customers might get your company name mixed up with a competitor’s. End result? You lose your customers to your competitor.

Jonathan Rupprecht’s article lists some of the most common names drone companies have. I highly recommend you read his article before you pick a name for your drone company.


How much can you make with drone business? How lucrative is a drone business?


Important thing to keep in mind about pricing

The amount you can charge reasonably will depend on the type of drone service you are providing (Ex. Real estate photography vs. inspection). Your skill level and your ability to attract more clients to you will also determine how much you can charge your clients.

But that is not the whole story. We have already covered that you must never compete to offer the lowest price, but to provide more value than your competition. Moreover, the quality of clients you attract will also depend on how much they are willing to pay for your services. A customer that is always looking for a price bargain over quality is service is generally going to be a bad customer in the long run.

The key is to not only provide quality but also to make your customers understand WHY your service is better than your competition. An example of this would be to show them a sample aerial video of a certain location and the level of quality that they can expect from most drone services and then to show off YOUR video of that same location, flaunting the improvements (both with editing skills and the video itself). It is their choice at this point to decide whether or not they want the quality.


How much can you realistically charge?

The best way to determine how much you can charge is to first look at what your competition is doing and what quality level they are providing at that price point. For example, if your competition is charging $1500 for a 4k video of a $1 million real estate, then you can safely elicit what their price points for a $200k home and a $650k home.

You might also wonder whether to charge on an hourly basis or place a fixed charge for your services. We recommend you always place a fixed charge for your drone services unless you are looking for a job and not willing to run a business. For one, you will be able to structure your drone service packages along with various up-sells and we shall see how to do this in the next chapter. Other reasons are as follows:

  • With fixed prices; you will be able to show your clients your exact value
  • If you are charging hourly, your ability to boost your income will be limited. For example, if you are charging $100 an hour (and there is only so much you can charge per hour!), the only way to boost your income would be to work more hours. Therefore, if you work 8 hours, you would earn $800. At the same time, if you offer a drone videography package for $500 and you scale your business to get a lot of clients and build an efficient system, your 8 hours earning potential is exponentially higher!
  • You will be forced to deliver more value and work more efficiently if you are working with fixed prices. If you are charging hourly, it is very likely that you will try to squeeze as much “easy time” as possible and work less efficiently while getting away with your hourly charge. With fixed charges, you have to set a fixed performance benchmark.

This will help your earning potential not only by allowing per hour value delivered increase, but also by retaining more customers by delivering more value.


Make money with your drones by having a drone job

Make money with a drone: Get a drone job

Note: You may want to read our full article on how to get a drone job here:

Having a drone job is another very lucrative way to make money with your drone, other than looking for drone business opportunities. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you like photography and cinematography?
  • Do you want to work full time or part time?
  • Are you interested in engineering and/or possess engineering skills and qualifications?
  • What kind of “drones” are you looking at piloting – Small UAVs or military grade?
  • Are you comfortable working stateside or military?
  • Do you work for police or the fire department? Are you interested in agriculture?


How to become an official drone pilot?

Most of the requirements on becoming a drone pilot are already covered at the beginning of this article. Also, the skills and qualifications you will need will vary depending on what you specialize in. If you decide to go for drone photography/video, you will obviously need a strong photography base.

However, here’s a quick summary again:

  • Good piloting skills (Learn how to fly a quadcopter from scratch here) and working with various software and hardware tools related to your specialization.
  • Good team work capabilities
  • FAA certifications (Part 107 and/or class 2 medical certificates, depending on the job profile)
  • Security clearance (depending on the job profile)
  • However, if you want to become a drone engineer, going the technology degree route may be the way for you


Drone job opportunities: How to find them

There are many online websites you can check out for finding “drone jobs”. Here are some:


In closing

There you have it – a complete guide on how to make money with a drone. All you have to do is lay your groundwork first – get your certification, equipment and insurance. Then, choose how you’ll be making money with a drone.

Start with a service like DroneBase if you are in the US. Otherwise, pick a niche, get clients, serve and scale your money making system if you are starting a drone business. Get skilled and apply for drone jobs, if that is your thing. Don’t forget that you can also make a money with your drone by teaching others (by starting a website like this one, a YouTube channel or a Udemy course, for example). You can also do in person teaching or join a training company as an instructor.

That’s all folks; please hit the share button if you liked the article. Drop a comment below and let us know what you think too!


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Holy Stone HS200 FPV Review: An in-depth analysis http://www.droneybee.com/holy-stone-hs200-fpv/ http://www.droneybee.com/holy-stone-hs200-fpv/#comments Wed, 25 Oct 2017 14:10:21 +0000 http://www.droneybee.com/?p=2100 Our overall rating for the Holy Stone HS200 FPV: The Holy Stone HS200 FPV ought to be one of the best RC drones under under $100. This RC drone comes with every feature ought there – FPV(First person view) altitude hold, mobile control, headless mode, return key, gyro stability and one key flips. If you are […]

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Our overall rating for the Holy Stone HS200 FPV: 

The Holy Stone HS200 FPV ought to be one of the best RC drones under under $100. This RC drone comes with every feature ought there – FPV(First person view) altitude hold, mobile control, headless mode, return key, gyro stability and one key flips. If you are strapped for cash and are looking for an RC drone that will get you into the world of drones and enable you to learn to fly a drone before getting a more expensive one, we recommend getting the Holy Stone HS200 FPV!

In this article, we'll review the design, build, flight characteristics, camera and battery life of the Holy Stone HS200 RC drone. We'll end by quickly going over the pros and cons of picking this RC drone so that you can make a good buying decision.

Quick summary review (rating) of the Holy Stone HS200 FPV

Design and build: 8/10
Flight characteristics: 8/10
Flight time and battery: 7/10
Camera and FPV: 7/10

What you will get in the box

Holy Stone HS200 FPV review

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)

So what do you get in the box, when you purchase the Holy Stone HS200 FPV drone? Is it a good deal over getting some other drones? We’ll take a look here:

2.4 Ghz transmitter: The transmitter that comes with the Holy Stone HS200 FPV RC drone is pretty awesome and well built. Holding it feels like holding a high quality transmitter that you get with more expensive professional drones!

4 Spare propellers: Always a necessity if you are just learning how to fly. Without these, don’t expect to learn how to fly. The question is not WILL you crash, it is WHEN will you crash! Also, it is easy to get extra spares for the Holy Stone HS200 FPV in case you damage all of your propellers.

Prop guards: Prop guards are highly recommended. With the Holy Stone HS200 FPV, these come with the box.

Screw driver and screws: The box comes with the necessary tools for you to screw your drone (in case the body comes off) and the propeller. This is such a huge bonus because when you start out and crash, you won’t have to run around searching for the right screws and screw driver anymore!

USB charger: Pretty decent charger, although if you want to fully charge the Holy Stone HS200 FPV, it can take up to an hour or more. BUT this isn’t a big bummer because most quads in this price range are similar!

650mAh LiPo battery: Long lasting and gives excellent flight times. A LiPo battery is a special type of Lithium battery designed to output power. Learn how to maintain your LiPos in this article here.

Phone holder: Mount this on top of the controller. This is what will hold your smart phone so you can have an FPV (first person view) of your quadcopter!

Card reader and 4GB micro SD card: Pretty straightforward. This is where you’ll record any pictures and videos taken by your drone!

Design and Build

Holy Stone HS200 FPV Build

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)

The Holy Stone HS200 FPV has an incredible build for a hobby grade RC drone. This is surprising, especially since it costs less than $100. The only drawback is that it is not small enough to fly indoors, if that is your thing. Flying indoors obviously has its own advantages, like having the ability to practice without crashing into the neighbor’s pet, for example!

As for the design, the Holy Stone HS200 FPV may not stand out much in comparison to other RC drones out there, but nevertheless it looks super awesome! You can get it in two colors – black or red. We recommend you go for the red for added visibility. You get a sturdy prop guard with it that will somewhat protect the props if you crash into a tree or something, but still, please be careful with your flying endavors 🙂

The transmitter that comes with the Holy Stone HS200 FPV is hobby grade level and feels pretty premium. Doesn’t matter the size of your hands, you can use this without any problems. You don’t have to worry about having large hands that cannot control the miniature sized controller of a nano quadcopter, for example!


Holy Stone HS200 FPV Flight characteristics

Holy Stone HS200 FPV: FLight

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)

The Holy Stone HS200 FPV can fly pretty well outside, even in medium wind conditions. It only starts getting a bit wavy and shaking at high winds. In fact, for the price, we were absolutely blown away by the way this thing flies! The in-built gyro helps it become extremely stable. The altitude hold mode also does its job pretty well. That is, at the press of a button you can just let the quadcopter hover in the air without touching your controller. The drone also comes with 4 different flight modes based on your skill level. We recommend you start with mode 2 and progress onto mode 4.

The Holy Stone HS200 FPV also comes with features such as the headless mode (the foward direction of becomes the same as your transmitter) and One key return home. Note that the one key return home doesn’t work like it does with professional grade RC drones. The Holy Stone HS200 will just fly backwards. If you are not using the headless mode and the nose is facing you, this can cause a fly away.

Here’s our flight characteristics rating for the Holy Stone HS200 FPV based on what we tested, in different wind conditions:

8.5/10
Low winds
8/10
Medium winds
6/10
High winds

Flight time and battery

Expect about 7-9 minutes of flight time with the Holy Stone HS200 FPV.

If you are only cruising around slowly with no flips and with headless mode switched on AND if the winds are negligible, you may able to squeeze out a tad bit longer flight time. Unless you are a newbie practising how to hover your quadcopter, you will be disappointed if you expect to fly the Holy Stone HS200 FPV for more than 10 minutes per charge.

However, this is the best you can get out of most RC drones in this price range.

Camera and FPV


Holy Stone HS200 FPV camera

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)

The Holy Stone HS200 FPV comes with an alright camera that can take some pictures and video. Nothing great (despite the claim that it is 720p HD), but like other RC drones in this price range, a fun little gimmick. It also comes with an FPV feature. Be wary that this is WiFi so don’t expect high level range and quality. Lag will also be prominent with the FPV. However, in it’s price range the features that you get in this department is certainly a steal! You can play around with these features of the Holy Stone HS200 FPV until you get a bigger and better drone with professional capabilities!

Here’s a quick little video review:

Pros and Cons

  • Durable and long lasting. Can take a beating despite crashing multiple times. Spare parts can be easily obtained.
  • Defective drones can be easily replaced
  • Good design and looks
  • plus-circle
    Good flight characteristics even in medium wind conditions
  • plus-circle
    Stable and comes with different flight modes
  • Mediocre flight times
  • Cannot fly indoors
  • Poor quality camera and FPV
  • minus-circle
    Can take a long time to charge and does not come with batteries

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Hubsan X4 H107C REVIEW: AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS http://www.droneybee.com/hubsan-x4-h107c-review/ http://www.droneybee.com/hubsan-x4-h107c-review/#respond Tue, 24 Oct 2017 14:02:29 +0000 http://www.droneybee.com/?p=2074 Our overall rating for the Hubsan X4 H107C:If you are a beginner learning how to fly a quadcopter, the Husan X4 H107C will be our top recommendation. Not only is it cheap; it is stable, durable and flyable indoors. If you are strapped for cash and are looking for a fun little quadcopter with a […]

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Our overall rating for the Hubsan X4 H107C:

If you are a beginner learning how to fly a quadcopter, the Husan X4 H107C will be our top recommendation. Not only is it cheap; it is stable, durable and flyable indoors. If you are strapped for cash and are looking for a fun little quadcopter with a camera, go get the Hubsan X4 H107C. You’ll definitely not regret it.

In this article, we’ll review the design, build, flight characteristics, camera and battery life of the Hubsan X4 H107C quadcopter. We’ll end by quickly going over the pros and cons of picking this quadcopter so that you can make a good building decision.

Quick summary review (rating) of the Hubsan X4 H107C

Design and build : 8/10
Flight characteristics : 7/10
Flight time and battery : 6/10
Camera and FPV: 6/10


What you will get in the box

Hubsan X4 H107C review

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)


If this is your first time getting a quadcopter, you’ll probably be wondering what comes in the box with the Hubsan X4 H107c and if the set is worth getting it over other quadcopters. Here’s what you’ll get for the money you pay:

2.4 Ghz transmitter: The transmitter that comes with the Hubsan X4 H107C is quite decent. You’ll be able to hold it in your hands regardless of the size of your hand. This can’t be said for some other toy grade quadcopters!

Spare propellers: Always a necessity if you are just learning how to fly. Without these, don’t expect to learn how to fly. The question is not WILL you crash, it is WHEN will you crash! Also, it is easy to get extra spares for the Hubsan X4 H107C in case you damage all of your propellers.

Prop guards: This will reduce the flight time of your quadcopter, but if you are just beginning, we highly recommend you install them on your Hubsan X4 H107C!

USB charger: Pretty decent charger, although if you want to fully charge the Hubsan X4 H107C, it can take up to an hour or more. This ought to be one of the main weaknesses of this quad. BUT this isn’t a big bummer because most quads in this price range are similar!

380mAh LiPo battery: A LiPo battery is a special type of Lithium battery designed to output power. Learn how to maintain your LiPos in this article here.

Design and Build


Hubsan X4 H107C build review

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)

The Hubsan X4 H107C has a solid, durable build. It is small but with this comes the ability to fly it indoors! Obviously, the design awesomeness is subjective but we think that the Hubsan X4 H107C is decent, although it may not stand out much from many other quads out there.

It comes in two different color variations – Black mixed with red or green. We recommend you go for the red for added visibility. The propeller guard that comes with it is also sturdy. Make sure you keep it on if you are still learning how to fly, especially if you are flying indoors! Overall, the build quality of the Hubsan X4 H107C is certainly one of the top in its price range. You may crash it and it’ll still come out unscathed. Obviously, don’t go overboard!

Hubsan X4 H107C transmitter

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)


The transmitter that comes with it, though not hobby grade level, is also good quality. Unlike many other cheap quads with cheaply built transmitters out there, this one should last past some “pounding” so to speak.

Hubsan X4 H107C Flight characteristics

The Hubsan X4 H107C is mostly an indoor/ low wind type quadcopter. It flies pretty well, is stable and comes with 4 different flight modes based on your flying expertise. Excellent to learn on. However, do note that in windy conditions, it is nearly unusable.

This shouldn’t be much of a problem if you are mostly looking for a quadcopter to learn on before getting something more expensive, BUT if you want a quadcopter that’ll enable you to fly outdoors and show off whilst simultaneously learning how to fly, pick something like the Blade 180 QX HD instead.

Overall, the Hubsan X4 H107C flies pretty good. Build an obstacle course indoors or in a low/no wind zone and fly it around – you will have plenty of fun!

Here’s our flight characteristics rating for the Hubsan X4 H107C based on what we tested, in different wind conditions:

7/10​​​​
Low wind
6/10
Medium wind
4/10
High wind

Low wind: 7/10

Medium wind: 6/10

High winds: 4/10

Flight time and battery

Hubsan X4 H107C review

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)

Expect about 7 minutes of flight time with the Hubsan X4 H107C on average. We have had times when it flew to about 9 minutes, but it was all slow cruising with little to no take offs, landings and flips. Unless you are a newbie practising how to hover your quadcopter, you will be disappointed if you expect to fly the Hubsan X4 H107C HD for more than 10 minutes per charge.

However, this is the best you can get out of most toy quadcopters. Nothing specifically bad or good about it. It is extremely decent for its’ price range.

Camera and FPV

The Hubsan X4 H107C comes with a decent camera (0.3 MP). Nothing spectacular but it’ll be a fun little gimmick. At this price range, we recommend you not even pay attention to the camera and FPV features anyway. Most quadcopters do not come with cameras that are worth more than a mere gimmick. It also does not come with an FPV. However, this shouldn’t be the reason to put off buying this quadcopter because if you are looking for a cheap quadcopter on how to learn to fly on, you won’t be using the gimmicky style camera and FPV features of the Hubsan X4 H107C most of the time anyway. We recommend you put this off for later, if and when you get a bigger and better drone!

Here’s a quick little video review of the Hubsan X4 H107C:


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Durable and long lasting. Most quads in this price can be cheaply made. This one is no exception, but it is better than most!
  • Good design and looks
  • Good flight characteristics
  • plus-circle
    Stable and comes with different flight modes
  • plus-circle
    Can fly indoors

Cons

  • Mediocre flight times
  • Cannot fly outdoors in even medium wind conditions
  • Does not come with FPV
  • minus-circle
    Poor quality camera
  • minus-circle
    Can take a long time to charge

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BLADE 180 QX HD REVIEW: In-depth analysis http://www.droneybee.com/blade-180-qx-review/ http://www.droneybee.com/blade-180-qx-review/#respond Mon, 23 Oct 2017 10:38:30 +0000 http://www.droneybee.com/?p=2065 The Blade 180 QX is on the pricey end but certainly one of the best quadcopters out there in terms of design and build, flight characteristics and flight time. If you are a beginner to intermediate level and love flying quadcopters, we highly, highly recommend the Blade 180 QX.In this article, we’ll review the design, […]

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The Blade 180 QX is on the pricey end but certainly one of the best quadcopters out there in terms of design and build, flight characteristics and flight time. If you are a beginner to intermediate level and love flying quadcopters, we highly, highly recommend the Blade 180 QX.

In this article, we’ll review the design, build, flight characteristics, camera and battery life of the Blade 180 QX HD quadcopter. We’ll end by quickly going over the pros and cons of picking this quadcopter so that you can make a good building decision.

Quick summary review (rating) of th​​​​e Blade 180 QX HD

Design and build: 8.5/10
Flight characteristics: 8.5/10
Flight time and battery: 7.5/10
Camera and FPV: 7/10

Design and Build

Blade 180 QX review

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)

We absolutely loved the way the Blade 180 QX HD is designed and the color scheme (orang and black). Obviously, the design awesomeness is subjective but we think that the Blade 180 QX HD certainly stands out when it comes to its design.

As for build quality and durability, the Blade 180 QX HD is one of the best (may even be better than the DBPower predator). You definitely have to be careful not to go around crashing it everytime you fly but compared to most other hobby grade quadcopters out there, the Blade 180 QX HD certainly comes on top when it comes to the quality of build. Added to the durability, the quad is also pretty light weight. Most light quadcopters are very cheap and break easily. Not this one, sir!

The best part is that the parts are easily replacable in case it damages. Horizon Hobby has a good reputation for customer service in comparison to most other brands.

Blade 180 QX HD Flight characteristics

Blade 180 QX HD review

(Clicking on Image will take you to Amazon)

Perhaps this is the best thing about the Blade 180 QX HD. The flight characteristics on the Blade 180 QX HD is the best bar none. We certainly can’t say the same for most quadcopters in this price range.

It comes with the SAFE flight technology, giving it stability. This to us sounded like a marketing gimmick initially, but it does fly better than most others we’ve tried. It also comes wiht three different flight modes. The controller that comes with it is the Spektrum 5+ channel transmitter, which is one of the best transmitters you can get on the beginner level.

At higher flight modes, it can handle medium to low-high winds surprisingly well. The size also enables you to fly it both indoors and outdoors. Most quadcopters that are stable outside are highly unideal to fly indoors. The Blade 180 QX flies surprisingly well for its size! The following are the results of our test:

9/10
Low wind
8/10
Medium wind
7/10
High wind

Flight time and battery

Expect about 10 minutes of flight time with the Blade 180 QX HD, on average. We have had times when it flew to about 15 minutes, but it was all slow cruising in almost negligible wind conditions. Unless you are a newbie practicing how to hover your quadcopter, you will be disappointed if you expect to fly the Blade 180 QX HD for hours.

However, this is the best you can get out of most hobby quadcopters. Nothing specifically bad or good about it. It is extremely decent for its’ price range.

Camera and FPV

The Blade 180 QX comes with a camera and instructions on how to install it, but it does not come with an FPV. However, there are TONS of videos out there that will help you out to adapt this quadcopter for FPV and a different camera. You need only do a google search. Unlike many quadcopters out there, the Blade 180 QX is a popular model and a happy side effect of this is that it is more likely to find people who have modded this quadcopter for different purposes.

Here is a video review with some suggestions:

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very durable and long lasting
  • Good design and looks
  • Excellent flight characteristics
  • plus-circle
    Lightweight
  • plus-circle
    Stable and comes with different flight modes
  • plus-circle
    Decent flight times
  • plus-circle
    Excellent transmitter
  • plus-circle
    Easily replaceable parts and good customer service from the company

Cons

  • Bad landing gear design
  • Pricey and comes with less features (lack of FPV, for example)
  • Poor quality camera (although can be easily changed by following video tutorials)

The post BLADE 180 QX HD REVIEW: In-depth analysis appeared first on Droney Bee.

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Dromida Ominus FPV Review: In-depth Analysis http://www.droneybee.com/dromida-ominus-review/ http://www.droneybee.com/dromida-ominus-review/#comments Mon, 23 Oct 2017 07:50:57 +0000 http://www.droneybee.com/?p=2047 The Dromida Ominus is a cool little hobby grade quadcopter that we got to try recently. If you are a beginner and want to learn how to fly drones, we recommend this quadcopter. In this article, we’ll review the design, build, flight characteristics, camera and battery life of the Dromida Ominus FPV quadcopter. We’ll end […]

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The Dromida Ominus is a cool little hobby grade quadcopter that we got to try recently. If you are a beginner and want to learn how to fly drones, we recommend this quadcopter. In this article, we’ll review the design, build, flight characteristics, camera and battery life of the Dromida Ominus FPV quadcopter. We’ll end by quickly going over the pros and cons of picking this quadcopter so that you can make a good building decision.

Note: There are two “Dromida Ominus” quadcopters out there. Here, we’ll be reviewing the Dromida Ominus FPV quadcopter which is not only better than the other, but also cheaper. If you are buying the regular Dromida Ominus, we recommend you NOT to. Go for the Dromida Ominus FPV instead!

Quick summary review (rating) of the Dromida Ominus

​​​​​Design and Build
Flight characteristics
Flight time and battery
Camera and FPV

Design and Build

Dromida Ominus Review

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)

As for the design, the Dromida Ominus is certainly amazing to look at. It does have a versatile look and feel to it, compared to other drones in the same price range. It also comes in two colors – The red and green. We prefer the red color because it has the added benefit of being more visible when you fly at higher altitudes.

The Dromida Ominus is certainly well built but unlike the marketing claims, it is certainly not “unbreakable”. However, this is to be expected from most other quadcopters in this price range. When we tested the Dromida Ominus, we did crash it several times without any problems. The parts are pretty easily and cheaply replaceable anyways, so even if you do break it, it shouldn’t be much of an issue. Again, make sure you go for the Dromida Ominus FPV version instead of the regular one, if you are shopping in Amazon.

With the added FPV feature, the Dromida Ominus FPV is certainly one of the better quadcopters you can get, for a nearly steal price.

Flight characteristics

Dromida Ominus Review: Flight characteristics

(Clicking on Amazon will take you to Amazon)

The Dromida Ominus FPV comes with four different flight modes – the beginner, normal, advanced and expert. We recommend you stick to “normal” mode if you are just starting out and slowly progress towards expert mode. Check out our guide on “How to fly a quadcopter” for an in-depth guide to going from a beginner to expert level quadcopter flyer. The Dromida Ominus is certainly a good quadcopter to apply the guide on. Other than that, it is very stable until it is windy. Make sure you fly when the wind is low or medium. If you are unsure, learn to fly indoors first instead. These are our test results for the flight stability of the Dromida Ominus:

8/10
Low winds
7/10
Medium winds
6/10
High winds


Flight time and battery

Dromida Ominus review Battery

(Clicking on Image will take you to Amazon)

This has to be one of the main positives of the Dromida Ominus. This quadcopter comes with a very good battery (700mAh) to size ratio. On average, the Dromida Ominus should give you about 9~11 minutes of flight time, even if you perform flips and aerobatics in mid wind conditions. This is extremely decent for this price range.

If flight time is something you are worried about, you’ll have no problems picking the Dromida Ominus FPV.

Camera and FPV

Another HUGE positive for the Dromida Ominus FPV is that it comes with a camera and FPV (Duh). The quality is pretty good for the price. These features are mostly seen in higher priced quadcopters ($150 +). However, the FPV feature of the Dromida ominus is WiFi, so don’t expect much in terms of range, quality and interference.

Mostly, you’ll be using the camera and FPV as a fun little “gimmick” experiment. The camera is certainly not comparable to the likes of DJI Phantom and the FPV cannot be compared to a racing quadcopter.

Dromida Ominus Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Very good flight times
  • Very good flight characteristics
  • Comes with spare parts
  • plus-circle
    Good Design
  • plus-circle
    Comes with camera and FPV
  • plus-circle
    Can perform flips, snap photos and videos at the press of a button

Cons:

  • Build quality is certainly not “unbreakable”. This is to be expected from most quadcopters in this price range, however

  • WiFi FPV: Low quality and range, interference.
  • Mediocre photo and video quality

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AKK FPV camera reviews http://www.droneybee.com/akk-fpv-camera-reviews/ http://www.droneybee.com/akk-fpv-camera-reviews/#respond Sun, 03 Sep 2017 12:15:13 +0000 http://www.droneybee.com/?p=1999 We haven't really done FPV camera reviews so far, but this will be a good start. This is a review post on three AKK FPV cameras.Here we'll review the following cameras from AKK: 1. AKK CA20 Sony CCD camera with OSD.2. AKK BA3 VTX 0/25mW/50mW/200mW switchable 600TVL Cmos3. AKK S2 Cmos Quick overview/ratings 8/10 AKKCA20 7/10 AKK […]

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We haven't really done FPV camera reviews so far, but this will be a good start. This is a review post on three AKK FPV cameras.

Here we'll review the following cameras from AKK: 

1. AKK CA20 Sony CCD camera with OSD.

2. AKK BA3 VTX 0/25mW/50mW/200mW switchable 600TVL Cmos

3. AKK S2 Cmos 

Quick overview/ratings

8/10
AKKCA20
7/10
AKK BA3 VTX
8/10
AKK S2 CMOS

AKK CA20 Sony CCD camera review

Build quality

The AKK CA20 Sony CCD is a 600TVL camera that is built quite well. Unlike many of the other FPV cameras we've used in the past, this one comes with connecting cables and a controller that will not break or get loose with use. The input voltage range is 5-22V which will give you a lot of flexibility in terms of setting up.

Another thing that we noted is the camera lid. Many FPV cameras, once opened tend to have dysfunctional camera lids that just won't go back on. This one however, does. Additionally, the weight of the camera isn't too much either. 

Camera lens and viewing quality

The camera comes with a 2.8mm lens. We observed that the field of view is about 115 degrees. This worked great on our RC planes and if we were just cruising around with our multirotors but we wouldn't recommend it for multirotor racing and aerobatics through obstacles. The AKK CA20 camera also uses a board that comes with more expensive expensive cameras that is useful for wide dynamic range applications (eg being able to fly in both dusk and in bright light) but at a much lower price.

OSD 

One of the great things about this camera is that it comes with an OSD. However, do note that it is not capable of measuring voltage and time. It is useful for changing the picture settings and it comes with a lot of flexibility.

AKK BA3 VTX

Build quality

For the price, the quality of the build of the AKK BA3 VTX is pretty awesome. It is an all in one camera system that comes with the transmitter and antenna. It comes a "pit" mode since it is switchable so make sure you set it up correctly. The manual provided does a pretty decent job in explaining setting up and the types of channels it will take. Overall, a very light weight and efficient build if you want to build a really light weight multirotor or plane and have to minimize the weight as much as possible. 

Camera lens and viewing quality

The field of vision on this camera is about 120 degrees which is alright for regular use but not for FPV racing. But then again, we think that the camera is built for small quadcopters (50-80mm) that aren't necessarily used in FPV racing. We aren't a fan of linear antennas because they have interference but hey, if you want to fly long distances in a linear, straight line, then this might be alright for you. One big advantage with this camera is the switchable power output (0/25/50/200mW). Overall, great value for money considering it is cheaper than other cameras with similar specifications!

AKK S2 Cmos

Build quality

The build quality of the AKK S2 Cmos is similar to the BA3 VTX. It is an all in one camera system that comes with the transmitter and antenna. However, this camera doesn't come with a "pit" mode and the output power is set to 25mW (non-switchable). The antenna is clover-leaf unlike the BA3 VTX, which comes with a linear antenna. Overall, a very light weight and efficient build if you want to build a really light weight multirotor or plane and have to minimize the weight as much as possible. 

Camera lens and viewing quality

The AKK S2 has a clover-leaf antenna giving it a really good viewing quality in closer range distances with potential multi-path interference. The field of vision is about 120 degrees. Again, great for general flying but we recommend a higher FOV for multirotor racing. The S2 also copes with changing light conditions better. 

Overall verdict on AKK FPV cameras

Great value for money. Comparing it to FPV cameras from other companies, they give you great specifications for cheaper. We wish that the cameras we tested had better field of vision, however. Other than that, we definitely recommend AKK FPV cameras. You can either get them from Amazon or directly from their website: http://www.akktek.com/

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Drones during disasters: Why we must ABSOLUTELY use them http://www.droneybee.com/drones-during-disasters/ http://www.droneybee.com/drones-during-disasters/#respond Sat, 02 Sep 2017 17:27:31 +0000 http://www.droneybee.com/?p=1969 Hurricane Harvey has wrecked havoc. It has been catastrophic and earth-shattering. While we are far from being able to prevent natural disasters like this as a civilization, we must strive to use whatever technology we have to expedite recovery activities after a disaster. We must strive to use drones during disasters because they are the […]

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Hurricane Harvey has wrecked havoc. It has been catastrophic and earth-shattering. While we are far from being able to prevent natural disasters like this as a civilization, we must strive to use whatever technology we have to expedite recovery activities after a disaster. We must strive to use drones during disasters because they are the perfect example of technology we already possess that, if used properly, can be really effective. They can find disaster victims, conduct damage assessments to critical infrastructure and deliver supplies like ropes, food, first aid and life jackets during a dangerous situation, minimizing risk and time taken.

By Thursday morning, August 31, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration had issued 43 unmanned aircraft system authorizations to drone operators supporting the response and recovery for Hurricane Harvey or covering it as part of the media. Before this, they the FAA had banned drones in the Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery zone for the safety of rescue workers. While they did change their mind, it is important to be be vigilant when a disaster like this happens next time because time is everything. During the time of a catastrophe like Hurricane Harvey, every minute is like an eternity.

Why shouldn’t we use drones when we are perfectly capable of doing so, especially if they can potentially minimize death and speed up recovery? Sure, they can be dangerous if not used effectively but so can a car. Should we all stop driving then?

Some of the ways we can use drones during disasters

Assessing damage to infrastructure

The safety level of any given area is directly related to the health of power lines, roads, bridges, communication cables, gas, water lines and other critical infrastructure. Drones can be used to quickly assess the damage that has been done which is one of the most important strategies that must be applied after a disaster.

Delivering supplies

To minimize further damage, drones can be used to deliver supplies, provide support to damaged infrastructure and establish communication lines quickly. This is especially true if the situation and/or area is too dangerous for rescue workers to tread through. The worst thing that can happen other than victims themselves being killed is if something happens to rescue workers.  This ought to be one of the most important reasons for using drones during disasters.

Extinguishing fires and battle against catastrophic chemical spills

In a disaster, fires are common. This puts not only the victims but also the rescue operators, in serious danger. Drones can effectively eliminate this risk and can be used in battling fires remotely.

Chemical CBRNE events are even more dangerous for people to tread in. During the Fukushima Daiiichi nuclear plant event, drones were used to assess the damages.

Build 3D models of a disaster affected area

Drones have the capacity to produce accurate 3D models of an area, conduct land surveying with sharp resolutions per pixel and gather millions of data points in a short amount of time. The major advantage is that they can fly over areas that are normally very difficult or dangerous to reach which can be used to identify the most damaged areas after a disaster.

As you can see, they can play a major role in disaster management! Not using them is a mistake and should be effectively avoided (provided the operators are qualified and experienced, of course!)

During this disaster relief

Insurance

Drones will be used by insurance companies to assess the flooded area in order to record the damage done. This is likely going to be the first time drones are used in a large scale manner to aid human inspectors.

Police and fire departments

Emergency units are reported to be flying into areas that highly risky in order to rescue victims.

Media

News and media outlets are using drones to cover what is going on without risking the lives of their reporters.

Here are some drone footage of the damage that was done:

 

It seems like we are finally learning the role drones will play in any future search and rescue operations and this is definitely a very good thing!

 

 

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FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta to Deliver Grand Opening Keynote Address at InterDrone http://www.droneybee.com/michael-p-huerta-interdrone/ http://www.droneybee.com/michael-p-huerta-interdrone/#respond Sat, 12 Aug 2017 08:45:18 +0000 http://www.droneybee.com/?p=1806 BZ Media LLC announced that Michael P. Huerta, Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, will give the Grand Opening Keynote address at InterDrone, September 6 at 10:00 am. He will be joined at InterDrone by a high-level lineup of commercial drone thought leaders who will frame the state of the industry at the conference, being held […]

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BZ Media LLC announced that Michael P. Huerta, Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, will give the Grand Opening Keynote address at InterDrone, September 6 at 10:00 am. He will be joined at InterDrone by a high-level lineup of commercial drone thought leaders who will frame the state of the industry at the conference, being held September 6-8 at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas.

In addition to Mr. Huerta’s Grand Opening Keynote, addresses will also be presented by:

* Greg Agvent, Senior Director of News Technology, CNN

* Michael Chasen, CEO, PrecisionHawk

* Biren Gandhi, Distinguished Strategist, Corporate Strategy, Cisco

* Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel

* Wahid Nawabi, CEO, AeroVironment

* Deepu Talla, Vice President, General Manager, Tegra Unit, NVIDIA

* Mike Winn, CEO, DroneDeploy

As Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, Mr. Huerta is responsible for the safety and efficiency of the largest aerospace system in the world overseeing a $15.9 billion dollar budget, and over 47,000 employees. The FAA is responsible for setting the legal requirements for the use of commercial drones in the United States.

More information on InterDrone—strictly for commercial drone builders, buyers and flyers—is open at www.InterDrone.com. For information on exhibiting or event sponsorships, please contact Ted Bahr at ted@bzmedia.com or +1 631-421-4158 x101.

ABOUT BZ MEDIA

BZ Media LLC is a 16 year-old high-tech media company producing industry-leading technical conferences and expositions.

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