Flying a drone indoors? That is dangerous and/or outright boring, right? Not necessarily. In this post we’ll discuss why you should consider flying your craft indoors, how to pick the right craft, how to make indoor flying fun and challenging and some considerations you must take into account. You’ll also see how you can utilize indoor flying to your advantage to master flying a multirotor/helicopter!
Skilled enough to fly a drone indoors?
The very first thing you may wonder is if a beginner should attempt flying inside at all. After all, it should be much safer outside, in an open space outdoors. While this is true, it might actually be a better idea for a beginner to fly a drone inside, provided you setup your environment carefully and pick the right craft.
Learning how to (manually) fly a drone can be challenging but worth it. It might actually be best to start learning it at the comfort of your home, without having to head out where you are subject to potential rules and regulations.
Why bother flying a drone indoors?
So why should you bother flying a drone indoors when most of the potential fun is outside? Good question! The main reasons you may think of as to why you should consider flying a drone indoor are:
- Learning to fly.
- Not having to be concerned about breaking the law or running onto someone’s cat.
But that’s not all of it. Flying drones indoors can be incredibly handy in bad weather when heading out is not an option. Another reason why you might want to consider mastering indoor flight is if you are a real estate photographer. With drones added to your repertoire, you will be able to capture stunning, photos and videos of homes like never before.
And who says all the fun is outside? With proper setup, you can have some fun competitive experience with your friends indoors!
For example, clear all the furniture and potential breakable objects in a decently sized room. Set an obstacle course inside with simple rings attached to the ceiling, hanging on different lengths/heights. This is a fun way to improve your flying skills indoors, especially when the weather is dire outside.
Here is another fun idea:
An obstacle course challenge between a husband and wife:
As you can see, your imagination is your limit!
What drone to pick?
The best drones for indoor flight are really tiny nano drones the size of a coin and micro drones that can fit on your palm. Of course, for real estate photography and similar tasks, you’ll need something that can carry a decent camera and these drones tend to be bigger.
However, if you are a hobbyist looking to have some fun or if you are beginner, go for the nano or micro type drone. Generally speaking, the smaller your craft, the better it is for flying a drone indoors.
A nano quad maybe the best when it comes to indoor flight and obstacle course fun. At the same time, smaller it is, the worse it will handle winds if you take it outside. So do consider this before going for nano quadcopters!
The best part is, if you are not keen on flying outside or taking high end photo/video, you can get away with something really cheap.
Other purchases you might want to make:
- Spare propellers, propeller guards
- Extra LiPo batteries (for more flight times)
Considerations for flying a door indoors
Start slow and learn gradually
Think it is wise to fly around the quadcopter like crazy after unboxing it for the first time? If you are a beginner, think again. You must approach flying a multirotor systematically. Start slow and learn how to fly it gradually. Learn how to hover first, proceed to basic flying patterns before moving onto more advanced moves!
Obstacle courses and challenges can come later. If you are a beginner, get used to the controls and controlling your quad! Master it. Not only will this help with safety, you’ll be equipped with enough skills to move onto flying fancier quads outdoors.
Although these come with autopilot features, you never know when the training wheels come off. If you are skilled, you can always manuever your way out of trouble! Drone racing and FPV flight will also be within your reach if you have a solid base.
Clear the room
Before you go about flying a drone indoors, clear the room off obstacles that you don’t want damaged. Do not underestimate propeller cuts. You do not want that awesome piece of art work messed up by your quadcopter!
‘Obstacle’ courses can be constructed using rings and plastic/metal toys that aren’t so easily damaged but do not put your expensive stuff at risk! And especially if you are starting out, you ideally don’t want obstacles at all, so find a room that is spacious and open.
Be careful no one walks in unaware while you are flying a drone indoors
Make sure there are no pets or kids around when you fly your quadcopter and be careful not to let other people walk into the room you are flying unaware. To reiterate what was said earlier, do not underestimate the damage even small propellers spinning at high speeds can cause.
To share a personal story, one of us here at DroneyBee had a propeller strike accident while building a small 250 sized quadcopter. Fortunately, the cut was on the shin area and all it took was to have the skin healed but even so, the cut was deep and the mark still remains. However, had it been somewhere like the eye, things could have been far, far worse. Worse things have happened to people!
Please note that this is not to scare you but to prompt you to take enough safety precautions. Accidents happen with almost any endeavour but it doesn’t mean we should stop doing everything, like flying a drone indoors!
Install propeller guards
Propeller guards are excellent not only to reduce damage to the quadcopter, but also to reduce the chances of damage your quadcopter can cause to objects and/or people. Most nano and micro quadcopters come with prop guards as they are designed for indoor flight but if yours doesn’t, make sure you can get a spare one for the model and install it IMMEDIATELY!
The prop guards might increase the weight on your quad and thus potentially reduce flight times but that is not a good reason not to install one for indoor flight. You can always get additional batteries, but you cannot replace the safety boost a prop guard offers. Especially if you are a beginner and flying indoors, install propeller guards. No exceptions.
Avoid flying near walls and ceilings (unless that’s part of fun)
Your quadcopter/helicopter will be unstable near walls, ceiling and floor due to the nature of the difference in air flow. It’ll also be the case with bigger obstacles. Unless you are well past the beginner stage and it is part of a fun challenge you are undertaking, avoid treading to these areas with your craft
Hopefully it is now evident to you that flying a drone indoors is a viable option provided you use your intelligence in taking the right precautions and fly wisely. If nothing else, the main take away is to take it slow and master flying the craft.
That’s all! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us or drop a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond!