buying your first droneThe first drone was built shortly after World War II. For decades, drones were used almost entirely for warfare. A lot has changed over the last few years.

Drones are currently used for a variety of civilian purposes. Photographers often use drones to take aerial pictures. Amazon and other companies have started using drones to make deliveries. Some consumers are buying them for recreational purposes.

Here are some tips for anyone looking to buy the best drone.

Don’t Build Your Own Drone – Unless You Are Highly Skilled

Do you enjoy DIY projects? You may be tempted to build your own drone. However, this isn’t advisable, unless you really know what you are doing.

In 2014, Ed Darack, published an article for Air & Space Magazine. He built his own drone while staying in Afghanistan.

Darack said building his own drone was a fun experience. However, the drone was not very reliable. It crashed whenever it was raised 30 feet above ground, due to poor fiber construction and other issues.

You should only build your own drone if you are a highly skilled engineering technician or aren’t worried about reliability. Otherwise, it’s better to just buy one. You can buy drones for as little as $200.

Understand the Different Types of Drones Available

There are many different types of drones on the market. Which is right for you? Here are the two main types of drones you can consider purchasing.

First Person View (FPV)

FPV drones have cameras attached to the bottom, which stream video images to you in real-time. You can feel like a bird looking through the lens.

Quadcopter

Quadcopter drones are drones with either H Square or X Square frames. They are ideal for carrying small weights and can fly up to 15 miles per hour.

Look for Ready to Fly (RTF) Drones

Both FPV and quadcopter drones can be classified as RTF. This means that they are very easy to use, which means they are perfect for beginners.

If you have never flown a drone before, you want to look for one of these. Most sophisticated drones are more likely to crash if you don’t know how to handle them properly. Your drone may survive a crash, but it could be damaged beyond repair.

Choose Brands Carefully

There are a lot of different manufacturers that sell drones in the United States, Europe and Asia. These companies include:

  • Skycatch – a drone manufacturer that focuses on making drones for collecting intelligence
  • DJI Innovations – a manufacturer that produces quadcopters for aerial videography and photography.
  • Parrot – this company produces mid-range FPV drones.
  • GoPro is a technology conglomerate that produces cameras and quadcopter drones. Their drone line includes the Ionic Stratus Drone Quadcopter and the MJX X102H RC Quadcopter, Aerial Photography Drone.
  • 3D Robotics – 3D Robotics creates autonomous, FPV drones and quadcopters.
  • Hubsan – Hubsan is a Chinese drone manufacturer that primarily serves hobbyists. They are best known for creating the Hubsan X4 and Hubsan X4 H107C.

You want to compare drones carefully. Read reviews to choose a drone that is known for reliability and life-expectancy.

Understand the Regulations in Your Area

There are a lot of things that you need to consider before purchasing a drone. One of the most overlooked factors is the regulations in the area you live.

All drones must comply with the policies outlined by the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). However, individual states often have their own policies that you need to abide by. A number of states have started introducing new legislation to regulate drone use. According to Drone Life, these proposals include:

  • Utah lawmakers are considering a new law that would allow police to shoot down unregistered drones on site.
  • Connecticut recentaly proposed banning drones with flamethrowers.

Always check with your state Attorney General if you need clarification.

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