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How to fly drone - tips and tricks for beginners

Updated on February 8, 2016
Drones are cool new affordable toys
Drones are cool new affordable toys | Source

Popularity is rising

Drones, also known as Unmanned aerial vehicles, are becoming increasingly popular as their prices fall, allowing average users to possess one of the great flying machines. Although originally drones were considered something spies, or let’s say, paparazzi’s would use, today anyone can get themselves a drone. As technology is becoming more affordable, there is an increasing number of freshly made filmmakers, who strive for better shot and cooler angle.

Best place to fly a drone is a field or a beach
Best place to fly a drone is a field or a beach | Source

Where can it fly?

Getting your drone out for a spin on a great sunny day is wonderful, but can you actually fly it anywhere? Basically, the answer is yes, you can. However, there are some rules. First, you are not allowed to fly near or over other people. This is for safety reasons, as drones often crash and you don’t want to be held responsible for someone’s injury. Second, you are not allowed to fly near or over airport or any military objects. This is rather self-explanatory - they will think you are a spy and game over. So when choosing a perfect spot, think of a deserted, open space where you can have an eye on you drone at all times and where no one else goes. For example a beach, a field etc.

Drones should be used in deserted areas, like beaches
Drones should be used in deserted areas, like beaches | Source

Battery life

Think about battery life – it is short. Average drone can fly 10 to 20 minutes. Make sure to take this into account, as you may end up with crashed drone in the end. If possible, get a spare battery to extend the flying time. Some more expensive models may feature good stock of spare parts as well as extra battery.

Many drones are compatible with GoPro cameras
Many drones are compatible with GoPro cameras | Source

Camera

A camera is another aspect many newbies tend to underestimate. Although even cheaper models come with a low resolution camera, it probably won’t give you the desired result you are after – amazing, breath-taking aerial shots. So before it gets awkward do yourself a favour and get a drone that is compatible with a GoPro. And buy a GoPro. Even simple GoPro models will give you a much better result – awesome fullHD frames. On a plus side you can use the camera anywhere, including underwater. For more info check this article.

Various spare parts are available in case of a crash
Various spare parts are available in case of a crash | Source

Extras

When choosing a drone, pay attention to built-in stabilization – a nice feature that will save you from shaky and bumpy videos. When buying your first drone, make sure additional extras are available for later purchase, like GPS, landing gear etc. Even if your budget doesn’t allow you to spend on them right away, you can upgrade your drone at later stage.

Drone remote control is a lot like game console controls
Drone remote control is a lot like game console controls | Source

Controls

Controls of a drone remind of Xbox or PlayStation controller – they use 2 joysticks. One stick controls attitude (roll, tilting left and right), another is for throttle and the rotation. It is best to use a controller, rather than smartphone app (although some manufacturers offer this option), as it gives you better control and minimizes risk of a crash.

Best drones for beginners

So when it comes to choosing the best drone on the market, what should we be looking for? Of course, as with many tech gadgets in this world, it all comes down to the price. Here, however, are some good news – some beginner models can cost as low as 100$. Now isn’t that amazing?

Udi U818A

When you first get a controller, you need to learn how not to crash it. Drones, even cheaper ones, still cost you money, so controlling them is essential. So initially beginner should be looking at some well build and hot too expensive model. The things to look for are, for example, spare parts prices, e.g. rotors. These tend to break first, so check for a model with both cheap and available parts.

Source

Air Hogs RC Helix X4 Stunt

This drone is both reliable and miniature, allowing it to fly indoors or in limited space. It also features rubber coating, protecting the drone from damaging itself and other objects. This is a perfect choice for beginners, who wish to practice before moving to large, heavier drones.

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3D Robotics Iris+

This top notch drone is certainly an expensive toy. It is also very powerful, full of great features like GPS tracking, wind stabilizing and many more. You can easily mount your GoPro camera on it. Basically it has its own processor and allows it to fly after an object (e.g. chasing a dog) independently. This great drone is certainly worth the investment if you are looking for stable picture, bunch of features and easy control.

DJI Phantom 2

This model is highly recommended for most users due to its easy to control structure combined with long battery life and range. It is also incredibly safe, supports smartphone app for drone camera image preview and photography. Numerous reviews reveal this drone to be a perfect choice while still staying in affordable price range. The camera is almost as good as GoPro Hero 3+ and it’s a huge advantage. You can mount your smartphone right on the controller to view real time images from the camera view. The battery lasts for 25 minutes and the device can fly autonomously.

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    • Linda Robinson60 profile image

      Linda Robinson 23 months ago from Cicero, New York

      Nice meeting you. I really enjoyed your hub it was very helpful and informative. I look forward to reading your other hubs as well, great writing. Linda

    • Charles Drones profile image

      Charles Drones 11 months ago from London

      Thaks for the great info!

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