How Long Do Drones Last?

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
December 11, 2021

How Long Do Drones Last?

Photo by JESHOOTS.com from Pexels

How long do drones last before they need to come down? While this might seem like a simple question, there are a variety of factors that go into determining how long drones last when in the air. Read our article to find out the answer.

Comparison Table

How Long Do Drones Last?

When someone decides to invest a lot of money into a new drone, one of the first questions they usually consider is ‘how long do drones last?’. It makes sense asking this question — no one wants to drop a lot of money on a new flying device only to have it break down after a couple of minutes.So, how long do drones last when flying? In short, the answer depends entirely on the drone in question. Most drones on the cheap side last somewhere between five and ten minutes before needing to land. Expensive models can stay in the air for upwards of fifteen to twenty minutes.However, more professional drones rely on spare batteries that allows them to fly all day long. There are multiple reasons why most drone batteries don't last very long in the air before needing to come down. The first reason is the hardware involved in the drone itself.Drones are heavy. No matter how lightweight companies make them, the strength needed to support the bodies almost always weighs down the product. The more weight added to your drone, either through a camera or additional features the more prominent the battery you will need to support it.In the end, what determines how long a drone stays up in the air are things like the size of the motor, the length of the propeller or blades, and the total weight. Most important of all though is the battery capacity for the drone. Ultimately this feature will determine precisely how long a drone lasts in the sky.

Things You Should Consider When Looking at Your Drone’s Battery Life

Here are some things we recommend knowing about your drone battery when shopping. Cells are related closely to how long your drone lasts, so you should pay close attention if you care about how long your drone lasts.As you might guess, when you fly your drone at incredibly fast speeds, it eats up the batteries life far quicker than if you operate at a leisurely pace. As such, racing drones and their batteries generally come with much shorter battery life because they travel at such quick speeds.

Battery Material

If you take care of your drone’s battery, then it will take care of you. Proper maintenance can mean the difference between a stable cell and a burnt out one. But first, we need to know what type of real companies often use when making drone batteries.What does the company use when making the battery? Most drones these days are powered by LiPo batteries. Generally, if you can, you want to go with LiPo batteries over the older NiCad models.NiCad models cannot outpour energy as fast, they cannot store large amounts of power, and they have a shorter life. As such, they are generally considered inferior to the newer LiPo models. However, keep in mind that lithium polymer batteries do not handle cold weather well at all.

Specific Technology

Make sure the company you are buying your drone from does not feature only one set of batteries that work for its drone. Otherwise, you will need to pay a pretty penny if you ever have to get it replaced. Try and find models that allow for aftermarket batteries. That way you can buy them at a reduced value.You should also remain on the lookout for special bargains on specific drone models. Some brands also include a spare battery that you can switch out or keep around as a replacement in case one goes bad.

Charging Time

Most drones take quite a long time to charge. Unfortunately, long charge times are a bit of a standard in the industry. Charge times often take between forty minutes to one hour. When you charge your battery, you should not let it die before charging it again. Only do this every three months.If you are frustrated by how long your drone battery is taking to charge, then you can purchase a charger with a higher energy output level. This feature will speed up the charge time of your drone. You can also buy additional charging accessories like a charging station.

Things You Should Consider When Adding on Features to Your Drone

person holding a drone

Photo by Peter Fazekas from Pexels

Generally, you should only add attachments to your drone when you want to use them. Otherwise, they can quickly weigh down your drone. Heavy cameras or toy attachments like dart guns can sometimes reduce the lifespan of your drone by half its usual time if it is heavy enough.As such, you should be aware of what features are necessary and which ones can be detached. Prop guard is bracketed you place around the propellers on your drone. While they protect the aircraft in the case of a crash, it is essential to know that they also add a lot of weight.

What are the Ideal Flying Conditions When Flying a Drone?

Ideal conditions are essential for understanding because otherwise, you could severely damage your drone. The quality control included with your drone test them under ideal flying conditions. Ideal fly conditions are clear days with no rain or wind.Ideal flying conditions also mean that your craft has no extra weight included on it. However, the reality is that no day is rarely “windless” and most types of propeller guards add quite a bit of weight. Keep in mind that if the weather is particularly windy that day, then your drone will not last as long.Most people know that flying their drones in the rain is not a good idea. Water can get inside the engine and cause the entire device to malfunction. However, something that not a lot of amateur flyers know is that humid days can be just as bad. Moisture of any kind spells bad news for the fragile interior of drones.When a drone needs to fight against the aggressive wind, the battery must work double time to keep stability going. Also, cold weather also drains the energy from cells much faster than usual. Do not think you will get any respite on summer days — hot weather also drains the batteries.Generally, the best advice is finding a bright spot on a beautiful dry day. Bring extra batteries if you can afford them, and understand what the companies mean when they say batteries minimum and maximum in terms of flight time.

What are Some of the Longest Lasting Drones Out There?

In this section, we will include a brief list of some of the drones that hold the record for the most extended battery life in terms of flight time. We also include a short list of pros and cons associated with each drone.

1) DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

Flight time

thirty-one minutes of max flying time

PROS

  • longest flight time and control range

CONS

  • batteries cost a lot extra

2) DJI Mavic Pro

Flight time

twenty-seven minutes of max flying time

PROS

  • fast charging and very portable when transporting

CONS

  • lousy field of vision and poor performance on breezy afternoons

3) Holy Stone HS720 Foldable

Flight time

52 Mins in total with 2 batteries

PROS

  • very upgradeable in the future and suitable for both beginners and experts

CONS

  • looks on the cheaper side

4) DJI Phantom 3 Standard

Flight time

twenty-five minutes of max flying time

PROS

  • intelligent flight modes included and HD live video feed capabilities

CONS

  • a fixed camera with a limited range

5) 4DF10 Drone for adults and kids

Flight time

thirty-two minutes of max flying time

PROS

  • one of the most stable and smart designs

CONS

  • app features may not work as expected

6) Parrot Bebop 2

Flight time

twenty-four minutes of max flying time

PROS

  • small and stable during flight

CONS

  • limited flight range and memory capabilities

We hope this article helped you figure out the answer to “how long do drones last?” The average response is around fifteen minutes, but hopefully, now you understand that the issue is a bit more nuanced than a single answer. It depends on the motor, size, and battery included on the drone.

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