Different people want different things off their drones. While some want to opt for high quality images and videos, they do not mind compromising on flight time. On the other hand, there are others who prefer having a longer flight time with more acrobatic turn possibilities.
There is, however, one class of drone enthusiasts who seem to prefer devices with long ranges, to explore the unknown from a far off distance. Some of these drones can reach ranges up to 500 meters while others can go as far as a few kilometers. But who would want such a long range drone?
Well, this type of drone is usually found around large lands that need aerial surveillance, research institutions that need access to difficult areas and governmental agencies who also need to survey certain areas. However, these drones are not prohibited to public access and, if you need such a device, there are plenty of choices in the market. So, let us delve into details.
Top 5 products with the longest range
DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter Drone
The first product on our list comes from the house of DJI, a name that is quite popular in the world of quadcopters and other drones. For starters, this is a stylish looking product. But it gives a lot more than just looks.
Known for its high-quality performance, the DJI Phantom 3 will not disappoint you if you are an enthusiast of aerial photography as it can go as far as one kilometer away from the operator. It is called the intelligent flying camera. The device is made with fine engineering that gives you the power to fly in the air without hassles. One of the most interesting features of the Phantom 3 Standard is the automatic flight assistant. This gives you the freedom to fly wherever you want as your quadcopter will return home at the click of a button.
Another exciting feature includes the fact that you can see what your drone sees. That means you get live HD streaming of the footage captured by the drone. Thanks to a smart mobile application, you can also control the drone right from the phone. But the best part about this copter is its flight time, which touches a whopping 25 minutes! This is quite impressive for a drone of this size.
The drone especially helps you in getting good aerial footage. Besides, if you are an amateur in the world of flying quadcopters, giving it time with the mobile application will make it easy for you. You can find out much more about this model by reading our DJI Phantom 3 series in-depth review.
If you interested you can check the current deal for it on Amazon.
YUNEEC Q500 4K Typhoon Quadcopter
The Yuneec Q500 is a quadcopter designed for giving you the best in aerial photography and videography. This can be attributed to the three-axis precision gimbal camera that works towards holding the camera steady. Add to that, the handheld controller which also gives you a steady grip to ensure that the videos are free from disturbances.
The drone also comes with a pretty good range that could challenge some of its finest contemporaries. It can easily go as far as 400 to 500 feet above the ground. But the makers claim it can touch 750 feet, so that is pretty impressive!
The most striking feature about this drone is its sturdy body. It is a rock solid device that will give you good performances over a prolonged period of time. Also, it is very easy to fly. Whether you are an amateur, taking baby steps into the world of flying unmanned aerial devices, or you are a pro with years of experience, this drone will indeed be easy to operate. You just have to be smart with your flying options.
For instance, try to stick to open areas as much as possible. If you follow the simple rules of flying and the manual provided by the company, this quadcopter is one of the most stable devices you will come across. That is the reason why this device gives breathtaking pictures from up in the air. With very responsive controls, it will always give you a smooth flight, and if you wish to know much more about this model, we suggest checking out our Yuneec Typhoon Q500 in-depth review.
3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter
Next up is the amazing sleek design from 3D Robotics. This is good to use and has a video game style controller. This gives you an idea of familiarity the moment you set your hands on it. So this is a good buy whether you are a pro or an amateur.
Talking about the range of the 3DR Solo, it has done mighty well in this department. It has a range of 1 mile that can give you pretty good access. Besides, it is known as the world’s smart drone with a brain. That means it is capable of performing a number of functions on its own. The camera facilities give you some of the best experiences in aerial photography.
It allows you to get a first-person view of what the quadcopter sees in the air and also watch the recorded footage at a later time. There are some special features that make this device different from the rest. Some of these include the ‘Orbit’ feature, the ‘Follow Me’, ‘Selfie’ and the likes. This product is durable and is likely to last a long time, and you can find out much more about all the features it offers, by reading our 3DR Solo in-depth review.
DJI Phantom 2 Vision+
Since DJI has been such a popular name in the world of quadcopters, let us delve into one more product signed by them. This device is best known for its excellent photographic abilities, which is due to the super smooth video that is ensured by the 3-axis gimbal.
Not just that, you get some of the clearest and crispier still pictures that you can either view as First Person View or as recorded stills much later. The HD video camera indeed does a great job here.
The device comes packed with a 5200 mAh battery that holds good enough to give you a flight time of 25 minutes. Next, the propellers are self-tightening and lead to higher flight power. It is one of the most beginner-friendly drones that make it very easy and convenient for amateurs to gain some flight experience.
With the Vision App on Android and iPhone platforms, you can control and have access to the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ from the base point. Even the most experienced flyers find comfort in this super solid device, and you can get familiar with all the features it offers by reading our Phantom 2 Vision+ in depth review.
The Airborne SENTINEL+
While we are on the topic of long-range drones, there is one drone that leaves all its competitors behind. The Sentinel is one of the best products in this genre as it supports a maximum range of 35 km. there is hardly anything you can complain about, with such features. It comes with a compact and portable frame, something that makes it all the more attractive to flying enthusiasts.
The drone is extremely lightweight compared to the features it offers. This is one of the reasons why this drone is able to have a long range. If you want to go out on one of those outdoor adventures, this is the product you should opt for.
It takes about a minute to set the whole thing up and you can get started quite easily. Now, we come to the most interesting feature of this drone: it has a massive flight time of 74 minutes that beats anything you will find in drones of this size.
The only issue with this toy is the price – it starts from $29,999. To check it you can go here.
Uses of long distance drones
As you can understand, these drones are pretty handy if they are used properly. Therefore, it’s time that we take a closer look at some of the important uses of these drones.
One of the most important applications of drones that support a long range is mapping a terrain which can be a city or a rural area (or anything else for that matter). These types of drones are used here especially for their versatility and range. Given the fact that they can fly really high and over a considerably long distance, they become the perfect devices to capture the various geographical features of a place.
Things that are usually mapped using these drones are forests, water bodies like rivers, roads, etc. These features are always changing which begs for regular mapping of such areas to keep yourself updated.
With the introduction of these aerial products, understanding geographical features has become easy as these drones have helped us to employ multispectral images which in turn assist the scientists to have a decent knowledge of the climatological measurements of the area.
All you need to do to help these products in becoming mapping geniuses is to put in a geo-mapping software and you are all ready to map your surroundings effortlessly.
The best way to have good surveillance of an area is by doing so aerially – something these drones are more than capable of doing. They are regularly used to keep an eye on people, groups, activities, infrastructure, etc. These drones are often touted as the darling of armies, simply because of the fact that they allow them to be on a look out for any and all incidents while maintaining a safe distance.
A big issue with surveillance is that more often than not cameras employed with this job are stationary. But with the help of drones, you are able to put a camera on a flying object. Moreover, long range drones are known to be faster and more agil than your usual drones which make it perfect to provide surveillance without being detected.
In addition to this, the products here also have night vision cameras on them which allow the drones to transmit images at night as well; this effectively means that you will be able to keep a round the clock watch on your intended target.
Surveying is often confused with mapping but in reality, they are different. Surveying refers to a more thorough inspection of an area to find out its characteristics and get a good idea about the boundaries of such area. Surveying is not restricted to the mapping of an area but includes proper observation, measuring each inch of it and finishing it off with research and analysis of your findings.
This is where these drones are so effective, as they allow you to survey each and every inch of the target area with absolute ease. For example, if you are looking to survey the mountain depth where it is not possible for you to be physically present, then you can simply use the drone to find out the important details of that mountain.
This is something which may not be known to many but long distance drones do play an integral part in monitoring traffic. The reason they are used for this purpose is to find out the soundness of traffic network of an area and its overall efficiency.
The knowledge of this network will assist the people involved with road networks to provide better safety, better maintenance and also in improving the performance of these networks.
The reason for the rising popularity of such drones in the road network business is simply because of the fact they are far more logical and sensible than the other tools used for the same purpose.
Another judicious use of the long range drones is in the field of anti-poaching measures. You know that lots of animals are killed or rather poached every day, but the confidence of these poachers could be severely dented if they come to know that a flying object is hovering over their head, capturing every image of the cruel activities on the field.
Things to look for before purchase
The most important question you need to answer is how to choose a long range drone and here are some parameters you can assess before buying the product.
If you are looking for a long distance drone, it’s best if you get one with a camera. As you have already seen these drones are used extensively for aerial images and you wouldn’t want to miss out on the opportunity yourself. So the first thing you need to check here are drones with camera or provisions for the camera.
People go for these drones to get a view of areas which are not easily accessible. Here, you will need to find drones which have really good range and this means at least 300 meters if not more. You have to understand that the better the range of the drone the more efficient it is.
Not sure what model to buy?
There are a number of long range drones available in the market and each comes with its own set of characteristics. While some have very stable and sturdy bodies, others have exceptionally effective cameras. This analysis will help you make a more informed choice.
The first in our list, DJI Phantom 3 standard is one of the best models you will find. It comes with an excellent camera assuring you great aerial footage that you can see as first person view on your application. Besides, the feature that wins it for this drone is the long flight time of 25 minutes.
This gives you enough time to try your hand at flying. Also, it has a pretty good range as it usually flies about 500 meters from the controller, but the number can go up to 1000 meters when required, taking help from the range extender controller! This is a durable product and is suitable for use by both pros and amateurs.
Now, the Yuneec Q500 might not be as good as the DJI Phantom 3 Standard when it comes to flight range, but it still offers a pretty good experience. This can fly over 500 feet from the user with no issues at all. Another reason why people are interested in this quadcopter is its high stability performance.
It can fly in the air in very stable paths and thus is great for capturing pictures. It will be hard to get pictures with greater clarity than this for aerial drones. Most of the users have reported about the solid body and sturdy characteristics making it a great drone. Besides, a few features like the Follow Me and Watch Me add to the charm of this little device.
Talking about these features, the 3DR Solo Drone quadcopter is another exciting product. It comes with features like Orbit, Follow Me, Selfie and the likes. It has ranges that extend as far as 1 mile making it one of the best long range drones. It also has a fully supported application on Android and iOS platforms that make handling the product an easy task.
Next, we come to a masterpiece in the drone world. The Sentinel is one of the ultimate best you will get if you are looking for outdoor drones. It has two big selling points: long range of about 35 km and a whopping flight time of 74 minutes! It has a compact design and gives you rock solid performance in the air. The carbon fiber frame is one of the reasons why this device is so compact and lightweight in structure.
Up next is the DJI Phantom 2 Vision. This might not give you a flight time as impressive as Sentinel, but is still one of the best offered by small-scale drones in this range and size. The HD video camera is responsible for the crisp and clear images and video footages recorded.
It has a long range which can be connected to you by means of the Wi-Fi facility. It can easily give you a range that closes in on 800-1000 meters. Besides, in windy conditions, the drone can fly as fast as 45 mph which is pretty impressive.
Overall, here are the pros and cons of owning a long range drone.
- These drones can be used for a number of purposes such as delivery, surveillance, and the likes.
- Long range drones can give you better and clear still images and videos from quite a distance apart.
- You get a more pronounced aerial view with the long range travel of these drones.
- Long range drones need to work with heavier batteries for sustaining the long distance.
As you can see long range drones indeed are a good pick. Which one is your favorite?