Today’s recreational drones are much simpler than those used for military and commercial use. With all the varieties, options and sizes, people often ask… What is the best beginner drone? In this post I will help you understand the basics of choosing the best beginner drone based on your comfort level with radio-controlled vehicles, or UAV’s (Unmanned Ariel Vehicles).
What is a Drone, And Their Origin?
Drones have been around for quite a while, although they started off being crude and uncontrolled. Drones didn’t start off with the advanced circuitry and guidance systems of today’s technology. The name “Drone” is named after the Queen Bee, a full size, remote controlled de Havilland DH82B biplane in 1935 and was set up with servo controlled mechanisms in the rear cockpit and could be flown conventionally from the front cockpit. Typically, it was used for training exercises and flown remotely while the front cockpit was manned by a gunner for target practice. Before that, the US Amy developed an experimental drone during World War I in 1918 called the Kettering Bug, a remote controlled flying bomb, which was never used in war.
But that’s not where it all started. To understand the origin of the first drone or UAV, we have to go back in time, much further than that, all the way back to 1849 during a conflict between Italy (fighting for their independence) and Austria. Austria used hot-air, gas filled balloons that were armed with bombs against Italy.
Types of Drones and How They’re Used
Drones are still heavily relied upon in many military applications including surveillance, search and rescue,assessment, weapons, gathering intelligence and more. However, aside from military drones, there are many commercial uses for drones (UAV’s), and have grown in practical uses just as fast as technology has grown in practical applications. Drones are used to survey land for construction and utility companies, sports, product delivery and security just to name a few. But we aren’t here to discuss military and commercial uses, we want to fly for fun, right?
Types of Personal Drones That Are Easy to Fly
The two types of drone platforms are Rotor, which include single and multi, and fixed wing.
The best time to buy a personal drone are during Black Friday sales. Most personal drones are much lighter than military and commercial drones and can be equipped with, or without a camera. Some drones are designed for fun, others have specific uses like racing. Depending on how serious you are about flight performance and video quality, will determine the right drone for you.
– RYZE TELLO is the best affordable, easy to fly drone.
– DJI MAVIC MINI is probably the best affordable drone with a camera.
A Little More Advanced:
– DJI also offers the MAVIC 3 that has omnidirectional obstacle sensors, the AIR 2S which is fordable and includes sensor technology,
– AUTEL EVO if you’re looking for great video.
Advanced – Racing:
– iFLIGHT TITAN XL5 6S FPV
– DJI FPV COMBO.
– WALKERA F210
Fly by the Rules
Many countries, and states within those countries, have various rules, regulations and laws, about flying UAV’s/Drones. You can check the FAA guidelines if you are lying in the United States. Most rules have an under 400 feet altitude limit when flying drones, and never fly near airports or other aircraft. Others rules require that the operator of the drone keep line of sight on the UAV, meaning that you must be able to physically see the drone and be in control visually. Flying a drone over people who are not party to your activity is usually not permitted, as well as flying too close to a building or structure. Depending on your state, you may be required to pass a safety test to be able to get a license to fly a drone.
The bottom line is that flying a drone can be a lot of fun and depending on what you want to do with it, factors into what type, style, variant or capabilities you will need to look for in the drone you ultimately purchase. Remember, your first drone doesn’t have to be your last drone. So it might be a good idea to start off small. You can buy a drone for lees that $100 in most cases, but the more you want in stability, speed, video quality and endurance will obviously add to the price tag. Check out some of the drones I mentioned above, there should be something for everyone in the list. And don’t be shy about doing your own research on drones, there’s a lot of information about them since they keep increasing in popularity.
I bought myself, and my twin boys drones for Christmas a few years ago and we’ve had a ton of fun flying them. They were inexpensive but had a lot of cool features like WiFi connectivity (yes, they came with their own WiFi), auto take-off and landing, a camera that would display on your cell phone via an app, Auto rotate and flips, you can even set it to fly from your point of view (heads-up), meaning that you don’t have to fly as if you were sitting in the cockpit. This can be challenging for a beginner because flying from the cockpit means that when you’re flying towards yourself, left if right and right is left. A heads-up view means that right and left commands are always consistent, no matter which way you’re flying, right is always right and left is always left.
If you’re considering buying your first drone, get something you can be confident in flying, you can always upgrade to a higher quality, more expensive drone when you’ve got some experience under your belt. But most of all… have fun!
I enjoy helping people any way I can, so if you have any questions about this post, or drones in general, please leave them in the comments section below and I will get back with you.
Earl McLain – Drone Enthusiast