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Drone Range: Find out How Far Can a Drone Fly? 2023 Updated

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: December 5, 2022

How far can a drone fly from its controller? Well, it depends on the model of the drone, how the model is configured, and how far you are willing to fly it. Drone range can be measured by the maximum distance a drone can fly horizontally from its controller before losing connection.

Generally, drone range is dependent on how much lift it has and how heavy it is, and what weather conditions there are (if any), such as wind speeds. Drones come with different battery capacities, which decide how far they can go in the air.

For example, DJI Phantom 3 Standard comes with a lightweight carbon fiber frame and an intelligent battery that gives roughly 25 minutes of flight time. If you want to use your drone for commercial purposes, you must consider how far it can fly from its controller while purchasing.

  • A toy drone will generally have around 100 feet of range.
  • Small Drones can have anywhere from 700 to 1,300 feet of range.
  • Medium drones can have up to 3.1 miles or 5 kilometers.
  • High-end drones can be programmed with GPS capabilities allowing them to more accurately stay within the set boundaries set by the controller.
  • The most expensive drones can fly between 37 and 55 thousand feet.

Different drones come with different ranges and belong to different budget lines. Drones from DJI, such as the Mavic Pro, Inspire 2, and Phantom 4, can transmit live video up to 4.3 miles (7 km) away. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom have extended the maximum distance at which videos may be transmitted up to 5 miles (8 km).

Whereas the lightweight drones from brands line Eachine can transmit video only up to a distance of a few hundred feet. For example, Eachine E56, a compact and lightweight drone, has a transmission range of just about 300 feet or 100 meters.

The range of the drone entirely depends upon the brand and the model that you choose to buy. Drones with different ranges have many other features that will help you fly the drone more easily, such as Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, Return To Home, Low Voltage Protection, etc.

If you wanted to use your drone for aerial photography or videography, you would need a long-range drone to get the shot you needed without losing your signal and potentially crashing the drone. The most common reason people lose connection with their drones is that they are flying too far away from them.

Also Read: Is DJI Care Refresh Worth it?

Factors That Affect Drone Range

How Far Can a Drone Fly

A few factors that affect the range of a drone are:

  • Type of terrain or air space you're flying in.
  • The weather conditions, such as wind speed and direction and clouds.
  • The quality and power of your signal receiver.
  • The type of battery that your drone has installed or is programmed to use.
  • The quality of the materials used in drone production affects how much lift your drone receives while it's flying.

How long a drone can fly depends on how much load it carries. It means that if you're flying in harsh weather conditions or too far from the controller, your drone's performance could be affected. In some extreme cases, it could stop the drone from being able to come back.

How long a drone can stay in the air will also depend on how much money you've spent on your particular model. Generally, more expensive drones will be capable of traveling longer distances than cheaper ones, but there are certain exceptions in both cases.

Also Read: Importance of Retrieving a Crashed Drone

Tips And Tricks To Increase The Range Of Your Drone

Ordinary drones can only fly on a single charge for about 20-30 minutes. If you are looking to get more range out of your drone, there are a few things that you can do.

How Far Can a Drone Fly

Avoid Crowded Areas

Most drones rely on GPS signals to function properly and navigate their way around. However, these signals can be interrupted by tall buildings or a large number of trees in an area. This can cause the drone to lose its connection with the controller and crash.

For this reason, it is best to avoid flying your drone in crowded areas. If you must fly in such an area, try to find a location where there are fewer obstacles that could interfere with the GPS signal. Also, make sure to keep an eye on the drone at all times and be ready to take over control if necessary.

Upgrade The Batteries

If your drone’s range is not as good as you would like, one of the best things you can do is upgrade the batteries. There are many different types of batteries available on the market, so make sure to do your research and find the ones that will work best with your drone.

Some batteries are designed to give your drone a longer flight time, while others are made to improve the overall performance of the drone.

Fly In Clear Weather Conditions

Another thing you can do to improve your drone's range is to fly in clear weather conditions. If there is a lot of wind or rain, it can interfere with the drone’s ability to stay in the air and may cause it to crash.

Stick to flying on days when the weather is calm and there is little chance of interference. Usually, in storms, there is also a lot of air traffic which could cause your drone to lose connection with the controller or get caught in something.

Keep Your Drone Charged

An obvious but very important tip is to ensure your drone is always charged before you take it out to fly. This will help to prevent any unexpected power cuts that could cause the drone to crash. It is also a good idea to keep spare batteries on hand in case the one in the drone runs out of juice while you are in the air.

Use A Fully Charged Controller

In order to get the most out of your drone, it is important to use a fully charged controller. This is because the controller is what you use to give the drone commands.

If the controller runs out of power, then the drone will not be able to respond to your commands and could end up crashing. Make sure to charge the controller before each flight and keep a spare one on hand, just in case.

Use An Antenna Extension

If you are having trouble getting a good range from your drone, one thing that you can try is using an antenna extension. This is a device that attaches to the controller and extends the reach of the antenna.

This can help to improve the connection between the drone and the controller and, therefore, improve the range. It is very important to make sure that the extension is compatible with your controller before you buy it.

Commonly, there are two different types of antenna extensions, linear and circular. Make sure to get the right one for your controller.

Update The Firmware

It is also a good idea to regularly update the firmware on your drone. This is because manufacturers are constantly releasing new updates that can improve the performance of drones.

If you have an older drone model, some features may not be available to you. However, by updating the firmware, you may be able to unlock these features and improve the overall performance of your drone.

Buy Drones With The Latest Connectivity Features

When buying a new drone, it is important to ensure that it has the latest connectivity features. This is because the range of the drone is often limited by connectivity. For example, if you are using an older drone that only has WiFi, then the range will be very limited.

However, if you buy a drone with WiFi and 4G, the range will be much greater. It is important to keep this in mind when you are choosing a new drone.

Keep Your Drone Clean

One of the most important things that you can do to increase the range of your drone is to keep it clean. Over time, dirt and dust can build up on the sensors and propellers of the drone, which can reduce its performance. Make sure to regularly clean the drone and keep it free of debris.

Also Read: Best Methods To Live Stream Drone Footage

What to Do When Your Drone Goes Too Far Away?

There is nothing much to worry about in this case because long before you lose control of the drone, you will lose the video feed. This will be the signal to bring our drone back home.

New-age drones come with a Back home feature, which can be activated by clicking one button on the controller. It will automatically bring the drone back to the point from which it was launched and land there.

How Far Can a Drone Fly

If your connection with your drone gets interrupted, try changing its position or orientation because sometimes moving the controller can help get a better connection with your drone, as objects and other things can block video and transmission signals.

If your drone falls out of range, you will soon hear a warning sound from your controller, which will tell you that the drone is lost. The warning will get louder and other lights on the drone controller will start to flash, which will tell you that your drone is out of range.

If your drone is still flying when it goes too far, try getting it back home immediately because if the battery runs out completely while drones are flying, they fall from the sky and break or damage themselves.

Most drones will stop and hold in mid-air and start hovering so that you can move towards the drone and find it or come in contact with it. Many drones automatically land wherever they are once you lose control of them. Hence, modern-age drones are pretty safe to fly and very easy to operate.

Also Read: Best Tips on How to Pitch Your Drone Services

What kind of Battery Does the Drone Use in 2023?

The battery is one of the most important components of a drone. Short battery life and connection range can be attributed to a weak battery.

Battery capacity in terms of mAh (milliampere-hour) determines how long the device will stay in the air, or put differently, how long it takes for the device to deplete its energy source. The following are just some of the most common types of batteries used in drones today in 2023.

How Far Can a Drone Fly

Lithium Polymer (LiPo) Batteries:

The most common battery type found in affordable drones is Lithium Polymer. These come with rechargeable cells that can be recharged through a USB port or power supply. This kind of battery has the highest energy density, which means storing more energy in a given volume or mass.

Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) Batteries:

The second most popular battery type is NiCd which consists of nickel, cadmium, and an alkaline solution. These are recyclable, but you will typically find them in drones that cost more than $300 and up. They come with a memory effect, meaning that their capacity will decrease if charged before they are completely depleted.

Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries:

These batteries consist of nickel and metal hydrides such as hydrogen or sodium-potassium alloy. Although NiMH has a higher energy density than NiCd, it is less resilient to the memory effect.

LiFePo4 Batteries: 

These are also referred to as Lithium-ion ferrous phosphate and have a lower energy density than other types of batteries, but they can last longer and boast a high number of recharge cycles. Because they contain iron, you should look for ones that are not susceptible to degradation under humid conditions.

Lithium-ion (LiIon) Batteries:

Mainly used in smartphones, LiIon is commonly found in higher-end hobby drones, particularly those designed for professional aerial photography or videography. Since they are rechargeable, this means that your drone can fly several times on a single charge.

Also Read: What Is TRUST Test For Recreational Drone Pilots?

Uses Of Long-Range Drones In 2023

Deeply observing the current scenario of Drone technology, it would not be wrong to say that in the coming years, the demand for this technology is going to rise at a tremendous rate. The various sectors where drones are used extensively are listed below.

How Far Can a Drone Fly

Industrial Use

Drones are increasingly being used in industrial applications where they can be used to inspect hard-to-reach areas or to carry out repetitive tasks. For example, they are often used in the oil and gas industry to inspect pipelines and other infrastructure. They are also used in the power industry to inspect power lines.

Surveillance

Drones are also commonly used for surveillance purposes. They can be equipped with cameras and other sensors to give you a bird’s eye view of an area. This can be useful for security purposes or for monitoring large events.

Agricultural Use

Drones are also being used in the agricultural industry to help farmers with tasks such as crop mapping and irrigation. Farmers can use drones to get a better understanding of their crops and to make sure that they are getting the right amount of water and nutrients.

Delivery

Drones are also being used for delivery purposes. They can be used to deliver small packages or to transport goods from one place to another. This can be very useful in remote areas where there are no other means of transportation.

Military Use

The military also uses drones for a variety of purposes, such as surveillance, reconnaissance, and target practice. Also, many militaries are researching how to use drones for combat purposes.

Videography And Photography Of Unexplored Lands

Drones are also being used for videography and photography. They can be equipped with high-quality cameras to take videos and photographs of places that are difficult to reach. This can be very useful for filmmakers and photographers who want to capture images of remote areas.

Also Read: 10+ Best Tips For Flying a Drone at Night

Which Drone Has The Longest Range?

How Far Can a Drone Fly

If you want to know how far can a drone fly from its controller, you should buy the DJI Mavic 3 Pro has a range of up to 15 km, making it one of the longest-ranged drones on the market.

It also has a top speed of 72 km/h, making it perfect for both long-range flights and racing. The best thing about such a long range is that you can explore more areas and get a better view of the landscape.

The maximum range of the drone rarely comes in use, as the battery only lasts for about 30 minutes. The drone also has a number of safety features that help to prevent it from flying too far away from the controller. However, if you do want to test the limits of the drone, then it is possible to do so.

If you are not experienced in flying drones, then it is important to start with shorter ranges and work your way up. This is because losing control of the drone at longer ranges can be very easy.

It is also important to ensure that you are in a safe area before attempting to fly the drone for long periods. Always follow the safety guidelines of the drone manufacturer to avoid any accidents.

Also Read: Drone Battery Charging Time: How Long It Takes?

Conclusion

The range of a drone is an important consideration for anyone looking to buy one. This article provides a detailed overview of the range of drones and what factors influence them.

It also offers tips on how to get the most out of your drone's range. All of these are important things to keep in mind when choosing the right drone for you.

That's all about drone range you need to know. If you are ready to buy your own drone, please check out another blog about the best drones in the market. We hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us in the comments below.

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Richard J. Gross

Hi, my name is Richard J. Gross and I’m a full-time Airbus pilot and commercial drone business owner. I got into drones in 2015 when I started doing aerial photography for real estate companies. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but it turns out that police were called on me shortly after I started flying. They didn’t like me flying my drone near people, so they asked me to come train their officers on the rules and regulations for drones. After that, I decided to start my own drone business and teach others about the safe and responsible use of drones.

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