Drones are relatively easy to fly, are often compatible with smartphones and tablets and are fast becoming supercool flying cameras! This essential guide to buying and flying a drone will help you choose your drone or quadcopter, and help you to fly it safely too.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones are no longer made just for the military or specialists, drones are now well and truly on both the high street and many kids’ most wanted list of cool gadgets. They might be remote controlled vehicles but model airplanes they are not. Toy drones are an awesome starting point for beginners because you can afford to be daring with your stunts when you are practicing on a small, relatively cheap flyer.
Made to zip around your back garden or living room for a few minutes, toy drones are the perfect way to practice your piloting skills before you buy a highflying camera drone or superfast flying racing quad. Toy drones are safe, small and by far the simplest UAV you can fly. They are also ready to fly straight out of the box. You will need batteries though, and as they aren’t designed to fly for long on a single charge, you might want to invest in some rechargeable batteries.
In a cool mashup of video games and our photography obsession, drones are fast becoming aerial cameras and you’ll probably want to buy a done with a camera that has first person view flying (FPV) streaming to your smartphone. This will drain batteries faster but that view will make up for a shorter flying time, which is usually between six and ten minutes.
Naturally, your camera skills will improve with your flying skills! Buying a drone with prop guards is a good idea to save damage as you learn to navigate around corners and up and over objects. Even a small drone has some weight behind it if and when it falls!
Don’t fly it towards people or animals, and make sure you can always see it. A good and bad aspect of toy drones is their limited fly time and range – this is good for your starter drone so you can practice flying without the danger of expensive damage and even loss. It can be frustrating because as your skills improve, you’re able to fly longer and further but your toy drone cannot. Then, grasshopper, you will be ready for the next level drone!
And before you go out and get your bigger and better drone, here are some basic rules to always follow when flying your drone.
And finally, do have fun!