These little gadgets have recently begun to take the world by storm and now everyone wants their own – the grownups as much as the kids! A remote-control helicopter is surprisingly easy to fly but a quad copter is even easier because it runs on batteries so you will not have to deal with engine malfunction or know anything about how engines work. There are no complicated moving parts to tinker with. You can simply charge the batteries and get it flying.
These battery-operated ones are also very quiet so whether you want to fly it around the neighborhood without annoying your neighbors or scare the cat, you can expect near-silence. Batteries are safe to use too; you do not have to deal with gas, flammables or any type of engine. The appeal of these little gadgets lies largely in their ease of use. Even a child can master one in next to no time.
Although kids and also adults might get one of these as a toy or hobby, they are useful for a wider spectrum of society. Keen photographers can have plenty of fun flying a camera drone, snapping shots or recording video of their neighborhood and getting a bird’s eye view.
A drone with 4 propellers, known as a quadcopter, provides a new challenge to hobbyists, because they require more skill than the more basic helicopters. Actually a lot of the newest models on the market are quadcopters because of their relative mechanical simplicity when you compare them to the more stable helicopter design. It is still a good idea to begin with a basic model though and work your way up to a quadcopter because flying one of those does take practice.
Are There Rules Against Drones?
As these gadgets become more popular, there are more rules and restrictions coming about involving their flight. The FAA bans you from flying too close to manned aircraft, for example, and I am sure you can understand why. The drone must be kept in sight and you are not allowed to charge people for flying your drone.
You must keep the machine under 500 feet, because any higher and you risk sharing airspace with manned aircraft. Drones are also banned from all national parks in the United States. Despite these rules though, there are lots of places to fly your helicopter, quadcopter or drone. Practice in your backyard then head to the nearest local park or open area. (After Checking the RULES first) Perhaps you will then meet other flying enthusiasts there and you can swap your best tips.
How to Choose the Best One
Because there are plenty of different RC aircraft on the market, it pays to know a bit about how to choose the best one. First of all, bear in mind most of them have a battery life of 10 to 12 minutes, or even less. Now that is sufficient time for a short flight but you might want a longer time, in which case get a drone which takes a removable battery, then just ensure you have plenty of fully-charged ones with you. Spend more on a drone and the battery should provide around 25 minutes of flight time. The best ones will automatically fly the drones right back to you when the battery is getting critically low.
A lot of drones (although not all) feature a camera, either built-in or attachable. Some work with a GoPro camera which you need to buy separately and others come with their own. The higher-end models will have image stabilization for more professional footage.
Some will record straight to an SD card which you can then pop into your PC and upload. If you want to watch the footage in real time, some drones are able to transmit live to your iPhone or Android device. If you do this for the whole flight, it will drain your battery pretty quick, but it is still a nice feature to have. Work out your budget and which features are deal-breakers for you, then you will be able to choose the perfect helicopter, quadcopter or camera drone to have lots of fun with.