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A beginners guide to buying and fly your first drone

This article-guide is divided into two parts. The first part deals with how to buy a drone, and the second part with how to fly it.

drone flying outdoors above trees

Drones are now a trendy gadget to possess for most people. Their practical utility and portrayal in pop culture make them a must-have for the younger generation. But it’s not a regular gadget. Owning and operating a drone comes with legal responsibility. Therefore, you need to devour topics like how to fly a drone for beginners to handle them safely. 

This article-guide is divided into two parts. The first part deals with how to buy a drone, and the second part with how to fly it.

How to Buy a Drone?

A drone has traditionally been used in the military because it’s used interchangeably with UAV or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

In today’s time, drones are also built for recreational purposes, and there are different types of drones. To buy the right drone, you need to learn about the different types. The four major types of drones are:

  1. Multi-rotor drones

These are the most common drone types you’re going to come across. They have four rotating blades, each one fixated at the four corners. Because of this structure, they’re also known as quadcopters. But there are also tricopters (with three blades), hexacopters, and octocopters. Multi-rotor drones are cheap and best for aerial photography. But they tend to have limited flying time and endurance. 

  1. Fixed-wing drones

Fixed-wing drones look more like an airplane than a drone as their wings stretch outwards like an airplane. Because of their design, they can’t stay still in the air like multirotor drones. They’d have to fly in a direction constantly until they land. These types of drones tend to be expensive, gas-powered, and capable of flying long distances. As a downside, they need a high level of expertise to fly.

  1. Single rotor helicopter

Single rotor helicopters resemble a real helicopter. They only have one large blade that supports the body. These are much more efficient and easy to balance in the air than their multi-rotor counterparts. But on the downside, they’re hard to operate and have operational risks.

  1. Fixed-wing hybrid drones

The hybrid model combines the benefits of fixed-wing drones and rotor-based models. These drones are more advanced, equipped with gyros and accelerometers. Companies like Amazon are using these drones for delivery.

When you decide to buy a drone, you need to choose between these four types carefully. As a rule of thumb, if you’re buying solely for recreational purposes, then go for a tricopter or quadcopter drone. These have either an H or X square frame, making it easier to select them. 

Among other specs, inspect the weight it can carry and the speed at which it can travel. Battery life and range are other critical factors when deciding between drones.

The drones also differ by operational difficulty. So if you’re a beginner, go for the most basic drones with limited maintenance requirements.

How to Fly a Drone?

Once you get the drone delivered, it’s time to start flying it. But as stated earlier, it’s not as straightforward as getting started with your DSLR. There are some things you need to keep in mind.

  • First, know the Legalities

Flying drones are governed by laws in almost all countries and states. And it differs by the type and purpose of flying them.

The Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) laid out specific guidelines for both recreational flyers and commercial operators. Similar guidelines exist for government users and educational users.

The recreational users are governed by the USC 44809: Exception for limited recreational operations of crewless aircraft.

The code states that as a recreational flyer, you must:

  • Fly only for recreation purpose
  • Follow the safety guidelines of the FAA-recognized Community Based Organization.
  • Keep the drone within the visual line of sight.
  • Not interfere with the path of human-crewed aircrafts
  • Fly below 400 ft in controlled airspace

You need to understand these legalities before flying your drone.

  • Understand the Drone Controller

Next, you need to understand the drone controller. Every maker has a different set of controls. But the four functions that are common to all drones are:

  1. Yaw
  2. Throttle
  3. Roll
  4. Pitch

As a beginner, you must fly the drone in an open space and control the drone with utmost precision. Practice with all the functions. Make your drone go faster, slower, move it sideways, tilt it forward or backward, fly it counterclockwise. Fly the drone in public only when you gain total control.

Before flying, you should consume multiple resources like how to fly a drone for beginners guide by UAV Adviser. YouTube videos are also a great place to start. With learning and practice, you should master the drone flying process.

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