drone types

Many people are now turning into drone enthusiasts. This is not a surprise because drones are really interesting machines. If you haven’t purchased a drone or if you are simply looking into getting to know the different drones out there, then this post will greatly help you with that. 

There are many different types of drones and to make it easier and more organized, you can find them in different classifications below.

Drone Types According To Aerial Platforms

Single-rotor Drones

When you think about single-rotor drones, one thing that resembles it the most is a helicopter. This kind of drone, like the name implies, has just one large main rotor. Most single-rotor drones also have another smaller rotor at the tail. Their structure strongly resembles that of a helicopter. 

These drones are suitable for long flight times rather than the multi-rotor alternatives because they are better at generating thrust. They can also be powered by a gas motor, making them more capable of longer flights. These are also more expensive and require mechanical maintenance.

Multi-rotor Drones

These are the most common type of drones in the market today. They are both used by hobbyists and professionals as well. These are what are mostly available and are the cheapest too. 

Multi-rotor drones can be divided into tricopters, quadcopters, hexacopters, and octocopters. The difference lies in how many rotors they have and on the positioning of the rotors in the frame. With multi-rotor drones, users have control over the position of the rotors, depending on their goal in designing their drones. The downside to these affordable drones is the limited flight time of around 30 minutes.

Fixed-Wing Drones

If there are drones similar to helicopters, there are also drones similar to airplanes and these are the fixed-wing drones. These drones are better when it comes to covering more distance because it uses the energy for forwarding motion. The vertical lift is produced with the designs of the wings as they move. 

Like single-rotor drones, these can last in the air for longer periods of time. Some can even last for up to 16 hours. This is also due to the motors that can be gas-powered. 

A drawback to this kind of drone is the challenging launching and landing. They are also not ideal for hovering so taking aerial photos and pictures is not suitable.

Fixed-Wing Hybrid

These drones combine the ability of fixed-drones plus having the ability to hover. They come in three variations. The first is a fixed-wing that has an equipped with a vertical-lift motor. The second is designed to take-off while sitting on its tail then pitches over for the horizontal flight. Lastly, the third has wings that swivel, allowing it to point either upwards or horizontally.

Drone Types According To Size

Nano Drones – These are the tiniest of drones and can be the size of an insect. These are best used for practice and indoor flying. These are up to 20 inches in size

Small Drones – These are larger than nano drones and are more than 20-inches in size and could go up to 80 inches in length. 

Medium Drones – These drones can weigh up to 440 lbs. Their larger size and weight means they can’t be easily launched in the air by yourself. They are best used when someone is available to help. 

Large Drones – Large drones are used mostly by the military. They are used for surveillance purposes and are not really available to the public.

Drone Types According To Range

Although the farther the range, the better the drone is, a special licence is required to operate them. Only those at the very close range can be operated without a license but aviation rules should still be followed.

Very Close Range – These are where most drones for hobbies fit. The range is limited to up to 3 miles only.

Close Range – These have a farther range that’s up to 30 miles and can stay in the air for as long as 6 hours.

Short Range – These have a range that could go a little beyond 90 miles. They can also stay in the air for up to 12 hours. 

Mid-Range – If you need drones that can function for up to 400 miles, then these are the ones you should get. These are the ones meteorologists use to gather data.

Endurance – These drones can reach up to 3000 feet up in the air and could last for hours in the air. 

Drone Types According To Abilities

GPS Drone – These drones have GPS capabilities and are connected to satellites. That means they can be programmed to go somewhere specific. Once the battery is low, they go back to the base.

Trick Drones – These are also known as toys and are used to create different flips. They can be maneuvered for entertainment purposes.

RTF Drones – RTF stands for ready-to-fly and these drones are suitable for beginners as they don’t require or need little assembly. 

Racing Drones – These are drones meant to travel at fast speeds and are used for the drone racing sport. They are designed to be light and vary in price. 

Photography Drones – These are equipped with good cameras and some even have stabilization features. Aerial photography is the main reason for this kind of drone.

Underwater Drones – These drones don’t fly and are designed to go underwater. They are sealed so the electronic parts can’t get wet. 

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