Drones have been in existence for very long. When drones are mentioned, a lot of people think of them as macabre weapons used by the military for warfare. Many fail to realize that there are a lot of drones used for peaceful purposes such as aerial video coverage, delivery, or enjoyed as simple toys.
Anyone can enjoy drones and they are far cheaper than most assume they cost. But if a flying drone is what one needs, you’ll have to stick to the regulations laid down for drone control.
The CAA has regulations that state that drones over 20 kg are illegal in most civilian areas while smaller drones can’t be flown within 150 m of large gatherings or at a distance of 50 m from people, vehicles, and buildings. You mustn’t use the drones to invade people’s privacy and you must be licensed by the CAA to use drones for commercial purposes.
Ten suitable and affordable drones are examined below.
See video at the end
The Airdog costs about US$1,599. It is a drone that acts as an auto-follow drone for GoPro cameras. The drone has an Airleash box, which serves as a control and a beacon for the device. The Airleash box is connected wirelessly to the Airdog. You could be in any vehicle, snowboard, or even be running and the Airdog would follow you. It can’t go further than a speed of 40 mph, but the battery could last for up to 20 minutes. The maximum range it can cover is 300 m.
2. Walkera QR Ladybird V2
It costs about US$69.95. It is a miniature drone with a height of 3 cm and a width of 8.5 cm. It has a range of 100 m and total flight time of 10 minutes. It isn’t as powerful as professional drones, but that should be expected as it’s quite cheap. It has flexible plastic rotors that can retain their shape no matter how they are bent or twisted, making it quite damage proof. It’s a very good drones for novices.
3. Walkera Dragonfly Infra X
It costs about US$223 but one would still have to cough out extra for the transmitter and controller. The Dragonfly has more features than the Ladybird. It has a 15-minute flight time; a GPS autopilot; self-stabilization; and an anti-vibration camera mount, which is awesome if you don’t want blurry or shaky images. The camera mount is for the GoPro.
4. Hubsan X4 H107 with LEDs
This costs US$39.99. It is cheap and easy to use. But some customers have issues with a number of this model. So one might need to make sure its warranty card is handy.
5. GAUI 330X-S Quad Flyer
This costs US$460 and it comes in two versions: one for beginners and the other for intermediate users. The intermediate users can add their own radios while the beginner kit comes with radio. It has a 12-minute flight time, which can be extended to 20 minute with the use of an optional high capacity battery. It can carry load of 700 g including its battery. It’s just like a remote control helicopter, but it has the maneuverability and wind resistance of a typical quadricopter.
6. Parrot AR.Drone 2.0
This costs US$192.98. It is the most popular of all consumer drones. It could be used indoors or outdoors and is controlled with smartphone or tablet. It has two batteries and delivers 36 minutes of flight time. It has an inbuilt camera that can stream videos in HD within a 30 m range.