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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Drones Direct

» What is a drone? Click for more

The term drone is widely used to describe unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Basically a “drone” is a flying robot that can fly autonomously with software controlled flight plans or from a remote control device. Other names for drones often include: Multirotor, Quadcopter, Hexacopter, Octocopters and Whizboppers.

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» Are drones hard to fly? Click for more

With GPS position hold (like in your Sat-Nav) standard on most consumer drones these days, multirotors are becoming a lot easier to fly than days gone buy. The learning curve for lightweight drones is around two weeks for someone to feel confident flying and filming, This would obviously depend on if the Pilot has previous experience with model aircrafts.

First time drone pilots should practise in large open fields, keeping the drone in the right orientation and at a safe height. That being said with better technology coming out every year, drones are begginning to become smarter and thus much easier to fly. As a general rule of thumb, Ready-To-Fly drones are generally aimed towards everyone, be they beginner or advanced.

You can see our full range of Ready-To-Fly drones right HERE.

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» Do I need a license to fly a drone? Click for more

The drone laws in Europe differ from country to country and are changing frequently, It is important to know what laws are in effect in your region. Most countries allow private use of lightweight drones under 2kg (e.g DJI Phantom, Parrot BeBop, Yuneec Typhoon) to be used in open areas 150m from cities, towns and anywhere that is not populated and 8km away from any airport. It is the pilots responsibility to know and respect the law with drones in your region. Click here to view our handy guide to the UK flying guidelines or for the most recent information you can visit the Civil Aviation Authorities website here.

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» What is a normal flight time of a camera drone? Click for more

Flight time differs from drone to drone depending on battery size, most ready to fly drones that carry a GoPro or camera, such as the DJI Phantom 3 will fly for around 25 minutes. Larger drones designed for heavy lifting or commercial use will have a flight time of around 15 - 20 minutes.

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» What does FPV mean? Click for more

FPV stands for First Person View, Basically FPV means you see what your drone is seeing, by having a video downlink from the camera on the drone transmitting the signal to your LCD monitor or Smart phone/tablet (on drones with that feature). This is an essential addition to any videographer ‘s drone setup.

You can see our entire range of FPV Drones right here.

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» What is the best camera drone? Click for more

Just like the old saying “the best camera is the one you have with you” this can apply to camera drones as well, with a few exceptions the best camera drone (for video/photography) will have a stabilising gimbal, a decent flight range, a high resolution 4K and some sort of FPV feature.

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» How do I choose the best camera drone for me? Click for more

The first thing to think about when buying your camera drone is what do you want to achieve with it? Do you want to fly with FPV for fun around your farm? or do you want to make high quality aerial video’s for a career.

Entry level drones such as the ProFlight Seeker are a great low cost option to get you into the Drone game and learn the basics. However while these are very accessible they are not really designed to make high quality videos.

If high quality videos is your goal then prosumer drone’s like the DJI Phantom 3, Parrot BeBop or Yuneec Typhoon are a great place to start, Some amazing aerials can be achieved with these drones and their integrated cameras or even with a Go-Pro.

The next step up would be a heavy lift hex or octocopter that has the power to lift heavier cameras and pro gimbals, These are for professionals who intend to make a career out of aerial photography/videography. The investment can be large but the returns from commercial work are substantial. If this is something you want to work towards then the best course of action is to contact us.

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» What does “aerial photography” mean? Click for more

Anything shot from the air, whether it be video or photos can be called aerial photography, In the past the most common Aerial photography was done in helicopters, now with powerful battery powered multi-rotors on the market, aerial photography is more accessible than ever before.

To see our most popular aerial photography drones you can click here.

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» What are the differences between quad-, hex- and octo copters? Click for more

The name says it all, A quadcopter had four rotors (quad) a hexacopter has 6 rotors (hex) and octocopter has eight, rotors (octo).

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» So whats the advantage of having more Rotors? Click for more

More rotors = more lift, more rotors also make a craft more stable power, Pro level Aerial drones often have more rotors for lifting heavy cameras. Other advantage of 6 or more rotors is the fact that some crafts can still fly if a motor or ESC (electronic speed controller) decides to stop working mid flight, While it’s not ideal most crafts with this amount of rotors can usually make it home, this is not the case with quadcopters.

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» Who are the largest drone manufacturers? Click for more

DJI is reported to be the most complete commercial drone manufacturer on the market and the DJI Phantom 3 or DJI Inspire 1 is the drone of choice for filmmakers , The company has started pouring much of its resources into the U.S. market, betting that the FAA will relax rules in 2016. Other competition to the offerings of DJI consist of Parrot or Yuneec who both offer brilliant drones at much more wallet friendly prices.

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» How high can drones fly? Click for more

This depends on the range of your drone, Most consumer drones Eg The DJI Phantom 3 Standard have a range between 500 -1000 meters. The Phantom 3 Advanced & Phantom 3 Professional editons both have ranges of around 2KM though which is brilliant for surveying landscapes bear in mind that in the UK the CAA guidelines say you shouldn't fly higher than 120M from ground level. 

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» Can I fly a drone above the sea? Click for more

The short answer to this question is yes, but keep in mind sea spray can be very corrosive to electronics and motor windings, Its a good idea to keep you drone well up and out of the way of waves, drones are not commonly waterproof.

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» Can I fly a drone in the mountains? Click for more

Yes for sure, There is nothing better than flying in the mountains! Keep your mind on the job and be aware of weather changes that could catch you out!

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» What does heavy lift drone mean? Click for more

The term heavy lift drone refers to a multi rotor that can take off and carry a large amount of weight, usually more than the total weight of the actual craft. Heavy lift drones usually have larger props and batteries than hobby drones.

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» What does take off weight mean? Click for more

Take off weight means the total weight the drone can take off with including the weight of itself. So for example a drone that weighs 5 kg and has a take off weight of 10kg will be able to lift a 5 kg payload (canon 5dmkiii for example)./p>

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