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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a drone?

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a "drone", is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard.
They can fly autonomously with software controlled flight plans or from a remote control device. While they originated mostly in military applications, their use has expanded rapidly to commercial, scientific, recreational,  agricultural, and other applications. Some experts predict drones could become a $100 billion market by the year 2020. 

What does “aerial imaging” mean?

Anything shot from the air, whether it be video or photos can be referred to as 'aerial imaging'. In the past, the most common aerial imaging was done with manned aircraft (a plane or helicopter). Now, with powerful battery-powered multi-rotors on the market, aerial imaging is more accessible than ever before.

What does FPV mean?

FPV is an acronym for First Person View.  It basically means you're able to see what your drone is seeing. This is done using a video downlink from the camera (on the drone) which transmits the signal to your ground station monitor (smart phone or tablet).

What are the differences between quad-, hex-, and octo- copters?

The name says it all... a quadcopter has 4 rotors (quad), a hexacopter has 6 rotors (hex), an octocopter has 8 rotors (octo).

So what is the advantage of having more rotors?

More rotors = more lift. More rotors also make a craft more stable power. Pro-level drones typically have more rotors for lifting heavier cameras. Another advantage of having several rotors (6 minimum) is that the drone can still fly if one motor fails.

Are drones hard to fly?

With GPS satellite positioning, flying a multi-rotor is much easier to fly than remote-controlled aircraft. Novice drone pilots should practice in a large open field always keeping the drone in the right orientation and at a safe height.

How far/high can drones fly?

This depends on the range of your drone. Most consumer drones, e.g DJI Phantom series, have a range of a few miles.

Can I fly a drone above water?

The short answer is yes, but moisture can be very damaging to electronics and motors. Drones are not usually waterproof.

Do I need a license to fly a drone?

Laws differ in each country and change frequently. It's important to know what the laws are in your region.

What does heavy lift drone mean?

The term 'heavy lift' 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 typically have larger props and more batteries than hobby drones.

What does take-off weight mean?

The total weight that can be lifted including the weight of the drone itself. 

What is a normal flight time of a drone?

Flight times differ depending on weight and battery capacity. Most will fly for approximately 25 minutes. Larger drones designed for heavy lifting will have a flight time of around 15 minutes.

Safety Infographic