Drones & Quadcopters: The Basics For Beginners


Unless you have been living under a rock for the past five years ago, you will have noticed the rise in popularity of quadcopters and drones. Businesses are using them for all kinds of things, and they are even making waves in the consumer market. It’s clear that drones are going to be everywhere soon enough, so I thought I would use today’s post to explore some of the key points and features you should be looking for if you are tempted to jump on the bandwagon.

Why are drones so popular with consumers?

Model aircraft and model helicopters have always been popular with a particular crowd, so drones are, at first glance, a natural continuation of the hobbyist theme. But there is a lot more you can do with a drone than you can with a model plane or chopper. Aerial photography is becoming more popular today than it was a decade or so ago, and drones are the ideal solution for amateur snappers. It’s easy to see why – drones have a lot more stability and power than their model aircraft predecessors. They can stay in the same spot, incredibly still, or buzz around for miles without a hitch.

Are they complicated?

Even the drones that offer all the bells and whistles are based on simplicity. Take the DJI Inspire 2 – power beyond imagination, as the strapline goes – as an example. On the face of things, it’s an incredibly complicated piece of machinery, but, ultimately, it’s a simple system with four propellers that is easy to control, maintain, and repair. The hardest part of owning a drone is getting used to fly it – but even that is only a question of a short time spent practicing. The joystick controls on most drones are easy to pick up and get started – and the ones you can control with a tablet are even simpler.

Are they expensive

Some drones – like the DJI model mentioned above – will cost you a couple of thousand pounds. But the reality is you can pick up small, simple drones for as little as £50. No, they probably won’t impress your friends, but they are an ideal starting point for beginners. After all, crashing a £50 drone when you are getting used to controlling it won’t give you too much heartache. But seeing a significant investment go up in smoke will never be a pleasant experience.

What about the law?

You will need to be careful where and when you fly a drone in the UK you will need to follow the ‘dronecode.’ In times gone by, drones were classed amongst the CAA’s regulations for ‘small unmanned aerial vehicles,’ but now drones have a particular page on the official website. You must fly your drone with a few rules in mind. First of all, you can only fly a drone at a maximum of 400 ft – and within 500 m of your locations. You have to steer clear of aircraft, airports, and airfields, too. There are rules for taking pictures, too – you can’t fly within 50 m of a person, or over a vehicle or structure that you don’t own. Finally, you cannot fly your drone within 150 m of a congested area – a major concert or sports event, for example.

I hope this brief beginner’s guide has helped you understand a little more about getting started with drones. Stay tuned for more!

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